That time Brian Blush told me about the Refreshments recording the “King of the Hill” theme song

By Steve Newton The Refreshments were a great rock band from Tempe, Arizona that was around for a few years in the mid-’90s. I interviewed lead guitarist Brian Blush in October of 1997, two weeks after the release of the band’s third and final album, The Bottle & Fresh Horses. The Refreshments are perhaps best … Continue reading That time Brian Blush told me about the Refreshments recording the “King of the Hill” theme song

The Refreshments fluked out scoring the King of the Hill theme

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 9, 1997 By Steve Newton If there’s one thing that can lift my spirits on a sombre Sunday night, it’s the driving instrumental theme song of TV’s King of the Hill. I know there’s gonna be some hilarious redneck Texas humour comin’ up, and besides, it’s a damn … Continue reading The Refreshments fluked out scoring the King of the Hill theme

The Refreshments chickened out from calling themselves Pop Enema

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 27, 1996 By Steve Newton When Arizona rockers the Refreshments were starting out, they would do most anything to get a crowd interested. They used to play gigs in shower caps, water wings, and senior’s sunglasses, and give away candies and chocolate milk to first dancers. Hey, you … Continue reading The Refreshments chickened out from calling themselves Pop Enema

That time I asked Gary Moore if he’d ever write a song about “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland

By Steve Newton I did my one and only interview with Irish guitar legend Gary Moore on May 11, 1984. Five months earlier the Provisional wing of the Irish Republican Army had exploded a car bomb outside Harrods department store in central London, killing three police officers and three civilians, and injuring 90 people. (The … Continue reading That time I asked Gary Moore if he’d ever write a song about “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland

That time I asked Long John Baldry who his favourite blues people were these days and he went with Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton I did my one and only interview with blues legend Long John Baldry on September 8, 1985, shortly after he’d moved to Vancouver, where he would remain until his death 20 years later. Ten days earlier I’d gone to an incredible Vancouver concert by another blues legend, Stevie Ray Vaughan, whose third … Continue reading That time I asked Long John Baldry who his favourite blues people were these days and he went with Stevie Ray Vaughan

Dan Hartman flying high 12 years after taking his “Free Ride” with the Edgar Winter Group

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 18, 1985 By Steve Newton Dan Hartman likes to pull people’s legs. That’s why, for the video of his big 1984 hit “I Can Dream About You”, he had four black guys doing the song, singing and dancing and sliding around. The first impression is that one of … Continue reading Dan Hartman flying high 12 years after taking his “Free Ride” with the Edgar Winter Group

That time Sean Costello told me about recording with Susan Tedeschi at 17 and playing with Derek Trucks at 12

anthony pepitone photo By Steve Newton Sean Costello is one of those guitarists who blows you away with his amazing talent and then you look around and he’s gone. The fast-rising blues guitarist and singer-songwriter –who suffered from bipolar disorder–died of an overdose 16 months after I interviewed him in December of 2006. He was … Continue reading That time Sean Costello told me about recording with Susan Tedeschi at 17 and playing with Derek Trucks at 12

That time I asked Roger Hodgson why he left Supertramp anyway

By Steve Newton Like most kids growing up in the seventies who were into prog rock, I liked Supertramp. Probably not as much as my sisters did, though. They were crazy about Supertramp. I interviewed one of the band’s two main guys, singer-songwriter-guitarist Roger Hodgson, in March of 1998, long after he’d quit the group … Continue reading That time I asked Roger Hodgson why he left Supertramp anyway

That time I asked Joe Satriani why he chose Ibanez guitars instead of Strats and Les Pauls

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Joe Satriani eight times because, hey, nobody plays guitar like Satch. He’s one of a kind. The last time I interviewed him was in 2018, and the first time was way the funk back in January of 1990, when he was touring behind his stunning Flying in a Blue Dream album. … Continue reading That time I asked Joe Satriani why he chose Ibanez guitars instead of Strats and Les Pauls

