Robert Plant keyboardist Phil Johnstone says they don’t do “Stairway to Heaven”

Johnstone on the left, Plant on the right. ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON JUNE 17, 1988 By Steve Newton Let’s say you’re a songwriter with a whole bunch of tunes you want the world to hear. You’re not sure who to send them to, but you figure “What the hell”, and mail a bunch of them off … Continue reading Robert Plant keyboardist Phil Johnstone says they don’t do “Stairway to Heaven”

Album review: Robert Plant/Alison Krauss, Raising Sand (2007)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 18, 2007 By Steve Newton You may be wondering what Led Zeppelin‘s grizzled old blues-metal crooner was doing making a collaborative CD with a country-roots superstar. Was Robert Plant hanging out with Alison Krauss so she would play fiddle on the newfangled Cajun version of “Stairway to Heaven” … Continue reading Album review: Robert Plant/Alison Krauss, Raising Sand (2007)

Rolling Stone shockingly omits Phil Lynott from its Top 200 singers list. And Paul Rodgers too!

By Steve Newton I’ve just been watching the TV news, and apparently there’s quite an uproar among Celine Dion fans because she wasn’t included in Rolling Stone‘s new list of “The 200 Greatest Singers of All Time.” Well, here’s another uproar for ya: why the hell isn’t Phil Lynott’s name on the list? You know, … Continue reading Rolling Stone shockingly omits Phil Lynott from its Top 200 singers list. And Paul Rodgers too!

Buckwheat Zydeco says everybody has a different vibration, man

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 23, 2002 By Steve Newton You’ll rarely find Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural, Jr. without his trusty Hohner accordion—or the mile-wide grin that comes whenever he plays it. But the 54-year-old musician wasn’t always so enamoured of the instrument. When he was a youngster in Lafayette, Louisiana, Dural couldn’t stand … Continue reading Buckwheat Zydeco says everybody has a different vibration, man

Kingdom Come hopes to avoid Zeppelin comparisons with new In Your Face LP

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON JUNE 30, 1989 By Steve Newton Diehard Led Zeppelin fans were either impressed or outraged when Kingdom Come’s debut album came out two years ago. The LP–made here in Vancouver at Little Mountain Sound and produced by Bob Rock–sounded an awful lot like a tribute to (or cloning of) Messrs. Page and … Continue reading Kingdom Come hopes to avoid Zeppelin comparisons with new In Your Face LP

Led Zeppelin’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton I realize millions of Zep fans might complain about “Stairway to Heaven” not being Number One, but they’ll get over it. 20. “Ten Years Gone” (Physical Graffiti, 1975) 19. “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” (Led Zeppelin, 1969) 18. “Celebration Day” (Led Zeppelin III, 1970) 17. “Achilles Last Stand” (Presence, 1976) 16. “In … Continue reading Led Zeppelin’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

That time Geddy Lee told me that Rush had 4,000 albums

By Steve Newton Back in April of 1997 I did my first interview with Rush bassist-vocalist Geddy Lee. At the time the group was touring behind its Test for Echo album, and that tour marked the first time Rush had taken the “An Evening With” approach, where there is no opening act and it’s just … Continue reading That time Geddy Lee told me that Rush had 4,000 albums

That time back in ’84 when Judas Priest’s Rob Halford told me that metal was a young musical force

bev davies photo By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford back in May of 1984, when Judas Priest was touring behind its Defenders of the Faith album. At one point in the conversation I mentioned how one of Priest’s songs from two years earlier, “You’ve Got Another Thing … Continue reading That time back in ’84 when Judas Priest’s Rob Halford told me that metal was a young musical force

That time Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars told me that the music he loves most is blues-based stuff like Edgar and Johnny Winter

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Mick Mars a couple of times. The first time was way back in 1985 when Mötley Crüe was touring behind its Theatre of Pain album. The following excerpt is from my second interview with Mars, which happened in March of 1999, when the original lineup had reunited after recording one … Continue reading That time Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars told me that the music he loves most is blues-based stuff like Edgar and Johnny Winter

That time I asked Neil Finn what inspired him to write one of my all-time favourite tunes, Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over”

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Crowded House frontman Neil Finn back in August of 1998, when he was touring behind his debut solo album, Try Whistling This. I’d been a fan of Crowded House since the 1986 release of its first album, which featured one of the most beautiful pop songs … Continue reading That time I asked Neil Finn what inspired him to write one of my all-time favourite tunes, Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over”

That time I asked Bruce Dickinson what the backwards message was on Maiden’s new Piece of Mind LP

By Steve Newton Way back in June of 1983 I did my second Iron Maiden interview, following up the previous year’s chat with the soon-to-be-replaced drummer Clive Burr with a conversation featuring 24-year-old frontman Bruce Dickinson. At one point in the interview I asked Dickinson about the backwards message that could be heard between the … Continue reading That time I asked Bruce Dickinson what the backwards message was on Maiden’s new Piece of Mind LP

That time the Headstones’ Hugh Dillon told me about his fascination with the characters in “Tweeter and the Monkey Man”

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1994 I did my first interview with Headstones vocalist Hugh Dillon. At the time his group was touring behind its debut album, Picture of Health, the one with that supercool version of the Traveling Wilburys’ “Tweeter and the Monkey Man”. At one point in the conversation I asked … Continue reading That time the Headstones’ Hugh Dillon told me about his fascination with the characters in “Tweeter and the Monkey Man”

That time Mick Ronson told me that Steve Jones got pulled from the Hunter-Ronson tour because his album fell off the charts

By Steve Newton Back in December of 1989 I did my second interview with Mick Ronson, one of the greatest rock guitarists ever. At the time he was touring with Ian Hunter in support of their amazing YUI Orta album, released two months before. At one point in the conversation I asked Ronson how it … Continue reading That time Mick Ronson told me that Steve Jones got pulled from the Hunter-Ronson tour because his album fell off the charts