That time Richie Sambora told me why Bon Jovi switched producers from Bruce Fairbairn to Bob Rock

By Steve Newton Bon Jovi may have been hugely popular back in the day, but I actually enjoyed guitarist Richie Sambora’s solo debut album, Stranger in This Town, more than any Bon Jovi band release. I even preferred Sambora’s lead vocals over Jon Bon Jovi’s, especially on solo tunes like “Ballad of Youth”. So it … Continue reading That time Richie Sambora told me why Bon Jovi switched producers from Bruce Fairbairn to Bob Rock

That time Bob Rock told me that he just wakes up in the morning and music is what he does

By Steve Newton Being a rock journalist in Vancouver during the ’80s and ’90s meant that I was close to where a lot of the top-selling albums of the time were made. That was mainly down at Little Mountain Sound, where local producers, engineers, and mixers–guys like Bruce Fairbairn, Bob Rock, and Mike Fraser–were tweaking … Continue reading That time Bob Rock told me that he just wakes up in the morning and music is what he does

That time Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes told me he wasn’t here to make Bruce Fairbairn or Bob Rock famous

By Steve Newton There’s been a lot of buzz in the music world lately about the Black Crowes–in particular formerly feuding brothers Chris and Rich Robinson–getting back together for a 30th anniversary tour. So I figured I’d celebrate the good news by digging up the old Swing C-90 cassette I used to record my interview … Continue reading That time Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes told me he wasn’t here to make Bruce Fairbairn or Bob Rock famous

That time I asked famed producer Bruce Fairbairn what he thought of famed producer Bob Rock

By Steve Newton Back in December of 1991 I wrote a Georgia Straight cover story on Vancouver producer Bob Rock, best known for his work with Metallica, and one of the Big Three of Vancouver hard-rock producers (along with fellow Little Mountain Sound-men Bruce Fairbairn and Mike Fraser). While putting the story together I gave … Continue reading That time I asked famed producer Bruce Fairbairn what he thought of famed producer Bob Rock

That time I asked legendary producer Bruce Fairbairn if Bob Rock had tried stealing his AC/DC project, The Razors Edge

By Steve Newton Back in December of 1991 I wrote an article in the Georgia Straight–the weekly Vancouver newspaper I still work for–on local producer-to-the-stars Bob Rock, who’d made a name for himself in recent years with bands like Blue Murder, Motley Crue, and especially Metallica (he’d helmed their breakthrough Black Album, which was released four … Continue reading That time I asked legendary producer Bruce Fairbairn if Bob Rock had tried stealing his AC/DC project, The Razors Edge

Bob Rock on the Payola$ reunion and the influence of Mick Ronson as a producer

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 27, 2003 By Steve Newton At one point during the exceptional Blackie & the Rodeo Kings show at Sonar a couple of weeks back, guitarist-vocalist and former Junkhouse member Tom Wilson casually leaned into the mike and said: “Roll out red carpet, here come China boys.” His group … Continue reading Bob Rock on the Payola$ reunion and the influence of Mick Ronson as a producer

Bob Rock says Metallica “never have and never will sell out”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 25, 2002 By Steve Newton What could possibly cause any sane person to willingly abandon the balmy paradise of Hawaii for the frigid climes of Vancouver in January? Well, if you’re record producer Bob Rock, your last name is reason enough. Good old riff-riddled rock is what draws … Continue reading Bob Rock says Metallica “never have and never will sell out”

Bob Rock brings his golden ears and guitars to Paul Hyde’s Living Off the Radar

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 16, 2000 Former Vancouverite Bob Rock is one of the most in-demand rock producers in the world today. The man who helped platinum acts like Metallica, Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, and the Cult move mountains of CDs now lives and works on the Hawaiian island of Maui, where … Continue reading Bob Rock brings his golden ears and guitars to Paul Hyde’s Living Off the Radar

Ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes on Blue Murder, Bob Rock, and the Little Mountain sound

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 16, 1989 By Steve Newton By now, most every rock fan in Vancouver must be aware that many of North America’s best-selling bands–Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and the Cult to name a few–have been making their latest chart-topping records right here in town. Little Mountain Sound on West 7th … Continue reading Ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes on Blue Murder, Bob Rock, and the Little Mountain sound

