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 recently released 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 … 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

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

That time Kim Simmonds told me that Eric Clapton was the greatest white blues guitar player he’d ever seen

By Steve Newton I was a huge Foghat fan in the seventies. I couldn’t get enough of their hard-driving boogie-blues on albums like Energized and Rock and Roll Outlaws. When I learned that most of their original members had come from a band called Savoy Brown I went and checked them out as well, and … Continue reading That time Kim Simmonds told me that Eric Clapton was the greatest white blues guitar player he’d ever seen

That time Joe Satriani told me how an unsolicited Mastercard application got Not of This Earth off the ground

By Steve Newton You know how you’re always getting those unsolicited credit-card applications in the mail? The ones that say “Dear [insert your name here]. You’ve been approved for a shitload of money, so just sign up here.” Well, Joe Satriani got one of those once, and it turned out to be exactly what he … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me how an unsolicited Mastercard application got Not of This Earth off the ground

That time I asked Alex Van Halen what the best thing was about being in Van Halen

By Steve Newton Here’s the last excerpt I’m gonna post from my 1995 interview with Alex Van Halen. I’d like to thank author Greg Renoff for his help in getting these audio clips to the hardcore Van Halen fans. I highly recommend his book Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved … Continue reading That time I asked Alex Van Halen what the best thing was about being in Van Halen

That time Tom Cochrane railed against the “trendy bullshit” in pop music after Red Rider released Neruda

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Canadian rocker Tom Cochrane half a dozen times over the years. I was a fan long before he hit it big with “Life is a Highway” in 1991. The first time we talked was in April of 1983, three months after the release of Red Rider’s fine Neruda album, the … Continue reading That time Tom Cochrane railed against the “trendy bullshit” in pop music after Red Rider released Neruda

That time Roger Glover told me that he felt very bitter towards Deep Purple’s Mark III lineup, didn’t like Burn much

By Steve Newton Deep Purple is one of my all-time favourite bands. As a teenager in the seventies I grew up on albums like Fireball, Made in Japan, and Burn. Forget Clapton: Ritchie Blackmore was God in my books. So it was cool when, while still in my 20s, I got to interview Purple bassist … Continue reading That time Roger Glover told me that he felt very bitter towards Deep Purple’s Mark III lineup, didn’t like Burn much

That time I asked Taj Mahal which blues artists were making him smile lately

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed American blues great Taj Mahal (real name Henry Saint Clair Fredericks) a couple of times. The first time was back in November of 2001, before he headed to Vancouver for a solo acoustic show at the historic Commodore Ballroom. At one point in the conversation I asked the 59-year-old Grammy-winner … Continue reading That time I asked Taj Mahal which blues artists were making him smile lately

That time I asked Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready what he thought was so great about Neil Young

By Steve Newton I like Pearl Jam a lot. And I really love Neil Young. So when those two got together for the Mirror Ball album back in 1995 I was in hog heaven. I would listen to my favourite track, “I’m the Ocean”, over and over again. When I interviewed Pearl Jam guitarist Mike … Continue reading That time I asked Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready what he thought was so great about Neil Young

That time Steve Vai told me that his body language changes a lot when he’s playing rock ‘n’ roll

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Steve Vai, back in May of 1990, he had just released his sophomore solo album, Passion and Warfare, a technically dazzling instrumental guitar opus. At the same time, he was also touring with Whitesnake, whose straightforward, radio-friendly rock tunes were not nearly as challenging to … Continue reading That time Steve Vai told me that his body language changes a lot when he’s playing rock ‘n’ roll

That time I asked veteran studio ace David Lindley what his favourite recording session had been

By Steve Newton David Lindley is widely hailed as one of the finest players of stringed instruments in the world. As well as acoustic and electric guitar, he’s been known to handle upright and electric bass, banjo, lap steel guitar, mandolin, hardingfele, bouzouki, cittern, bağlama, gumbus, charango, cümbüş, and zither. When I interviewed him back … Continue reading That time I asked veteran studio ace David Lindley what his favourite recording session had been

That time Megadeth’s Marty Friedman told me about the satanic bonfires in Dallas on the Clash of the Titans tour

By Steve Newton Megadeth has featured some wicked guitar players over the years, but arguably non wickeder than Marty Friedman, who did his thing on killer albums like Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia. When I called Friedman up in May of 1991 he was in El Paso, Texas, where Megadeth was playing as part of … Continue reading That time Megadeth’s Marty Friedman told me about the satanic bonfires in Dallas on the Clash of the Titans tour

That time Joe Satriani told me that Jeff Beck’s Blow By Blow was just the kind of music his generation wanted to hear

By Steve Newton Man, was 1975 the best year for guitar-based rock or what? That’s the year I graduated high school, and spent countless hours cramming my head with riffs from LPs like Thin Lizzy‘s Fighting, Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti, Bad Company‘s Straight Shooter, Heart‘s Dreamboat Annie, and the self-titled debuts by Ian Hunter, the … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me that Jeff Beck’s Blow By Blow was just the kind of music his generation wanted to hear

That time I asked legendary tunesmith John Hiatt if writing songs came easy for him or if it’s always been hard

ron baker photo/wikipedia By Steve Newton John Hiatt has written some of my favourite tunes. Sometimes he records them himself (“Paper Thin”, “Tennessee Plates”, “Perfectly Good Guitar”), sometimes people like Jeff Healey (“Confidence Man”) and Bonnie Raitt (“Thing Called Love”) cover them. It was a real honour to chat with a legendary songwriter of John … Continue reading That time I asked legendary tunesmith John Hiatt if writing songs came easy for him or if it’s always been hard

AC/DC’s undying influence on Vancouver rockers, record-store owners, and radio personalities

ORIGINALLY POSTED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 19, 2001 By Steve Newton The members of AC/DC aren’t doing any interviews in advance of their two shows at the Pacific Coliseum on Sunday and Monday (April 22 and 23), but that’s okay, because if they were, they’d probably just want to talk about their latest album, Stiff Upper Lip. … Continue reading AC/DC’s undying influence on Vancouver rockers, record-store owners, and radio personalities

That time Justin Townes Earle told me that it was Jason Isbell’s songs that made him a big Drive-By Truckers fan

By Steve Newton Very sad to hear the news tonight of the passing of Americana artist Justin Townes Earle. He was a helluva singer-songwriter. I only got to interview him once, back in May of 2009, when he was touring behind his third album, Midnight Movies. Having interviewed his father Steve Earle numerous times, I … Continue reading That time Justin Townes Earle told me that it was Jason Isbell’s songs that made him a big Drive-By Truckers fan

That time Alex Van Halen told me that the first drummer who really blew him away style-wise was Ginger Baker

By Steve Newton Everybody has their favourite all-time rock drummer. Mine, for example, was the Who’s Keith Moon, who won me over forever with his frenzied work on Quadrophenia. Many others point to the precise timekeeping of Led Zeppelin skinbasher John Bonham. When I interviewed Alex Van Halen back in 1995 he told me that Moon … Continue reading That time Alex Van Halen told me that the first drummer who really blew him away style-wise was Ginger Baker