Shaun Verreault plays Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” Tri-Slide style just ’cause I asked

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Shaun Verreault for the Georgia Straight back in January my article wound up focusing on how the Vancouver guitar great had developed his "Tri-Slide" style of playing, where he uses three slides at once on a lap steel guitar. I was blown away by his short, Tri-Slide reimaginings of … Continue reading Shaun Verreault plays Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” Tri-Slide style just ’cause I asked

Skynyrd’s Live at Knebworth ’76 makes me pine for Ronnie and the shitkicker days of southern-rock

By Steve Newton There's quite a few bands that I really wish I'd seen perform live in their prime, but Lynyrd Skynyrd is right up there at the top. On August 21, 1976--the day Skynyrd played the Knebworth Festival along with the likes of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, 10cc, and the Rolling Stones--I was still a … Continue reading Skynyrd’s Live at Knebworth ’76 makes me pine for Ronnie and the shitkicker days of southern-rock

That time Fernando von Arb called and told me that Krokus was kicking Sammy Hagar’s ass on tour

By Steve Newton If you're old like me you may remember Swiss metal band Krokus for that early-'80s tune "Long Stick Goes Boom" and for the fact that they sounded a lot like AC/DC. I interviewed guitarist Fernando von Arb on November 12, 1984, three months after the release of the group's Vancouver-made, Bruce Fairbairn-produced … Continue reading That time Fernando von Arb called and told me that Krokus was kicking Sammy Hagar’s ass on tour

Sylvia Tyson and her Great Speckled Bird hit Chilliwack for a three-night stand at Huggy’s Cabaret

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, APRIL 8, 1981 By Steve Newton Famous Canadian singer-songwriter Sylvia Tyson visited Chilliwack last Thursday for the first of three nightly performances at Huggy's nightclub. Five years ago Tyson stepped out of ex-husband Ian's considerable shadow, and since then has earned the reputation as a crowd-pleasing performer in her … Continue reading Sylvia Tyson and her Great Speckled Bird hit Chilliwack for a three-night stand at Huggy’s Cabaret

That time I told Gary Moore it was the shits that he wasn’t coming to Vancouver with Rush

By Steve Newton It's Gary Moore's birthday today--he would have been 69--so I figured I'd post an audio excerpt from my one and only interview with the Irish guitar legend, one of the finest pickers to ever pick up the instrument. It was May 11, 1984, and Moore was opening for Rush on their Grace … Continue reading That time I told Gary Moore it was the shits that he wasn’t coming to Vancouver with Rush

That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria

By Steve Newton Back in the '80s, most successful recording bands liked to put an album out every year. Sometimes they’d skip a year, to vacation in the Bahamas or release a live or best-of LP. After three years their fans would start to get a bit worried, and so would their record label–especially if … Continue reading That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria

That time Long John Baldry told me that he inspired Eric Clapton to take up guitar

By Steve Newton Long John Baldry had a huge influence on the British blues scene in the sixties. In fact, when I interviewed Baldry back in 1985, he confirmed that none other than Slowhand himself was urged to take up the guitar after seeing him perform. Have a listen: To hear the full audio of … Continue reading That time Long John Baldry told me that he inspired Eric Clapton to take up guitar

That time Robin Gibb told me that the Bee Gees had never been a disco group

By Steve Newton Back in the '70s when rock music was having a huge impact on me I was rabidly anti-disco. I didn't go so far as to wear a "Disco Sucks" t-shirt like one of my high school buddies, but I was with him in spirit. But in 1977, when the blockbuster Saturday Night … Continue reading That time Robin Gibb told me that the Bee Gees had never been a disco group

That time I told “Gatemouth” Brown that he played pretty good boogie for a 73-year-old

By Steve Newton Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was one of those old blues guys who didn't talk much--especially during interviews. When I chatted with him back in 1997 he was 73, and touring behind an album called Long Way Home that featured guest spots by Leon Russell, Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, and Sonny Landreth. At one … Continue reading That time I told “Gatemouth” Brown that he played pretty good boogie for a 73-year-old

That time I asked Danny Gatton, the world’s greatest unknown guitarist, if he wished he were better known

