Steve Cropper recalls almost working with the Beatles in Memphis, before Brian Epstein pulled the plug

By Steve Newton Steve Cropper was recently added to the Dave Mason Band tour, which is totally awesome, and not just because he’ll now be appearing with Mason at Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre next Thursday (March 21). It’s also totally awesome because three days ago I got to interview the guitar legend for the first time … Continue reading Steve Cropper recalls almost working with the Beatles in Memphis, before Brian Epstein pulled the plug

Georgia Satellites’ Rick Richards on covering the Beatles, meeting the Faces, and thanking Jack Daniels

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 29, 1988 By Steve Newton If you were in a rockin’, blues-based guitar band and wanted to cover a song from the Beatles’ White Album, you’d probably pick one of the heavier Lennon/McCartney tunes like “Yer Blues” or “Savoy Truffle” or “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me … Continue reading Georgia Satellites’ Rick Richards on covering the Beatles, meeting the Faces, and thanking Jack Daniels

Badfinger’s Joey Molland on working with the Beatles and dealing with the fallout of suicide

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 11, 1987 By Steve Newton Remember that neat movie from 1970, The Magic Christian, which starred Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr and was a cutting farce on the lengths people would go to to get money? And remember that film’s nifty theme song, “Come and Get It”, which sounded like … Continue reading Badfinger’s Joey Molland on working with the Beatles and dealing with the fallout of suicide

Fingerstyle guitarist and Beatles freak Steven King is scary good

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 30, 2002 By Steve Newton Steven King may not be as well known as the horror scribe who spells his name differently, but he’s been winning acclaim as a technically boggling acoustic fingerstyle guitarist since 1994. That was the year King claimed the U.S. National Fingerpicking Championship, performing … Continue reading Fingerstyle guitarist and Beatles freak Steven King is scary good

Beatles freak Jon Auer says the Posies want to emulate the Fab Four

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 25, 1996 It’s just after 11 p.m. when Jon Auer from the Posies rings up, but he’s still just scraping the sleep dust from his eyes, and the familiar clink of ice cubes is evidence that potent liquid refreshment is speeding the transition to wakefulness. It’s actually late … Continue reading Beatles freak Jon Auer says the Posies want to emulate the Fab Four

Galactic Cowboys create melodic prog-metal with a Beatlesque vibe

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 26, 1993 By Steve Newton I heard someone say once that they do things differently down in Texas, and after chatting with Galactic Cowboys vocalist Ben Huggins, I believe it. Take, for example, the photos that accompany the Houston-based band’s latest release, Space in Your Face. While more … Continue reading Galactic Cowboys create melodic prog-metal with a Beatlesque vibe

Tim Finn brings a Beatlesque mentality to Crowded House’s Vancouver show

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 5, 1991 When a band has as much fun on stage as Crowded House usually does, it’s pretty hard for it not to rub off on the audience. At the Orpheum last Sunday (September 1), the four Aussie pranksters could do no wrong with their playful approach to … Continue reading Tim Finn brings a Beatlesque mentality to Crowded House’s Vancouver show

Past Masters reissue brings sweet Beatles nostalgia in stereo

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 2, 2009 By Steve Newton I’ll never forget the day I got my very first record. I was six or so, visiting my grandparents at their home in Point Grey, and my mom took me on a walk to a music store on 10th Avenue. I came back with a … Continue reading Past Masters reissue brings sweet Beatles nostalgia in stereo

Beatles On Air LP sparks memories of childhood vinyl purchase

By Steve Newton Last night I listened to the new Beatles album, On Air–Live at the BBC Volume 2, which the fine folks over at MCA Canada were kind enough to supply me with a vinyl copy of. Yeah, vinyl! To be honest, I could do without the 19 “speech tracks” that litter this three-LP … Continue reading Beatles On Air LP sparks memories of childhood vinyl purchase

Paul McCartney leaves Vancouver’s Beatles fans with little to complain about

photo by rebecca blissett ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 26, 2012 By Steve Newton Pretty well all of the world’s biggest pop and rock acts have played Vancouver since the ’60s. The Rolling Stones, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, U2, Guns N’ Roses—our city has played host to … Continue reading Paul McCartney leaves Vancouver’s Beatles fans with little to complain about

That time Randy Bachman told me what it felt like when the Guess Who’s “American Woman” hit number one

By Steve Newton Canadian rock legend Randy Bachman has accomplished a helluva lot in his musical career. For one thing, how many musicians can say that they’ve reached the top in two different bands? Before Bachman-Turner Overdrive was ruling the airwaves in the mid-seventies, he’d already hit the big time with the Guess Who, whose … Continue reading That time Randy Bachman told me what it felt like when the Guess Who’s “American Woman” hit number one

That time Wayne Kramer told me about the MC5’s political consciousness in the ’60s

By Steve Newton I missed out on the MC5 when they were a major musical force on the American counterculture scene in the late ’60s. And it’s not just ’cause I’m Canadian. I was only 11 when their groundbreaking Kick Out the Jams debut album came out, and at that point all I listened to … Continue reading That time Wayne Kramer told me about the MC5’s political consciousness in the ’60s

That time Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman told me about creating the riff for “American Woman”

By Steve Newton Canada doesn’t seem to have an overabundance of rock-guitar heroes. Sure, you’ve got your Lenny Breau when it comes to jazz, and your Jeff Healey if you’re talkin’ blues. But when it comes to Canadian rock-guitar heroes, I can’t think of tons. Alex Lifeson, Kim Mitchell… Obviously Neil Young, but isn’t he … Continue reading That time Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman told me about creating the riff for “American Woman”

