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”

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 Heart’s Ann Wilson told me that the only movie scripts she ever got were for hard-drinking, Janis Joplin-type roles

By Steve Newton Heart were one of the first great rock bands I ever saw. Back in the early seventies they would play gigs in my hometown of Chilliwack, showcasing wicked tunes like “White Lightning and Wine” and “Magic Man” that would eventually appear on their 1975 debut album, Dreamboat Annie. I didn’t get to … Continue reading That time Heart’s Ann Wilson told me that the only movie scripts she ever got were for hard-drinking, Janis Joplin-type roles

That time Vinnie Paul told me about experiencing “the ultimate high” when Judas Priest fanatics Pantera jammed with Rob Halford

By Steve Newton Back on February 20, 1992, I did my one and only interview with Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul. That was five days before the Texas metal band released its most popular album, the double-platinum Vulgar Display of Power. At one point in the conversation I asked Vinnie about Rob Halford’s professed love for … Continue reading That time Vinnie Paul told me about experiencing “the ultimate high” when Judas Priest fanatics Pantera jammed with Rob Halford

That time I asked Long John Baldry if he was the King in “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll”

By Steve Newton Back in 1985 I did an interview with British blues legend Long John Baldry, who’d recently moved to Vancouver, where he would stay until his death 20 years later. In 1971 Baldry had released an album called It Ain’t Easy that was produced by his buddies, Rod Stewart and Elton John. It … Continue reading That time I asked Long John Baldry if he was the King in “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll”

That time Joe Jackson told me that Duke Ellington was wrong: there’s actually three kinds of music

By Steve Newton I interviewed Joe Jackson in August of 2003, when he had reunited with his original band for its 25th anniversary, and to record the album Volume 4. That’s the same band–guitarist Gary Sanford, bassist Graham Maby, drummer David Houghton, and Jackson on vocals and piano–that played on his awesome 1979 albums, Look … Continue reading That time Joe Jackson told me that Duke Ellington was wrong: there’s actually three kinds of music

That time Ronnie James Dio told me that Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” was his favourite song out of all the things he’d done

By Steve Newton Way the funk back in 1985 I did my one and only interview with Ronnie James Dio. He was touring behind Dio’s Sacred Heart album, and he got tickets and backstage passes to the show in Vancouver at the Pacific Coliseum. I’ll never forget how kind and generous he was when we … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me that Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” was his favourite song out of all the things he’d done

That time COC’s Pepper Keenan told me that Warren Haynes “nailed it” with his slide playing on “Stare Too Long”

a closeup shot of Haynes nailing it By Steve Newton Back in January of 2001 I did my first interview with Pepper Keenan of Corrosion of Conformity, whose band was touring behind its America’s Volume Dealer album. At one point in the conversation I asked Keenan how he had hooked up with Warren Haynes, who … Continue reading That time COC’s Pepper Keenan told me that Warren Haynes “nailed it” with his slide playing on “Stare Too Long”

People see my photo with Slash and think I’m Kerry King of Slayer, “Ogre” from Revenge of the Nerds, and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

By Steve Newton Here’s a funny thing that happened. A week or so ago This Day in Metal tweeted a photo of me with Slash taken backstage in 1988, when Guns N’ Roses were opening for Iron Maiden in Vancouver. The tweet read: “Anybody know who’s with @slash in this picture?” Well, a few of … Continue reading People see my photo with Slash and think I’m Kerry King of Slayer, “Ogre” from Revenge of the Nerds, and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

That time I asked David Ellefson if there was any competition between Megadeth and Metallica

By Steve Newton I interviewed Megadeth bassist David Ellefson back in November of 1992. when he was 27. That was four months after the band released its most popular album, Countdown to Extinction, the one with “Symphony of Destruction” on it. Man I love that tune. (As you may have heard, founding member Ellefson recently … Continue reading That time I asked David Ellefson if there was any competition between Megadeth and Metallica

That time Derek Trucks told me that Duane Allman’s slide was one of the first sounds he ever heard

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Derek Trucks three times so far, including back in 1998 when he was 18 years old. Our second conversation happened 14 years later, when he was touring with his wife Susan and their 11-piece band, Tedeschi Trucks. Four months before that the group had been awarded the Grammy for Best … Continue reading That time Derek Trucks told me that Duane Allman’s slide was one of the first sounds he ever heard

That time David Lee Roth told me that a reunion with Van Halen was possible as long as he could “bang that high note like a freebie from a Vegas call girl”

By Steve Newton Back in June of 2003 I did my second interview with David Lee Roth. At the time he was touring behind his most recent solo album, Diamond Dave, but of course I had to ask him about the possibility of getting back together with Van Halen, which had been on hiatus for … Continue reading That time David Lee Roth told me that a reunion with Van Halen was possible as long as he could “bang that high note like a freebie from a Vegas call girl”

That time I asked Gregg Allman how it was different touring solo than with the Allman Brothers

By Steve Newton I did my only interview with Gregg Allman on February 5, 1998. The legendary Allman Brothers Band singer, keyboardist, and occasional guitarist was 50 years old, and was touring behind his sixth solo album, Searching for Simplicity. At one point in the conversation I asked him how it was different touring as … Continue reading That time I asked Gregg Allman how it was different touring solo than with the Allman Brothers

Recalling the release of the Tragically Hip’s Road Apples in the wake of the new Saskadelphia

By Steve Newton Since the Tragically Hip just put out several unreleased tracks from its 1990 Road Apples sessions, I figured I’d celebrate the occasion in my own little way. So for all the hardcore Hip fans out there who still hold the original Road Apples album dear, here’s an unedited excerpt from my 2018 … Continue reading Recalling the release of the Tragically Hip’s Road Apples in the wake of the new Saskadelphia

That time B.B. King told me how playing guitar was like telling the truth

bev davies photo By Steve Newton I’ve been very fortunate to have interviewed several legendary bluesmen over the last 40 years, guys like Albert King, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Roy Buchanan, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. But the very first legendary bluesman I ever interviewed was B.B. King. In January of 1984 he was playing a … Continue reading That time B.B. King told me how playing guitar was like telling the truth