Rainbow’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton Ritchie with Ronnie rules. 20. “Difficult to Cure” (Difficult to Cure, 1981) 19. “Still I’m Sad” (Rainbow, 1975) 18. “Rainbow Eyes” (Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, 1977) 17. “Snake Charmer” (Rainbow, 1975) 16. “Tarot Woman” (Rising, 1976) 15. “Sensitive to Light” (Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, 1977) 14. “Since You’ve Been Gone” … Continue reading Rainbow’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

Album review: Rainbow, Bent Out of Shape (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 21, 1983 By Steve Newton While not as impressive as last year’s Straight Between the Eyes, Rainbow’s new album is still likely to please old Deep Purple diehards like myself, who can’t seem to get enough of Ritchie Blackmore’s furious and fast Stratocations. “The man in black” is … Continue reading Album review: Rainbow, Bent Out of Shape (1983)

Martin Birch’s finest moments with Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Blue Öyster Cult

By Steve Newton If you’re fan of hard rock and metal you’ve no doubt already heard that Martin Birch, the preeminent producer of loud rock, passed away recently at the age of 71. I’ve interviewed my fair share of hard-rock producers, including the formerly Vancouver-based triumvirate of Bruce Fairbairn, Bob Rock, and Mike Fraser, but … Continue reading Martin Birch’s finest moments with Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Blue Öyster Cult

Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Rainbow, BTO, Steve Earle, Judas Priest, Little Feat, Todd Rundgren, and Mahogany Rush

By Steve Newton As you may aware, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame crapped the bed again yesterday, inducting the likes of Whitney Houston and Depeche Mode over nominees like Thin Lizzy, Soundgarden, Judas Priest, and the MC5. So today Newt’s Rock Hall is gonna match their six additions, and add a seventh to … Continue reading Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Rainbow, BTO, Steve Earle, Judas Priest, Little Feat, Todd Rundgren, and Mahogany Rush

Album review: Rainbow, Finyl Vinyl (1986)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 9, 1986 By Steve Newton Few things in the world of hard rock are as moving and intense as a Ritchie Blackmore solo, and this last live gasp from his band, Rainbow, sports some of The Man in Black’s wildest playing. It’s a collection of mostly live tracks recorded between … Continue reading Album review: Rainbow, Finyl Vinyl (1986)

Dance of the Rainbow Serpent features some of Carlos Santana’s finest moments on guitar

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 14, 1995 By Steve Newton Unlike the recent Tom Petty box, this three-CD package doesn’t contain enough previously unreleased material to make it a must-have, but it does feature some of Carlos Santana’s finest moments on guitar, and you know that can’t be bad. Dance of the Rainbow … Continue reading Dance of the Rainbow Serpent features some of Carlos Santana’s finest moments on guitar

That time Ronnie James Dio told me about the entity that tried to kill his wife during the recording of Rainbow’s Long Live Rock and Roll

By Steve Newton Back in 2016, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Rainbow Rising–one of the greatest metal albums of all time–I posted blogs with soundbites from interviews I did with former Rainbow members Ronnie James Dio (in 1985) and Tony Carey (in ’84). The first one I did on Carey did not go … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me about the entity that tried to kill his wife during the recording of Rainbow’s Long Live Rock and Roll

Tony Carey not happy that I blogged about his ancient issues with Rainbow

By Steve Newton Whoa! I woke up to an angry Facebook message from rocker Tony Carey this morning. Turns out the singer, songwriter, and keyboard great was none too impressed with the blog I posted yesterday, which included audio from 1984 of him denouncing his previous band, Rainbow, and in particular guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. “Why … Continue reading Tony Carey not happy that I blogged about his ancient issues with Rainbow

Tony Carey found no beauty in Rainbow: “I wouldn’t tell Ritchie Blackmore if his hair was on fire”

