That time Johnny Ramone told me why the Ramones covered the Doors’ “Take It as It Comes”

By Steve Newton I got to interview legendary punk-rock guitarist Johnny Ramone a couple of times, once way back in 1983 and again in ’92, when the Ramones were touring Brazil in support of their Mondo Bizarro album. That album featured a pretty nifty cover of the Doors’ 1967 tune “Take It As it Comes”, with … Continue reading That time Johnny Ramone told me why the Ramones covered the Doors’ “Take It as It Comes”

The Doors announce 50th anniversary deluxe edition of killer debut album

By Steve Newton I was only nine when the first Doors album came out in January of 1967, so I didn’t run out and buy it. But I sure remember them playing the hell out of “Light My Fire” on the radio when it was released as a single four months later. Damn I loved … Continue reading The Doors announce 50th anniversary deluxe edition of killer debut album

Tantric rises from the ashes of Days of the New, tours with 3 Doors Down and Lifehouse

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 5, 2001 In November of 1998, an acoustic guitar–based rock band out of Kentucky called Days of the New had the world by the short ’n’ curlies. Its self-titled debut album had gone platinum, it had garnered heavy airplay on MTV, and it had even landed a tour … Continue reading Tantric rises from the ashes of Days of the New, tours with 3 Doors Down and Lifehouse

3 Doors Down thank Superman for “Kryptonite” and God for The Better Life

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 11, 2000 By Steve Newton At my third annual 40th-birthday bash a few weeks back, a little mickey of Fireball whiskey talked me into taking an extended turn behind the borrowed drum kit set up in our garage. In my altered state I thought I sounded just peachy … Continue reading 3 Doors Down thank Superman for “Kryptonite” and God for The Better Life

The Doors box set documents the band in all its unrefined glory

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 11, 1997 By Steve Newton This four-disc package of Doors material, spanning the years 1965 to ’71, favours previously unreleased live tracks and demo recordings over studio-polished hits, and documents the band in all its eccentric, unrefined, and—with tunes that pass the 18-minute mark—excessive glory. Its mix of … Continue reading The Doors box set documents the band in all its unrefined glory

Extravagant Doors box captures cosmic aspects of the Lizard King

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 13, 2006 By Steve Newton Anyone put off by surviving Doors members Robbie Krieger and Ray Manzarek’s attempts to cash in on the band’s legacy by scooping up Jim Morrison look-alike Ian Astbury for last year’s Doors of the 21st Century tour can take solace in this extravagant package. Perception … Continue reading Extravagant Doors box captures cosmic aspects of the Lizard King

My first and last interview with Ray Manzarek of the Doors

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 21, 2013 By Steve Newton If you’re a fan of old rock music you’ve probably already heard that Ray Manzarek, keyboardist for legendary American band the Doors, died yesterday from cancer at the age of 74. I wasn’t a hardcore Doors freak, but I did enjoy a lot of their … Continue reading My first and last interview with Ray Manzarek of the Doors

Album review: Gilby Clarke, Pawnshop Guitars (1994)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 5, 1994 By Steve Newton Sometimes I wonder if guitarists join Guns N’ Roses just so they can get in the position to release their own solo recordings of punk-inspired garage-rock and blues-based boogie. (I doubt if they do it so they can bask in the positive vibes … Continue reading Album review: Gilby Clarke, Pawnshop Guitars (1994)

Former Police-man Stewart Copeland still “bangin’ shit” at 70

By Steve Newton Stewart Copeland remembers well when he first discovered his love of music. He was around seven years old, living in Beirut, Lebanon, and gazing intently at the Persian rugs that his mother had bought in Iran. “I was listening to Carmina Burana,” he explains on the phone from his home in L.A., … Continue reading Former Police-man Stewart Copeland still “bangin’ shit” at 70

Kenny Neal recalls getting a harmonica from swamp-blues legend Slim Harpo

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 28, 2002 By Steve Newton A lot of today’s practicing blues artists have stories to tell about influential run-ins with pioneering bluesmen, and Kenny Neal is no exception. When he was a little kid he was handed a harmonica by swamp-blues legend Slim (“I’m a King Bee”) Harpo, … Continue reading Kenny Neal recalls getting a harmonica from swamp-blues legend Slim Harpo

It’s My Life, and it’s my unpublished 1984 interview with Mark Hollis of Talk Talk

By Steve Newton Back in early 1984 I did an interview with Mark Hollis of British synth-pop band Talk Talk.  I wasn’t really into synth-pop–I was more into Iron Maiden, Scorpions, and Van Halen–but I took the assignment because Talk Talk was promoting its new album, It’s My Life, and was planning to visit my … Continue reading It’s My Life, and it’s my unpublished 1984 interview with Mark Hollis of Talk Talk

John Doe describes X as “a rock and roll band that loves songs”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 3, 1984 By Steve Newton “They were so close it was scary,” claims X bassist John Doe of the near-identical musician’s ads he and guitarist Billy Zoom ran in a Los Angeles paper back in 1979. The eerie similarity of the two advertisements brought the players quickly together, … Continue reading John Doe describes X as “a rock and roll band that loves songs”

Album review: Joe Perry, Joe Perry (2005)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 2, 2005 By Steve Newton Judging by the cover photo on the new Joe Perry solo CD, you might think that Aerosmith‘s guitar god has gone rockabilly or somethin’. He’s pictured shaking his hips in a slick black retro-’50s suit, posing with a big, Brian Setzer-type hollow-body slung … Continue reading Album review: Joe Perry, Joe Perry (2005)

Various Artists: Roadhouse Soundtrack (1989)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 9, 1989 By Steve Newton Hard-core Jeff Healey fans who’ve already worn out their copies of See the Light and can’t wait for the guitar wizard’s next LP may want to pick this record up, ’cause Healey goes hog wild on four tracks, including the Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues” … Continue reading Various Artists: Roadhouse Soundtrack (1989)

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

Dick Dale–the Strat-shredding, pick-melting King of the Surf Guitar–is dead at 81

By Steve Newton The unconfirmed reports circulating earlier today have now been confirmed: Dick Dale, the legendary guitarist whose finger-bleeding fretting style inspired countless guitarists, has died at 81. Dale’s passing was confirmed by his bass player, Sam Bolle, and first reported by the California Rocker website. No cause of death was given, but Dale … Continue reading Dick Dale–the Strat-shredding, pick-melting King of the Surf Guitar–is dead at 81

Covering Xtro II for Fangoria offshoot Gorezone and interviewing a director who’d rather be playing piano

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN GOREZONE #16, WINTER 1990 By Steve Newton Four years ago, Vancouver’s Expo ’86 opened its doors to visitors from far and wide, who came to take in the World’s Fair and revel in its fancy displays on the theme of transportation. But lately the old Expo site has seen visitations of a … Continue reading Covering Xtro II for Fangoria offshoot Gorezone and interviewing a director who’d rather be playing piano

James Reyne soars as a solo artist after doing the Australian Crawl

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 23, 1988 By Steve Newton Have you ever heard of a fellow named James Reyne? Unless you’re from Australia–or were a big fan of the now-defunct Australian Crawl–you probably don’t recognize the name. But you will in the future, if Reyne’s solo career follows the same pattern that … Continue reading James Reyne soars as a solo artist after doing the Australian Crawl