Michael Hutchence says INXS hopes to fill up the space between Men at Work and the Birthday Party

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 27, 1983 By Steve Newton INXS (pronounced ‘in excess’) are a six-piece modern rock band from Sydney, Australia. The group’s third album, Shabooh Shoobah, was released last year and hit Top Five in Australia, becoming the group’s third gold album Down Under. The members of INXS are vocalist … Continue reading Michael Hutchence says INXS hopes to fill up the space between Men at Work and the Birthday Party

That time J.D. Fortune told me about the pressure of competing in the reality show Rock Star: INXS

By Steve Newton I interviewed INXS vocalist J.D. Fortune in January of 2006, two weeks before the band kicked off a North American Tour in Vancouver. The Canadian singer had earned the frontman position with the Aussie group the year before by winning the 11-week reality-TV competition Rock Star: INXS. So at one point in … Continue reading That time J.D. Fortune told me about the pressure of competing in the reality show Rock Star: INXS

INXS puts boot to butt in Vancouver on the Kick World Tour

photos: @shotbykevin ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1988 By Steve Newton The banner across from the press box read in big block letters: INXS KICK ASS. Now I wouldn’t have agreed with that statement right off, but after seeing Michael Hutchence and company sweat it out for 100 minutes last Friday (May 27), … Continue reading INXS puts boot to butt in Vancouver on the Kick World Tour

J.D. Fortune went from living in a car to fronting INXS

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 12, 2006 By Steve Newton This time last year, few people knew the name of Canadian rock vocalist J.D. Fortune. A lot of them were familiar with INXS, but at that stage in the group’s career–eight years after the death by apparent suicide of its enigmatic frontman Michael Hutchence–they wouldn’t … Continue reading J.D. Fortune went from living in a car to fronting INXS

That time Joe Perry called and I let my friend answer it ’cause she was a big Aerosmith fan with a crush

By Steve Newton Sometimes you forget things you did back in the nineties. When I was digitizing my 1993 interview with Aerosmith‘s Joe Perry so I could post it on my Patreon page today, I realized I’d done something I’d never done before (or since) when talking to rockers. I let somebody else answer the … Continue reading That time Joe Perry called and I let my friend answer it ’cause she was a big Aerosmith fan with a crush

That time slide-guitar ace Ellen McIlwaine told me that Johnny Winter showed her how to go in her own direction

By Steve Newton Back in 2001 I interviewed Alberta-based blues singer-songwriter and guitarist Ellen McIlwaine before a club gig in Vancouver. Realizing she’s best known for her slide-guitar expertise, I asked her who her biggest influences were on slide, and wasn’t surprised to hear that Johnny Winter was one of her heroes. Have a listen: … Continue reading That time slide-guitar ace Ellen McIlwaine told me that Johnny Winter showed her how to go in her own direction

Bon Jovi tours behind debut album, frontman Jon Bon Jovi claims it’s “not your typical opening act”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 27, 1984 By Steve Newton “Before the album came out we’d play anywhere with anyone at any time,” says Jon Bon Jovi. “We were just happy to be playing. But now that we’re out in support of a hit record it’s a lot nicer–and a lot more luxurious … Continue reading Bon Jovi tours behind debut album, frontman Jon Bon Jovi claims it’s “not your typical opening act”

Yngwie Malmsteen shreds on what he once called “a piece of furniture”: the Gibson Les Paul

By Steve Newton One of my most popular posts on Ear of Newt is the one where Yngwie Malmsteen calls Ibanez guitars “a bad copy” of the Strat and says Les Pauls are “furniture”. Well, if you ever wondered what the Swedish Fender freak would sound like shredding on a piece of furniture, here ya … Continue reading Yngwie Malmsteen shreds on what he once called “a piece of furniture”: the Gibson Les Paul

That time Derek Trucks told me about watching a hip Barack Obama mouth Howlin’ Wolf lyrics

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed slide-guitar master Derek Trucks three times so far, including back in 1999 when he was only 20 years old. We had our second conversation 13 years later, when he was touring with his wife Susan and their 11-piece band, Tedeschi Trucks. Four months earlier Trucks had performed for Barack Obama … Continue reading That time Derek Trucks told me about watching a hip Barack Obama mouth Howlin’ Wolf lyrics