By Steve Newton Back in May of 1984 I did a phone interview with Tony Carey, who at the time was basking in the success of a solo career that had produced such radio-friendly hits as “A Fine, Fine Day” and “The First Day of Summer”. He’d first caught my ear as the keyboardist for … Continue reading Tony Carey found no beauty in Rainbow: “I wouldn’t tell Ritchie Blackmore if his hair was on fire”

The world’s greatest acoustic guitarist takes his fans over the rainbow in Vancouver

photos by “Honest” Todd Salive By Steve Newton “I’m not out to prove I’m the world’s greatest guitar player,” Tommy Emmanuel told me back in 1994. But if that’s the case, just what the hell did he think he was doing at the Vogue Theatre last night? The 59-year-old picker from Australia spent the majority … Continue reading The world’s greatest acoustic guitarist takes his fans over the rainbow in Vancouver

Former Elf and Rainbow bassist Craig Gruber dies of prostate cancer at 63

Rainbow 1975, L-R: Soule, Dio, Gruber, Blackmore, Driscoll By Steve Newton Craig Gruber, former bassist for ’70s rock acts Elf and Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, passed away yesterday after a battle with prostate cancer. News of Gruber’s passing was posted on the Facebook page of his former Elf bandmate, keyboardist Mickey Lee Soule: Very sad to hear of … Continue reading Former Elf and Rainbow bassist Craig Gruber dies of prostate cancer at 63

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

Tony Carey rips into Rainbow after “A Fine, Fine Day”, just before “The First Day of Summer”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 1, 1984 By Steve Newton The memories of his days in Ritchie Blackmore‘s Rainbow are not joyous ones for Tony Carey. The singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist was a member of the band for three years, and performed on the Rainbow Rising and Live on Stage albums before leaving in disgust in … Continue reading Tony Carey rips into Rainbow after “A Fine, Fine Day”, just before “The First Day of Summer”

Oh my f***ing god! Rock Hall snubs Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, and Link Wray yet again!

By Steve Newton Well, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has done it again. A few days ago the Cleveland-based institution nominated 17 bands and artists to its class of 2022, but once more just plumb forgot the three artists most deserving of immediate induction: Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, and Link Wray. Instead they … Continue reading Oh my f***ing god! Rock Hall snubs Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, and Link Wray yet again!

Aldo Nova on touring with Blue Öyster Cult, covering Coney Hatch, and the new Subject…Aldo Nova

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DECEMBER 23, 1983 By Steve Newton “It was supposed to be a post-nuclear holocaust type thing,” says Aldo Nova, referring to the initial concept idea for his latest album, Subject…Aldo Nova. Over the phone from Shreveport, Louisiana last week, Nova (his real name’s Caporuscio) outlined the proposed plan for … Continue reading Aldo Nova on touring with Blue Öyster Cult, covering Coney Hatch, and the new Subject…Aldo Nova

Album review: Sora, Desire and Truth (2010)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 27, 2010 By Steve Newton It’s been five long years since Vancouver rock vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist extraordinaire Erol Sora blew me away with his Demented Honour album, but from the sound of his new CD, Desire and Truth, he’s still Vancouver’s answer to Gary Moore. In other words, Sora knows how to … Continue reading Album review: Sora, Desire and Truth (2010)

Album review: Theory of a Deadman, Gasoline (2005)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 7, 2005 By Steve Newton Sometimes you can get an impression of just how lame a record is by simply reading the song titles. If the artist or band under review can’t even think of titles that haven’t been used before, it’s a sign of trouble. On Gasoline, … Continue reading Album review: Theory of a Deadman, Gasoline (2005)

Iron Maiden loses out to the Go-Go’s and Jay-Z as the Rock Hall’s head plunges even further up its ass

By Steve Newton Iron Maiden are one helluva rock band. If they weren’t I wouldn’t have interviewed them six times. But those inept turdballs down at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame seem to think that a group like the Go-Go’s–who put out three studio albums in their heyday and another one 17 years … Continue reading Iron Maiden loses out to the Go-Go’s and Jay-Z as the Rock Hall’s head plunges even further up its ass