That time the Cult’s Billy Duffy told me that Thin Lizzy was his number-one “teenie band”, and that it all boils down to the Les Paul

By Steve Newton Way back on April 7 of 1989 I interviewed the Cult guitarist Billy Duffy. That was three days before the band released its fourth album, the Bob Rock-produced Sonic Temple, which would go platinum on the strength of tunes like “Fire Woman”, “Sweet Soul Sister”, and “Edie (Ciao Baby)”. At one point … Continue reading That time the Cult’s Billy Duffy told me that Thin Lizzy was his number-one “teenie band”, and that it all boils down to the Les Paul

An electrifying Lenny Kravitz blows the Cult off the stage in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 16, 1992 By Steve Newton When I saw local singing sensation Sarah McLachlan pick up her coat and leave the press box after Lenny Kravitz’s opening slot for the Cult, I thought: “Geez, she could have stuck around for a couple of rockin’ Cult tunes.” But, as it … Continue reading An electrifying Lenny Kravitz blows the Cult off the stage in Vancouver

The Cult’s Ian Astbury says touring with Lenny Kravitz is “a spiritual event”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 9, 1992 By Steve Newton Some folks might have been surprised to hear that the Cult is touring with Lenny Kravitz. After all, the straightforward, bluesy hard-rock of the former is quite distinct from the Beatlesque, ’60s pop styles of the latter. Or is it? According to Cult … Continue reading The Cult’s Ian Astbury says touring with Lenny Kravitz is “a spiritual event”

Aldo Nova on touring with Blue Öyster Cult, covering Coney Hatch, and the new Subject…Aldo Nova

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DECEMBER 23, 1983 By Steve Newton “It was supposed to be a post-nuclear holocaust type thing,” says Aldo Nova, referring to the initial concept idea for his latest album, Subject…Aldo Nova. Over the phone from Shreveport, Louisiana last week, Nova (his real name’s Caporuscio) outlined the proposed plan for … Continue reading Aldo Nova on touring with Blue Öyster Cult, covering Coney Hatch, and the new Subject…Aldo Nova

That time Aldo Nova told me that the guys in Blue Öyster Cult were not as wild as you’d think they are

By Steve Newton I interviewed Aldo Nova back in December of 1983, when he was touring with one of my favourite all-time bands, Blue Öyster Cult. This was a month after BOC released the Bruce Fairbairn-produced The Revolution By Night, which isn’t one of my fave Cult albums. But it does include a pretty cool … Continue reading That time Aldo Nova told me that the guys in Blue Öyster Cult were not as wild as you’d think they are

Shaun Verreault plays Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” Tri-Slide style just ’cause I asked

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Shaun Verreault for the Georgia Straight back in January my article wound up focusing on how the Vancouver guitar great had developed his “Tri-Slide” style of playing, where he uses three slides at once on a lap steel guitar. I was blown away by his short, Tri-Slide reimaginings of … Continue reading Shaun Verreault plays Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” Tri-Slide style just ’cause I asked

Blue Öyster Cult don’t need no stinkin’ strobes to light up a stage in 2000

steven c. pesant photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN EXPERIENCE HENDRIX MAGAZINE, SUMMER 2000 By Steve Newton On the way in to see Blue Öyster Cult at the Rage on February 17 I thought I was having a ’70s flashback: a sign on the door read, “Health warning: strobe lights will be used throughout tonight’s performance!!!” Strangely … Continue reading Blue Öyster Cult don’t need no stinkin’ strobes to light up a stage in 2000

Martin Birch’s finest moments with Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Blue Öyster Cult

By Steve Newton If you’re fan of hard rock and metal you’ve no doubt already heard that Martin Birch, the preeminent producer of loud rock, passed away recently at the age of 71. I’ve interviewed my fair share of hard-rock producers, including the formerly Vancouver-based triumvirate of Bruce Fairbairn, Bob Rock, and Mike Fraser, but … Continue reading Martin Birch’s finest moments with Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Blue Öyster Cult

That time I asked Buck Dharma how he came up with the classic riff for Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper”

By Steve Newton “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” might be my favourite song of all time. Or maybe it’s tied with John Lennon’s “Imagine”. Either way, I freakin’ love that song. Several times over the years I’ve felt a tweak of pleasure along the top of my skull when I hear that song, coinciding with the … Continue reading That time I asked Buck Dharma how he came up with the classic riff for Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper”

