Popa Chubby’s badass Big Apple life informs Booty and the Beast

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 28, 1995 By Steve Newton New York City blues-rocker Popa Chubby dedicates his latest release, Booty and the Beast, “to those who play loud and refuse to turn down”. In other words, he dedicates it to himself. “Absolutely!” spouts the 300-pound singer-guitarist from his Brooklyn digs. “What I … Continue reading Popa Chubby’s badass Big Apple life informs Booty and the Beast

That time Joey Molland told me about the “crooks” that stole a ton of royalty money from Badfinger

By Steve Newton Thirty-five years ago today–on  November 26, 1987–I did an interview with Joey Molland of Badfinger. I’ve loved Badfinger ever since I first heard them doing that 1969 song that everybody thought was the Beatles, “Come and Get It”, from the film The Magic Christian. Joey Molland wasn’t in the band then, but … Continue reading That time Joey Molland told me about the “crooks” that stole a ton of royalty money from Badfinger

That time Martha Davis told me that the Motels lost 60 grand a week on their last tour

By Steve Newton I wasn’t a huge fan of new-wave music in the mid-’80s–I was too busy banging my head to Maiden and Priest and Scorps and such–but for some reason in November of 1985 I sat down with Martha Davis for an interview that was never actually published. She was promoting the Motels’ fifth … Continue reading That time Martha Davis told me that the Motels lost 60 grand a week on their last tour

That time back in ’85 when I asked Brian Vollmer if Helix were hometown heroes in Kitchener

By Steve Newton Way back in November of 1985 I interviewed Helix frontman Brian Vollmer. This was right after the band had released its fifth album, Long Way to Heaven, and were quite popular on the Canadian heavy-metal scene. Anybody remember 1983’s “Heavy Metal Love”? At one point in the conversation I asked Vollmer if … Continue reading That time back in ’85 when I asked Brian Vollmer if Helix were hometown heroes in Kitchener

That time I asked Steve Vai if he had any desire, like his buddy Satch, to try his hand at vocals

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with American guitar legend Steve Vai on May 31, 1990, eleven days after the release of his second album, Passion & Warfare–you know, the one with “For the Love of God”. Seven months earlier Vai’s former guitar teacher, Joe Satriani, had released his third album, Flying in … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Vai if he had any desire, like his buddy Satch, to try his hand at vocals

That time I asked Richard Marx if he was hoping to sell nine million copies of his followup to Repeat Offender

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Richard Marx back in November of 1991 he was one of the most popular singer-songwriters around. His self-titled 1987 debut album had sold three million copies, and his 1989 followup, Repeat Offender–the one with “Right Here Waiting”–had moved six million copies. So, doing the math, I asked him if … Continue reading That time I asked Richard Marx if he was hoping to sell nine million copies of his followup to Repeat Offender

That time 21-year-old Devin Townsend told me that he and Steve Vai give each other ulcers

Actual footage of Townsend giving Vai an ulcer By Steve Newton Back in September of 1993 I did my second interview with Canadian metal genius Devin Townsend. He was only 21 at the time, and had recently joined up with guitar virtuoso Steve Vai to record the vocals for Vai’s Sex & Religion album and … Continue reading That time 21-year-old Devin Townsend told me that he and Steve Vai give each other ulcers

That time blues legend John Mayall told me why he handles his own gear and never uses roadies

By Steve Newton I did the second of my three interviews with British blues great John Mayall back in May of 1990, when he was heading to Vancouver for a show with his band the Bluesbreakers. He was touring to promote his latest album, A Sense of Place, which featured slide-guitar ace Sonny Landreth on … Continue reading That time blues legend John Mayall told me why he handles his own gear and never uses roadies

That time back in 1985 when Roger Glover told me about the reunited Deep Purple’s first jam session

By Steve Newton I did my second interview with Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover back in March of 1985, when the band’s Mark II lineup–composed of him, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, singer Ian Gillan, keyboardist Jon Lord, and drummer Ian Paice–had reunited to record the Perfect Strangers album and embark on a sold-out world tour. At … Continue reading That time back in 1985 when Roger Glover told me about the reunited Deep Purple’s first jam session

That time I called Allan Holdsworth up to talk guitar and he just wanted to chat about beer

By Steve Newton Back in November of 1983 I did my first interview with British guitar legend Allan Holdsworth, when he was touring with his band I.O.U. His latest album at the time was the six-song EP Road Games, and one point in the conversation I asked him about the “special thanks” on the back … Continue reading That time I called Allan Holdsworth up to talk guitar and he just wanted to chat about beer

Craig Northey calls his Strippers Union cohort Rob Baker a very deep musician

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON FEB, 27, 2021 By Steve Newton There’s been some amazing double albums released in the history of rock. Looking through my vinyl stacks, I spot fine examples like the Beatles‘ White Album, the Who‘s Quadrophenia, and Led Zeppelin‘s Physical Graffiti. The new Strippers Union double album, The Undertaking, is amazing as well, … Continue reading Craig Northey calls his Strippers Union cohort Rob Baker a very deep musician

That time Greg Martin told me how the Kentucky Headhunters came to record their new song “The Ballad of Davy Crockett”

By Steve Newton I interviewed Kentucky Headhunters lead guitarist Greg Martin in April of 1991, shortly after the release of the band’s second album, Electric Barnyard. That was the one with their cover of the 1950s radio hit “The Ballad of Davy Crockett”. When I was a kid I used to run around with my … Continue reading That time Greg Martin told me how the Kentucky Headhunters came to record their new song “The Ballad of Davy Crockett”

Nazareth singer Dan McCafferty dead at 76

McCafferty, left, with Nazareth in the ’70s By Steve Newton Just had some sad news relayed to me by my nephew Jeff, the rock-loving dude you may have heard about through my backstage memories of Iron Maiden and Motley Crue. Jeff let me know that Dan McCafferty, the original vocalist for Scottish guitar-rockers Nazareth, had … Continue reading Nazareth singer Dan McCafferty dead at 76

Roy Forbes looks back on half a century in the music biz

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON OCT. 16, 2021 By Steve Newton Roy Forbes is celebrating 50 years in the music business right now, because back in 1971–18 years old and fresh out of Dawson Creek–he showed up in Vancouver to launch his career as a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. Back then, though, he was better known as … Continue reading Roy Forbes looks back on half a century in the music biz

That time Tommy Aldridge told me that they threatened to break his arms if he left Black Oak Arkansas

By Steve Newton I interviewed hard-rock drum legend Tommy Aldridge for the first time back in April of 1990, when he was touring with Whitesnake in support of their latest album, Slip of the Tongue. I’d been a fan of his ever since I first heard him in the ’70s, slamming the skins for southern-rockers … Continue reading That time Tommy Aldridge told me that they threatened to break his arms if he left Black Oak Arkansas

Anthrax to play Vancouver with Black Label Society and Exodus

By Steve Newton Hey Vancouver metalheads: get your wallets ready. American metal legends Anthrax have announced that they’re playing the PNE Forum on January 20, along with fellow Yanks Black Label Society and Exodus. Anthrax’s current lineup includes singer Joey Belladonna, lead guitarist John Donais, rhythm guitarist Scott Ian, bassist Frank Bello, and drummer Charlie … Continue reading Anthrax to play Vancouver with Black Label Society and Exodus

That time Al Stewart told me that he adored Don Henley’s latest hit, “The Boys of Summer”

By Steve Newton I first got turned on to Scottish-born singer-songwriter Al Stewart when I heard his catchy 1976 hit single “Year of the Cat”, from the LP of the same name. I bought his next album, Time Passages, and I liked that one as well. Then I went back and checked out his earlier, … Continue reading That time Al Stewart told me that he adored Don Henley’s latest hit, “The Boys of Summer”

Paul Pigat has been told that Cousin Harley are like “the Motorhead of rockabilly”

adam pw smith photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON JAN. 23, 2021 By Steve Newton When COVID-19 killed concerts last year, professional musicians who relied heavily on revenue from live shows were put in financial peril. That fact wasn’t lost on Vancouver guitar ace Paul Pigat, who normally chocks up plenty of gigs with his bands Cousin … Continue reading Paul Pigat has been told that Cousin Harley are like “the Motorhead of rockabilly”