Bob Rock gets the Payola$ back together for a Mick Ronson-inspired raveup in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 20, 1994 By Steve Newton Ya gotta like that Bob Rock guy. When he gets tired of producing platinum-plus CDs for bands like Metallica and Mötley Crüe, he forms his own group, Rockhead, and gets back to his ’70s-rock roots with melodic, radio-friendly sing-along tunes such as “Bed … Continue reading Bob Rock gets the Payola$ back together for a Mick Ronson-inspired raveup in Vancouver

Issues with Bob Rock and Sharon Osbourne leave the Quireboys Bitter Sweet & Twisted

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 27, 1993 After Bob Rock hit the big time by producing Motley Crue’s No. 1 album, Dr. Feelgood—and then accomplished the incredible feat of making former thrash-masters Metallica a mainstream rock-radio fave—it seemed the Vancouver producer could do no wrong. And although Rock’s reputation as a producer with … Continue reading Issues with Bob Rock and Sharon Osbourne leave the Quireboys Bitter Sweet & Twisted

Bob Rock plays every lick he knows on Rockhead’s “dumb old hard-rock album”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 15, 1993 By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed veteran Vancouver musician and producer extraordinaire Bob Rock, he was in the middle of helming Bitter Sweet & Twisted, the new release by British blues-rockers the Quireboys. The last time we chatted, he was heavily involved in the … Continue reading Bob Rock plays every lick he knows on Rockhead’s “dumb old hard-rock album”

Star producer Bob Rock just wants to play guitar in a band

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 1991 By Steve Newton Vancouver’s Bob Rock is one of the most in-demand rock producers in the world today. The albums he’s worked on in the last few years have sold millions of copies and—in the case of Motley Crüe’s Dr. Feelgood—made it to number one in … Continue reading Star producer Bob Rock just wants to play guitar in a band

Bob Rock gets his guitar jollies at the Rock Cellar with riff-based Rockhead

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 10, 1991 By Steve Newton After producing hit records by the likes of Motley Crue, the Cult, and Metallica, Vancouver’s Bob Rock is tying on the gloves and stepping into the ring with Rockhead, his new hard-rock four-piece. The band’s been playing at various local top-40 bars, and … Continue reading Bob Rock gets his guitar jollies at the Rock Cellar with riff-based Rockhead

Bob Seger’s killer band helps the rock legend shine in Vancouver

  photos by Jet Sutherland By Steve Newton Bob Seger’s choice of walk-on music for his current tour is “The Old Man Down the Road”, which could be Seger’s way of acknowledging that he’ll turn 70 in two months. Or it could be that he just loves John Fogerty’s swamp-rock classic from ’84. Either way, it was … Continue reading Bob Seger’s killer band helps the rock legend shine in Vancouver

Carlos Santana cleans Bob Dylan’s clock in the clash of the Yankee rock titans

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 26, 1993 By Steve Newton It was the clash of the American rock titans last Sunday (August 22) at the Coliseum, and after Big Bad Bobby D. took on Carlos “The Fret Strangler” Santana in a four-hour, 15-man battle royal, only one man remained standing as a certified … Continue reading Carlos Santana cleans Bob Dylan’s clock in the clash of the Yankee rock titans

That time J.D. Fortune told me about the pressure of competing in the reality show Rock Star: INXS

By Steve Newton I interviewed INXS vocalist J.D. Fortune in January of 2006, two weeks before the band kicked off a North American Tour in Vancouver. The Canadian singer had earned the frontman position with the Aussie group the year before by winning the 11-week reality-TV competition Rock Star: INXS. So at one point in … Continue reading That time J.D. Fortune told me about the pressure of competing in the reality show Rock Star: INXS

That time the B-52s’ Keith Strickland told me that Lux Interior of the Cramps suggested “Rock Lobster” as their first single

By Steve Newton Back in March of 2008 I interviewed B-52s guitarist and founding member Keith Strickland. Strickland had taken over on lead guitar after the 1985 AIDS death of Ricky Wilson, but originally he was the band’s drummer. That’s him pounding away on “Rock Lobster”, the decidedly kooky debut single that brought the band … Continue reading That time the B-52s’ Keith Strickland told me that Lux Interior of the Cramps suggested “Rock Lobster” as their first single