God bless Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser’s guitar solo on Blue Öyster Cult’s “Burnin’ For You”

  By Steve Newton Back in June of 1981 Blue Öyster Cult released it’s eight studio album, Fire of Unknown Origin, and I immediately snapped it up, just like I’d done with their previous nine discs (including the two live albums). I’d been absolutely crazy about B.O.C. ever since I’d bought Tyranny and Mutation because of … Continue reading God bless Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser’s guitar solo on Blue Öyster Cult’s “Burnin’ For You”

Blue Öyster Cult’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton I guess you could say I like the first album the best. Let the Newt-bashing begin! 20. “O.D.’d on Life Itself” (Tyranny and Mutation, 1973) 19. “Veteran of the Psychic Wars” (Fire of Unknown Origin, 1981) 18. “Teen Archer” (Tyranny and Mutation, 1973) 17. “Before the Kiss, a Redcap” (Blue Öyster Cult, 1972) … Continue reading Blue Öyster Cult’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

Album review: Blue Öyster Cult, Imaginos (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 9, 1988 By Steve Newton Few rock ‘n’ roll bands can fuse raunchy guitars and menacing vocals and still come up with really beautiful music. But New York’s Blue Öyster Cult has done that on more than a dozen albums since 1972. The latest boasts the same hard-hitting, … Continue reading Album review: Blue Öyster Cult, Imaginos (1988)

Blue Öyster Cult transforms into the “New York Guitar Army” in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 20, 1988 By Steve Newton Blue Öyster Cult is the sort of band you either love or hate. There’s no in-betweens. Nobody every says, “Oh, Blue Öyster Cult, they’re all right, I guess.” It’s either “The Cult rules!” or “No thanks, hand me that Hall & Oates album.” … Continue reading Blue Öyster Cult transforms into the “New York Guitar Army” in Vancouver

Album review: Blue Öyster Cult, Extraterrestrial Live (1982)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 11, 1982 By Steve Newton Extraterrestrial Live is Blue Öyster Cult’s third, and best, live album. The weak production and muddled performances on 1975’s On Your Feet Or on Your Knees and the rush job “this will keep them going till our next studio album” impression of 1978’s … Continue reading Album review: Blue Öyster Cult, Extraterrestrial Live (1982)

Album review: Blue Öyster Cult, Heaven Forbid (1998)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 9, 1998 By Steve Newton Don’t let the cheapjack horror-movie cover fool ya, ’cause Heaven Forbid—Blue Öyster Cult’s first new recording since 1988’s substandard Imaginos—is one classy slab of hard rock. It’s not a masterwork in the league of Tyranny and Mutation or Agents of Fortune, but … Continue reading Album review: Blue Öyster Cult, Heaven Forbid (1998)

Disgruntled Cult fans pelt Commodore door with donations at surprise Food Bank benefit

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 27, 1994 By Steve Newton For a while it looked like a minor riot might break out on the Granville Mall last Sunday night, even with our cup-fumbling Canuckleheads out of action. But only a few disgruntled Cult fans among the estimated 2,000 to 3,000 turned away from … Continue reading Disgruntled Cult fans pelt Commodore door with donations at surprise Food Bank benefit

That time I asked Warren Zevon if it was more difficult to compose film scores than to make albums

By Steve Newton As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, one of the coolest dudes I’ve ever interviewed was Warren Zevon. He was just so damn nice. And smart. And Warren freakin’ Zevon. I talked to him back in ’92 when he was touring with the Odds as his backup band, promoting a fine album called … Continue reading That time I asked Warren Zevon if it was more difficult to compose film scores than to make albums

HIM’s Ville Valo discovered the dark side of rock through Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 7, 2007 By Steve Newton According to Ville Valo, lead vocalist for Finnish rockers HIM, “It’s very hard to sing about sunshine and ice cream and birds in fast cars.” So he doesn’t even try. Instead, song titles like “Cyanide Sun”, “Dead Lovers’ Lane”, and “Song or Suicide” … Continue reading HIM’s Ville Valo discovered the dark side of rock through Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper”