Happy Newt Year: a social-studies teacher really likes my book on Gord Downie

By Steve Newton Happy Newt Year everybody! January 1 is often a day of reflection, going over the previous year’s highlights, so let’s get reflectin’. As a rock writer, 2018 had some memorable moments. I pulled off my eighth interview with guitar hero Joe Satriani, for one thing. I had my first chat with Gerry … Continue reading Happy Newt Year: a social-studies teacher really likes my book on Gord Downie

Remembering Gord Downie through the Hip’s last gig

By Steve Newton The following is an excerpt from my beer-table book, Gord Downie, published February 2018 by Sterling Books, New York. The tour’s final show at Kingston’s Rogers K-Rock Centre was the one everyone was talking about. It was broadcast live on the tube by the CBC, with no commercial breaks, and watched by … Continue reading Remembering Gord Downie through the Hip’s last gig

Back to the ‘Wack: Newt signs Gord Downie book in Chilliwack

By Steve Newton In case you haven’t heard, my first book came out last month. It’s called Gord Downie, and it’s about a poetic Canadian guy who rocked his ass off for decades and won over his home country before bravely succumbing to brain cancer and winning over his home country even more. When the … Continue reading Back to the ‘Wack: Newt signs Gord Downie book in Chilliwack

Exclusive excerpt from my new book, Gord Downie, about the late frontman of the Tragically Hip

By Steve Newton The following is the Preface from my new coffeetable book, Gord Downie, published by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. of New York City and currently available at Indigo, Coles, and Chapters outlets across Canada. ———————————————————————- The first time I spoke to Gord Downie he was a longhaired 25-year-old rocker touring behind his band’s first full-length … Continue reading Exclusive excerpt from my new book, Gord Downie, about the late frontman of the Tragically Hip

Win a signed copy of my new book, Gord Downie

By Steve Newton My coffee-table book on Gord Downie comes out on Tuesday, but one lucky person will get by without having to pay the suggested list price. I’m doing a contest, with the prize being a copy signed by yours truly. I could even inscribe “in Gord we trust” on it if the winner … Continue reading Win a signed copy of my new book, Gord Downie

Hey, I wrote a book about Gord Downie, and it looks freakin’ awesome!

By Steve Newton After more than 35 years as a journalist, I’m finally moving up in the world. I’m gonna be an author! Yeah, that’s right. Shove over Stephen King, there’s an unstoppable new force in the publishing world. Just kidding. But I do have a damn nice-looking book comin’ out. On February 6 Indigo … Continue reading Hey, I wrote a book about Gord Downie, and it looks freakin’ awesome!

That time Gord Downie wanted to meet in person and I turned him down, feeling like a bit of a knob

By Steve Newton Regrets? I’ve had a few. Like that time Gord Downie called me up for a phone interview in January of ’95 and the first thing he asked was whether I’d rather wait and talk to him in person when he arrived in Vancouver the next day. He sounded like he wanted to … Continue reading That time Gord Downie wanted to meet in person and I turned him down, feeling like a bit of a knob

15 minutes on the phone with 25-year-old Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip

By Steve Newton Back in 1989 I did the first of my five Georgia Straight interviews with Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip. I know a lot of my fellow Hip fans are hurting right now with the news of his passing, so here’s something I hope brings a bit of comfort: 15 minutes of Gord … Continue reading 15 minutes on the phone with 25-year-old Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip

That time Gord Downie told me that he thought the Tragically Hip was a success from day one

By Steve Newton As I mentioned in a blog last month, the last time I interviewed Gord Downie he got a little “cunty” (his word) when I brought up the subject of how the Tragically Hip hadn’t enjoyed nearly the same level of success in the States as it had in Canada. After that minor … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me that he thought the Tragically Hip was a success from day one

That time Gord Downie got all “cunty” when I picked his scab about the Hip’s perplexing lack of success in the States

david bastedo photo By Steve Newton I turned 60 today, and sometimes when you reach a milestone I guess maybe you look back on things in your life or career that struck you as special or interesting or memorable in some way. While sipping on the peach vodka my wife bought me for the occasion, … Continue reading That time Gord Downie got all “cunty” when I picked his scab about the Hip’s perplexing lack of success in the States

That time Gord Downie told me his original lyrics for the Tragically Hip’s “Ahead By a Century”

By Steve Newton In October of 1996 I did my fifth and final interview with the Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, which became a main source for my 2018 coffeetable book on him. At one point during the lengthy conversation I brought up “Ahead By a Century”, the band’s highest charting single, off their ’96 … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me his original lyrics for the Tragically Hip’s “Ahead By a Century”

That time Gord Downie told me that the Tragically Hip would love to make a record every month

By Steve Newton Here’s the last audio excerpt I’m gonna post from the fourth interview I did with Gordon Downie, back in July of ’95. As the interview wound down I asked the legendary Canuck rocker if the Tragically Hip ever got pressure from its record label to crank records out by a particular date. … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me that the Tragically Hip would love to make a record every month

That time the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie told me that he just loves meeting other musicians–period

By Steve Newton As most Canadian rock fans know, the Tragically Hip ended its final major tour in August of 2016 with a gig in its Kingston hometown that was broadcast (and celebrated) nationwide. Touring has always been at the heart of what the Hip is all about. Sure, making amazing records is a biggie … Continue reading That time the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie told me that he just loves meeting other musicians–period

