That time Peter Frampton told me that he and David Bowie used to jam at school as kids

By Steve Newton Back in August of ’87 I interviewed Peter Frampton in a Vancouver hotel room. At the time he was playing guitar with David Bowie on the Glass Spider tour, in support of Bowie’s Never Let Me Down album, which he also played on. So of course I started the conversation off by … Continue reading That time Peter Frampton told me that he and David Bowie used to jam at school as kids

Album review: David Bowie, Never Let Me Down (1987)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 5, 1987 By Steve Newton David Bowie has not broken any stylistic barriers on his new album, as he’s been wont to do in the past. Instead he’s opted to go for the big ’80s dance-rock sound that he has been favouring since 1983’s hit Let’s Dance LP. And … Continue reading Album review: David Bowie, Never Let Me Down (1987)

The Full Susan: Tedeschi talks Derek Trucks, Doyle Bramhall II, David Bowie, and Warren Haynes

By Steve Newton I don’t get out to that many concerts anymore. With the Big Six-O on the horizon, I’ve become a real picky bastard when it comes to live shows. But there are a few select bands I never want to miss when they play Vancouver: the Drive-By Truckers and Gov’t Mule are tied at … Continue reading The Full Susan: Tedeschi talks Derek Trucks, Doyle Bramhall II, David Bowie, and Warren Haynes

David Bowie’s Glass Spider tour helps Frampton come alive again

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 21, 1987 By Steve Newton Old rockers never die, they just play guitar for David Bowie. At least, that’s what Peter Frampton was doing at B.C. Place last Saturday. But Frampton and Bowie actually go back a long way–all the way back to the art school they used … Continue reading David Bowie’s Glass Spider tour helps Frampton come alive again

David Bowie’s Glass Spider tour bites Georgia Satellites fans in Van

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 21, 1987 By Steve Newton Fans of the Georgia Satellites who were expecting to see the hard-rocking Atlanta band open for David Bowie at the scheduled time of 7 pm last Saturday (August 15) were in for a rather nasty surprise. The Satellites’ gig was pushed ahead to … Continue reading David Bowie’s Glass Spider tour bites Georgia Satellites fans in Van

Newt’s top 20 David Bowie songs of the seventies

By Steve Newton As everybody knows by know, pop-rock legend David Bowie has died. It’s the worst loss for the music world since John Lennon was murdered, I reckon. A few days ago I did a blog about my personal remembrances of discovering Bowie as a teen in the seventies. Now here’s my top 20 Bowie … Continue reading Newt’s top 20 David Bowie songs of the seventies

Remembering David Bowie in the seventies

  By Steve Newton Talk about a shocker. Got up at the usual 7 this morning, realized there was no instant coffee–and no wife awake to make me a latte–so went straight to the cell phone. Saw a tweet about a new concert announcement that needed blogging, so headed over to the computer, clicked on … Continue reading Remembering David Bowie in the seventies

Long John Baldry on Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, David Bowie–and Dale Martindale of Images in Vogue

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 13, 1985 By Steve Newton Long John Baldry is a giant among British blues-rockers–and that’s not only because he stands 6 feet 7-1/2 inches tall. In his 26-year career the singer has played with stars such as Mick jagger, Rod Stewart, and Elton John, among many others, and … Continue reading Long John Baldry on Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, David Bowie–and Dale Martindale of Images in Vogue

David Bowie’s A Reality Tour could have used some Aladdin Sane

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 5, 2010 By Steve Newton The first time I saw David Bowie in concert was at the Pacific Coliseum in early ’76 on the Station to Station tour. While it was an entrancing show—all blinding white light and Earl Slick’s biting, feedback-laden guitar—the Thin White Duke’s performance was clinical and … Continue reading David Bowie’s A Reality Tour could have used some Aladdin Sane

Former David Bowie bassist Trevor Bolder dies of cancer at 62

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 21, 2013 First we got the sad news yesterday that former Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek had died from cancer at the age of 74. Now comes word that bassist Trevor Bolder, former member of David Bowie’s amazing backup band the Spiders from Mars, has succumbed to the Big C at … Continue reading Former David Bowie bassist Trevor Bolder dies of cancer at 62

Affable hipster David Bowie enthrals in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 29, 2004 Boy, talk about goin’ through ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. Although he’s always been one of the most charismatic rock stars of all time, David Bowie hasn’t always been able–or willing–to connect with a live audience. I recall seeing him at the Pacific Coliseum on the Station to Station tour of ’75, … Continue reading Affable hipster David Bowie enthrals in Vancouver

That time Kate Bush told me about working with David Gilmour and experiencing the “profound” Pink Floyd

By Steve Newton Back in 1985 I interviewed British art-pop legend Kate Bush, who was promoting her new album Hounds of Love, which you may recall spawned the hit single “Running Up That Hill”. At one point in the conversation she told me about working with David Gilmour as a teenager, discovering Pink Floyd, and … Continue reading That time Kate Bush told me about working with David Gilmour and experiencing the “profound” Pink Floyd

Newt’s 30 best rock albums of the decade, 2010-2019

By Steve Newton 30. Soundgarden King Animal (2012) The classic Soundgarden lineup of singer Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Ben Shepherd, and drummer Matt Cameron releases its first album in 16 years, and it sounds like it’s never been gone. The raging, three-minute “Attrition” might be the best damn rock tune of the year. 29. … Continue reading Newt’s 30 best rock albums of the decade, 2010-2019

