Stateside guitar frenzy: Pat Travers, Jeff Beck, Slash, Jake E. Lee & Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen!

For some reason a lotta old-school rock-guitar heroes don’t play in Vancouver. They head on up for gigs in Washington State, but then turn around and cruise back down to keep on feeding those riff-starved Americans. Are the border guards at Canada Customs really that daunting? Take Pat Travers, for instance. He’s half Canadian, but … Continue reading Stateside guitar frenzy: Pat Travers, Jeff Beck, Slash, Jake E. Lee & Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen!

Pat Travers in 1983: “I’m a good enough guitarist. We don’t need another one.”

By Steve Newton On January 21, 1983, Canadian rock-guitar hero Pat Travers played Vancouver, opening for a Joe Perry-less Aerosmith at the Pacific Coliseum. Ear of Newt was there, of course. There was no way I was gonna miss two of my fave acts from the ’70s. Besides, it was a Friday night. I don’t remember … Continue reading Pat Travers in 1983: “I’m a good enough guitarist. We don’t need another one.”

Tommy Aldridge says that doing drum clinics is better than a jab in the ass with a frozen carrot

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN MODERN DRUMMER MAGAZINE, APRIL 2002 By Steve Newton Fifty-year-old drum great Tommy Aldridge first came to prominence with ’70s Southern-rock hooligans Black Oak Arkansas, although you wouldn’t know that by visiting his current Web site. B.O.A. is only grudgingly referred to as “that band” in Aldridge’s online biography. “I had some real … Continue reading Tommy Aldridge says that doing drum clinics is better than a jab in the ass with a frozen carrot

That time Tommy Aldridge told me that Randy Rhoads was the most talented guitarist he ever played with

By Steve Newton Drum legend Tommy Aldridge has played with some of the greatest rock guitarists of all time: Gary Moore, Steve Vai, Randy Rhoads, Pat Travers, Tony MacAlpine, Scott Gorham, John Sykes. Heck, even his first band of note, Black Oak Arkansas, featured some pretty heavy-duty pickers. When I interviewed Aldridge back in 2001 … Continue reading That time Tommy Aldridge told me that Randy Rhoads was the most talented guitarist he ever played with

That time Tommy Aldridge told me why Black Oak Arkansas wasn’t mentioned in his bio

By Steve Newton When it came to hard rock drummers in the ’70s, there were a couple who particularly turned my crank. One was Cozy Powell, mainly for his work with Rainbow, and the other was Tommy Aldridge, mainly for his work with Black Oak Arkansas and the Pat Travers Band. (In the ’80s he’d … Continue reading That time Tommy Aldridge told me why Black Oak Arkansas wasn’t mentioned in his bio

Album review: Hughes/Thrall Band, Hughes/Thrall (1982)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 19, 1982 By Steve Newton The formation of the Hughes/Thrall band is somewhat of a marriage made in heaven for heavy-rock fanatics. Glenn Hughes, it will be remembered, was an essential driving force to the latter-day Deep Purple. His bass and vocal abilities highlighted the red-hot Burn and Stormbringer albums, … Continue reading Album review: Hughes/Thrall Band, Hughes/Thrall (1982)

Album review: Various Artists, A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan (1996)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 29, 1996 By Steve Newton The folks behind this latest tribute to blues-rock guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan could hardly lose when they got Vaughan’s older brother (and biggest influence) Jimmie to organize and host a one-off concert featuring Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan (1996)

The one-hit wonders behind “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” got Lemmy in their video for a bottle of vodka

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 11, 1986 By Steve Newton When Britain’s Boys Don’t Cry open for Platinum Blonde at Expo Theatre this Monday and Tuesday (July 14 and 15), it’s a sure thing that their current hit “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” will be a highlight of the set. A funky rocker … Continue reading The one-hit wonders behind “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” got Lemmy in their video for a bottle of vodka

Tommy Aldridge talks Black Oak Arkansas, Whitesnake, Ozzy, and the brilliance of Randy Rhoads

