UFO bassist Pete Way left his musical mark on some of the wickedest rock tunes of the seventies

By Steve Newton Hard-rock bassist Pete Way passed away yesterday at the age of 69, two months after sustaining life-threatening injuries in an accident at home. He was known for his work with bands such as Fastway and Waysted, but mostly for his lengthy tenure with the highly underrated UFO, of which he was a … Continue reading UFO bassist Pete Way left his musical mark on some of the wickedest rock tunes of the seventies

That time I asked Michael Schenker which UFO album he was most impressed with himself

By Steve Newton In March of 1992 I did an interview with Michael Schenker, one of my favourite hard-rock guitarists of all time, whose work with Scorpions, UFO, and MSG totally blew me away. Especially the UFO stuff. When the Phenomenon album came out in 1974 I had just turned 17, and tunes like “Doctor … Continue reading That time I asked Michael Schenker which UFO album he was most impressed with himself

Album review: UFO, Making Contact (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 15, 1983 By Steve Newton While we’re on the subject of riff-riddled hard rock, take into consideration the latest UFO release, Making Contact. The man who now holds Michael Schenker’s old position on lead guitar, Paul Chapman, is no lightweight when it comes to intense blues bastardization. UFO … Continue reading Album review: UFO, Making Contact (1983)

Newt’s Rock Hall inducts UFO, Robin Trower, Blue Öyster Cult, Mott the Hoople, and Ten Years After

By Steve Newton Tonight the much-maligned Rock and Roll Hall of Fame officially inducts Deep Purple, Cheap Trick, Steve Miller, Chicago, and, unbelievably, legendary rock ‘n’ rollers N.W.A. Now, this is better work than you commonly expect from the RRHOF, which, back in 2013, had the audacity to induct Cat Stevens instead of fellow nominee Link … Continue reading Newt’s Rock Hall inducts UFO, Robin Trower, Blue Öyster Cult, Mott the Hoople, and Ten Years After

Bittersweet Gin Blossoms encounter UFOs and Alice Cooper in their ‘hood

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 29, 1996 By Steve Newton If there were such a thing as a Webster’s Dictionary of Pop Music, you could probably look up the word bittersweet and find a picture of Arizona’s Gin Blossoms nearby. Like fellow southerner Matthew Sweet and local buddies the Odds—who will tour with … Continue reading Bittersweet Gin Blossoms encounter UFOs and Alice Cooper in their ‘hood

UFO sightings and mining disasters fuel Weeping Tile’s Cold Snap

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 9, 1995 By Steve Newton Only six years ago, Kingston, Ontario, was a place best-known for its contrasting institutions of promise and penance (Queens University, Kingston Penitentiary), but the Tragically Hip’s breakthrough Up to Here album put a quick stop to that. The Hip’s burgeoning popularity has put … Continue reading UFO sightings and mining disasters fuel Weeping Tile’s Cold Snap

UFO box set celebrates the hard-rock guitar genius of Michael Schenker

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 6, 2011 By Steve Newton When I wrote the first Ear of Newt blog I mentioned that one of my goals was to shine a light on the more underrated rock acts of the ’70s, and UFO was one that I pointed to. It always bugs me that I never get … Continue reading UFO box set celebrates the hard-rock guitar genius of Michael Schenker

The ghost of Buford Pusser rises on the Drive-By Truckers’ Dirty South

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 21, 2004 By Steve Newton On the back of the booklet that comes with the Drive-By Truckers’ latest CD, The Dirty South, there’s a photo of a bare-chested toddler standing in front of Buford Pusser’s gravestone. For the uninitiated, Pusser was the Tennessee sheriff whose brutal approach to law ‘n’ … Continue reading The ghost of Buford Pusser rises on the Drive-By Truckers’ Dirty South