That time I asked Alex Van Halen when he first figured out that Eddie had the makings of a guitar legend

By Steve Newton Everybody remembers the first time they heard Eddie Van Halen. Or they should, anyway. For me it was sometime in early ’78 when the band’s first single, “You Really Got Me”, scorched the airwaves. It was clear right away that the guy creating the six-string racket had the makings of a guitar … Continue reading That time I asked Alex Van Halen when he first figured out that Eddie had the makings of a guitar legend

That time I asked Alex Van Halen which of Van Halen’s David Lee Roth-era albums was his fave

By Steve Newton If you asked me which of Van Halen‘s David Lee Roth-era albums was my fave, I’d probably have to say the first one. I mean, that album is pretty freakin’ hard to beat. I liked Van Halen II a lot as well, but there was nothing like hearing Eddie for the first … Continue reading That time I asked Alex Van Halen which of Van Halen’s David Lee Roth-era albums was his fave

That time Stevie Ray Vaughan told me how incredibly awesome John Hammond was

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Stevie Ray Vaughan for the second and last time, in July of 1990, he was still touring behind his fourth studio album, In Step. At one point in the conversation I mentioned that the album was dedicated to John Hammond–the famed American record producer, civil rights activist, and music … Continue reading That time Stevie Ray Vaughan told me how incredibly awesome John Hammond was

Jeff Healey jams at the Yale Pub before tearing up the Town Pump with a feedback-laden “Oh Canada”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 8, 1988 By Steve Newton Jeff Healey loves to play guitar. Two long, sweat-soaked nights at the Town Pump obviously weren’t going to be enough for the blind blues ace. So he could be seen down at the Yale Saturday afternoon (July 2), taking part in the pub’s … Continue reading Jeff Healey jams at the Yale Pub before tearing up the Town Pump with a feedback-laden “Oh Canada”

Album review: Heart, Heart (1985)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 2, 1985 By Steve Newton For their ninth album–and their first on Capitol Records–Heart have utilized the talents of celebrated producer Ron Nevison (Led Zeppelin, the Who), and come up with a catchy collection of heavy-duty rock tunes and soaring ballads. The rockers take up the bulk of this … Continue reading Album review: Heart, Heart (1985)

The Tragically Hip causes traffic havoc before getting messy with a surprise gig at Vancouver’s wee Railway Club

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 20, 1995 By Steve Newton Canadian guitar-rock heroes the Tragically Hip took all of Vancouver by surprise on July 12 when they announced a last-minute concert that night at the wee Railway Club (capacity 176). When word went out over local rock station 99.3 the Fox that 75 … Continue reading The Tragically Hip causes traffic havoc before getting messy with a surprise gig at Vancouver’s wee Railway Club

Album review: Steve Morse, The Introduction (1984)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 2, 1984 By Steve Newton My choice for best instrumental rock album of the year–so far–has got to be this new release by former Dixie Dregs guitarist Steve Morse. With accompaniment from bassist Jerry Peek and drummer Rod Morgenstein, Morse unleashes some of the tastiest riffs imaginable, melding … Continue reading Album review: Steve Morse, The Introduction (1984)

Album review: Thin Lizzy, Thunder and Lightning (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 29, 1983 By Steve Newton One of the biggest disappointments in hard rock this year is the news that Thin Lizzy–after 14 years and many fine, albeit underrated albums–is calling it quits. Ever since 1974’s magical Vagabonds of the Western World, Phil Lynott and Co. have been churning … Continue reading Album review: Thin Lizzy, Thunder and Lightning (1983)

That time I asked Dickey Betts if the Allman Brothers’ new live album captured the band as well as At Fillmore East

By Steve Newton The Allman Brothers‘ At Fillmore East has long been regarded as one of the finest concert albums of all time, and you won’t get any argument from me about that. But it’s not the band’s only great live LP. Back in 1992 I did my third interview with ABB guitarist Dickey Betts, … Continue reading That time I asked Dickey Betts if the Allman Brothers’ new live album captured the band as well as At Fillmore East