That time Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell told me that Lynyrd Skynyrd’s success gave him hope

  mudcrutch photo by red slater By Steve Newton When I interviewed Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell back in the summer of 1999 we got to talking about his early days playing with Petty in the Gainesville, Florida band Mudcrutch. At one point Campbell told me about how that band would sometimes … Continue reading That time Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell told me that Lynyrd Skynyrd’s success gave him hope

That time Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell told me how he got into Tom Petty’s band

By Steve Newton Tom Petty is one of my favourite rockers, and I’m really bummed that I never got to interview him. But I did get to do the next best thing, which was chat with his forever guitarist, Mike Campbell. I interviewed Campbell in August of 1999, before Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played … Continue reading That time Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell told me how he got into Tom Petty’s band

Tom Petty’s King of the Hill character buys Brownsville Station tix for primo view of Mike Lutz’s guitar solo

By Steve Newton I was channel surfing last night and came across a King of the Hill episode from 2006 that perked me up and made me yearn for the halcyon days of ’70s arena rock. At the end of the Season 10 episode titled “Hank Fixes Everything”, the recurring character Lucky–voiced by Tom Petty–buys tickets to … Continue reading Tom Petty’s King of the Hill character buys Brownsville Station tix for primo view of Mike Lutz’s guitar solo

Album review: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Pack Up the Plantation (1985)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 20, 1985 By Steve Newton One of my fondest concert memories dates back to 1978, when Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played the Commodore Ballroom. Petty had just released his second album, You’re Gonna Get It, and was his band hot–I mean sizzlin’. I saw him again a year … Continue reading Album review: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Pack Up the Plantation (1985)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers box set is a must-have for Pettyphiles

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 14, 1995 By Steve Newton Some boxed sets are basically just glorified greatest-hits collections, with maybe a handful of remixed or previously unreleased tracks tossed in to lure die-hard fans with bulging pockets, but the 92-track Playback isn’t one of those. While it does contain all the big … Continue reading Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers box set is a must-have for Pettyphiles

Album review: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Into the Great Wide Open (1991)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 8, 1991 By Steve Newton It’s awful hard for me to pick out the best tunes on the latest release by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, ’cause I pretty well love ’em all. A masterful pop craftsman who lives by the KISS credo (Keep It Simple, Stupid), … Continue reading Album review: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Into the Great Wide Open (1991)

R.I.P. Tom Petty: here’s 10 of the Newt’s fave Petty tunes

  By Steve Newton Tom Petty may be gone, but the music he made will live on forever, because that’s how music works. Here’s 10 of my favourite Petty tunes from 10 different Petty albums. Maybe there’s a couple here you like as well. “American Girl” from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1976: “I Need to … Continue reading R.I.P. Tom Petty: here’s 10 of the Newt’s fave Petty tunes

The greatest concert experience of my life: Bob Dylan with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Greek Theatre, June 13, 1986

By Steve Newton As far as rock concerts go, I’ve been a very lucky mofo. My 30-some-odd years as a music journalist have provided me with scores of awesome memories. But the one that stands out as tops is seeing Bob Dylan with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California, on … Continue reading The greatest concert experience of my life: Bob Dylan with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Greek Theatre, June 13, 1986

Tom Petty lightly weighs in on Sam Smith’s ripping off of “Won’t Back Down”

By Steve Newton I normally try to avoid songs like Sam Smith’s Grammy-nominated hit, “Stay With Me”. It’s not that I’m a hard-hearted wretch who can’t stand a bit of sappiness, but, really, would it have killed the guy to throw a wailing guitar solo in there somewhere? The song is infectious, I’ll admit. I … Continue reading Tom Petty lightly weighs in on Sam Smith’s ripping off of “Won’t Back Down”

Tom Petty’s new songs soar and his oldies roar at the Heartbreakers show in Vancouver