Album review: Aerosmith, Permanent Vacation (1987)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 18, 1987 By Steve Newton “If you grew up in the ’70s you liked Aerosmith.” That’s what Peter Buck of R.E.M. wrote in the liner notes to his band’s version of Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic,” and Buck knows of which he speaks. With albums like Get Your … Continue reading Album review: Aerosmith, Permanent Vacation (1987)

The 70 greatest closing tracks of the ’70s

By Steve Newton Remember when the last track on an album would finish and you’d wish the music would just never end? Me too. “All Right Now” (Fire and Water, Free, 1970) “American Girl” (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1976) “Another Star” (Songs in the Key of Life, Stevie Wonder, … Continue reading The 70 greatest closing tracks of the ’70s

I just did the Toddcast Podcast, with a little help from Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ronnie James Dio, Gregg Allman, and Bruce Fairbairn

By Steve Newton I can’t believe I opened for Corey Hart today! Okay, it wasn’t like I warmed up the audience for the “Sunglasses at Night” guy on his Back from the ’80s Seeking Cash Tour or anything. But I did make my first-ever guest appearance on a podcast, so that’s pretty cool. Todd Hancock–the … Continue reading I just did the Toddcast Podcast, with a little help from Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ronnie James Dio, Gregg Allman, and Bruce Fairbairn

Newt’s Top 10 Albums of 2018

By Steve Newton This year I picked some instrumental rock, some hard rock, some southern rock, and some Beatles, but the underlying thread running through most of this stuff is the blues. You just can’t beat the blues. Joe Satriani What Happens Next Bay Area guitar wizard hooks up once again with Langley producer Mike Fraser … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 Albums of 2018

Album review: Tina Turner, Tina Live in Europe (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 20, 1988 By Steve Newton When you’re arguably the world’s best female rock vocalist, you make friends easily. Tina Turner does, and a lot of those friends show up on her new double-live album, recorded last year in Britain, West Germany, and Sweden. Ms. Turner sings duets with Bryan Adams on … Continue reading Album review: Tina Turner, Tina Live in Europe (1988)

Blue Öyster Cult transforms into the “New York Guitar Army” in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 20, 1988 By Steve Newton Blue Öyster Cult is the sort of band you either love or hate. There’s no in-betweens. Nobody every says, “Oh, Blue Öyster Cult, they’re all right, I guess.” It’s either “The Cult rules!” or “No thanks, hand me that Hall & Oates album.” … Continue reading Blue Öyster Cult transforms into the “New York Guitar Army” in Vancouver

Album review: Paul McCartney, All the Best (1987)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 12, 1988 By Steve Newton Die-hard McCartney fans whose record collections aren’t already jammed with his solo and Wings projects may want to consider this two-album set featuring the biggest hits (but not necessarily best songs) of the “cutest” Beatle. When McCartney is in prime songwriting form he can still … Continue reading Album review: Paul McCartney, All the Best (1987)

Album review: Stanley Jordan, Magic Touch (1985)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 4, 1985 By Steve Newton On the back cover of the debut album by 25-year-old guitar genius Stanley Jordan is a “WARNING: do not be deceived. Despite what your ears might tell you, there is only one guitarist on this album. And there are no guitar overdubs whatsoever.” After hearing … Continue reading Album review: Stanley Jordan, Magic Touch (1985)

Aerosmith is reborn as a killer live act on the Permanent Vacation tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 29, 1988 By Steve Newton Prior to Aerosmith’s local appearance last week, I’d seen the Boston band in concert three times, including a show on the massive Rocks tour that saw them headlining over Jeff Beck at the Kingdome in Seattle. Each time before, they had performed more raggedly … Continue reading Aerosmith is reborn as a killer live act on the Permanent Vacation tour

Horror superstar Clive Barker on having the world by the balls at 35

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 13, 1987 By Steve Newton What scares you? Spiders? Sharp knives? The dentist? The threat of nuclear holocaust? Count me in on all the above, and add another: Clive Barker’s writing. Like Count Floyd used to say: “It’s scary stuff, kids!” At 35, Clive Barker is being touted … Continue reading Horror superstar Clive Barker on having the world by the balls at 35

Album review: The Tragically Hip, Live Between Us (1997)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 5, 1997 By Steve Newton It beats the hell outta me why the most Canadian rock band of all time had to go and record its historic live album in the all-powerful U.S. of A. Even if Detroit is Rock City, it doesn’t make sense for these proud … Continue reading Album review: The Tragically Hip, Live Between Us (1997)

Album review: George Harrison, Live in Japan (1992)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 6, 1992 By Steve Newton At first glance, George Harrison’s new double-disc, Live in Japan, looked promising. The subtitle read, “With Eric Clapton and Band”, and the song list included some of my fave Beatles tunes (“While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Old Brown Shoe”, “Here Comes the … Continue reading Album review: George Harrison, Live in Japan (1992)

My 50 fave Vancouver concerts of all time (so far)

By Steve Newton In celebration of the Georgia Straight turning 50 this year, I figured I’d offer a roundup of the 50 top Vancouver concerts I’ve reviewed while writing for the paper since 1982. Maybe you made it out to a couple yourself! Although I doubt you weaseled your way backstage at the Orpheum in ’93 to … Continue reading My 50 fave Vancouver concerts of all time (so far)

Pandora’s Box conjures vivid memories of Aerosmith in the seventies

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC .12, 1991 By Steve Newton This scribbler’s teenage memories are filled with happy thoughts of Aerosmith, the best thing from Boston since Bobby Orr. There’s the time me and some pals hijacked somebody’s dad’s car and travelled down to Seattle’s Kingdome to join 60,000 other maniacs for a … Continue reading Pandora’s Box conjures vivid memories of Aerosmith in the seventies