That time Fernando von Arb called and told me that Krokus was kicking Sammy Hagar’s ass on tour

By Steve Newton If you’re old like me you may remember Swiss metal band Krokus for that early-’80s tune “Long Stick Goes Boom” and for the fact that they sounded a lot like AC/DC. I interviewed guitarist Fernando von Arb on November 12, 1984, three months after the release of the group’s Vancouver-made, Bruce Fairbairn-produced … Continue reading That time Fernando von Arb called and told me that Krokus was kicking Sammy Hagar’s ass on tour

That time Alex Van Halen told me that Sammy Hagar was almost Van Halen’s first singer

By Steve Newton Everybody knows that David Lee Roth was Van Halen’s first singer. But not everybody knows that he almost wasn’t Van Halen’s first singer. At least that’s the “little dirt” that Alex Van Halen dished up for me when I interviewed him a quarter-century ago. Have a listen: To hear my full 21-minute interview … Continue reading That time Alex Van Halen told me that Sammy Hagar was almost Van Halen’s first singer

That time Ronnie Montrose told me that Sammy Hagar had always wanted to be a, quote, “rock star”

By Steve Newton Back in ’94 when I did my one-and-only interview with guitar legend Ronnie Montrose, I told him that, as a teenager in the ’70s, I’d really gone nuts for the debut Montrose album. After he told me that those were “kindergarten days” as far as his knowledge of guitar went, I asked Ronnie … Continue reading That time Ronnie Montrose told me that Sammy Hagar had always wanted to be a, quote, “rock star”

Van Halen kicks Vancouver’s ass before new singer Sammy Hagar channels Hugh Hefner backstage

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 31, 1986 By Steve Newton Things started off pretty bad at Van Halen’s B.C. Place concert last Thursday (October 23). But they got progressively better as the night wore on. And by the end of the show there were no complaints at all. The reason for the poor start was the … Continue reading Van Halen kicks Vancouver’s ass before new singer Sammy Hagar channels Hugh Hefner backstage

The Art of McCartney boasts ’70s rockers Heart, Steve Miller, Sammy Hagar, and the Coop

By Steve Newton Groundworks Marketing announced today that a new Paul McCartney tribute album will be released on November 17, and that it will feature some of my fave artists from the seventies, including Alice Cooper, Steve Miller, Heart, Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers, Montrose‘s Sammy Hagar, the Who’s Roger Daltrey, and Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander and … Continue reading The Art of McCartney boasts ’70s rockers Heart, Steve Miller, Sammy Hagar, and the Coop

After Van Halen’s Vancouver show the jury’s still out on whether Dave or Sammy rule

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 12, 2007 The vast majority of people at last week’s (December 5) Van Halen show appeared to be males between the ages of 30 and 50, eager to reconnect with the unbridled guitar-rock noise that erupted straight outta Pasadena when David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen hooked up. I … Continue reading After Van Halen’s Vancouver show the jury’s still out on whether Dave or Sammy rule

That time David Lee Roth told me that a reunion with Van Halen was possible as long as he could “bang that high note like a freebie from a Vegas call girl”

By Steve Newton Back in June of 2003 I did my second interview with David Lee Roth. At the time he was touring behind his most recent solo album, Diamond Dave, but of course I had to ask him about the possibility of getting back together with Van Halen, which had been on hiatus for … Continue reading That time David Lee Roth told me that a reunion with Van Halen was possible as long as he could “bang that high note like a freebie from a Vegas call girl”

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

Boston frontman Brad Delp on overcoming lawsuits and staying true to Tom Scholz’s vision

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 16, 1988 By Steve Newton With a debut album that was the fastest-selling release in the history of the recording industry, Boston was to the mid-’70s what Guns N’ Roses are to the late ’80s. With such uplifting, guitar-heavy tunes as “More Than a Feeling”, “Long Time”, and … Continue reading Boston frontman Brad Delp on overcoming lawsuits and staying true to Tom Scholz’s vision

Album review: Ronnie Montrose, The Speed of Sound (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 5, 1988 By Steve Newton On his last album, Mean, guitar hero Ronnie Montrose rekindled the straightforward metal noise that sounded so fine on his early ’70s albums with Sammy Hagar. On his new one, he’s back on the instrumental rock path a la his 1978 release, Open … Continue reading Album review: Ronnie Montrose, The Speed of Sound (1988)

Album review: Van Halen, OU812 (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 8, 1988 By Steve Newton So this album is selling like hotcakes, eh? I hear they shipped a million copies, and are still running out at a lot of record stores. Well, I know that it’s hard not to like a band that includes two stars like Eddie … Continue reading Album review: Van Halen, OU812 (1988)

Album review: Van Halen, 5150 (1986)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 11, 1986 By Steve Newton One of the most talked about lineup changes in rock these days involves Van Halen’s switch from David Lee Roth to Sammy Hagar. “Nobody could replace Diamond Dave”, said some, while others pointed to the fine work Hagar did with influential metal band … Continue reading Album review: Van Halen, 5150 (1986)

Album review: Van Halen, Van Halen 3 (1998)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 16, 1998 By Steve Newton Ever since Sammy Hagar replaced David Lee Roth as Van Halen’s frontman on 1986’s 5150, the band’s legions of followers have been split into the Sam and Dave camps. Roth proponents feel his macho bravado and hog-in-heat performing style suited the group’s … Continue reading Album review: Van Halen, Van Halen 3 (1998)

Album review: Alice Cooper, A Fistful of Alice (1997)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 21, 1997 By Steve Newton Strolling around the Mexican resort town of Cabo San Lucas last year, I stumbled across a bar called the Cabo Wabo Cantina, which had a sign in the parking lot proclaiming “Reserved for Sammy Hagar”. Realizing that this must be the watering hole … Continue reading Album review: Alice Cooper, A Fistful of Alice (1997)

Even the kids in Def Leppard can’t make Uriah Heep feel old

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 15, 1983 By Steve Newton Next Wednesday (July 20) at the Pacific Coliseum original Heepsters Mick Box and Lee Kerslake on guitar and drums will be joined by bassist Trevor Bolder, keyboardist John Sinclair, and singer Peter Goalby to give us Uriah Heep ’80s-style. Performing material from their … Continue reading Even the kids in Def Leppard can’t make Uriah Heep feel old

Chickenfoot guitarist Joe Satriani was into Humble Pie as a kid, missed out on Montrose

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 13, 2009 By Steve Newton Any self-respecting rock-guitar freak has at least a couple of Joe Satriani CDs in his or her collection. The Bay Area musician has been steadily churning out adventurous, technically boggling instrumental albums since blasting onto the six-string scene in 1986 with Not of This Earth. … Continue reading Chickenfoot guitarist Joe Satriani was into Humble Pie as a kid, missed out on Montrose

Guitarists from Exodus, Exciter, and Metal Church weigh in on the heaviness of metal in 1985

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 2, 1985 By Steve Newton Blue Oyster Cult‘s Tyranny and Mutation. Aerosmith‘s Rocks. UFO’s Phenomenon. The Montrose debut. Back in the early to mid-’70s those albums forged a sound that critic Lester Bangs called “heavy metal”. They were dynamic and forceful, fast, loud, and proud. The bands that … Continue reading Guitarists from Exodus, Exciter, and Metal Church weigh in on the heaviness of metal in 1985