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 10, 1990 By Steve Newton After several years in the rock critic biz, it’s easy for a writer to pick up the ONNTD syndrome. That’s an affliction that occurs when you request an interview with a big-name band and the record company won’t let you talk to the … Continue reading Tommy Aldridge talks Black Oak Arkansas, Whitesnake, Ozzy, and the brilliance of Randy Rhoads

The Newt’s 300 Best Rock Albums of the 1970s

By Steve Newton You had to be there. Abraxas: Santana (“Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”, “Oye Coma Va”, “Samba Pa Ti”) 1970 A Day at the Races: Queen (“Tie Your Mother Down”, “Somebody to Love”, “Long Away”) 1976 Aerosmith: Aerosmith (“Make It”, “Dream On”, “Mama Kin”) 1973 After the Gold Rush: Neil Young (“Tell Me Why”, “Southern Man”, “When You … Continue reading The Newt’s 300 Best Rock Albums of the 1970s

From Black Oak to Thin Lizzy, Tommy Aldridge has been a monster on the kit

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 25, 2001 By Steve Newton Tommy Aldridge is one of the most recognizable hard-rock drummers in the world. His name may not be a household word along the lines of Moon or Bonham, but anyone who’s followed the careers of Pat Travers, Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, Ted Nugent, and … Continue reading From Black Oak to Thin Lizzy, Tommy Aldridge has been a monster on the kit

Meat Loaf plays Vancouver, threatens to kick 900 asses

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 8, 1989 By Steve Newton Meat Loaf was one of the most unusual rock personalities of the ’70s. First off, unlike most rock frontmen, Meat Loaf was fat–and I don’t mean just chubby–yet he’d spend a good part of his time on stage mauling sexy female vocalists like … Continue reading Meat Loaf plays Vancouver, threatens to kick 900 asses

Guitar legend Rick Derringer has soloed for everyone from Alice Cooper to Air Supply

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 22, 1999 By Steve Newton When most people hear the name Rick Derringer, they probably think of his ’70s hit “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo”, which typified the randy guitar-boogie of the free-love era. Others may remember him for “Hang On Sloopy”, the 1965 sing-along number Derringer did … Continue reading Guitar legend Rick Derringer has soloed for everyone from Alice Cooper to Air Supply

Hey guitar freaks: Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen is coming to Vancouver after all! Slash too!

Last month I did a blog about how a lot of amazing rock guitarists—Pat Travers, Jake E. Lee, Yngwie Malmsteen, Slash, et cetera—were playing Stateside gigs this year but weren’t crossing the border to bring us Canucks a taste of their wild licks. Well, over the weekend Travers played a whiskey-snortin’ gig at some place in … Continue reading Hey guitar freaks: Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen is coming to Vancouver after all! Slash too!

Mr. Big guitarist Paul Gilbert can deal with a number-one single at 25

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 19, 1992 By Steve Newton Some recording artists come off as self-absorbed types whose only musical interest involves what they’re doing. They claim not to listen to anybody else’s tunes, lest their precious art be influenced away from its predestined place in history. But sometimes you come across … Continue reading Mr. Big guitarist Paul Gilbert can deal with a number-one single at 25

Ozzy Osbourne live in ’82: midgets, executioners, and maybe a dead bat

Ozzy was so wasted that he didn’t notice Sammy Hagar was his new guitarist ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 18, 1982 By Steve Newton As anyone at his June 10 Coliseum show could have figured out, subtlety is not Ozzy Osbourne’s claim to fame. Whereas most acts open with the drawing of a … Continue reading Ozzy Osbourne live in ’82: midgets, executioners, and maybe a dead bat

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1979

Ah, 1979. According to my calculations, that was the last year of the ’70s, which was the greatest decade for guitar-based rock music ever. I’d like to thank Fender, Gibson, Marshall, and everyone else who created the instruments of my enjoyment back then. A Million Vacations: Max Webster (“Paradise Skies”, “A Million Vacations”, “Let Go … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1979

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1976

The spirit of ’76 will never falter because that’s the year Thin Lizzy put out two LPs instead of just one. Albums listed in alphabetical order according to title, otherwise Jailbreak would be right there at the top. I’ve included three song titles to help you remember how awesome the music was, and one clip to bring it … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1976