Bob Rock on the Payola$ reunion and the influence of Mick Ronson as a producer

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 27, 2003 By Steve Newton At one point during the exceptional Blackie & the Rodeo Kings show at Sonar a couple of weeks back, guitarist-vocalist and former Junkhouse member Tom Wilson casually leaned into the mike and said: “Roll out red carpet, here come China boys.” His group … Continue reading Bob Rock on the Payola$ reunion and the influence of Mick Ronson as a producer

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

The Payola$’ Paul Hyde talks coproducer Mick Ronson and rock idols Ian Hunter and Alex Harvey

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 17, 1984 By Steve Newton On the strength of their third album, Hammer on a Drum, Vancouver’s Payola$ have been nominated in nine categories of 1984’s CARAS -sponsored Tribute to West Coast Music. As well as Group of the Year and Album of the Year, the group has … Continue reading The Payola$’ Paul Hyde talks coproducer Mick Ronson and rock idols Ian Hunter and Alex Harvey

Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson on reuniting and getting lean and mean after 40: “Might even want to prove something”

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 23, 1988 By Steve Newton Whatever happened to Ian Hunter, the former leader of one of Britain’s most influential pre-punk rock bands Mott the Hoople: the corkscrew-haired singer with the ever-present shades and Cockney twang; the gifted songwriter who penned such classics as “All the … Continue reading Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson on reuniting and getting lean and mean after 40: “Might even want to prove something”

Album review: Krokus, The Blitz (1984)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 14, 1984 By Steve Newton Metal maniacs could do a lot worse than pick up the latest vinyl from Swiss headbangers Krokus. Recorded at Vancouver’ s Little Mountain Sound and engineered by Payola$ guitarist Bob Rock, The Blitz captures better than any of their previous LPs the raw fire … Continue reading Album review: Krokus, The Blitz (1984)

Rock and Hyde gets a boost from ex-Kick Axe picker “Hitman” Harvey

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 25, 1987 By Steve Newton Since the U.S. release of Rock and Hyde’s Under the Volcano nine months ago, the album has sold more copies stateside than all of the duo’s previous work put together. That’s a fair accomplishment given that Bob Rock and Paul Hyde released four albums … Continue reading Rock and Hyde gets a boost from ex-Kick Axe picker “Hitman” Harvey

Tom Cochrane talks Red Rider, soft porn, and South Africa before opening for Van Halen in 1986

we are…two wild and crazy guys! ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 10, 1986 By Steve Newton Nowadays, Tom Cochrane is flying high on the charts with “Boy Inside the Man”, the first single off the new album Tom Cochrane and Red Rider. The Toronto rocker will be playing songs from that record at … Continue reading Tom Cochrane talks Red Rider, soft porn, and South Africa before opening for Van Halen in 1986

Jim Foster gets his “Steely Dan opportunity” at Mushroom Studios in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 4, 1986 By Steve Newton Until the release of the album Power Lines, Jim Foster had not been heard from for many years. It makes one wonder whether the Alberta-raised singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist is on somewhat of a comeback. “Well gosh,” says Foster. “How can you make a comeback when … Continue reading Jim Foster gets his “Steely Dan opportunity” at Mushroom Studios in Vancouver

The Go-Go’s bring the sunny sounds of Vacation to Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 27, 1982 By Steve Newton In contrast to the denim and T-shirt crowd [for Blue Oyster Cult] at the Coliseum Sunday, miniskirts and Hawaiian patterns were the popular thing the night before (August 21) when the Go-Go’s brought their catchy brand of fun-time music up from the California … Continue reading The Go-Go’s bring the sunny sounds of Vacation to Vancouver

Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown tear it up old-school in Vancouver

By Steve Newton When I interviewed blues-rock legend Kim Simmonds last week from his home outside Syracuse, New York, he revealed that there had been a time when, during his thirties, personal problems had cost him his ability to really play guitar. Lucky for him–and the couple of hundred Savoy Brown fans crowded into the … Continue reading Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown tear it up old-school in Vancouver

Bob Rock says Metallica “never have and never will sell out”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 25, 2002 By Steve Newton What could possibly cause any sane person to willingly abandon the balmy paradise of Hawaii for the frigid climes of Vancouver in January? Well, if you’re record producer Bob Rock, your last name is reason enough. Good old riff-riddled rock is what draws … Continue reading Bob Rock says Metallica “never have and never will sell out”

Bob Rock brings his golden ears and guitars to Paul Hyde’s Living Off the Radar

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 16, 2000 Former Vancouverite Bob Rock is one of the most in-demand rock producers in the world today. The man who helped platinum acts like Metallica, Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, and the Cult move mountains of CDs now lives and works on the Hawaiian island of Maui, where … Continue reading Bob Rock brings his golden ears and guitars to Paul Hyde’s Living Off the Radar

Cult guitarist Billy Duffy says it all boils down to the Les Paul

By Steve Newton On May 31, 1989, the Cult opened for Metallica at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. A month earlier the band had released its fourth album, Sonic Temple, which wasn’t no Electric, but did boast one of my fave tunes that year–“Fire Woman”. And the album cover was definitely rockin: In advance of … Continue reading Cult guitarist Billy Duffy says it all boils down to the Les Paul

Bob Rock plays every lick he knows on Rockhead’s “dumb old hard-rock album”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 15, 1993 By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed veteran Vancouver musician and producer extraordinaire Bob Rock, he was in the middle of helming Bitter Sweet & Twisted, the new release by British blues-rockers the Quireboys. The last time we chatted, he was heavily involved in the … Continue reading Bob Rock plays every lick he knows on Rockhead’s “dumb old hard-rock album”

Star producer Bob Rock just wants to play guitar in a band

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 1991 By Steve Newton Vancouver’s Bob Rock is one of the most in-demand rock producers in the world today. The albums he’s worked on in the last few years have sold millions of copies and—in the case of Motley Crüe’s Dr. Feelgood—made it to number one in … Continue reading Star producer Bob Rock just wants to play guitar in a band

Bob Rock gets his guitar jollies at the Rock Cellar with riff-based Rockhead

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 10, 1991 By Steve Newton After producing hit records by the likes of Motley Crue, the Cult, and Metallica, Vancouver’s Bob Rock is tying on the gloves and stepping into the ring with Rockhead, his new hard-rock four-piece. The band’s been playing at various local top-40 bars, and … Continue reading Bob Rock gets his guitar jollies at the Rock Cellar with riff-based Rockhead

Mike Fraser: Langley’s master of the hard-rock mix in 1998

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 28, 1998 Yesterday I went all nutty and posted the 1998 Georgia Straight cover story I did on famed Vancouver rock producer Bruce Fairbairn. That got me thinkin’ that maybe I should post the cover story I did earlier that same year on Fairbairn’s former protege, Mike Fraser. … Continue reading Mike Fraser: Langley’s master of the hard-rock mix in 1998

James Hetfield on addiction, rehab, and channelling the anger with Metallica

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 25, 2004 By Steve Newton Reno, Nevada, isn’t the ideal place for a man battling addictions to be, but Metallica main man James Hetfield seems up to the challenge. When he calls the Straight from a tour stop in the renowned party town, the newly rehabilitated rocker makes it clear … Continue reading James Hetfield on addiction, rehab, and channelling the anger with Metallica