Josh Homme’s grinding overdrive helps Screaming Trees wake up Vancouver on a Sunday night

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 20, 1997 Last Sunday night (March 16) I had three pretty good reasons for not wanting to drag my butt off a comfy couch and head downtown in the rain to review a rock show at the Rage. First off, I was tuckered out after the previous night’s … Continue reading Josh Homme’s grinding overdrive helps Screaming Trees wake up Vancouver on a Sunday night

Screaming Trees find themselves suddenly cool with Sweet Oblivion

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 10, 1992 By Steve Newton A little while back, the Screaming Trees were musical guests on Late Night with David Letterman. Dressed in grubby alternative garb, the band raunched it up with its latest single, “Nearly Lost You”, and everything was fine. But Letterman, noting the wide girths … Continue reading Screaming Trees find themselves suddenly cool with Sweet Oblivion

The Screaming Trees help ignite Seattle’s “explosion of vinyl” with major-label debut

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 7, 1991 By Steve Newton Getting signed to a major label is usually the first big goal of a rock band—that’s what all the monetary investment and tireless rehearsals are for. And some bands luck out, snagging a record contract in no time and going on their merry … Continue reading The Screaming Trees help ignite Seattle’s “explosion of vinyl” with major-label debut

Screaming Jets interview, unpublished for 30 years, shows the Aussie guitar-rockers highly skilled at pissing people off

INTERVIEW CONDUCTED SEPT. 22, 1991; STORY FIRST PUBLISHED MAY 15, 2021 By Steve Newton With a jarring, guitar-heavy sound influenced by such gritty Aussie bands as Angel City, AC/DC, and early Midnight Oil, Newcastle, Australia’s Screaming Jets are capable of causing quite a ruckus. They did so on their debut album, All For One, and … Continue reading Screaming Jets interview, unpublished for 30 years, shows the Aussie guitar-rockers highly skilled at pissing people off

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 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

That time Joe Elliott told me that Def Leppard wasn’t a big-hair band, and didn’t belong in “the Winger/Warrant/Ratt category”

By Steve Newton Joe Elliott is the fourth Def Leppard member I’ve interviewed. I started off with bassist Rick Savage in 1983, hooked up with guitarist Steve Clark in ’88, and chatted with VIvian Campbell–the guy who took Clark’s place after he died–in 1992. I didn’t get around to talking with Elliott until 2003, when … Continue reading That time Joe Elliott told me that Def Leppard wasn’t a big-hair band, and didn’t belong in “the Winger/Warrant/Ratt category”

That time Heart’s Ann Wilson told me that the only movie scripts she ever got were for hard-drinking, Janis Joplin-type roles

By Steve Newton Heart were one of the first great rock bands I ever saw. Back in the early seventies they would play gigs in my hometown of Chilliwack, showcasing wicked tunes like “White Lightning and Wine” and “Magic Man” that would eventually appear on their 1975 debut album, Dreamboat Annie. I didn’t get to … Continue reading That time Heart’s Ann Wilson told me that the only movie scripts she ever got were for hard-drinking, Janis Joplin-type roles

That time Vinnie Paul told me about experiencing “the ultimate high” when Judas Priest fanatics Pantera jammed with Rob Halford

By Steve Newton Back on February 20, 1992, I did my one and only interview with Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul. That was five days before the Texas metal band released its most popular album, the double-platinum Vulgar Display of Power. At one point in the conversation I asked Vinnie about Rob Halford’s professed love for … Continue reading That time Vinnie Paul told me about experiencing “the ultimate high” when Judas Priest fanatics Pantera jammed with Rob Halford

That time I asked Long John Baldry if he was the King in “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll”

By Steve Newton Back in 1985 I did an interview with British blues legend Long John Baldry, who’d recently moved to Vancouver, where he would stay until his death 20 years later. In 1971 Baldry had released an album called It Ain’t Easy that was produced by his buddies, Rod Stewart and Elton John. It … Continue reading That time I asked Long John Baldry if he was the King in “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll”

That time Joe Jackson told me that Duke Ellington was wrong: there’s actually three kinds of music

By Steve Newton I interviewed Joe Jackson in August of 2003, when he had reunited with his original band for its 25th anniversary, and to record the album Volume 4. That’s the same band–guitarist Gary Sanford, bassist Graham Maby, drummer David Houghton, and Jackson on vocals and piano–that played on his awesome 1979 albums, Look … Continue reading That time Joe Jackson told me that Duke Ellington was wrong: there’s actually three kinds of music

That time Ronnie James Dio told me that Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” was his favourite song out of all the things he’d done

By Steve Newton Way the funk back in 1985 I did my one and only interview with Ronnie James Dio. He was touring behind Dio’s Sacred Heart album, and he got tickets and backstage passes to the show in Vancouver at the Pacific Coliseum. I’ll never forget how kind and generous he was when we … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me that Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” was his favourite song out of all the things he’d done

That time COC’s Pepper Keenan told me that Warren Haynes “nailed it” with his slide playing on “Stare Too Long”

a closeup shot of Haynes nailing it By Steve Newton Back in January of 2001 I did my first interview with Pepper Keenan of Corrosion of Conformity, whose band was touring behind its America’s Volume Dealer album. At one point in the conversation I asked Keenan how he had hooked up with Warren Haynes, who … Continue reading That time COC’s Pepper Keenan told me that Warren Haynes “nailed it” with his slide playing on “Stare Too Long”

People see my photo with Slash and think I’m Kerry King of Slayer, “Ogre” from Revenge of the Nerds, and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

By Steve Newton Here’s a funny thing that happened. A week or so ago This Day in Metal tweeted a photo of me with Slash taken backstage in 1988, when Guns N’ Roses were opening for Iron Maiden in Vancouver. The tweet read: “Anybody know who’s with @slash in this picture?” Well, a few of … Continue reading People see my photo with Slash and think I’m Kerry King of Slayer, “Ogre” from Revenge of the Nerds, and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan