That time Randy Bachman told me what it felt like when the Guess Who’s “American Woman” hit number one

By Steve Newton Canadian rock legend Randy Bachman has accomplished a helluva lot in his musical career. For one thing, how many musicians can say that they’ve reached the top in two different bands? Before Bachman-Turner Overdrive was ruling the airwaves in the mid-seventies, he’d already hit the big time with the Guess Who, whose … Continue reading That time Randy Bachman told me what it felt like when the Guess Who’s “American Woman” hit number one

That time Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman told me about creating the riff for “American Woman”

By Steve Newton Canada doesn’t seem to have an overabundance of rock-guitar heroes. Sure, you’ve got your Lenny Breau when it comes to jazz, and your Jeff Healey if you’re talkin’ blues. But when it comes to Canadian rock-guitar heroes, I can’t think of tons. Alex Lifeson, Kim Mitchell… Obviously Neil Young, but isn’t he … Continue reading That time Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman told me about creating the riff for “American Woman”

That time I called up the Guess Who’s Randy Bachman and he raved about touring with Joe Cocker

lauren marshall photo By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed at least two guitar legends who liked touring with Joe Cocker. Back in 1990 I talked to Stevie Ray Vaughan about his coheadlining tour with Cocker, and he was right into it. Then in 2001 the Guess Who was sharing a bill with the gravelly voiced Brit, … Continue reading That time I called up the Guess Who’s Randy Bachman and he raved about touring with Joe Cocker

That time I told Randy Bachman that my fave Guess Who song was “Undun”

By Steve Newton Everybody has their favourite Guess Who tune, I reckon. Some go for the riff-driven rocker “American Woman”. Others might appreciate the piano-based ballad “These Eyes”. Me, I’m an “Undun” kinda guy. When I interviewed Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman back in 2001 I told him that his jazz-tinged 1969 B-side was tops … Continue reading That time I told Randy Bachman that my fave Guess Who song was “Undun”

Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s Randy Bachman once tried paying a surprise visit to Stephen King

By Steve Newton Hardcore fans of Stephen King are aware that he used the pen name Richard Bachman for a number of his early novels because he was a huge fan of Bachman-Turner Overdrive. But not many BTO fans know that the band’s founding guitarist, Randy Bachman, once went looking for King in the horror … Continue reading Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s Randy Bachman once tried paying a surprise visit to Stephen King

Randy Bachman Revives the Spirit of BTO and the Guess Who

ORIGINALLY POSTED AT STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 25, 2009 Backstage at the Commodore after Friday’s sold-out show, Randy Bachman gazed in wonder at an undated concert photo that an autograph-seeker had brought to his dressing room. It pictured Bachman jamming with Elvin Bishop and Steve Miller sometime during the ’70s. “I bet that was at the Cave!,” … Continue reading Randy Bachman Revives the Spirit of BTO and the Guess Who

Ten weeks after Randy Rhoads’ death Ozzy told me that the fallen guitar hero could do anything

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Ozzy Osbourne in early June of 1982, ten weeks after his beloved guitarist, Randy Rhoads, perished in a fiery plane crash at the age of 25. No wonder he sounded bummed out. Rhoads’ place on the Diary of a Madman Tour had been taken first by … Continue reading Ten weeks after Randy Rhoads’ death Ozzy told me that the fallen guitar hero could do anything

That time I asked Randy Hansen what he thought was so great about Hendrix when he first heard him

By Steve Newton Few guitar players have proven as influential as Jimi Hendrix. As the years go passing by, the rock legend’s influence just keeps growing and growing. Back in 2001 I interviewed Randy Hansen, the world’s best-known Hendrix tribute artist, and at one point I asked him what he thought was so great about … Continue reading That time I asked Randy Hansen what he thought was so great about Hendrix when he first heard him

That time I asked Jake E. Lee if there was much pressure taking over Randy Rhoads’ spot with Ozzy

By Steve Newton Way back in April of 1992 I interviewed Jake E. Lee in advance of a Vancouver show by his group Badlands, which was touring behind its second album, Voodoo Highway. At one point in the interview I started asking Jake about his time with Ozzy Osbourne, which led to me wondering if … Continue reading That time I asked Jake E. Lee if there was much pressure taking over Randy Rhoads’ spot with Ozzy

