That time I called up Steve Clark and asked him how Def Leppard’s Hysteria tour was going

By Steve Newton Back on June 6 of 1988 I called up Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark at his hotel room in Moncton, New Brunswick. It was the first date of the Canadian leg of the band’s hugely successful Hysteria World Tour, and they were as popular as they would ever get. A month later … Continue reading That time I called up Steve Clark and asked him how Def Leppard’s Hysteria tour was going

That time I asked Steve Clark what the guys in Def Leppard liked to do to pass time on the road

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark back in June of 1988 his band was flying about as high as it would ever get, touring behind its most popular album, Hysteria. As a group of fun-loving rock ‘n’ rollers in their twenties, selling millions of albums and packing arenas, Clark and … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Clark what the guys in Def Leppard liked to do to pass time on the road

That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria

By Steve Newton Back in the ’80s, most successful recording bands liked to put an album out every year. Sometimes they’d skip a year, to vacation in the Bahamas or release a live or best-of LP. After three years their fans would start to get a bit worried, and so would their record label–especially if … Continue reading That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria

That time Def Leppard’s Steve Clark told me that Pyromania set the standard for a lot of groups

By Steve Newton Some Def Leppard fans think the band was at its best when Steve Clark was in the lineup. I’m one of them. I interviewed Clark back in 1988 when the band was selling out arenas worldwide, touring behind its massively popular Hysteria album. At one point in the conversation I mentioned a quote from … Continue reading That time Def Leppard’s Steve Clark told me that Pyromania set the standard for a lot of groups

That time I asked Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark what he liked so much about Gibsons

By Steve Newton My nephew Jeff has been letting me borrow his Gibson Les Paul Standard for a while now, and, holy crap, is that one killer instrument! You wouldn’t have gotten an argument about that from Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark, who used Gibson guitars to craft some of the band’s finest riffs before … Continue reading That time I asked Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark what he liked so much about Gibsons

That time I asked Steve Clark if he’d thought Def Leppard could carry on after Rick Allen’s accident

By Steve Newton I became a fan of Def Leppard back in 1980, as soon as I scored their debut album, On Through the Night, at a local record store. I bought it because I liked the sound of the band name and because the album-cover art depicted a huge Les Paul being hauled by … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Clark if he’d thought Def Leppard could carry on after Rick Allen’s accident

Def Leppard’s Steve Clark on the long wait for Hysteria and the legacy of Pyromania

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 17, 1988 By Steve Newton Most successful recording bands like to put an album out every year. Sometimes they’ll skip a year, to vacation in the Bahamas or release a live or best-of LP. After three years their fans start to get a bit worried, not to mention … Continue reading Def Leppard’s Steve Clark on the long wait for Hysteria and the legacy of Pyromania

That time Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse thanked me for bringing up the topic of Hendrix

By Steve Newton The vast majority of my music interviews over the last 40 years were originally published in the Vancouver weekly, Georgia Straight, but I’ve also done some writing for other publications. Back in 1998 I interviewed guitar god Steve Morse–who’d been with Deep Purple for four years at that point–for Experience Hendrix, a … Continue reading That time Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse thanked me for bringing up the topic of Hendrix

That time Steve Vai told me that he only got offered demonic roles in movies after Crossroads

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1990 I did my first interview with guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, who was 29 at the time. Four years earlier Vai had portrayed Jack Butler, the devil’s guitar player, in the blues movie Crossroads, which was inspired by the legend of Robert Johnson. The climax of the … Continue reading That time Steve Vai told me that he only got offered demonic roles in movies after Crossroads

That time Steven Adler told me that he wished he’d checked out Iron Maiden when Guns N’ Roses opened for them in the ’80s

By Steve Newton I interviewed original Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler back in August of 2011, the same year he appeared in Season 5 of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. At the time he was heading to Vancouver for a club show with his own band, Adler’s Appetite, performing originals and the tunes he … Continue reading That time Steven Adler told me that he wished he’d checked out Iron Maiden when Guns N’ Roses opened for them in the ’80s

