Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page, but Mick Fleetwood says “he was the guy”

Steve Newton Sad news for music fans today. Peter Green, the British guitarist who made a name for himself with his stunning work in the Bluesbreakers and Fleetwood Mac, has passed away at the age of 73. Long before the pop-minded duo of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham put their radio-friendly stamp on Fleetwood Mac, … Continue reading Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page, but Mick Fleetwood says “he was the guy”

Mick Fleetwood says he’s more expressive with his blues band than with Fleetwood Mac

By Steve Newton Mick Fleetwood is best known as the drummer for one of history’s most popular recording acts, Fleetwood Mac. But eight years before that band became the multiplatinum voice of mid-’70s pop, it was a gritty blues-rock outfit led by a stunning guitarist by the name of Peter Green. So when Fleetwood calls … Continue reading Mick Fleetwood says he’s more expressive with his blues band than with Fleetwood Mac

That time Mick Fleetwood told me that Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page

By Steve Newton Legendary drummer Mick Fleetwood called me up a couple days ago to plug his upcoming gig at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, and I made sure to ask him all about his long-ago bandmate Peter Green. Fleetwood’s current outfit, the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, is performing several Green-penned songs from the early … Continue reading That time Mick Fleetwood told me that Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page

Mick Fleetwood recalls the “powerful vibe” of Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 9, 1997 By Steve Newton Like some 25 million other folks, I own a copy of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. I purchased my vinyl version when it was released in 1977, and when I pulled it out the other day to see if I was ready to turn it … Continue reading Mick Fleetwood recalls the “powerful vibe” of Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac

Peter Green’s masterful guitarwork lights up vinyl release of unearthed Fleetwood Mac live and demo tracks

By Steve Newton The blues-guitar world lost one of its finest practitioners last month when Peter Green passed away at the age of 73. But hardcore Greeny fans can take some solace in the fact that a new collection of previously unreleased recordings, Fleetwood Mac Before the Beginning Vol 2: Live & Demo Sessions 1970, … Continue reading Peter Green’s masterful guitarwork lights up vinyl release of unearthed Fleetwood Mac live and demo tracks

That time Mick Mars told me that I might have to listen harder to hear the sex and violence on the Crue’s Theatre of Pain

By Steve Newton Back in November of 1985 I interviewed Motley Crue’s Mick Mars at a Vancouver hotel before the band performed on its Theatre of Pain tour. If anybody can remember that far back they may recall that that was the same month that the RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) agreed to put … Continue reading That time Mick Mars told me that I might have to listen harder to hear the sex and violence on the Crue’s Theatre of Pain

That time Mick Mars told me that Yngwie Malmsteen could be the world’s best guitarist if he’d just change his attitude

By Steve Newton Back in November of 1985 I interviewed Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars the same day his band played Vancouver on its Theatre of Pain tour. At one point in the conversation we were talking fave guitar players–his (and mine) being Jeff Beck–and I asked him how he felt about the new superstars … Continue reading That time Mick Mars told me that Yngwie Malmsteen could be the world’s best guitarist if he’d just change his attitude

That time I asked Mick Mars if Mötley Crüe were softening on Theatre of Pain, then added that I liked their debut album best

By Steve Newton Way the hell back in November of 1985 I interviewed Mick Mars at his Vancouver hotel before a show on Mötley Crüe’s Theatre of Pain tour. I was quite the little metalhead back then, and I liked my tunes with a bit of bite, so at one point in the conversation I … Continue reading That time I asked Mick Mars if Mötley Crüe were softening on Theatre of Pain, then added that I liked their debut album best

That time Mick Ronson told me he was a rocker, as if I didn’t know

By Steve Newton I watched that documentary on Mick Ronson, Beside Bowie, the other day, and it inspired me to digitize another snippet off my first interview with Ronno, from 1988. You’re welcome, fellow Ronson freaks! The conversation happened on September 9, ’88, in advance of a show by the Hunter-Ronson Band at Vancouver’s 86 … Continue reading That time Mick Ronson told me he was a rocker, as if I didn’t know

That time I called up Mick Ronson and asked what he’d been doin’ the last few years

By Steve Newton I’ve got a lotta guitar heroes, and as a rock journalist for 35 years now, I’ve managed to interview quite a few. One of my all-time faves has to be Mick Ronson. I’ve been crazy about him since I heard my first David Bowie album, Aladdin Sane, back in April of ’73. … Continue reading That time I called up Mick Ronson and asked what he’d been doin’ the last few years

Motley Crue’s Mick Mars in 1985: “Without groupies, I probably wouldn’t have been a musician.”

mila geran photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 29, 1985 By Steve Newton Outside the hotel a huge tour bus sits, the dust on its sides inscribed with messages like “The Crue Rules”, “I Love You Vince”, and, strangely enough, “KISS”. Inside the lobby, a gaggle of pubescent females are trying to weasel … Continue reading Motley Crue’s Mick Mars in 1985: “Without groupies, I probably wouldn’t have been a musician.”

The greatest guitar solo of all time: Mick Ronson on Ian Hunter’s “Once Bitten Twice Shy”

By Steve Newton I’ve heard a lotta amazing guitar solos in my life, but today I decided to just go ahead and pick the greatest one of all time. I’m goin’ with Mick Ronson‘s 30-second blast on Ian Hunter’s classic boogie number “Once Bitten Twice Shy”. It’s not because that’s the best rock song of 1975–the year I graduated … Continue reading The greatest guitar solo of all time: Mick Ronson on Ian Hunter’s “Once Bitten Twice Shy”

Fleetwood Mac brings one helluva drum sound to Vancouver

By Steve Newton Fleetwood Mac must really love Vancouver. The Anglo-American pop greats played Rogers Arena less than five months ago, on November 18, before returning for last night’s gig at the same venue. Apparently the feeling is mutual, because hordes of Vancouverites were willing to drop $199 (plus service charges and fees) for the … Continue reading Fleetwood Mac brings one helluva drum sound to Vancouver

Bob Rock gets the Payola$ back together for a Mick Ronson-inspired raveup in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 20, 1994 By Steve Newton Ya gotta like that Bob Rock guy. When he gets tired of producing platinum-plus CDs for bands like Metallica and Mötley Crüe, he forms his own group, Rockhead, and gets back to his ’70s-rock roots with melodic, radio-friendly sing-along tunes such as “Bed … Continue reading Bob Rock gets the Payola$ back together for a Mick Ronson-inspired raveup in Vancouver

That time Robert Randolph told me that he was inspired by the passion and soul of Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton Back in April of 2003 I did my first interview with pedal-steel virtuoso Robert Randolph, who was just 24 at the time. At one point in the conversation I asked him about the time five years earlier when somebody gave him a tape of Stevie Ray Vaughan, which made a huge impression … Continue reading That time Robert Randolph told me that he was inspired by the passion and soul of Stevie Ray Vaughan

That time the B-52s’ Keith Strickland told me that Lux Interior of the Cramps suggested “Rock Lobster” as their first single

By Steve Newton Back in March of 2008 I interviewed B-52s guitarist and founding member Keith Strickland. Strickland had taken over on lead guitar after the 1985 AIDS death of Ricky Wilson, but originally he was the band’s drummer. That’s him pounding away on “Rock Lobster”, the decidedly kooky debut single that brought the band … Continue reading That time the B-52s’ Keith Strickland told me that Lux Interior of the Cramps suggested “Rock Lobster” as their first single

That time David Johansen of the New York Dolls told me my son was gonna need a shrink

By Steve Newton When I heard the sad news that original New York Dolls guitarist Syl Sylvain had died of cancer three days ago, it made me remember how much I adored the Dolls as a teenager in the seventies. It also got me thinking about any New York Dolls interviews I might have done … Continue reading That time David Johansen of the New York Dolls told me my son was gonna need a shrink

AC/DC dropped fake American dollar bills on its fans during the 1990-’91 Razors Edge world tour, and I’ve still got mine

By Steve Newton It’s not too often you take home a free souvenir from an AC/DC concert. Most likely you’ll be dropping $40 for a t-shirt, $25 for a tour program, and maybe seven or eight bucks for a “Have a Drink on Me” shotglass or a “Highway to Hell” keychain. Mind you, if you’re … Continue reading AC/DC dropped fake American dollar bills on its fans during the 1990-’91 Razors Edge world tour, and I’ve still got mine

That time Nathan Followill told me that the Kings of Leon didn’t know a right way or a wrong way to play rock ‘n’ roll when they started

