Huey Lewis and the News have dropped an eye-popping video for their single “While We’re Young” that is sure to win the hearts of any fans of old-school videogames and the ‘80s.
The clip, styled like an early videogame, sees the Huey character walking through his life, reaching new levels and winning rewards with each milestone, with loads of references to high points in his and the band’s career (from “Level up: Puberty!” and “Record deal!” to “Platinum: You found a new drug!” and, for when he gets married “Unlocked: The power of love!” Superstars like Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and Bob Dylan also appear in videogame form (referencing Lewis’ participation in the 1985 “USA for Africa” charity album) and there’s even a reference to the “Back to the Future” film, which featured Lewis and the group’s song “The Power of Love.” The clip concludes with a subtle reference to Lewis’ recently announced ear ailment, — which has sidelined him as a performer although he has many projects in the works — by saying “The heart of rock and roll is still beating!”
The clip was animated with a Saga 16-bit video game look and put together by the writer/director Scott Sava, from the recently released kids’ film “Animal Crackers.” The song is the latest single from the group’s album “Weather,” which was released on BMG earlier this year, and is also featured on the film’s soundtrack.
Huey Lewis says, “When I was first approached by Scott and his team, I was impressed with the script, cast, and the art — he hadn’t animated it yet, but had beautiful renditions of the characters and sets — and felt that ‘While We’re Young’ would be perfect for the film. Fortunately he agreed, and for the next few years, he worked on the film, and we edited the song. The video was Scott’s idea, and although ordinarily I’d want to be very involved, after working with him, I felt very comfortable leaving it all in his hands. COVID- 19 dictated that anyway. I think he, Logan and team did a great job.”
Sava says, “While in college in the late 80’s, I got my first job interning at Sega of America in San Francisco making 16-bit games. So, when the pandemic hit and my 17-year-old son Logan was stuck at home, we set out to try and recreate a 16-bit video game style for Huey’s song for our film.
“About a week in, though, we realized the enormity of the idea and that it would take some more manpower to make this happen. I reached out to an artist named William Bruce Robles Zapata, who handled the backgrounds. Then, I commissioned my friend and fellow artist/director Kevin Hanna to help us put it all together. Kevin really took over and did the bulk of the work (animation and direction) while Logan and I made the characters.
“It was so fun making 16-bit Biff, Doc, and Marty from ‘Back to the Future.’ And how cool was it to create musical icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Bob Dylan, and Tina Turner for the ‘USA for Africa’ segment?
All in all, we finished the project in record time and Huey seemed to really enjoy the trip down memory lane.”
Watch the clip below: