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 A few days ago I posted an audio excerpt from an interview I did with blues legend Albert King back in 1990, in which he talked about his biggest musical influences. As a followup, I thought I’d post a soundbite from another King I loved. Way back in 1984 I did my … 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 “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 of the 44-date B.B. … 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 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

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 Nathan Followill told me that the Kings of Leon didn’t know a right way or a wrong way to play rock ‘n’ roll when they started

By Steve Newton I interviewed Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill on September 19, 2003, exactly one month after the release of the band’s debut album, Youth and Young Manhood. Exactly five years after that–on September 19, 2008–the band released its fourth album, Only by the Night, which spawned the hit single “Sex on Fire” … Continue reading That time Nathan Followill told me that the Kings of Leon didn’t know a right way or a wrong way to play rock ‘n’ roll when they started

Leslie West’s absence from the Rock Hall is as shocking as the exclusion of Rory, Johnny, and Link

By Steve Newton Since the news hit yesterday about the death of beloved guitar legend Leslie West, accolades have been pouring in from some of the world’s finest pickers. “Leslie’s playing and sound was just superb,” said Tony Iommi, whose band Black Sabbath used to open for West’s group Mountain. “One of the GOAT,” declared … Continue reading Leslie West’s absence from the Rock Hall is as shocking as the exclusion of Rory, Johnny, and Link

That time I called up Albert King and asked how life was treatin’ him these days and he said “shit”

By Steve Newton On August 18, 1990, I did my one and only interview with blues legend Albert King. I was very fortunate to have scored that interview, because a little over two years later he was gone. I called Albert up when he was on the road in Poughkeepsie, New York, and asked him … Continue reading That time I called up Albert King and asked how life was treatin’ him these days and he said “shit”

That time Men Without Hats’ Ivan Doroschuk told me about making the video for “Safety Dance”

By Steve Newton I interviewed Men Without Hats singer and main songwriter Ivan Doroschuk in 1984, the year after the band’s second single, “The Safety Dance”, became a worldwide hit. I was just about to write that the band was a one-hit wonder, but then I remembered they had another hit called “Pop Goes the … Continue reading That time Men Without Hats’ Ivan Doroschuk told me about making the video for “Safety Dance”

Eddie Van Halen: what Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth, Jake E. Lee, Leslie West, and brother Alex told me about “the king”

By Steve Newton One of the biggest regrets of my career in rock journalism–and there aren’t that many, believe it or not–was never getting the opportunity to interview Eddie Van Halen. I did get to chat with his big brother Alex once, and he gave me a really great interview, but it just wasn’t the … Continue reading Eddie Van Halen: what Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth, Jake E. Lee, Leslie West, and brother Alex told me about “the king”

That time I asked Taj Mahal which blues artists were making him smile lately

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed American blues great Taj Mahal (real name Henry Saint Clair Fredericks) a couple of times. The first time was back in November of 2001, before he headed to Vancouver for a solo acoustic show at the historic Commodore Ballroom. At one point in the conversation I asked the 59-year-old Grammy-winner … Continue reading That time I asked Taj Mahal which blues artists were making him smile lately