Eric Clapton stopped the car when he heard Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar solo on “Let’s Dance”

By Steve Newton Where were you when you first heard Stevie Ray Vaughan‘s killer guitar playing on David Bowie’s 1983 hit single, “Let’s Dance”? It was definitely the type of thing that caught your ear, because you sure as shit didn’t hear much Albert King-style soloing on commercial radio up until that point. According to … Continue reading Eric Clapton stopped the car when he heard Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar solo on “Let’s Dance”

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

The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

By Steve Newton Remember how you’d set the needle down on the opening track of a new rock album and the first tune would just blow you the funk away? Me too. “(Ain’t Nothin’ But a) House Party” (Bloodshot, J. Geils Band, 1973) “All the Way From Memphis” (Mott, Mott the Hoople, 1973) “Already Gone” … Continue reading The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson bring the best of Mott the Hoople to Vancouver

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 7, 1988 By Steve Newton Two nights after Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler sailed through town, on September 30, a couple more British rock greats visited. While not as widely known, Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson have a following that is just as devoted, and … Continue reading Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson bring the best of Mott the Hoople to Vancouver

Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson on reuniting and getting lean and mean after 40: “Might even want to prove something”

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 23, 1988 By Steve Newton Whatever happened to Ian Hunter, the former leader of one of Britain’s most influential pre-punk rock bands Mott the Hoople: the corkscrew-haired singer with the ever-present shades and Cockney twang; the gifted songwriter who penned such classics as “All the … Continue reading Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson on reuniting and getting lean and mean after 40: “Might even want to prove something”

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)

That time I called up Mick Ronson and asked what he’d been doin’ the last few years

By Steve Newton I’ve got a lotta guitar heroes, and as a rock journalist for 35 years now, I’ve managed to interview quite a few. One of my all-time faves has to be Mick Ronson. I’ve been crazy about him since I heard my first David Bowie album, Aladdin Sane, back in April of ’73. … Continue reading That time I called up Mick Ronson and asked what he’d been doin’ the last few years

Album review: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Texas Flood (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 5, 1983 By Steve Newton Supposedly, David Bowie kicked Stevie Ray Vaughan out of his touring band because the guitarist insisted that the Thin White Duke let him play some of his own tunes in concert. If you ask me, it’s a good thing Bowie objected, because Vaughan is … Continue reading Album review: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Texas Flood (1983)

Motörhead’s Stone Deaf Forever! box set brings the ear-busting goods

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 18, 2003 By Steve Newton So I was hangin’ out in the vicinity of the Straight music editor’s desk—since that’s usually where the CDs go before being parcelled out to the various scrounging contributors—and along comes the shiny new expanded edition of the David Bowie boxed set, Sound … Continue reading Motörhead’s Stone Deaf Forever! box set brings the ear-busting goods

Album review: Hughes/Thrall Band, Hughes/Thrall (1982)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 19, 1982 By Steve Newton The formation of the Hughes/Thrall band is somewhat of a marriage made in heaven for heavy-rock fanatics. Glenn Hughes, it will be remembered, was an essential driving force to the latter-day Deep Purple. His bass and vocal abilities highlighted the red-hot Burn and Stormbringer albums, … Continue reading Album review: Hughes/Thrall Band, Hughes/Thrall (1982)

album reviews

Aerosmith: Honkin’ on Bobo (2004) Eric Clapton: Me and Mr. Johnson (2004) Jimi Hendrix: Axis Outtakes (2003) ZZ Top: Mescalero (2003) Nickelback: The Long Road (2003) Joe Jackson Band: Volume 4 (2003) Led Zeppelin: How the West Was Won (2003) Yardbirds: Birdland (2003) Jimmy Thackery: Guitar (2003) Various Artists: We’re a Happy Family, A Tribute … Continue reading album reviews

Heart singer Ann Wilson’s passionate wails can still send a shiver up the spine in 1987

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 4, 1987 By Steve Newton Heart has come along way from the days when they used to play high-school dances and small-town community halls across B.C. They drew 12,000 fans to the Pacific Coliseum last Friday (August 28), and the predominance of David Bowie and Huey Lewis … Continue reading Heart singer Ann Wilson’s passionate wails can still send a shiver up the spine in 1987

Sound thief Mike Edwards says perverted samples keep Jesus Jones from getting sued

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 16, 1991 By Steve Newton Mike Edwards is a very talented thief—a thief of sounds, that is. When the 26-year-old Brit hears something he likes, he takes it. And puts it on a Jesus Jones album. And sells a bunch. “When it comes to sampling, I just pick … Continue reading Sound thief Mike Edwards says perverted samples keep Jesus Jones from getting sued

The Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward on writing “Nights in White Satin”, working with Tony Visconti, and loving Buddy Holly

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 30, 1987 By Steve Newton Two decades ago the Moody Blues recorded “Nights in White Satin”. It was one of those tunes that would–like Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sounds of Silence”–become known as a pop masterpiece in the years to come. Well, the Moody Blues are still performing the song … Continue reading The Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward on writing “Nights in White Satin”, working with Tony Visconti, and loving Buddy Holly