Graham Bonnet on that infamous MSG gig of ’82: “If your pants had split down the front and your cock fell out, what would you do?”

By Steve Newton Back in 1984 I interviewed British hard-rock vocalist Graham Bonnet, who at the time was fronting a band called Alcatrazz, which boasted a hot-shot (but barely known) guitarist by the name of Yngwie Malmsteen. Two years earlier Bonnet had gotten kicked out of the Michael Schenker Group, who he recorded the 1982 … Continue reading Graham Bonnet on that infamous MSG gig of ’82: “If your pants had split down the front and your cock fell out, what would you do?”

Graham Bonnet was bandmates with Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, and Yngwie Malmsteen, but called Gary Moore his hero

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Graham Bonnet back in 1984 he was fronting a hard-rock/metal band called Alcatrazz that featured an unknown guitarist named Yngwie Malmsteen, who would not stay unknown for long. Two years earlier Bonnet had been a member of the Michael Schenker Group, which also boasted an amazing guitar player, a guy … Continue reading Graham Bonnet was bandmates with Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, and Yngwie Malmsteen, but called Gary Moore his hero

That time Graham Bonnet told me that Ritchie Blackmore isn’t moody at all, just a nice, shy guy

By Steve Newton Ritchie Blackmore is one of my favourite guitarists of all time. As a 15-year-old when Machine Head was released in 1972, I could barely comprehend how great his guitar solo on “Highway Star” made me feel. Over and over again. Two years later he did it again with the lead break on “Burn”. … Continue reading That time Graham Bonnet told me that Ritchie Blackmore isn’t moody at all, just a nice, shy guy

That time Graham Bonnet told me about unknown Alcatrazz guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen: “He’s one day gonna be a star”

By Steve Newton Back in the ’80s one of my jobs at the Georgia Straight newspaper in Vancouver was to cover the hard-rock/heavy metal beat. Soon after getting hired as a proofreader/typesetter in ’82 I was doing articles on Priest, Scorps, Maiden, and Ozzy, which–to my utter delight–often ended up as the cover story. Metal was … Continue reading That time Graham Bonnet told me about unknown Alcatrazz guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen: “He’s one day gonna be a star”

Graham Goble knows it’s a long way there, so Little River Band recruits John Farnham for the trip

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 14, 1983 By Steve Newton When, after releasing six albums, a group loses both its original lead singer and lead guitarist, there’s a good chance a large number of longtime fans will be next to go. But that shouldn’t be the case with the Little River Band, for … Continue reading Graham Goble knows it’s a long way there, so Little River Band recruits John Farnham for the trip

Ann Wilson on making the Heart album: “Lookout! Three gals and a bottle of Dubonnet!”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 16, 1985 By Steve Newton It’s been ten years since Heart recorded their debut album Dreamboat Annie at Vancouver’s Mushroom Studios. At a time when Saturday Night Fever was running rampant that LP–with songs like “Magic Man” and “Crazy On You”–struck an important blow for guitar-driven rock and … Continue reading Ann Wilson on making the Heart album: “Lookout! Three gals and a bottle of Dubonnet!”

That time ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes told me about being fired from Whitesnake by David Coverdale

Sykes (right) and Coverdale in happier times By Steve Newton Back in May of 1989 I interviewed English guitar hero John Sykes, who you may know for his fiery fretwork on the final Thin Lizzy album, Thunder and Lightning. Two years before we did that interview Whitesnake had released its self-titled album, the one that … Continue reading That time ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes told me about being fired from Whitesnake by David Coverdale

Metallica announces new album to be released on my birthday, but won’t play Vancouver on world tour

By Steve Newton Metallica, arguably the world’s greatest-ever heavy-metal band, has announced that it will release its next album on my birthday. The Bay Area headbangers will unleash their 12th studio album, 72 Seasons, on April 14, 2023. “72 seasons,” says Metallica singer-guitarist James Hetfield in a press release. “The first 18 years of our … Continue reading Metallica announces new album to be released on my birthday, but won’t play Vancouver on world tour

That time Tommy Aldridge called me up from the Whitesnake tour and explained how it was different working for David Coverdale than Ozzy Osbourne