James Reyne soars as a solo artist after doing the Australian Crawl

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 23, 1988 By Steve Newton Have you ever heard of a fellow named James Reyne? Unless you’re from Australia–or were a big fan of the now-defunct Australian Crawl–you probably don’t recognize the name. But you will in the future, if Reyne’s solo career follows the same pattern that … Continue reading James Reyne soars as a solo artist after doing the Australian Crawl

Album review: Jimmy Barnes, Freight Train Heart (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1988 By Steve Newton It looks like this transplanted Aussie, the former lead singer for Cold Chisel, has what it takes to make it big in the rock world. First off, he’s got a super rock and roll voice–gritty and powerful, not unlike John Fogerty’s. He’s got … Continue reading Album review: Jimmy Barnes, Freight Train Heart (1988)

Midnight Oil proves itself a kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll band that counts on the Diesel and Dust tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 29, 1988 By Steve Newton At Midnight Oil’s press conference the day of their April 22 show the band’s drummer (and one of the major songwriters) Rob Hirst was asked about the group’s preoccupation with political themes. Hirst acknowledged the political side of the band, but also pointed out … Continue reading Midnight Oil proves itself a kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll band that counts on the Diesel and Dust tour

Pseudo Echo rises from Down Under to turn North America into “Funkytown”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 11, 1987 By Steve Newton They say that rock ‘n’ roll is a young man’s game, although the number of aging rock stars raking in big bucks today makes you wonder. Still, there are always some fine young whipper-snappers whose youthfulness comes through in the freshness and vitality of their … Continue reading Pseudo Echo rises from Down Under to turn North America into “Funkytown”

That time J.J. Cale told me that any help I could give him, he’d appreciate

By Steve Newton I realize I’ve mentioned it before–maybe more than once–but holy crap do I love J.J. Cale. He left us in 2013, but my fondness for the guy hasn’t dwindled at all since he shuffled off this mortal coil. He was the personification of laidback cool–not to mention criminally underrated guitar prowess. My … Continue reading That time J.J. Cale told me that any help I could give him, he’d appreciate

Roy Buchanan on turning down the Rolling Stones, loving Van Halen, and being flattered by Jeff Beck

me ‘n Roy backstage at the Pump, February 10, 1986 ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 7, 1986 By Steve Newton Not many guitarists can say they were invited to join the Rolling Stones. Not many can say they turned the offer down either. But Roy Buchanan–quite possibly the best white blues guitarist in … Continue reading Roy Buchanan on turning down the Rolling Stones, loving Van Halen, and being flattered by Jeff Beck

The Hoodoo Gurus’ Dave Faulkner on junk culture, Aussie rockers, and Mars Needs Guitars!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 29, 1985 By Steve Newton One of the wildest rock and roll sounds to come up from Down Under recently is that of the Hoodoo Gurus. Just last year the Aussie foursome released their debut album, Stoneage Romeos, a thoroughly rocking blend of pop/punk, Merseybeat, and psychedelia–all slapped … Continue reading The Hoodoo Gurus’ Dave Faulkner on junk culture, Aussie rockers, and Mars Needs Guitars!

Chickenfoot guitarist Joe Satriani was into Humble Pie as a kid, missed out on Montrose

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 13, 2009 By Steve Newton Any self-respecting rock-guitar freak has at least a couple of Joe Satriani CDs in his or her collection. The Bay Area musician has been steadily churning out adventurous, technically boggling instrumental albums since blasting onto the six-string scene in 1986 with Not of This Earth. … Continue reading Chickenfoot guitarist Joe Satriani was into Humble Pie as a kid, missed out on Montrose

That time Guthrie Govan told me that the Aristocrats recreated Eddie Van Halen’s echo from Fair Warning at L.A.’s Sunset Sound

By Steve Newton In 2015 I interviewed Guthrie Govan of the Aristocrats for the Georgia Straight newspaper, but there wasn’t enough room in that issue to include all the cool shit the guitar genius had to say to me. So I banged out one blog on the influence of Joe Satriani and Zal Cleminson, and … Continue reading That time Guthrie Govan told me that the Aristocrats recreated Eddie Van Halen’s echo from Fair Warning at L.A.’s Sunset Sound