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 primo Vancouver picker Paul Pigat told me about getting turned on to Danny Gatton

By Steve Newton Metro Vancouver has spawned quite a few wicked guitar players, and I’ve been lucky to have interviewed a bunch. Some of my faves include Shaun Verreault, Dave Martone, Scott Smith, Don Alder, Russell Marsland, Lindsay Mitchell, Todd Taylor, Erol Sora, Devin Townsend, Harris Van Berkel, the late Scotty Hall, and the ever-lovin’ … Continue reading That time primo Vancouver picker Paul Pigat told me about getting turned on to Danny Gatton

Roger Fisher moves on from Heart-break with new band 10 Bulls and hopes for a record deal

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 20, 1985 By Steve Newton Former Heart guitarist Roger Fisher, and his new band 10 Bulls, had their Vancouver debut at Club Soda this summer. The most surprising thing about their performance was the fact that nearly all their songs–with the exception of maybe five–were covers! I mean, … Continue reading Roger Fisher moves on from Heart-break with new band 10 Bulls and hopes for a record deal

That time Jakob Dylan told me that his dad wasn’t a lightweight

By Steve Newton I interviewed 23-year-old Jakob Dylan back in February of 1993, five months after the release of the Wallflowers‘ self-titled debut album. That was three years before his band struck it rich with the quadruple-platinum Bringing Down the Horse CD and number-one hit “One Headlight”. At one point in the conversation I said … Continue reading That time Jakob Dylan told me that his dad wasn’t a lightweight

That time I called up Stevie Ray Vaughan and he said he had to leave for soundcheck in five minutes

By Steve Newton Back in August of 1985 I did my first interview with Stevie Ray Vaughan, just before the release of his third studio album, Soul to Soul. He was on a tour that would bring him to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom for two shows, on August 29 and 31. When he picked up the … Continue reading That time I called up Stevie Ray Vaughan and he said he had to leave for soundcheck in five minutes

Henry Fambrough says he could never think about being without the Spinners

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 22, 1983 By Steve Newton The last time the Spinners were in Vancouver was way back in the sixties, when they came through here with the Marvin Gaye Revue. But lovers of the group’s unmistakable brand of funky R&B still have a chance to catch the spirit of … Continue reading Henry Fambrough says he could never think about being without the Spinners

That time Dave Brock told me that Hawkwind wasn’t influenced by anybody

By Steve Newton Back in December of 1990 I interviewed Hawkwind guitarist and founding member Dave Brock. I called him up in Cleveland, where his space-rock band was touring behind its latest album, Space Bandits. At one point in the conversation I asked Brock if Hawkwind was influenced by prog groups like Pink Floyd and … Continue reading That time Dave Brock told me that Hawkwind wasn’t influenced by anybody

That time original Heart guitarist Roger Fisher told me how he really felt about the Wilson sisters

jim summaria photo By Steve Newton I interviewed former Heart lead-guitarist Roger Fisher in September of 1985, when he was promoting his new Seattle-based band 10 Bulls. As you may already know, Fisher was an original Heart member whose fiery guitarwork lit up tunes like “Barracuda” and “Magic Man”. He was also guitarist-vocalist Nancy Wilson’s … Continue reading That time original Heart guitarist Roger Fisher told me how he really felt about the Wilson sisters

That time Colin Hay told me that he thought Men at Work were a success story when they were playing Melbourne pubs

By Steve Newton I interviewed Men at Work frontman Colin Hay back in October of 1983, when the Aussie group was touring behind its second album, Cargo, the followup to its hugely successful debut, Business as Usual (the one with “Down Under” and “Who Can It Be Now?”). (Strangely enough, when the band got to … Continue reading That time Colin Hay told me that he thought Men at Work were a success story when they were playing Melbourne pubs

Bonnie Tyler skips the heartache and goes straight for the glory with “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 10, 1983 By Steve Newton Bonnie Tyler? You mean that Welsh girl who used to sing about heartaches in a gravelly, Rod Stewart-type voice. She still around? After her four years absence from the charts, there must be a lot of people who’ve written Bonnie Tyler off as … Continue reading Bonnie Tyler skips the heartache and goes straight for the glory with “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

That time I asked Mark Kelly if it bothered him when people compared Marillion to Genesis

Marillion’s Fish and Genesis’ Tony Banks get the joke By Steve Newton As a prog-rock fan who was crazy about bands like Yes and Genesis in the seventies, it made sense that I liked Marillion in the ’80s. I interviewed Marillion keyboardist Mark Kelly back in March of 1986, when the band was touring behind … Continue reading That time I asked Mark Kelly if it bothered him when people compared Marillion to Genesis

Album review: Joe Perry, Have Guitar, Will Travel (2009)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 7, 2010 By Steve Newton A minute-and-a-half into “We’ve Got a Long Way to Go”, the opening track on Joe Perry’s new solo album, Have Guitar, Will Travel, the rock legend from Boston reminds you just what it was about his playing that hooked you in the first … Continue reading Album review: Joe Perry, Have Guitar, Will Travel (2009)

Album review: Jeff Healey, Songs from the Road (2009)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 30, 2009 By Steve Newton I saw the original Jeff Healey Band play numerous times in the ’80s at Vancouver venues like the Yale and the 86 Street Music Hall. While always blown away by the searing talent of the young blind dude with the Strat on his … Continue reading Album review: Jeff Healey, Songs from the Road (2009)