That time I asked B.B. King what advice he had for young guitar players trying to learn the blues

bev davies photo By Steve Newton Back in January of 1984 I did my first interview with B.B. King. Man, was that a thrill. He was playing a string of shows at the Plazazz Showroom in North Vancouver, and I hung out with him in his hotel room before one of the gigs. As the … Continue reading That time I asked B.B. King what advice he had for young guitar players trying to learn the blues

That time B.B. King told me how playing guitar was like telling the truth

bev davies photo By Steve Newton I’ve been very fortunate to have interviewed several legendary bluesmen over the last 40 years, guys like Albert King, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Roy Buchanan, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. But the very first legendary bluesman I ever interviewed was B.B. King. In January of 1984 he was playing a … Continue reading That time B.B. King told me how playing guitar was like telling the truth

That time Doyle Bramhall II told me that he was “all over” B.B. King and Eric Clapton’s Riding With the King

By Steve Newton I absolutely loved the B.B. King and Eric Clapton album Riding With the King when it came out in 2000. It was a shoo-in for my Top 10 Albums of the Year list, alongside other guitar-centic offerings like Joe Satriani‘s Engines of Creation and Steve Vai‘s The 7th Song. But with such … Continue reading That time Doyle Bramhall II told me that he was “all over” B.B. King and Eric Clapton’s Riding With the King

That time B.B. King told me that Eric Clapton could make him do whatever he wants

By Steve Newton I’ve been lucky enough to have interviewed blues legend B.B. King twice, once way back in 1984, then again in 2002. The last time was a couple of years after he and Eric Clapton had recorded the awesome Riding With the King album, which was a shoo-in for my Top 10 albums … Continue reading That time B.B. King told me that Eric Clapton could make him do whatever he wants

That time I asked B.B. King who his “King of the Blues” would be

By Steve Newton Way back in 1984 I did my first interview with B.B. King when he was playing a string of shows at the Plazazz Showroom in North Vancouver. Man, was he ever a nice guy. Here he is talking about what it’s like to carry the title of King of the Blues, and … Continue reading That time I asked B.B. King who his “King of the Blues” would be

R.I.P. B.B. King: the nicest bluesman I ever met

By Steve Newton As you’ve most likely heard by now, B.B. King, the beloved “King of the Blues”, passed away last night at the age of 89. He was receiving hospice care at his home in Las Vegas, where the longtime diabetic was recovering from dehydration. You can read all about the great man’s numerous … Continue reading R.I.P. B.B. King: the nicest bluesman I ever met

B.B. King says that Eric Clapton was like his girlfriend on Riding With the King

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 31, 2002 By Steve Newton Trying to reach blues legend B.B. King at his Arkansas hotel takes some doing. Even when you have the phone number of the hotel, the room he’s in, and a predetermined time to call, you can’t argue with a busy signal. After … Continue reading B.B. King says that Eric Clapton was like his girlfriend on Riding With the King

Big-hearted blues god B.B. King offers guitar picks and hugs backstage in Vancouver

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 13, 1998 By Steve Newton “Come on in!” urged B.B. King to the gaggle of well-wishers and autograph hounds gathered outside his dressing room in the bowels of GM Place. It was 12:30 a.m., about 45 minutes after King had finished his set on the first night … Continue reading Big-hearted blues god B.B. King offers guitar picks and hugs backstage in Vancouver

The Life of Riley shows B.B. King’s talent flowing from a huge heart

There’s a ton of incredible musicians who make appearances in B.B. King: The Life of Riley, a documentary about the Mississippi blues legend released on DVD and Blu-ray today (July 1). The lineup includes such amazing guitarists as Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, Derek Trucks, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Jonny Lang, Johnny Winter, Bonnie Raitt, Kenny Wayne … Continue reading The Life of Riley shows B.B. King’s talent flowing from a huge heart

B.B. King’s busted guitar string becomes treasure for Tinsley Ellis

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 19, 1992 By Steve Newton When one of your biggest idols gives you a souvenir—whether it be a quickly scribbled autograph or a worn-out guitar pick—that thing automatically becomes priceless. I’ve got a two-inch mirror badge that Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham gave me during my first backstage … Continue reading B.B. King’s busted guitar string becomes treasure for Tinsley Ellis

B.B. King plays North Vancouver in 1984, Newt gets the scoop

By Steve Newton On January 21, 1984, B.B. King was in the midst of a two-week stand at the Plazazz Showroom in North Vancouver, and I got the thrill of my blues-loving life when I sat down with him in his hotel room and asked him a bunch of questions. Some of them were pretty … Continue reading B.B. King plays North Vancouver in 1984, Newt gets the scoop

B.B. King: The nicest bluesman I ever met

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed a lot of incredible bluesmen over the years, including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King, Albert Collins, and Roy Buchanan. But far and away the nicest was B.B. King. Famed Vancouver punk-rock photographer Bev Davies snapped this shot of me ‘n’ B.B. in his hotel room at the Plazazz Showroom in … Continue reading B.B. King: The nicest bluesman I ever met

That time Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton told me that he smoked a big bone right before thinking up the bass lick for “Sweet Emotion”

By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton was back in 1983, during the period when Joe Perry and Brad Whitford were out of the band, and the group was touring behind its Rock in a Hard Place album. The second time we chatted was when the original lineup had been … Continue reading That time Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton told me that he smoked a big bone right before thinking up the bass lick for “Sweet Emotion”

Anson Funderburgh says Sam Myers talks about making moonshine with Elmore James

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 9, 2000 By Steve Newton One listen to the new Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets CD, Change in My Pocket, and you can tell the guitarist is from the less-is-more school; his tasty, laid-back approach would put him in the same homeroom as Jimmie Vaughan. Both pickers are … Continue reading Anson Funderburgh says Sam Myers talks about making moonshine with Elmore James

That time King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor told me that he wasn’t into chops for chops’ sake

By Steve Newton I interviewed King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor back in June of 2001, when his funky prog-rock trio was touring behind its ninth studio album, Manic Moonlight, and headed to Vancouver for a club gig. Tabor’s solo career had recently seen him putting on several guitar clinics in Southeast Asia, where he was … Continue reading That time King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor told me that he wasn’t into chops for chops’ sake

That time John Cougar told me that he was looking forward to the US Festival (but then he didn’t go)

By Steve Newton I interviewed John Mellencamp for the first time when he was still called John Cougar. Back in May of 1983 he was touring behind his latest album, American Fool, but for some reason the Vancouver show got canceled and the interview I did with him never ran. At one point in the … Continue reading That time John Cougar told me that he was looking forward to the US Festival (but then he didn’t go)

That time Luther Allison told me that he didn’t get the same break in Chicago as Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Freddie King, and Buddy Guy

By Steve Newton Luther Allison was one of those amazing blues artists who never quite got the fame they deserved; a powerful vocalist and a smokin’ guitarist as well. I did my one and only interview with Allison in September of 1995, before he played his first-ever concert in Vancouver, and at one point in … Continue reading That time Luther Allison told me that he didn’t get the same break in Chicago as Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Freddie King, and Buddy Guy

Dan Hartman flying high 12 years after taking his “Free Ride” with the Edgar Winter Group

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 18, 1985 By Steve Newton Dan Hartman likes to pull people’s legs. That’s why, for the video of his big 1984 hit “I Can Dream About You”, he had four black guys doing the song, singing and dancing and sliding around. The first impression is that one of … Continue reading Dan Hartman flying high 12 years after taking his “Free Ride” with the Edgar Winter Group