By Steve Newton Danny Gatton has long been described as "the world's greatest unknown guitarist." Some have argued that that title is more suited to Roy Buchanan, but I think it's safe to say that Gatton is the lesser known of the two relatively unheralded Telecaster masters. At least it seemed that way to me … Continue reading That time I asked Danny Gatton, the world’s greatest unknown guitarist, if he wished he were better known

That time 21-year-old Exodus guitarist Gary Holt told me that he couldn’t say enough bad things about Mötley Crüe

By Steve Newton Way back on July 24 of 1985 I interviewed the guitarists from three fast-rising (but still kinda underground) thrash metal bands: Gary Holt of Exodus, Kurdt Vanderhoof of Metal Church, and John Ricci of Exciter. All three groups were headed to Vancouver for a three-night "Metal Massacre" at the New York Theatre, … Continue reading That time 21-year-old Exodus guitarist Gary Holt told me that he couldn’t say enough bad things about Mötley Crüe

That time I asked Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed if Metallica ever blew his band off the stage

By Steve Newton I interviewed Guns N' Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed on August 5, 1992, while his band was in the midst of a coheadlining stadium tour with Metallica. The tour was scheduled to hit Vancouver's BC Place Stadium on August 17--with openers Faith No More--but three days after this chat James Hetfield got badly … Continue reading That time I asked Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed if Metallica ever blew his band off the stage

That time Albert King told me that Gary Moore could play guitar: “I guarantee it”

By Steve Newton During my 40 years of writing about music, I've been extremely fortunate, especially when it comes to interviewing guitar players. I've been able to interview some of the world's greatest guitarists several times over, including amazing players like Joe Satriani (eight times), Warren Haynes (six times), Buddy Guy (five times), and Dickey … Continue reading That time Albert King told me that Gary Moore could play guitar: “I guarantee it”

That time Scott Ian told me that, if there’d been a Big Five Tour, Exodus could have joined Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth

By Steve Newton Back in September of 2012 I interviewed Scott Ian. He's the fourth Anthrax member I've chatted with, having hooked up with Joey Belladonna in '91, John Bush in '93, and Frank Bello in 2005. That band likes to talk. Anyway, two years before my chat with Ian, Anthrax had hooked up with … Continue reading That time Scott Ian told me that, if there’d been a Big Five Tour, Exodus could have joined Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth

That time Dick Dale told me that the way he played guitar was “ticka-ticka-tucka-tucka ticka-ticka-tucka-tucka ticka-ticka-ta”

By Steve Newton I was fortunate enough to have interviewed Dick Dale--the "King of the Surf Guitar"--twice, in 1993 and 2000. Wow--what a totally unique and interesting guy. So outgoing and full of life and passion. At one point during the second conversation I brought up the topic of his highly percussive approach to guitar … Continue reading That time Dick Dale told me that the way he played guitar was “ticka-ticka-tucka-tucka ticka-ticka-tucka-tucka ticka-ticka-ta”

That time Steve Howe told me that it was “inappropriate” to ask if he’d had a falling out with original Yes singer Jon Anderson

By Steve Newton I've interviewed Steve Howe three times over the years because, hey, he's Steve Howe, and I've been a fan of his ever since high school, when I used to proudly display the triple-disc Yessongs album--with its awesome Roger Dean artwork--on my bedroom dresser. The last time we chatted, though, in 2017, I … Continue reading That time Steve Howe told me that it was “inappropriate” to ask if he’d had a falling out with original Yes singer Jon Anderson

That time Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran told me that he wasn’t exactly a Pink Floyd fan

By Steve Newton I was never a big Duran Duran fan, let's make that abundantly clear. Not enough wailin' guitar solos for my liking. But back on December 12 of 1985 I interviewed the group's keyboardist Nick Rhodes, who at the time was promoting a new LP by Duran Duran spin-off band Arcadia. That album, … Continue reading That time Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran told me that he wasn’t exactly a Pink Floyd fan

That time Tommy Shannon told me that the song he dedicated to Stevie Ray Vaughan poured out like water

By Steve Newton Back in March of 1998 I did my first interview with Tommy Shannon, who is best known as the bassist from Stevie Ray Vaughan's old band, Double Trouble. At the time Shannon was touring with his group Storyville, promoting the album Dog Years, which featured a song of his called "There's a … Continue reading That time Tommy Shannon told me that the song he dedicated to Stevie Ray Vaughan poured out like water