Hollywood Producer Bing Saved Lonely Lewis
JERRY LEE LEWIS was shocked when Hollywood producer and ELIZABETH HURLEY's ex-boyfriend STEVE BING tracked him down in rural Mississippi and begged him to record an album of duets. The 70-year-old was living as a virtual recluse with his five Chihuahuas and four chow dogs watching television all day in his bedroom when he received the strange request. Bing, a lifelong Lewis fan, and co-producer JIMMY RIP finally persuaded the rocker to get back into the studio after months of trying to track him down. Lewis explains, "They come barreling through the door, big, tall guys with good-looking women. I fell right in with them!" The resulting album, LAST MAN STANDING, features 21 duets with musical superstars including BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, MICK JAGGER, ERIC CLAPTON, NEIL YOUNG and JIMMY PAGE. Lewis explains, "I gave it my best shot." The GREAT BALLS OF FIRE star adds singing with such high-caliber partners "didn't worry me a bit. I was pretty at ease." Producer Rip recalls, "It took him a while to realise we were for real and wanted to get his talent front and centre. He'd kind of given up a little bit. "He was absolutely languishing. He was in a bad marriage, and he was happy just watching GUNSMOKE in his bedroom." Lewis' daughter and manager PHOEBE LEWIS says, "I'm so proud of him. He was at a bad place when Steve Bing approached him. He was emotionally tormented and going through a divorce. "My daddy is kind of reclusive. For him to make new friends, the whole thing has been such a boost. He's happier. "He's got this reputation. He can be a wild, mean, crazy hell-raiser, but the person inside is a good, loving man."