Album review: Tom Cochrane, Ragged Ass Road (1995)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 12, 1995 By Steve Newton While Tom Cochrane’s last album, Mad Mad World, spawned his biggest hit ever in the undisputably catchy “Life Is a Highway”, it was far from one of his best recordings overall. It included some pretty weak tunes—the worst being the ponderous title … Continue reading Album review: Tom Cochrane, Ragged Ass Road (1995)

Tom Cochrane talks Red Rider, soft porn, and South Africa before opening for Van Halen in 1986

we are…two wild and crazy guys! ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 10, 1986 By Steve Newton Nowadays, Tom Cochrane is flying high on the charts with “Boy Inside the Man”, the first single off the new album Tom Cochrane and Red Rider. The Toronto rocker will be playing songs from that record at … Continue reading Tom Cochrane talks Red Rider, soft porn, and South Africa before opening for Van Halen in 1986

Red Rider releases Neruda, Tom Cochrane rails against “trendy bullshit”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 15, 1983 By Steve Newton Red Rider plays the Commodore Ballroom Tuesday, April 19. I spoke to the group’s lead vocalist and songwriter Tom Cochrane over the phone from Toronto last Monday. I understand your group had a bus accident in the Rocky Mountains not long ago. Well … Continue reading Red Rider releases Neruda, Tom Cochrane rails against “trendy bullshit”

Life’s highway carries Tom Cochrane back to Red Rider

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 3, 2003 Tom Cochrane had his biggest hit, “Life Is a Highway”, two years after splitting up with long-time guitarist Kenny Greer and abandoning the Red Rider name. But fans who’ve followed the Ontario singer-songwriter’s storied career know that his time with Red Rider, from 1979 to ’89, … Continue reading Life’s highway carries Tom Cochrane back to Red Rider

Ashes to Diamonds box set shines with unreleased Tom Cochrane gems

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 9, 1993 By Steve Newton This three-CD box set is a real bonus for Tom Cochrane fans who enjoyed his recent hits, “Big League” and “Life Is a Highway”, but who still believe his best musical moments occurred with his former band, Red Rider. The majority of the … Continue reading Ashes to Diamonds box set shines with unreleased Tom Cochrane gems

Tom Cochrane writes about things that are real and count on xray sierra

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 18, 1999 By Steve Newton When I was 12 years old, my beloved teenage brother drowned in a slough near our home, and ever since that day I’ve felt a connection to rock music that breaches the tenuous barrier between life and death. The first few times I … Continue reading Tom Cochrane writes about things that are real and count on xray sierra

Rod Stewart plays Vancouver with Tom Cochrane and Jeff Healey

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 21, 1989 By Steve Newton All the acts at last Sunday’s (July 16) rock ‘n’ roll bash at B.C. Place had played Vancouver last year—Rod Stewart at the Coliseum, Tom Cochrane at the Orpheum, and Jeff Healey at the Commodore. But that didn’t stop 21,000 rock fans from shelling out … Continue reading Rod Stewart plays Vancouver with Tom Cochrane and Jeff Healey

Tom Cochrane gets his Canuck on at the Commodore in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 22, 1996 Last July a band calling itself Red Rider—but without Tom Cochrane in the lineup—played the Commodore. Not surprisingly, the turnout was small, and not surprisingly, I wasn’t there. I’ve been a Red Rider fan since day one, but the notion of seeing the band without Cochrane … Continue reading Tom Cochrane gets his Canuck on at the Commodore in Vancouver

Tom Cochrane takes the honest route on Ragged Ass Road

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 1, 1996 By Steve Newton Tom Cochrane’s “Life Is a Highway” was one of the three most-played songs in North America in 1993, which means that a whole whack of folks heard it, whether they wanted to or not. Cochrane admits that, by way of airplay royalties, the … Continue reading Tom Cochrane takes the honest route on Ragged Ass Road

Tom Cochrane dedicates “Big League” to Stan Smyl in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 7, 1991 Tom Cochrane wasn’t kidding when he told me a couple of weeks back that his new rhythm section worked like a high-performance engine. The former Streetheart team of drummer Matt Frenette and bassist Spider Sinneave was scary last Monday night (November 4), with Frenette being especially … Continue reading Tom Cochrane dedicates “Big League” to Stan Smyl in Vancouver

Tom Cochrane talks Mad Mad World just before “Highway” hits it huge

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 31, 1991 By Steve Newton I’ve been a fan of Tom Cochrane’s since Red Rider’s debut album, but his new tune, “Life Is a Highway”, threw me for a loop. Its bouncy sound wasn’t what I expected from the steely hero of Canadian heartland rock, and at first … Continue reading Tom Cochrane talks Mad Mad World just before “Highway” hits it huge

Tom Cochrane and Red Rider dangle a plastic shark over the Northern Pikes in Vancouver

On March 2, 1989, Tom Cochrane and Red Rider played Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre with guests the Northern Pikes, a band from Saskatoon that I liked almost as much as the headliner. Red Rider was touring behind its latest album, Victory Day, which featured the singles “Good Times”, “Big League”, and the title track. This was two … Continue reading Tom Cochrane and Red Rider dangle a plastic shark over the Northern Pikes in Vancouver

I was there to see Tom Cochrane, not Glass Tiger

By Steve Newton One of the few worthwhile legacies of the 1986 Vancouver Expo was the Expo Theatre, where I saw a few good shows around that time, including Kim Mitchell, Joe Jackson, and Alvin Lee from Ten Years After. One summer day in ’87 I visited the outdoor venue to see Tom Cochrane, who I’ve … Continue reading I was there to see Tom Cochrane, not Glass Tiger