By Steve Newton Along with the obligatory old hits, and tunes from his new number-one album, Tom Petty has been including some choice covers on his current tour. As well as opening shows with the Byrds’ riotous “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”, his last three West Coast dates have seen … Continue reading Tom Petty’s new songs soar and his oldies roar at the Heartbreakers show in Vancouver

Mike Campbell’s instro-rock medley steals the show from Tom Petty in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 9, 1999 I’ve seen Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform in Vancouver four times now. The first time—one of the most memorable concert experiences of my life—was at the Commodore Ballroom in ’78, just after the release of the band’s sophomore album, You’re Gonna Get It. The second … Continue reading Mike Campbell’s instro-rock medley steals the show from Tom Petty in Vancouver

Tom Petty will play some of the Newt’s fave tunes in Vancouver

I’ve seen Tom Petty in concert a bunch of times, and two of those gigs are worthy of my Top 10 Concerts of All Time. Or they would be if I actually compiled my Top 10 Concerts of All Time. I’m saving that one for a rainy day. The first time I saw Petty and … Continue reading Tom Petty will play some of the Newt’s fave tunes in Vancouver

Mike Campbell is much more than just the guitarist for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 26, 1999 By Steve Newton Mike Campell is the curly-haired guitarist who has been knocking off tasty solos alongside Tom Petty for nearly three decades. In 1970, Campbell was two years out of high school and living in Gainesville, Florida, when the musical partnership that would shape his … Continue reading Mike Campbell is much more than just the guitarist for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty forgot to put the Newt in charge of the set list for his Vancouver show

@shotbykevin ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 11, 1995 By Steve Newton Some rock bands have a magical way of winning over a crowd straightaway, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are a prime example. I saw them do it back in ’78 at the Commodore on the You’re Gonna Get It tour, and … Continue reading Tom Petty forgot to put the Newt in charge of the set list for his Vancouver show

After partying on the Black Crowes tour, the Jayhawks mellow out with Tom Petty

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 27, 1995 By Steve Newton Here’s a tip for new bands trying to get ahead in today’s music biz: make sure that when any important industry types call and you put them on hold, your music is what they hear while they’re waiting. It worked for the Jayhawks, … Continue reading After partying on the Black Crowes tour, the Jayhawks mellow out with Tom Petty

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers bring Hypnotic Eye to Vancouver this summer

One of my all-time favourite rock bands, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, will play Vancouver this summer. Maybe they’re one of your all-time faves too! I mean, who doesn’t like “Refugee”? I think it’s safe to say that if you don’t like “Refugee” you’re f***ed in the head! The show takes place August 14 at Rogers … Continue reading Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers bring Hypnotic Eye to Vancouver this summer

Tom Petty blows into the psychedelic dragon’s harmonica in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 21, 1991 By Steve Newton “Oh, those fabulous ’70s,” intoned Tom Petty halfway through his Monday-night (November 18) show at the Coliseum. The Florida native was catching his breath between a couple of his early tunes, “Here Comes My Girl” and “Breakdown”, but you couldn’t really tell if … Continue reading Tom Petty blows into the psychedelic dragon’s harmonica in Vancouver

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers get the Classic Albums treatment on Blu-ray

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 10, 2010 By Steve Newton When Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played Vancouver in June they only played one song off their breakthrough Damn the Torpedoes album, which was quite a surprise (and disappointment). After viewing the new Eagle Vision Blu-ray, Classic Albums: Damn the Torpedoes, and hearing Petty and his cohorts enthusiastically analyze each … Continue reading Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers get the Classic Albums treatment on Blu-ray

Bob Dylan Blu-ray smokes with Johnny Winter, Neil Young & Tom Petty

By Steve Newton Back in October of ’92 a mindblowing array of the world’s top recording artists performed at New York’s Madison Square Garden for Bob Dylan’s 30th anniversary concert celebration, and this Tuesday (March 4) a deluxe edition of the concert is being released on CD, DVD and Blu-ray. I watched the Blu-ray this … Continue reading Bob Dylan Blu-ray smokes with Johnny Winter, Neil Young & Tom Petty