That time Gord Downie told me that the 15 minutes after a Tragically Hip show are his favourite time of the day

By Steve Newton If you’re a dedicated Tragically Hip fan you’ve no doubt seen their final concert, which took place in the band’s Kingston hometown on August 20, 2016, and was broadcast live on CBC-TV. It was an historic gig, bursting with emotion, and for me the finest moment came during one of the several … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me that the 15 minutes after a Tragically Hip show are his favourite time of the day

15 of the best quotes I ever got from Gord Downie

By Steve Newton The big Tragically Hip show in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario, is happening tomorrow, broadcast live on the CBC starting at 5:30 pm Vancouver time. I might not be back from opening day at the PNE in time to watch the gig unfold live, but I sure as shit plan to record … Continue reading 15 of the best quotes I ever got from Gord Downie

That time Gord Downie told me about the Tragically Hip’s Saturday Night Live gig

By Steve Newton On March 25, 1995, the Tragically Hip played Saturday Night Live, when one of my fave actors, John Goodman (“Mark it zero!”), was hosting. Fellow Kingstonite Dan Aykroyd introduced the band, which surprised the hell out of peeps by not opening with a certified crowd-pleasing rocker like “New Orleans is Sinking” or … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me about the Tragically Hip’s Saturday Night Live gig

That time Gord Downie told me about the Tragically Hip touring with Page & Plant and opening for the Rolling Stones

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Gord Downie in July of 1995 the Tragically Hip was flying high. Since I’d talked to him six months earlier, the band had won group of the year at the Junos, performed on Saturday Night Live, toured widely with Page & Plant, and opened for the Rolling Stones. Not … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me about the Tragically Hip touring with Page & Plant and opening for the Rolling Stones

That time Gord Downie told me about the “unique” life on the road with the Tragically Hip

By Steve Newton On July 2, 1995, I did my fourth Georgia Straight interview with the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie. It had only been six months since our previous chat, and it was unusual–even back then, when newspapers were thriving–to publish two feature stories on the same band within such a short span of time. But … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me about the “unique” life on the road with the Tragically Hip

That time Gord Downie told me that the Tragically Hip was just striving to exist in the United States

By Steve Newton When people discuss the history of the Tragically Hip, one subject that arises is how the band was unable to make it big in the States, and to garner anything resembling the same degree of commercial success that they enjoyed up in Canada. When I did my third interview with Gord Downie, … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me that the Tragically Hip was just striving to exist in the United States

That time Gord Downie raved to me about Tragically Hip tourmates Change of Heart and the Odds

By Steve Newton One thing I figured out about Gord Downie during the five interviews I did with him between 1989 and 1995 was that he really, really likes musicians. Especially musicians who play in bands. He was always quick to rave about the new groups he’d heard lately, or maybe the ones the Tragically … Continue reading That time Gord Downie raved to me about Tragically Hip tourmates Change of Heart and the Odds

That time I told Gord Downie that the Hip’s “Nautical Disaster” made me think of Neil Young & Crazy Horse

By Steve Newton When I interviewed the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie in January of 1995 it was less than four months after the release of the band’s fourth full-length album, Day for Night, and I was still playing the crap out of it. I would also play “Nautical Disaster” over and over again, until it … Continue reading That time I told Gord Downie that the Hip’s “Nautical Disaster” made me think of Neil Young & Crazy Horse

The Gord Downie Tapes, 1995: talkin’ hockey right after the lockout

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie on January 18, 1995, it had been exactly once week since the end of the historic NHL lockout that had started the previous October. That lockout caused the 1994-1995 hockey season to be shortened from 84 games to 48, the shortest season in 53 years. Tonight … Continue reading The Gord Downie Tapes, 1995: talkin’ hockey right after the lockout

That time Gord Downie told me that he thought “The Inevitability of Death” was kind of a funny song

By Steve Newton As a freelance writer for the Georgia Straight back in the heyday of the weekly paper, it was highly unusual that I would interview the same artist more than once in the same calendar year. But I did two interviews with Gord Downie in 1995–one in January and another in July–because the … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me that he thought “The Inevitability of Death” was kind of a funny song

That time I asked Gord Downie about the cool cover art on the Tragically Hip’s Fully Completely

By Steve Newton This audio excerpt from my 1992 interview with Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie concerns the intriguing album-cover art for Fully Completely, which the band released less than a month before our little chat. At the time I was still trying to make sense of the weird kind of collage that would become … Continue reading That time I asked Gord Downie about the cool cover art on the Tragically Hip’s Fully Completely

That time Gord Downie told me about recording Fully Completely with producer Chris Tsangarides

By Steve Newton I did my second interview with Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie in November of ’92, shortly after the release of the unforgettable Fully Completely album. It was the only Hip album to be produced by Chris Tsangarides, the same guy who helmed Thin Lizzy’s final albums, Renegade and Thunder and Lightning. In this … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me about recording Fully Completely with producer Chris Tsangarides

That time Gord Downie told me about Bill Barilko and the story behind the Tragically Hip’s “50 Mission Cap”

By Steve Newton I did my second interview with the Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie in November of 1992, one month after the release of the Fully Completely album. As you may already know, that’s the best Hip album ever, partly because of the uber-Canadian song “50 Mission Cap”, which mentions a hockey card and … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me about Bill Barilko and the story behind the Tragically Hip’s “50 Mission Cap”