A little Zeppelin goes a long way at Robert Plant’s Vancouver concert

crappy iPhone photo by the Newt By Steve Newton When I interviewed Robert Plant back in 1993, the first thing he said on the phone from New York City was that he was “pissed off” that Black Sabbath wasn’t getting back together. He was joking, though. It was more a comment on how frustrated he … Continue reading A little Zeppelin goes a long way at Robert Plant’s Vancouver concert

Album review: Robert Plant, Now and Zen (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 22, 1988 By Steve Newton You know how some albums take a while to grow on you? Well, that’s what happened with this new Plant LP. The first time I heard it I thought it was crummy, but now that I’ve listened to it a few times, I don’t really … Continue reading Album review: Robert Plant, Now and Zen (1988)

Album review: Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, No Quarter (1994)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 1, 1994 By Steve Newton It’s sort of surprising that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant would name their reunion album No Quarter, since the former Led Zeppelin member who cowrote that tune and played its haunting keyboard parts doesn’t even show up on the new disc. Perhaps, … Continue reading Album review: Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, No Quarter (1994)

That time Robert Plant assured me “young girls still whimper as I walk past”

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Robert Plant back in 1993 he was in the midst of a world tour supporting his new album Fate of Nations. I asked the 45-year-old rock god whether it had gotten easier or harder to keep up the pace of touring over the years, and he said it was … Continue reading That time Robert Plant assured me “young girls still whimper as I walk past”

That time Robert Plant told me he wasn’t “a dumb cluck who wears tight jeans and sings fast songs about women’s parts”

By Steve Newton I often wish I could have started my journalism career 10 years earlier than I did–like in 1972 instead of ’82. Then maybe I would have had the chance to pull a Cameron Crowe and interview Led Zeppelin on its 1973 North American tour or some crazy-ass shit like that. But whoa … Continue reading That time Robert Plant told me he wasn’t “a dumb cluck who wears tight jeans and sings fast songs about women’s parts”

That time Robert Plant told me he was “very very pissed off” that Black Sabbath wasn’t going to reform

By Steve Newton Now here’s a fun little soundbite I just digitized off an old cassette I had lying around from 1993. It’s an AudioMagnetics XHE 60, so good on them for making tapes that still work 23 years later. That particular tape also includes 1993 interviews with Devin Townsend, Steve Hackett of Genesis fame, … Continue reading That time Robert Plant told me he was “very very pissed off” that Black Sabbath wasn’t going to reform

Robert Plant kicks off his 1985 World Tour with a ’50s-style sock hop in Vancouver

bev davies photo By Steve Newton On June 10, 1985, Robert Plant played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. That was four days after NRBQ played the Town Pump, and for some reason I gave their club show slightly more coverage in my Night Shift column than Plant’s arena show. I guess NRBQ was just better! Anyway, here’s my … Continue reading Robert Plant kicks off his 1985 World Tour with a ’50s-style sock hop in Vancouver

Robert Plant calls Shemekia Copeland, 23, “the next Tina Turner”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 26, 2002 By Steve Newton There are a number of things that can boost an up-and-coming recording artist’s career; one of the most effective might be having Robert Plant call you “the next Tina Turner”. Blues vocalist Shemekia Copeland, 23, had no complaints when the shaggy-maned former Zepman … Continue reading Robert Plant calls Shemekia Copeland, 23, “the next Tina Turner”

Robert Plant says the Eagles are bored, Don Henley thinks Plant should keep his shirt on

It looks like there’s a bit of a feud brewing between a couple of seventies-rock heavyweights. While doing interviews to promote the upcoming release of expanded Led Zeppelin reissues, Robert Plant held fast to his opinion that the band should not reunite simply to make a shipload more money. “Do you know why the Eagles … Continue reading Robert Plant says the Eagles are bored, Don Henley thinks Plant should keep his shirt on

Robert Plant says young girls still whimper as he walks past

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 30, 1993 By Steve Newton Robert Plant is one of the best-known rock stars in the world. He’s certainly one of the best-known rock stars I’ve ever had the opportunity to chat with. So when he calls from New York and I ask him how he’s doing, the … Continue reading Robert Plant says young girls still whimper as he walks past

Robert Plant holds his own with the Black Crowes in Vancouver

ken settle photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 27, 1990 By Steve Newton Robert Plant threw me for a loop at the Coliseum last Friday (September 21). From the lacklustre sound of his latest album, Manic Nirvana, I had the impression that the 42-year-old rock legend had drifted off into boring-old-fartsville, never to … Continue reading Robert Plant holds his own with the Black Crowes in Vancouver

Nine Lives box set best suited for hardcore Robert Plant fans only

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 13, 2006 By Steve Newton Only hard-core fans of Robert Plant’s post-Zeppelin output should invest in the 10-disc Nine Lives set, which includes his nine solo albums—from 1982’s Pictures of Eleven through last year’s Mighty Rearranger—plus bonus tracks and an hourlong DVD. Nine Lives isn’t Christmas music, obviously, but that … Continue reading Nine Lives box set best suited for hardcore Robert Plant fans only

The North Mississippi Allstars bring it on home with help from Robert Plant

There’s something be said for sticking to your roots, and on their latest album, World Boogie Is Coming, the North Mississippi Allstars really do bring it on home. They went to the heart of the Mississippi hill country on tunes by such area legends as R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and Otha Turner, and cranked the authenticity … Continue reading The North Mississippi Allstars bring it on home with help from Robert Plant

Robert Plant and the Band of Joy get raw and rootsy in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 18, 2011 A few months ago, shock-rock king Alice Cooper made headlines in the music press when he complained about Robert Plant refusing to get back with Led Zeppelin. “Jimmy Page wants to do it,” griped Cooper. “John Paul Jones wants to do it. And they got [John] Bonham’s son [Jason Bonham], … Continue reading Robert Plant and the Band of Joy get raw and rootsy in Vancouver

That time I asked Robert Cray if he was surprised that Eric Clapton covered his song “Bad Influence” on August

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Robert Cray four times, ’cause I reckon he’s one of the tastiest guitarists who’s ever strapped on a Strat. This was the first time, back in January of 1996, when he was touring behind his Some Rainy Morning album. Ten years earlier Cray had gotten a bit of a boost … Continue reading That time I asked Robert Cray if he was surprised that Eric Clapton covered his song “Bad Influence” on August

That time Joe Bonamassa told me that Rolling Stone’s ranking of Robert Johnson on its 100 Greatest Guitarists list was “f***ed up”

By Steve Newton I did the second of my three interviews with American blues-rock guitar virtuoso Joe Bonamassa in December of 2011, when he was touring behind his Dust Bowl album. Shortly before our chat Rolling Stone had published its 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list, so we spent some time ridiculing that, and … Continue reading That time Joe Bonamassa told me that Rolling Stone’s ranking of Robert Johnson on its 100 Greatest Guitarists list was “f***ed up”

That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Jason Bonham back in 1989, I asked him what it was like growing up with a father who was world-famous for being the drummer in Led Zeppelin. Turns out it wasn’t that big of a deal to him. Have a listen: To hear the full … Continue reading That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Joan Jett back in 1992 she was touring behind her Notorious album, which, while not a bad album, wasn’t exactly racing up the charts. Jett explained to me that it didn’t help that the record wasn’t getting much promotional push from Sony, the major label handling distribution. Then she … Continue reading That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

By Steve Newton The best musicians always try to surround themselves with the best musicians. For Edgar Winter that wasn’t hard. When he was born he already had a big brother named Johnny waiting at home, and they would become close musical collaborators throughout their lifetimes. Another hugely talented player that Edgar hooked up with … Continue reading That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1984 I interviewed Tony Carey, who I’d been a fan of since I heard him playing keyboards on Rainbow’s colossal Rising album of 1976. At the time of our chat he was promoting his new solo album Some Tough City, which was doing well on the charts … Continue reading That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open

That time Ian Hunter told me that what sells Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter–or what doesn’t sell Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter

By Steve Newton Mott the Hoople is one of my all-time favourite bands, and Ian Hunter is one of my all-time favourite rockers. I interviewed him and Mick Ronson separately on the same day–September 9, 1988–when they were headed to Vancouver for a show in advance of recording their awesome 1989 album YUI Orta. At … Continue reading That time Ian Hunter told me that what sells Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter–or what doesn’t sell Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter

That time Alex Van Halen told me how early on he discovered the fascinating power of live music

By Steve Newton We’ve all heard the old joke before: “What do you call somebody who hangs around with musicians? A drummer.” I think it’s fair to say that drummers don’t always get the credit they deserve. I haven’t interviewed that many over the years–for the simple fact that I prefer talking to guitarists–but some … Continue reading That time Alex Van Halen told me how early on he discovered the fascinating power of live music

That time I asked Joe Satriani who his best guitar student was and he said Steve Vai caught on the quickest

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1990 I did the first of my seven interviews with Joe Satriani. At the time he was touring behind his latest album, Flying in a Blue Dream, and the buzz about him was growing fast. People were learning that he’d spent several years as a guitar instructor, teaching … Continue reading That time I asked Joe Satriani who his best guitar student was and he said Steve Vai caught on the quickest

That time I called up 22-year-old Jeff Healey and asked him about his role in the upcoming bouncer flick Roadhouse

By Steve Newton I was fortunate enough to have interviewed Canadian guitar wizard Jeff Healey three times. Man could that guy wail on the Strat! The first interview took place in June of 1988, when he was just 22, and still three months away from releasing his incredible debut album, See the Light. When I … Continue reading That time I called up 22-year-old Jeff Healey and asked him about his role in the upcoming bouncer flick Roadhouse

That time Richie Sambora told me why Bon Jovi switched producers from Bruce Fairbairn to Bob Rock

By Steve Newton Bon Jovi may have been hugely popular back in the day, but I actually enjoyed guitarist Richie Sambora’s solo debut album, Stranger in This Town, more than any Bon Jovi band release. I even preferred Sambora’s lead vocals over Jon Bon Jovi’s, especially on solo tunes like “Ballad of Youth”. So it … Continue reading That time Richie Sambora told me why Bon Jovi switched producers from Bruce Fairbairn to Bob Rock

That time 18-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd told me about meeting his idol Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Kenny Wayne Shepherd four times, ’cause I’m a sucker for folks who can play the shit out of a Strat. The first time was back in December of 1995, when he was only 18 and touring behind his platinum-selling debut album, Ledbetter Heights. At one point in the conversation I … Continue reading That time 18-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd told me about meeting his idol Stevie Ray Vaughan

That time I asked Justin Hayward if he knew the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” was special as soon as it came to him

By Steve Newton As April Wine once said, “I Like to Rock”. I like to rock as well, but once in a while a beautiful, gentle ballad is, as Ted Nugent once said, “Just What the Doctor Ordered”. But enough about April Wine and Ted Nugent. This little blog’s about a softer-rockin’, more prog-oriented band … Continue reading That time I asked Justin Hayward if he knew the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” was special as soon as it came to him