By Steve Newton In April of 1990 hard-rock drum legend Tommy Aldridge called me up from the road in Minneapolis, where he was playing that night with his latest band, Whitesnake. The group was touring behind its eighth studio album, Slip of the Tongue, the one with “Fool For Your Loving 89”. I actually preferred … Continue reading That time Tommy Aldridge called me up from the Whitesnake tour and explained how it was different working for David Coverdale than Ozzy Osbourne

That time Joey Molland told me about the “crooks” that stole a ton of royalty money from Badfinger

By Steve Newton Thirty-five years ago today–on  November 26, 1987–I did an interview with Joey Molland of Badfinger. I’ve loved Badfinger ever since I first heard them doing that 1969 song that everybody thought was the Beatles, “Come and Get It”, from the film The Magic Christian. Joey Molland wasn’t in the band then, but … Continue reading That time Joey Molland told me about the “crooks” that stole a ton of royalty money from Badfinger

That time Martha Davis told me that the Motels lost 60 grand a week on their last tour

By Steve Newton I wasn’t a huge fan of new-wave music in the mid-’80s–I was too busy banging my head to Maiden and Priest and Scorps and such–but for some reason in November of 1985 I sat down with Martha Davis for an interview that was never actually published. She was promoting the Motels’ fifth … Continue reading That time Martha Davis told me that the Motels lost 60 grand a week on their last tour

That time back in ’85 when I asked Brian Vollmer if Helix were hometown heroes in Kitchener

By Steve Newton Way back in November of 1985 I interviewed Helix frontman Brian Vollmer. This was right after the band had released its fifth album, Long Way to Heaven, and were quite popular on the Canadian heavy-metal scene. Anybody remember 1983’s “Heavy Metal Love”? At one point in the conversation I asked Vollmer if … Continue reading That time back in ’85 when I asked Brian Vollmer if Helix were hometown heroes in Kitchener

That time I asked Steve Vai if he had any desire, like his buddy Satch, to try his hand at vocals

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with American guitar legend Steve Vai on May 31, 1990, eleven days after the release of his second album, Passion & Warfare–you know, the one with “For the Love of God”. Seven months earlier Vai’s former guitar teacher, Joe Satriani, had released his third album, Flying in … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Vai if he had any desire, like his buddy Satch, to try his hand at vocals

That time I asked Richard Marx if he was hoping to sell nine million copies of his followup to Repeat Offender

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Richard Marx back in November of 1991 he was one of the most popular singer-songwriters around. His self-titled 1987 debut album had sold three million copies, and his 1989 followup, Repeat Offender–the one with “Right Here Waiting”–had moved six million copies. So, doing the math, I asked him if … Continue reading That time I asked Richard Marx if he was hoping to sell nine million copies of his followup to Repeat Offender

That time 21-year-old Devin Townsend told me that he and Steve Vai give each other ulcers

Actual footage of Townsend giving Vai an ulcer By Steve Newton Back in September of 1993 I did my second interview with Canadian metal genius Devin Townsend. He was only 21 at the time, and had recently joined up with guitar virtuoso Steve Vai to record the vocals for Vai’s Sex & Religion album and … Continue reading That time 21-year-old Devin Townsend told me that he and Steve Vai give each other ulcers

That time blues legend John Mayall told me why he handles his own gear and never uses roadies

By Steve Newton I did the second of my three interviews with British blues great John Mayall back in May of 1990, when he was heading to Vancouver for a show with his band the Bluesbreakers. He was touring to promote his latest album, A Sense of Place, which featured slide-guitar ace Sonny Landreth on … Continue reading That time blues legend John Mayall told me why he handles his own gear and never uses roadies

That time back in 1985 when Roger Glover told me about the reunited Deep Purple’s first jam session

By Steve Newton I did my second interview with Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover back in March of 1985, when the band’s Mark II lineup–composed of him, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, singer Ian Gillan, keyboardist Jon Lord, and drummer Ian Paice–had reunited to record the Perfect Strangers album and embark on a sold-out world tour. At … Continue reading That time back in 1985 when Roger Glover told me about the reunited Deep Purple’s first jam session

That time I called Allan Holdsworth up to talk guitar and he just wanted to chat about beer

By Steve Newton Back in November of 1983 I did my first interview with British guitar legend Allan Holdsworth, when he was touring with his band I.O.U. His latest album at the time was the six-song EP Road Games, and one point in the conversation I asked him about the “special thanks” on the back … Continue reading That time I called Allan Holdsworth up to talk guitar and he just wanted to chat about beer