Bachman-Turner Overdrive gig draws comparisons to the horror of BTO freak Stephen King

photo by narking/Wikipedia ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 3, 1989 By Steve Newton In the book Kingdom of Fear, a collection of essays on the fiction of Stephen King, the top-selling horror author explained how he came up with the the pseudonym he used on novels like The Running Man and Thinner. Once … Continue reading Bachman-Turner Overdrive gig draws comparisons to the horror of BTO freak Stephen King

Album review: Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads, Tribute (1987)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 5, 1987 By Steve Newton Everybody has their favourite rock guitarists. “Hendrix,” scream some, “Jimi Hendrix rules!” “Page is king,” others argue. “Clapton is God,” says the next person. And then there are people who bow down before Jeff Beck. Me, I’m a Randy Rhoads kinda guy. I … Continue reading Album review: Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads, Tribute (1987)

Tal Bachman follows his famous father up the charts with “She’s So High”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 29, 1999 Like many Canadian music fans whose rock mentality was shaped in the ’70s, I have distinct recollections of Bachman Turner Overdrive’s heyday, when the rollicking strains of “Let It Ride” and “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” ruled the airwaves. There’s one particularly vivid memory of riding … Continue reading Tal Bachman follows his famous father up the charts with “She’s So High”

Anti-fragile Bachman Turner puts it into overdrive this spring

Less than two weeks ago, Universal Music Canada announced that it would be releasing a remastered 40th-anniversary edition of Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s best-selling album, Not Fragile, on March 18. That was great news for anyone who was a teenager back in ’74, when BTO was battling it out with the likes of Thin Lizzy, Foghat, and Blue Oyster Cult for time on … Continue reading Anti-fragile Bachman Turner puts it into overdrive this spring

Metal mayhem in the summer of ’82: scoring cover stories on Ozzy, Maiden, and Scorps

By Steve Newton Forty years ago, around this time, I was livin’ the dream–if the dream was to be a journalist specializing in heavy metal. I’d recently found work as a freelance music writer/proofreader with the Georgia Straight, a weekly Vancouver newspaper. The cool thing was, within a span of six weeks, I got to … Continue reading Metal mayhem in the summer of ’82: scoring cover stories on Ozzy, Maiden, and Scorps

Thin Lizzy: A People’s History celebrates one of the greatest rock bands of all time

By Steve Newton British author and music historian Richard Houghton just sent me an autographed copy of his new hardcover book, Thin Lizzy: A People’s History, and man does it look awesome. I haven’t read it yet, but what I can tell you is that it brings together memories of that amazing band from hundreds … Continue reading Thin Lizzy: A People’s History celebrates one of the greatest rock bands of all time

That time I asked B.B. King what advice he had for young guitar players trying to learn the blues

bev davies photo By Steve Newton Back in January of 1984 I did my first interview with B.B. King. Man, was that a thrill. He was playing a string of shows at the Plazazz Showroom in North Vancouver, and I hung out with him in his hotel room before one of the gigs. As the … Continue reading That time I asked B.B. King what advice he had for young guitar players trying to learn the blues

That time John Cougar told me that he’d much rather be known as John Mellencamp

By Steve Newton In May of 1983 I did my first interview with John Mellencamp, or at least that’s who he wanted to be. Back then the heartland rocker was still known as John Cougar, and was riding high on the breakthrough success of his latest album, American Fool, which spent nine weeks at the … Continue reading That time John Cougar told me that he’d much rather be known as John Mellencamp

That time I asked Mick Mars if Mötley Crüe made enough money for Vince Neil to pay off his deadly drunk-driving fine

By Steve Newton Back in November of 1985 I sat down with Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars for an interview before the band played Vancouver on its Theatre of Pain tour. That was just two months after Crue singer Vince Neil had been sentenced to 30 days in jail (he served 19), five years’ probation, … Continue reading That time I asked Mick Mars if Mötley Crüe made enough money for Vince Neil to pay off his deadly drunk-driving fine