Album review: Sora, Desire and Truth (2010)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 27, 2010 By Steve Newton It’s been five long years since Vancouver rock vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist extraordinaire Erol Sora blew me away with his Demented Honour album, but from the sound of his new CD, Desire and Truth, he’s still Vancouver’s answer to Gary Moore. In other words, Sora knows how to … Continue reading Album review: Sora, Desire and Truth (2010)

Album review: The New Odds, Cheerleader (2008)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 19, 2008 By Steve Newton The original Odds team of singer-guitarists Craig Northey and Steven Drake was a pairing made in pop heaven. On its best songs, like “I Would Be Your Man” and “Nothing Beautiful”, its melodic sensibilities rivaled the Beatles-esque beauty of Crowded House. Mind you, … Continue reading Album review: The New Odds, Cheerleader (2008)

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

Iron Maiden loses out to the Go-Go’s and Jay-Z as the Rock Hall’s head plunges even further up its ass

By Steve Newton Iron Maiden are one helluva rock band. If they weren’t I wouldn’t have interviewed them six times. But those inept turdballs down at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame seem to think that a group like the Go-Go’s–who put out three studio albums in their heyday and another one 17 years … Continue reading Iron Maiden loses out to the Go-Go’s and Jay-Z as the Rock Hall’s head plunges even further up its ass

Halfwits at Rock Hall again ignore Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, and Link Wray, instead nominate the Go-Go’s and Dionne Warwick

By Steve Newton You may have heard that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recently announced the nominees for its class of 2021. And man does the list suck in spots. The Go-Go’s? Dionne Warwick? That’s what passes for rock and roll these days? Here’s the full list of 15 nominees: Mary J. Blige, Kate … Continue reading Halfwits at Rock Hall again ignore Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, and Link Wray, instead nominate the Go-Go’s and Dionne Warwick

Remembering Uriah Heep as a teenager in the seventies

By Steve Newton Having a bunch of vinyl albums from the seventies is cool, because the seventies were a while ago, and sometimes you forget which ones you actually own. Then when you go searching in the alphabetized stacks for a particular rock band from half a century ago you might find something that surprises … Continue reading Remembering Uriah Heep as a teenager in the seventies

God bless Chuck Leavell’s piano solo on the Allman Brothers’ “Southbound”

By Steve Newton As most readers of Ear of Newt have probly figured out by now, I’m something of a guitar freak. I just love the sound of a guitar, especially when it’s in the hands of someone really, really good. (I also spell the word probably as “probly” because that’s how it sounds to me, … Continue reading God bless Chuck Leavell’s piano solo on the Allman Brothers’ “Southbound”

Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Rainbow, BTO, Steve Earle, Judas Priest, Little Feat, Todd Rundgren, and Mahogany Rush

By Steve Newton As you may aware, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame crapped the bed again yesterday, inducting the likes of Whitney Houston and Depeche Mode over nominees like Thin Lizzy, Soundgarden, Judas Priest, and the MC5. So today Newt’s Rock Hall is gonna match their six additions, and add a seventh to … Continue reading Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Rainbow, BTO, Steve Earle, Judas Priest, Little Feat, Todd Rundgren, and Mahogany Rush

Rock Hall hits rock bottom, inducts Whitney Houston instead of Thin Lizzy

By Steve Newton Just when you think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame might not necessarily be a total waste of space, they go and screw up big-time again. And this time it’s a real doozy. Today the Rock Hall announced the inductees for its class of 2020, and guess what? They had a … Continue reading Rock Hall hits rock bottom, inducts Whitney Houston instead of Thin Lizzy

Braindead twats at the Rock Hall nominate Whitney Houston, spurn Rory, Link, and Johnny

By Steve Newton I’ve been lobbying for years to get the three most deserving rockers I can think of–Rory Gallagher, Link Wray, and Johnny Winter–inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I keep hoping that one day Jann Wenner and his braindead RRHOF cohorts will pull their heads out of their asses long … Continue reading Braindead twats at the Rock Hall nominate Whitney Houston, spurn Rory, Link, and Johnny