The Outfield

Thu
26
Jul

SAY IT ISN'T SO: Exclusive interview with The Outfield's Tony Lewis

Artist: 
Categories: 
 
By Gerry Gittelson
Melodicrock.com Los Angeles correspondent
 
LOS ANGELES -- Tony Lewis, lead singer for well-remembered British classic-rock act The Outfield, is back.
 
Four years since the death of co-founder/guitarist John Spinks, who was the main songwriter, Lewis just released a new album Out of The Darkness, and he is also among the key figures in the multi-act Retro Futurama tour that is trekking across America from New York to California and lots of cities in-between.
 
'The response has been really good, really overwhelming -- the crowds still know all the words to the songs,' Lewis said. 'It's kind of weird being out there and not seeing John Spinks next to me, because we had been together so long, but yeah, it's going well.'
 
Smash-hit 'Your Love,' featuring that infectious opening line 'Josie's on a vacation far away,' was a No. 6 single on Billboard in the 1980s -- among other Outfield hits from triple-platinum debut Play Deep -- and Lewis still loves it, he said.
 
'That song kind of took on a life of its own. The crazy thing is, John Spinks wrote Your Love in like 20 minutes,' Lewis remembered. 'He was a great guitar player and a great songwriter.'
 
Lewis comes to Los Angeles on Saturday, July 28 at the famed The Wiltern Theatre on Wilshire Boulevard -- something the dark-haired singer is looking forward to because The Outfield rarely played in tinseltown.
 
'That wasn't our choice. We wanted to play in Los Angeles a lot more,' Lewis said.
 
A particularly memorable performance with The Outfield was an old concert at the open-air Greek Theatre with Starship.
 
'I remember Neil Diamond had just done like five headline nights at the Greek the week before,' Lewis said. 'That was a good night. We actually were on tour with Starship for six months, and I remember the Greek Theatre very well.'
 
Meanwhile, unlike other British groups, The Outfield did not hang out at the usual Los Angeles and New York spots, instead returning home to London when not on tour.
 
And while The Outfield's success was meteoric, as the group was never able to match its early success, the songs like 'Your Love,' 'Say It Isn't So,' 'Since You've Been Gone' and 'All The Love In The World' continue to be played on the radio.
 
As for Lewis, he is not quite ready to take his walk into the sunset.
 
'It has been quite a while actually, but it's nice to be back. It really is,' he said.

RETRO FUTURA TOUR
DATE
 
 
CITY
 
 
VENUE
 
 
Sat
7/21
 
Las Vegas, NV
 
Mandalay Bay
 
Sun
7/22
 
Saratoga, CA
 
Mountain Winery
 
+Wed
7/25
 
Phoenix, AZ
 
The Van Buren
 
Thu
7/26
 
Costa Mesa, CA
 
Pacific Amphitheatre
^Sat
7/28
 
Los Angeles, CA
 
The Wiltern Theatre
Sun
7/29
 
Tucson, AZ
 
Anselmo Valencia Tore Amphitheater
Wed
8/1
 
Milwaukee, WI
 
Pabst Theatre
 
Fri
8/3
 
Northfield, OH
 
Hard Rock Live
 
Sat
8/4
 
St. Ignace, MI
 
Kewadin Casino Resort
 

 

 
Thu
10
Jul

JOHN SPINKS (THE OUTFIELD) - R.I.P.

Artist: 
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Guitarist John Spinks from The Outfield has passed away overnight. The band has released this statement via their facebook page:
 
"It is with great sadness we inform you that John Spinks passed away at 09.55am on Wednesday 9th July 2014.  He was 60 years old.  As many of you know, he had been suffering from liver cancer for many years and bravely fought the disease until the very end.  We are relieved that his passing was peaceful and painless.  John was a loving husband, inspirational father, doting grandfather and gifted songwriter.  His musical career started from a very young age and he wanted more than anything for people to listen and enjoy his music.  He passed away knowing he achieved his ambition.  If it were possible, we know John would have liked to have thanked each and every fan of The Outfield personally.  He admired and respected the emails from thousands of loyal followers who commented on his music and enquired about his health.  This alone, gave him motivation to battle through the sometimes dark days. 

We would like to thank you for 'Your Love' and the continued support you have given John throughout his career.  He loved making music and playing his guitar.  He found pleasure knowing that his music made people happy and brought them fond memories.  He worked hard many days in pain to finish the Replay album. There were times when he could barely pick up his guitar, but he refused to give up knowing he would disappoint fans.  The hardest day for John was when he put his guitar in it's case announcing his hands could no longer play. 

During the last months of his life, John, Tony and Alan wrote new material.  What the future holds for this is unclear at the time of writing. 
There is so much more we could say, but for now, we would like to grieve the loss of John.

God bless you all.
Jean, Lee and Paul xxx"
 
 
R.I.P John.
 
 
 
News of his passing is also being featured at Billboard.com: www.billboard.com/articles/news/6150467/john-spinks-guitarist-songwriter...

 

 
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