Colin Linden connects with “unjaded” hero Rick Danko on stellar When the Spirit Comes

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 23, 1988 By Steve Newton A lot of people have rock dreams, whereby they imagine themselves up on stage, performing with their favourite musical idols. Most of the time these fantasies never come true. But once in a while–as in the case of Toronto’s Colin Linden–they do. His … Continue reading Colin Linden connects with “unjaded” hero Rick Danko on stellar When the Spirit Comes

Album review: Kim Mitchell, Aural Fixations (1992)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 11, 1992 By Steve Newton There are two things Canadians can count on when summer approaches: one is an increase in the price of beer, and the other is a new Kim Mitchell release. The first of these is obviously the Devil’s work, but the second makes that … Continue reading Album review: Kim Mitchell, Aural Fixations (1992)

album reviews

Aerosmith: Honkin’ on Bobo (2004) Eric Clapton: Me and Mr. Johnson (2004) Jimi Hendrix: Axis Outtakes (2003) ZZ Top: Mescalero (2003) Nickelback: The Long Road (2003) Joe Jackson Band: Volume 4 (2003) Led Zeppelin: How the West Was Won (2003) Yardbirds: Birdland (2003) Jimmy Thackery: Guitar (2003) Various Artists: We’re a Happy Family, A Tribute … Continue reading album reviews

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

Limblifter’s Ryan Dahle gets his T. Rex on for Bellaclava

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 11, 2000 By Steve Newton In the CD booklet for Bellaclava, the new disc by local power-pop trio Limblifter, there’s a black-and-white photo of the unkempt band members casually posing beside a wall. They look like typical young Canucks, the kind you might see enthusiastically hoisting brewskis in … Continue reading Limblifter’s Ryan Dahle gets his T. Rex on for Bellaclava

David Gogo preps for the Big 3-O with acoustic and electric discs

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 28, 1999 When the Georgia Straight phoned David Gogo two years ago to chat about his then-new live album, Dine Under the Stars, he answered the call with “Davey Wayne Gogo here,” a slight swipe at Kenny Wayne Shepherd, the Stevie Ray Vaughan–inspired upstart of the day. This … Continue reading David Gogo preps for the Big 3-O with acoustic and electric discs

Collective Soul’s Ed Roland wants to start over at the Commodore

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 7, 1995 By Steve Newton You might wonder why a band as popular as Collective Soul is playing the Commodore, when it’s obvious the group could pack in at least a few thousand more folks somewhere else. The gig next Thursday (September 14) sold out instantly, and scalped … Continue reading Collective Soul’s Ed Roland wants to start over at the Commodore

The spirit of Mick Ronson inspires the Payola$ at the Town Pump

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 20, 1994 Ya gotta like that Bob Rock guy. When he gets tired of producing platinum-plus CDs for bands like Metallica and Mötley Crüe, he forms his own group, Rockhead, and gets back to his ’70s-rock roots with melodic, radio-friendly sing-along tunes such as “Bed of Roses” and … Continue reading The spirit of Mick Ronson inspires the Payola$ at the Town Pump

Foxfest ends on a weak note with a Leppard past its prime

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 8, 1993 By Steve Newton Seabird Island isn’t really an island, and that’s a good thing, because judging by the massive line-ups of cars on the highway heading to the Agassiz site, the wait for ferries would have been brutal. Seabird is actually a great big grassy field … Continue reading Foxfest ends on a weak note with a Leppard past its prime

Ugly Kid Joe’s smash hit spawned by tinkering on the piano

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 1, 1993 By Steve Newton When you consider that Ugly Kid Joe’s career skyrocketed on the strength of just one song, the humorous little ditty “Everything About You”, it makes you wonder if that tune might have been a well-calculated shot at the big time—if maybe a bunch … Continue reading Ugly Kid Joe’s smash hit spawned by tinkering on the piano

Kim Mitchell hits 40 and just keeps getting wet with life

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 6, 1992 By Steve Newton Used to be that whenever you saw Kim Mitchell’s name on an album’s liner notes the name of his lyricist, Pye Dubois, would be right there beside it. But Dubois’ moniker is nowhere to be found on Mitchell’s latest release, Aural Fixations. Seems … Continue reading Kim Mitchell hits 40 and just keeps getting wet with life

sound & vision

“Sound and Vision” was a pretty cool tune from a David Bowie album that made my Top 30 Rock Albums of 1977. It’s also a pretty cool name for this page where I’ll gather up my box set (sound) and Blu-ray (vision) reviews. I might also throw in the odd DVD and CD/vinyl reissue when … Continue reading sound & vision

Spirit of Keef surfaces on top-notch Matt Mays & El Torpedo

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 27, 2005 By Steve Newton There’s a foldout poster that comes with the self-titled Matt Mays & El Torpedo CD, but it’s not your typical rockers-posing shot, suitable for taping on any starstruck fan’s wall. It’s more like what veteran Straight scribe Alexander Varty describes as “guitar porn”: a photo … Continue reading Spirit of Keef surfaces on top-notch Matt Mays & El Torpedo

concert reviews

So, yeah, I’ve reviewed a few shows over the years. IRON MAIDEN at Rogers Arena, Sept. 3, 2019 SONNY LANDRETH at the Rio Theatre, Aug. 24, 2019 BAND OF FRIENDS at the Fox Cabaret, Dec. 18, 2018 ROGER WATERS at Rogers Arena, Oct. 28, 2017 GUNS N’ ROSES at BC Place Stadium, Sept. 1, 2017 THE … Continue reading concert reviews