Album review: The Eagles, Hell Freezes Over (1994)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 17, 1994 By Steve Newton If the Eagles charged for CDs the same way they do for concert tickets, this little single-disc item would go for $30 or so, which would be an amazing rip-off, considering it includes only four new tunes. The brunt of the album is … Continue reading Album review: The Eagles, Hell Freezes Over (1994)

Eagles singer-guitarist Glenn Frey dies at 67

By Steve Newton It’s been a rough few weeks for music fans with the deaths of Lemmy Kilmister and David Bowie, and things aren’t getting any better. Legendary country-rock band the Eagles released a statement today announcing the death of founding member Glenn Frey. “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the … Continue reading Eagles singer-guitarist Glenn Frey dies at 67

Joe Walsh, the Eddie Shack of rock, flies highest at the Eagles’ Vancouver show

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 20, 2002 By Steve Newton Boy, I sure took a lotta flack from the hipsters in the Straight’s editorial department for wanting to review the Eagles concert last Wednesday (June 12) at GM Place. “Woo-hoo, ‘Hotel California’!” gibed Mike Usinger, high sheriff of all things musical, before inserting … Continue reading Joe Walsh, the Eddie Shack of rock, flies highest at the Eagles’ Vancouver show

Fred Eaglesmith makes a living in music without selling his soul

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 29, 1999 By Steve Newton From the sound of his new 50-Odd Dollars CD—which includes gritty, rough-edged tracks like “Blue Tick Hound”, “Ten Ton Chain”, and “Georgia Overdrive”—you wouldn’t expect that Ontario tunesmith Fred Eaglesmith is best-known in folk circles. He sounds more like a cross between Neil … Continue reading Fred Eaglesmith makes a living in music without selling his soul

Robert Plant says the Eagles are bored, Don Henley thinks Plant should keep his shirt on

It looks like there’s a bit of a feud brewing between a couple of seventies-rock heavyweights. While doing interviews to promote the upcoming release of expanded Led Zeppelin reissues, Robert Plant held fast to his opinion that the band should not reunite simply to make a shipload more money. “Do you know why the Eagles … Continue reading Robert Plant says the Eagles are bored, Don Henley thinks Plant should keep his shirt on

Joe Walsh, the Eddie Shack of rock ‘n’ roll, helps the Eagles soar in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 30, 1995 By Steve Newton I have to admit, I was feeling a tad cynical as I took my seat for the Eagles concert on Monday (March 27). Like most everybody else who grew up loving rock music in the ’70s, I had a soft spot in my … Continue reading Joe Walsh, the Eddie Shack of rock ‘n’ roll, helps the Eagles soar in Vancouver

The Eagles fly high in Vancouver with boosts from Bernie and Joe

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 6, 2013 The concert the Eagles put on at Rogers Arena last night was way more enjoyable than the one they played at the hockey rink three years ago as part of the Long Road Out of Eden Tour. For one thing, this time around the setlist wasn’t bogged down … Continue reading The Eagles fly high in Vancouver with boosts from Bernie and Joe

The Eagles leave Vancouver fans with an uneasy feeling

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 10, 2010 In my favourite movie of all time, The Big Lebowski, the main character—brilliantly played by Jeff Bridges—is a scruffy SoCal slacker named “the Dude” who loves Creedence Clearwater Revival but has no time at all for the Eagles. In fact, he gets yanked from a cab and left … Continue reading The Eagles leave Vancouver fans with an uneasy feeling

Iron Maiden was the world’s best metal band in Vancouver last night

all photos by Jeff Sutherland By Steve Newton Your first concert is a big deal–or that’s what my nephew Jeff says, anyway. Thirty-five years ago I took him to his very first rock show, at the Pacific Coliseum. It was Iron Maiden on the Powerslave tour. He was 14. It ruled. Last night (Sept. 3) … Continue reading Iron Maiden was the world’s best metal band in Vancouver last night

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

Album review: The Jeff Healey Band, See the Light (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 21, 1988 By Steve Newton Local blues-rock fans who’ve been thrilled by the wild guitar histrionics of Jeff Healey during his many Vancouver club dates are gonna love this album. It’s chock full of the scorching, red-hot licks that the 22-year-old Torontonian is famous for, and his inspired … Continue reading Album review: The Jeff Healey Band, See the Light (1988)

Album review: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Pack Up the Plantation (1985)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 20, 1985 By Steve Newton One of my fondest concert memories dates back to 1978, when Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played the Commodore Ballroom. Petty had just released his second album, You’re Gonna Get It, and was his band hot–I mean sizzlin’. I saw him again a year … Continue reading Album review: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Pack Up the Plantation (1985)

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

That time I asked Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi if music was just better in the seventies

By Steve Newton When I interviewed legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi in 2007 he had recently reunited with Ronnie James Dio for a tour under the band name Heaven and Hell, which was used to differentiate it from the Ozzy Osbourne-fronted version of Sabbath. At the time there were a few other big reunion … Continue reading That time I asked Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi if music was just better in the seventies

Anders Osborne says that, when it comes to songwriting, “there’s not much to it”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 27, 2003 By Steve Newton Anders Osborne is not the type of singer-songwriter who’s easily categorized. The Sweden-raised, Louisiana-based bard is described in the liner notes for his 1999 Living Room CD as “a guitar wizard whose multifaceted grooves and soulful vocals evolve the link between second-line funk, … Continue reading Anders Osborne says that, when it comes to songwriting, “there’s not much to it”