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Vancouver gig shows time is catching up with the rockers

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 9, 2010 Man, I gotta quit living in the past, because my expectations are just too damn high. Two of the greatest concerts I’ve ever seen were Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at the Commodore in 1978 and then Petty again—with Bob Dylan—at Berkeley, California’s Greek Theatre in ’84. Both … Continue reading Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Vancouver gig shows time is catching up with the rockers

That time I asked the Doobie Brothers’ Tom Johnston if he thought “Listen to the Music” would be a hit as soon as he wrote it

By Steve Newton I was a teenager in the seventies, so yeah, I liked the Doobies. Toulouse Street, The Captain and Me, What Were Once Vices are Now Habits–it was all good. Back in 1991 it was cool to interview singer-guitarist and cofounder Tom Johnston, ’cause he wrote my fave Doobie Brothers tune, “Ukiah”. That … Continue reading That time I asked the Doobie Brothers’ Tom Johnston if he thought “Listen to the Music” would be a hit as soon as he wrote it

That time I asked Tommy Aldridge to name the most talented guitarist he ever played with

By Steve Newton Drum legend Tommy Aldridge has played with some of the greatest rock guitarists of all time: Gary Moore, Steve Vai, Randy Rhoads, Pat Travers, Tony MacAlpine, Scott Gorham, John Sykes. Heck, even his first band of note, Black Oak Arkansas, featured some pretty heavy-duty pickers. When I interviewed Aldridge back in 2001 … Continue reading That time I asked Tommy Aldridge to name the most talented guitarist he ever played with

Aussie guitar wizard Tommy Emmanuel on playing with Chet Atkins and looking after Lenny Breau

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 5, 1994 By Steve Newton When I was in my early 20s, I made what for me was a major investment. I bought a near-new, shiny black Fender Stratocaster. The fact that I couldn’t even play guitar at the time didn’t matter; I figured anything that cool-looking had … Continue reading Aussie guitar wizard Tommy Emmanuel on playing with Chet Atkins and looking after Lenny Breau

Bash & Pop’s Tommy Stinson stole plenty from Paul Westerberg

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 17, 1993 By Steve Newton When I first heard the title of the debut Bash & Pop release, Friday Night Is Killing Me, I figured it was something I could relate to a bit, since I’d had a few rough Friday nights in my own lifetime—not to mention … Continue reading Bash & Pop’s Tommy Stinson stole plenty from Paul Westerberg

That time the Ventures’ Don Wilson and I shared our fondness for John Fogerty

By Steve Newton John Fogerty proudly inducted the Ventures into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, but I learned of his affection for the instro-rock legends years before that. When I interviewed original Ventures rhythm-guitarist Don Wilson back in 1997 I asked him if he’d had a lot of people tell him … Continue reading That time the Ventures’ Don Wilson and I shared our fondness for John Fogerty

That time Randy Hansen told me about exchanging ideas and creating animal sounds with Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Jimi Hendrix tribute artist Randy Hansen back in 2001 I learned that he had known Stevie Ray Vaughan quite well. I was cool to hear Hansen reminisce about Stevie Ray opening shows for him in Austin, Texas, and the two of them creating animal sounds on guitar. Have a … Continue reading That time Randy Hansen told me about exchanging ideas and creating animal sounds with Stevie Ray Vaughan

That time I made Gordie Johnson’s day by telling him that Bruce Fairbairn admired his production work

By Steve Newton It’s fun to pass on compliments sometimes. Like when I was interviewing Big Sugar frontman Gordie Johnson back in October of 1998. A couple weeks earlier I’d interviewed famed Vancouver producer-to-the-stars Bruce Fairbairn, who’d mentioned that he was impressed by the production on Big Sugar’s latest album, Heated. When I told Johnson … Continue reading That time I made Gordie Johnson’s day by telling him that Bruce Fairbairn admired his production work