By Steve Newton I interviewed Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill on September 19, 2003, exactly one month after the release of the band’s debut album, Youth and Young Manhood. Exactly five years after that–on September 19, 2008–the band released its fourth album, Only by the Night, which spawned the hit single “Sex on Fire” … Continue reading That time Nathan Followill told me that the Kings of Leon didn’t know a right way or a wrong way to play rock ‘n’ roll when they started

That time I asked Leslie West if he was excited to hook up with Jack Bruce in West, Bruce & Laing

By Steve Newton Most of the music news regarding the passing last month of guitar legend Leslie West has focused on his work with Mountain, and justifiably so, since that band recorded timeless tracks like “Mississippi Queen” and “Nantucket Sleighride” and “Theme for an Imaginary Western”. But after Mountain produced those gems West and Mountain … Continue reading That time I asked Leslie West if he was excited to hook up with Jack Bruce in West, Bruce & Laing

That time Todd Kerns told me that AC/DC replacing Brian Johnson with Axl Rose was the most surreal thing he’d heard in a long time

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Todd Kerns a few times, because he’s one of my favourite Canadian rockers. A few years ago I actually dubbed him “The Rockingest Canadian Bass Player of the 21st Century,” partly because of his unwavering enthusiasm on stage. The title didn’t really catch on in the media, but I stand … Continue reading That time Todd Kerns told me that AC/DC replacing Brian Johnson with Axl Rose was the most surreal thing he’d heard in a long time

Ten weeks after Randy Rhoads’ death Ozzy told me that the fallen guitar hero could do anything

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Ozzy Osbourne in early June of 1982, ten weeks after his beloved guitarist, Randy Rhoads, perished in a fiery plane crash at the age of 25. No wonder he sounded bummed out. Rhoads’ place on the Diary of a Madman Tour had been taken first by … Continue reading Ten weeks after Randy Rhoads’ death Ozzy told me that the fallen guitar hero could do anything

That time Leslie West told me that Ozzy Osbourne said Mountain really turned him on to American rock

By Steve Newton If you liked Black Sabbath in the seventies, you probably liked Mountain as well. Both bands were well versed in the art of the killer riff. Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and Mountain’s Leslie West were good buddies, as West told me during an interview in 2002. He also said that Ozzy Osbourne once … Continue reading That time Leslie West told me that Ozzy Osbourne said Mountain really turned him on to American rock

That time I asked Bill Payne if Little Feat had any thoughts of calling it quits when Lowell George died

By Steve Newton Just finished watching the documentary Little Feats: The Life & Times of Lowell George on Amazon Prime and that got me thinking about that time back in August of 2002 when I interviewed Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne. Payne had cofounded the band with singer-guitarist and main songwriter Lowell George back in … Continue reading That time I asked Bill Payne if Little Feat had any thoughts of calling it quits when Lowell George died

That time Ratt’s Robbin Crosby told me that Jethro Tull winning the metal Grammy in ’89 was “bullshit’

By Steve Newton Few award presentations in the history of rock music have caused as much controversy as the one that took place at the Grammys back on February 6, 1989. That was when Jethro Tull’s Crest of a Knave album won the Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, shockingly beating out the odds-on favourite, … Continue reading That time Ratt’s Robbin Crosby told me that Jethro Tull winning the metal Grammy in ’89 was “bullshit’

Leslie West’s absence from the Rock Hall is as shocking as the exclusion of Rory, Johnny, and Link

By Steve Newton Since the news hit yesterday about the death of beloved guitar legend Leslie West, accolades have been pouring in from some of the world’s finest pickers. “Leslie’s playing and sound was just superb,” said Tony Iommi, whose band Black Sabbath used to open for West’s group Mountain. “One of the GOAT,” declared … Continue reading Leslie West’s absence from the Rock Hall is as shocking as the exclusion of Rory, Johnny, and Link

That time Joe Satriani told me that he strove for a live sound worthy of Yes, Pink Floyd, and the Grateful Dead

By Steve Newton I did the first of my eight interviews with Joe Satriani back in January of 1990, when he was touring behind his awesome Flying in a Blue Dream album. As the conversation wound down I asked him if it was tricky controlling the acoustics at some venues, playing at the volume that … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me that he strove for a live sound worthy of Yes, Pink Floyd, and the Grateful Dead