.38 Special’s Donnie Van Zant on the origins of southern rock and the drive of Jacksonville bands

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 2, 1982 By Steve Newton .38 Special’s July 5 gig at the Kerrisdale Arena has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales, and according to lead singer Donnie Van Zant “it’s a real shame”. The show would have been the band’s second Vancouver appearance. Their latest album, Special … Continue reading .38 Special’s Donnie Van Zant on the origins of southern rock and the drive of Jacksonville bands

The Newt’s 300 Best Rock Albums of the 1970s

By Steve Newton You had to be there. Abraxas: Santana (“Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”, “Oye Coma Va”, “Samba Pa Ti”) 1970 A Day at the Races: Queen (“Tie Your Mother Down”, “Somebody to Love”, “Long Away”) 1976 Aerosmith: Aerosmith (“Make It”, “Dream On”, “Mama Kin”) 1973 After the Gold Rush: Neil Young (“Tell Me Why”, “Southern Man”, “When You … Continue reading The Newt’s 300 Best Rock Albums of the 1970s

Blackie member Colin Linden loves the rigours of the road and the confines of the console

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 21, 1999 By Steve Newton Canadian guitar great and singer-songwriter Colin Linden has spent a large part of his life travelling this country’s highways and byways in pursuit of gigs. He’s also spent a huge portion of time holed away in recording studios, making his own records, producing … Continue reading Blackie member Colin Linden loves the rigours of the road and the confines of the console

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1979

Ah, 1979. According to my calculations, that was the last year of the ’70s, which was the greatest decade for guitar-based rock music ever. I’d like to thank Fender, Gibson, Marshall, and everyone else who created the instruments of my enjoyment back then. A Million Vacations: Max Webster (“Paradise Skies”, “A Million Vacations”, “Let Go … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1979

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1972

1972 was a year when I got introduced to a number of bands that would become all-time faves, including Blue Oyster Cult, Mott the Hoople, and Steely Dan. And as far as live albums went, the Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, the J. Geils Band, and Rory Gallagher were well represented. I wouldn’t say ’72 was … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1972

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1974

Last year I put together a list of my 30 fave albums from 1973, which was a particularly awesome year since it included the release of what I’ve always felt was the world’s greatest rock album, the Who’s Quadrophenia. Now that you’ve all had a good chance to go out and purchase each and every one … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1974

Blackie & the Rodeo Kings ebullient about a Band classic

  ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 22, 2006 By Steve Newton Like Brian Wilson used to do in his Beach Boys days, Colin Linden gets around. When the Straight catches him on his cellphone he’s just leaving a Calgary hotel with his fellow members of Blackie & the Rodeo Kings—Tom Wilson and Stephen Fearing—for a sound check … Continue reading Blackie & the Rodeo Kings ebullient about a Band classic

Tony Iommi on Heaven and Hell and how Frank Zappa always loved his “Supernaut” riff

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 7, 2007 By Steve Newton It’s somewhat ironic that Black Sabbath‘s 1978 album was titled Never Say Die, because that disc actually signalled the end of the group’s original lineup. After eight albums with Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, the metal pioneers gave him the boot, replacing him with Ronnie James … Continue reading Tony Iommi on Heaven and Hell and how Frank Zappa always loved his “Supernaut” riff

“Thank You For Being a Friend” singer-songwriter Andrew Gold dies at 59

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 7, 2011 L.A. singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Gold, whose hits in the ’70s included “Lonely Boy” and “Thank You For Being a Friend”, died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack on Friday (June 3), exactly two months before his 60th birthday. Gold’s career highlights included performing with the … Continue reading “Thank You For Being a Friend” singer-songwriter Andrew Gold dies at 59

Joe Walsh brings regular-guy charm and killer James Gang riffs to Coquitlam

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 8, 2012 American rock great Joe Walsh played Coquitlam’s Red Robinson Show Theatre last night (September 7), and pretty well packed the place. Judging by the rabid response it got, the vast majority of the crowd of mostly 40- and 50-somethings were hoping to hell he’d play the 1970 James … Continue reading Joe Walsh brings regular-guy charm and killer James Gang riffs to Coquitlam

Obits

LONNIE MACK July 18, 1941 – April 21, 2016 GLENN FREY Nov. 6, 1948 – Jan. 18, 2016 DALE “BUFFIN” GRIFFIN Oct. 24, 1948 – Jan. 17, 2016 DAVID BOWIE Jan. 8, 1947 – Jan. 10, 2016 LEMMY KILMISTER Dec. 24, 1945 – Dec. 28, 2015 SMOKIN’ JOE KUBEK Nov. 30, 1956 – Oct. 11, … Continue reading Obits

concert reviews

So, yeah, I’ve reviewed a few shows over the years. IRON MAIDEN at Rogers Arena, Sept. 3, 2019 SONNY LANDRETH at the Rio Theatre, Aug. 24, 2019 BAND OF FRIENDS at the Fox Cabaret, Dec. 18, 2018 ROGER WATERS at Rogers Arena, Oct. 28, 2017 GUNS N’ ROSES at BC Place Stadium, Sept. 1, 2017 THE … Continue reading concert reviews