Album review: Steve Stevens, Memory Crash (2008)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 8, 2008 By Steve Newton Steve Stevens is best known as the raven-haired foil to platinum-blond pop-punk icon Billy Idol; he’s the leather-clad Les Paul–lover whose incendiary solos lit up Idol hits like “Rebel Yell” and “White Wedding”. But Stevens also moonlights as an instrumental rock-guitar virtuoso, and … Continue reading Album review: Steve Stevens, Memory Crash (2008)

That time Steve Howe told me that it was “inappropriate” to ask if he’d had a falling out with original Yes singer Jon Anderson

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Steve Howe three times over the years because, hey, he’s Steve Howe, and I’ve been a fan of his ever since high school, when I used to proudly display the triple-disc Yessongs album–with its awesome Roger Dean artwork–on my bedroom dresser. The last time we chatted, though, in 2017, I … Continue reading That time Steve Howe told me that it was “inappropriate” to ask if he’d had a falling out with original Yes singer Jon Anderson

Steve Morse says that his biggest challenge in life was playing Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?” live, with the backwards guitar solo

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN EXPERIENCE HENDRIX MAGAZINE, NOV.-DEC. ISSUE, 1998 By Steve Newton At first glance, Steve Morse might not seem like the ideal guy to take over Ritchie Blackmore’s guitarist spot in Deep Purple. He is undoubtedly a fantastic player, but he’s more noted for technically awesome country-fusion inflections than chunky power chords. But as … Continue reading Steve Morse says that his biggest challenge in life was playing Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?” live, with the backwards guitar solo

Eddie Van Halen: what Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth, Jake E. Lee, Leslie West, and brother Alex told me about “the king”

By Steve Newton One of the biggest regrets of my career in rock journalism–and there aren’t that many, believe it or not–was never getting the opportunity to interview Eddie Van Halen. I did get to chat with his big brother Alex once, and he gave me a really great interview, but it just wasn’t the … Continue reading Eddie Van Halen: what Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth, Jake E. Lee, Leslie West, and brother Alex told me about “the king”

That time Steve Vai told me that his body language changes a lot when he’s playing rock ‘n’ roll

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Steve Vai, back in May of 1990, he had just released his sophomore solo album, Passion and Warfare, a technically dazzling instrumental guitar opus. At the same time, he was also touring with Whitesnake, whose straightforward, radio-friendly rock tunes were not nearly as challenging to … Continue reading That time Steve Vai told me that his body language changes a lot when he’s playing rock ‘n’ roll

That time Steve Earle raved to me about the influence of Elvis and the generosity of Springsteen

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Steve Earle five times, ’cause he’s one of my favourite all-time songwriters. The first time was back in May of 1987, two weeks before the official release of his second album, Exit O. (“It’s Exit Zero”, he explained to me when I tried pronouncing it “Exit Oh”.) At one point … Continue reading That time Steve Earle raved to me about the influence of Elvis and the generosity of Springsteen

That time Steve Hackett told me about hearing Queen’s demo tapes and thinking Genesis’ label should sign them

By Steve Newton Before Queen became one of the top rock bands on the planet, they were just another struggling band trying to score a record deal. That’s how Steve Hackett remembers it, anyway. When I interviewed the former Genesis guitarist back in 1993 I asked him about his relationship with Queen guitarist Brian May, … Continue reading That time Steve Hackett told me about hearing Queen’s demo tapes and thinking Genesis’ label should sign them

That time Autograph guitarist Steve Lynch told me about the crazy times touring with Van Halen

By Steve Newton Way the heck back in October of 1985 I interviewed Autograph guitarist Steve Lynch because his band was headed to Vancouver as opening act on Motley Crue‘s Theatre of Pain tour. Back then two-handed tapping was very popular among guitarists in hard rock and metal bands, and Lynch was among its top … Continue reading That time Autograph guitarist Steve Lynch told me about the crazy times touring with Van Halen