That time Steve Stevens told me that he thought Sweet’s “Action” was a Queen song

By Steve Newton I was a pretty big Billy Idol fan back in the ’80s, around the Rebel Yell period, but my attraction to his music had as much to do with his guitarist and cosongwriter as the sneering blonde rocker himself. I thought Steve Stevens was a wicked picker who had his own unique … Continue reading That time Steve Stevens told me that he thought Sweet’s “Action” was a Queen song

That time Geoff Tate told me that making Queensrÿche’s prog-metal masterpiece, Operation: Mindcrime, was a “magical” experience

By Steve Newton Queensrÿche’s Operation: Mindcrime is one of my favourite progressive hard-rock albums of all time. It’s right up there with Rush’s best work, if you ask me. When I did my first interview with Queensrÿche frontman Geoff Tate back in 1991 the band was touring behind its hit Empire album, but playing Mindcrime … Continue reading That time Geoff Tate told me that making Queensrÿche’s prog-metal masterpiece, Operation: Mindcrime, was a “magical” experience

That time I asked Brian May of Queen about that scene in Wayne’s World with “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the car

By Steve Newton I loved Queen in the seventies. When that first album came out in 1973 it was in a steady battle for time on my turntable with other ’73 debuts by Aerosmith, Skynyrd, Montrose, and Trower. I clearly remember playing it on my parents’ living-room stereo (before I got my own) and being … Continue reading That time I asked Brian May of Queen about that scene in Wayne’s World with “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the car

Album review: Various Artists, Dragon Attack: A Tribute to Queen (1997)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 5, 1997 By Steve Newton The folks behind previous Jeff Beck, Ace Frehley, and Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute CDs deliver a fourth laudatory project, which pays its respects to the estimable Queen catalogue while allowing an all-star lineup of hard-rock guitarists to get their fret-hopping jollies. The list … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, Dragon Attack: A Tribute to Queen (1997)

Album review: Queen, Queen at the BBC (1995)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 23, 1995 By Steve Newton Recorded in February and December of 1973—half before and half after the release of Queen’s self-titled debut album—Queen at the BBC is an intriguing document of the Brit supergroup’s earliest material, which is certainly some of its best. (The band went downhill, … Continue reading Album review: Queen, Queen at the BBC (1995)

Album review: Queensrÿche, Empire (1990)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 4, 1990 By Steve Newton It looks like studio giant Little Mountain Sound might be getting a wee bit of local competition as far as attracting the world’s best bands to this city is concerned. Vancouver Studios was the locale that Seattle hard-rockers Queensryche chose to record their … Continue reading Album review: Queensrÿche, Empire (1990)

Former Metal Queen Lee Aaron says you can’t build a career on a pretty face

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 24, 1991 By Steve Newton Although Toronto’s Lee Aaron has been a fixture on the Canadian music scene since the early ’80s, her first taste of substantial commercial success didn’t come until her 1990 album, Bodyrock. It’s been a long road, but the 29-year-old singer—who plays 86 Street … Continue reading Former Metal Queen Lee Aaron says you can’t build a career on a pretty face

Telecaster queen Sue Foley didn’t pick up a guitar to get chicks–or even guys, for that matter

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 2, 1992 By Steve Newton Talk about the harried, high-pressure life of a travelling blueswoman! In her Phoenix, Arizona hotel room, Sue Foley is getting it from all sides. It’s check-out time, and room service is banging on the door; she’s playing Tucson that night, and her fellow … Continue reading Telecaster queen Sue Foley didn’t pick up a guitar to get chicks–or even guys, for that matter

Queen guitarist Brian May doesn’t have much interest in doing “virtuoso stuff”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 25, 1993 By Steve Newton Ever since Wayne’s World came out, I’ve been considering legal action against writer/star Mike Myers. You know that scene where Wayne and Garth are driving around with their buddies in a purple Pinto, singing along and banging their heads to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”? … Continue reading Queen guitarist Brian May doesn’t have much interest in doing “virtuoso stuff”

That time I asked Leslie West about the awesome cowbell on Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen”

By Steve Newton Check out this snapshot of five teenagers on summer vacation in the mid-’70s: That’s me and some buddies from Chilliwack Senior High School, class of 1975, one our way up to the annual piss-up-and-puke-off in the interior of British Columbia, Canada. (I’m the geeky one with the fingers in my face, if … Continue reading That time I asked Leslie West about the awesome cowbell on Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen”

Queen box set out today captures the legendary rockers live in ’75

By Steve Newton Queen freaks who couldn’t quite afford the massive Queen Studio Collection that was released a couple of months ago should know that the legendary British rockers are issuing another box set today (December 18), one that is aimed at fans who adored the band in its mid-’70s, long-hair-on-Mercury heyday. A Night at the Odeon captures … Continue reading Queen box set out today captures the legendary rockers live in ’75

The ultimate Queen fan and vinyl freak just creamed his or her jeans

By Steve Newton There’s been some pretty freakin’ sweet deluxe-edition vinyl box sets released in the last little while, especially if you’re a ’70s-rock fanatic. That John Lennon package from last April–with all his solo albums on LP–was a real treat for Lennon aficianados. And the Roxy Music collection that came out the month before that was a godsend … Continue reading The ultimate Queen fan and vinyl freak just creamed his or her jeans

Comeback queen Tina Turner gives Vancouver “a big kiss” on her Private Dancer tour

mila geran photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 4, 1985 By Steve Newton Tina Turner gave the crowd at the Coliseum last Saturday (September 28) “a big kiss” for supporting the “comeback” that culminated with her 1984 Private Dancer going six-times platinum in Canada. And she thanked them by playing–with the exception of … Continue reading Comeback queen Tina Turner gives Vancouver “a big kiss” on her Private Dancer tour

Koko Taylor, Queen of the Blues, says Willie Dixon was her right arm

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 25, 2003 By Steve Newton When Koko Taylor was a youngster, living with her poverty-stricken family on a sharecropper’s farm in Tennessee, she used to find joy in her meagre existence through the music B. B. King liked to play. It wasn’t King’s own soulful blues that caught … Continue reading Koko Taylor, Queen of the Blues, says Willie Dixon was her right arm

Sorry mulletheads, the only decent April Wine song is “Sign of the Gypsy Queen”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 24, 2001 By Steve Newton Back in high school in the mid-’70s, I knew a lot of people who were big April Wine fans. Heck, even now I know a lot of people who are big April Wine fans. I try to avoid them, but they’re everywhere! You … Continue reading Sorry mulletheads, the only decent April Wine song is “Sign of the Gypsy Queen”

Queensrÿche’s Geoff Tate give kudos to Maiden, Priest, and Sabbath (with Dio)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 14, 2000 By Steve Newton At the big metal show slated for the Pacific Coliseum on Wednesday (September 20), Seattle hard-rockers Queensrÿche will perform between openers Halford—featuring former Judas Priest screamer Rob Halford—and headliners Iron Maiden. You could say that it’s a return to the band’s roots, somewhat, … Continue reading Queensrÿche’s Geoff Tate give kudos to Maiden, Priest, and Sabbath (with Dio)

There’s plenty of room to keep your weed in the Queen box if you toss the two duds

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 17, 1998 By Steve Newton Don’t let the oversized imitation-velvet box fool you—this cheaply designed collection is nothing more than a digitally remastered reissue of the band’s first eight studio albums. Unlike in most boxed sets, there’s nothing previously unreleased here, nothing rare, nothing live. Instead of paying … Continue reading There’s plenty of room to keep your weed in the Queen box if you toss the two duds

Queen guitarist Brian May blows the Newt away in Vancouver

photos by “Jet” Sutherland ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 26, 2014 By Steve Newton Freddie Mercury is a hard act to follow, there’s no doubt about that. The Queen frontman possessed one of the greatest voices in rock, and anyone who’s seen him live at his peak in the seventies can testify that he was … Continue reading Queen guitarist Brian May blows the Newt away in Vancouver

Fans of early Queen will flip for Live at the Rainbow ’74

By Steve Newton I f***in’ love early Queen. That crazy guitar tone Brian May had on the band’s self-titled 1973 debut album was unlike anything I’d ever heard before. It kinda freaked me out, in a wonderful way. The fantasy elements and heavy prog stylings of the 1974 Queen 2 concept album also won me over big time, and … Continue reading Fans of early Queen will flip for Live at the Rainbow ’74

Queensryche’s Geoff Tate praises the “real musicians” of prog-rock

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 19, 1991 By Steve Newton When it comes to progressive rock bands from the ’70s, there’s no middle ground—people either love ’em or hate ’em. Fans of groups like Yes, King Crimson, and Genesis point to the musical skill involved in performing the tunes; detractors tend to cite … Continue reading Queensryche’s Geoff Tate praises the “real musicians” of prog-rock

Queen City Kids reunite to conjure that ’80s prairie-rock vibe

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 28, 1991 By Steve Newton John Donnelly likes to rock. But between producing things like Band Warz, Guitar Warz, and Vocal Warz for the PromoCo arm of Feldman and Associates, the 33-year-old father of two doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to steal the spotlight. That’ll all change … Continue reading Queen City Kids reunite to conjure that ’80s prairie-rock vibe

Horror review: Queen of the Damned

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 28, 2002 Awesome vampire flicks are hard to find. The last one that really blew me away was Near Dark, and that was way back in ’87. In the case of contemporary big-budget efforts, Bram Stoker’s Dracula was too grandiose for my tastes, and the pretty-boy adaptation of … Continue reading Horror review: Queen of the Damned

Queensryche guitarist Michael Wilton does double duty in Soulbender

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 12, 2004 By Steve Newton Local metal legend Devin Townsend will be the main attraction when his eponymous hardcore group headlines the Showroom Cabaret on Saturday (August 14), but the headbangers in the crowd who get there early enough to see opening act Soulbender might recognize a few other well-respected … Continue reading Queensryche guitarist Michael Wilton does double duty in Soulbender

Queensryche resurrects prog-metal storytelling

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 30, 2004 By Steve Newton The 1980s aren’t generally regarded as great years for hard rock, thanks mainly to the scores of hair-farmer bands that–capitalizing on the then-new music-video craze–made headbands, spandex, and bright-red leather jackets a common sight. Queensryche spent its fair share of time at the hairdresser’s, but … Continue reading Queensryche resurrects prog-metal storytelling

Roger Taylor says Queen hooked up with Paul Rodgers by accident

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 6, 2006 By Steve Newton Chilliwack was the perfect place for a rock-crazed teenager to grow up during the ’70s. Not only could you crank “Free Bird” at full blast without fear of recrimination, but the big-city destination of Hastings and Renfrew was only an hour away. Whether it was … Continue reading Roger Taylor says Queen hooked up with Paul Rodgers by accident

Queen and Paul Rodgers rock Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 20, 2006 What an awesome heavy-metal band Queen used to be. What, you didn’t know Queen used to be an awesome heavy-metal band? Maybe it’s not common knowledge. It guess it helps if you were a hard rock-crazed, Circus-reading teen back in ’73 when the British quartet’s self-titled debut LP … Continue reading Queen and Paul Rodgers rock Vancouver

The Blasters’ Phil Alvin on the roots of rock, the Sex Pistols, and Queen

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 10, 2013 By Steve Newton Thirty years ago today–on March 10, 1983–the Blasters played the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. Maybe you were there? The group–then composed of singer-guitarist Phil Alvin, his younger brother Dave Alvin on lead guitar, pianist Gene Taylor, bassist John Bazz, and drummer Bill Bateman–was in its … Continue reading The Blasters’ Phil Alvin on the roots of rock, the Sex Pistols, and Queen