SALT LAKE CITY — An early scene in “Back to the Future” shows a nervous Marty McFly auditioning for his high school’s battle of the bands.

When he steps onto the stage and plugs his guitar in, his band begins playing the upbeat introduction of “Power of Love,” to which Marty starts shredding a fast guitar solo.

His wild antics go unappreciated and are met with blank stares by a panel of four stern judges. After allowing a few more seconds to pass, the judge with the megaphone stands up and says, “Hold it fellas, I’m afraid you’re just too darn loud.”

It’s a scene that’s delightfully ironic, as that disapproving judge is Huey Lewis — the very writer of “Power of Love.”

Lewis talked with the Deseret News about writing the song that gave his band its first No. 1 hit, as well as what Utahns can look forward to at the upcoming concert. Huey Lewis and the News will be bringing its blend of rock and pop to the Eccles Theater on Thursday, Oct. 19.

Although he was flattered, Lewis had his doubts when director Robert Zemeckis, producer Steven Spielberg and writer Bob Gale approached him about writing a song for the film “Back to the Future.” He’d never written music for a film before, and he also didn’t “fancy writing a song called ‘Back to the Future.’”

The trio assured Lewis that the song didn’t have to be related to the movie title; that any song he wrote would do — Marty McFly’s favorite band was Huey Lewis and the News, after all.

“In my recollection, ‘Power of Love’ is the very next thing we came up with,” Lewis said. “Zemeckis remembers it slightly differently; that we sent him another song that he didn’t like as much and then sent him ‘Power of Love’. … I didn’t think the song was going to work for them because there was no love interest in the film, and the song was all about the power of love. But they used it in the chase scene and it worked great.”

“Back to the Future” fans can hear “Power of Love” as Marty McFly speedily races down his hometown streets on a skateboard in an effort to make it to school on time. And although Lewis hasn’t seen the film for quite some time, he recognizes it has a power of its own.

“It’s a movie that’s popularity is still growing,” he said. “It’s weird. It’s one of these things that won’t die. I get stuff all the time from parents who say they just watched ‘Back to the Future’ with their kids and how fantastic it is.”

But even before “Back to the Future” was released in 1985, Lewis and his band had already achieved wide recognition in 1983 for their well-known album “Sports” that included hits “The Heart of Rock & Roll” and “If This is It.”

Diving into the music industry was a move Lewis largely attributes to his father. When the singer/harmonica player graduated from high school at 17 — he skipped second grade — he was planning to enroll in college when his father asked him to first do one thing: “Take a year off and bum around Europe.”

“My dad always reckoned that people don’t know what they want to do at 17 years old,” Lewis said. “And they get railroaded into a career in engineering or something, and (maybe) they really want to be a harmonica player.”

Following his father’s advice, Lewis packed his bags, including a harmonica, and traveled throughout Europe. He spent much of his one-year journey playing harmonica on the side of the road while waiting to catch a ride to his next destination. The musician was eventually able to earn enough money from impromptu concerts to buy a plane ticket back to the United States.

Lewis then enrolled in an engineering program at Cornell University, a school he said he attended “for five minutes over a two-year period” before really pursuing his passion for music.

Huey Lewis and the News has been together for more than 30 years, and the band — which played Stadium of Fire in 1998 — is looking forward to returning to the Beehive State this month.

And while fans will hear a slew of hits from the band’s heyday in the ‘80s, they’re also going to get a taste of some newer music.

“I’ve got a new record coming out,” Lewis said. “One of the songs is attached to an animated film called “Animal Crackers” (that came out earlier this year). And then we’re going to probably, hopefully have a record out April (or) May. … We don’t even look very good anymore. We sound better than ever, but we don’t look very good. That’s the way that goes. (Performing) is a wave that you ride, and it’s the greatest feeling in the world. It’s easy, it’s effortless and it’s fun.”

If you go…

What: Huey Lewis and the News

When: Oct. 19, 8 p.m.

Where: Eccles Theater, 131 Main St.

How much: $45-$125

Web: live-at-the-eccles.com