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

Guy Davis says that Taj Mahal gave him the real concerted blues lesson

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 20, 2003 By Steve Newton Blues fans who enjoy their music with a theatrical twist should make an effort to get out to the North Shore on Sunday (March 23), when singer-storyteller-guitarist Guy Davis plays the Capilano College Performing Arts Theatre. The New York bluesman will be performing … Continue reading Guy Davis says that Taj Mahal gave him the real concerted blues lesson

Album review: Various Artists, Kiss My Ass (1994)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 7, 1994 By Steve Newton The first time I ever laid eyes on Kiss–I think it was on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert–I thought the band was just a bunch of Alice Cooper copycats. A short time later, though, I heard Kiss’s 1974 debut album and became a huge … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, Kiss My Ass (1994)

Oh my f***ing god! Rock Hall snubs Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, and Link Wray yet again!

By Steve Newton Well, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has done it again. A few days ago the Cleveland-based institution nominated 17 bands and artists to its class of 2022, but once more just plumb forgot the three artists most deserving of immediate induction: Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, and Link Wray. Instead they … Continue reading Oh my f***ing god! Rock Hall snubs Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, and Link Wray yet again!

25 rock albums from 1977 that are way better than Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell

By Steve Newton Since the death of Meat Loaf last Thursday I’ve been hearing an awful lot about his 1977 debut album, Bat Out of Hell. The media’s been falling all over itself, declaring how it’s one of the best-selling albums of all time–moving over 40 million copies–and how much people love the music on … Continue reading 25 rock albums from 1977 that are way better than Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell

Bad Company’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton No Paul Rodgers, no Bad Company. 20. “Weep No More” (Straight Shooter, 1975) 19. “Peace of Mind” (Burnin’ Sky, 1977) 18. “Sweet Lil Sister” (Run with the Pack, 1976) 17. “Painted Face” (Rough Diamonds, 1980) 16. “Rhythm Machine” (Desolation Angels, 1979) 15. “Ready for Love” (Bad Company, 1974) 14. “Deal With the … Continue reading Bad Company’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

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