The Wallflowers fail to enthrall a sell-out crowd in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 30, 2003 I was feeling just a tad hesitant when setting off to review the Wallflowers’ gig last Friday (January 17). For one thing, the American band’s latest CD, Red Letter Days, hadn’t thrilled me. I knew that chrome-domed guitar ace Michael Ward—who’d provided the fine fretwork on … Continue reading The Wallflowers fail to enthrall a sell-out crowd in Vancouver

Wallflowers guitarist more influenced by Ace Frehley than Jakob Dylan’s dad

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 20, 1997 Most guitarists for hire would jump at the opportunity to join a band featuring Bob Dylan’s son as singer-songwriter; name recognition alone would give that group an instant edge in the competitive rock ’n’ roll game. When Jakob Dylan was on the lookout for a new … Continue reading Wallflowers guitarist more influenced by Ace Frehley than Jakob Dylan’s dad

The Wallflowers’ Jakob Dylan says he’s not here to talk about his dad

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 25, 1993 By Steve Newton I’d never heard the Wallflowers until about a week ago, when a fellow Straight contributor suggested I might like their rootsy style—the Black Crowes meet The Band. After rounding up a copy of the group’s self-titled 1992 debut, I fell under the spell … Continue reading The Wallflowers’ Jakob Dylan says he’s not here to talk about his dad

Led Zeppelin’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton I realize millions of Zep fans might complain about “Stairway to Heaven” not being Number One, but they’ll get over it. 20. “Ten Years Gone” (Physical Graffiti, 1975) 19. “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” (Led Zeppelin, 1969) 18. “Celebration Day” (Led Zeppelin III, 1970) 17. “Achilles Last Stand” (Presence, 1976) 16. “In … Continue reading Led Zeppelin’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

That time Rickey Medlocke told me that the rebel flag was just a symbol of where Skynyrd came from

By Steve Newton Lynyrd Skynyrd doesn’t fly the rebel flag in concert anymore, from what I’ve heard. But back in 1997 they sure did. So when I interviewed guitarist Rickey Medlocke before a ’97 show in Vancouver I asked him if, from his Native American perspective, he found there to an intolerance among southern-rock fans … Continue reading That time Rickey Medlocke told me that the rebel flag was just a symbol of where Skynyrd came from

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton There might be a more impressive triple-threat musician–singer, songwriter, and guitarist–than John Fogerty. But I have no idea who it is. 20. “Long As I Can See the Light” (Cosmo’s Factory, 1970) 19. “Penthouse Pauper” (Bayou Country, 1969) 18. “Susie Q” (Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1968) 17. “Someday Never Comes” (Mardi Gras, 1971) … Continue reading Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

That time Joe Perry told me that Aerosmith’s best album, it’s Exile on Main Street, was yet to come

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Joe Perry four times so far, ’cause back when I was teenager in the ’70s, Aerosmith ruled. I went crazy for albums like Get Your Wings, Rocks, and Draw the Line. Our last chat was in September of 2010, which was long after I’d grown disenchanted with Aerosmith albums, which … Continue reading That time Joe Perry told me that Aerosmith’s best album, it’s Exile on Main Street, was yet to come

That time I took my nephew backstage for autographs on Mötley Crüe’s Theatre of Pain tour and naughty Nikki scribbled “do drugs”

bev davies photo By Steve Newton Way back in November of 1985 I took my nephew Jeff to see Mötley Crüe at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. It was the second big concert of his 15-year life, the first being Iron Maiden the previous year. I took him to that one too, thinking the more … Continue reading That time I took my nephew backstage for autographs on Mötley Crüe’s Theatre of Pain tour and naughty Nikki scribbled “do drugs”

That time I asked Slash if he was having more fun with Slash’s Snakepit than he was with GN’R

By Steve Newton When I interviewed American guitar hero Slash in April of 1995 he was playing with his own band, Slash’s Snakepit, which originally included two of his Guns N’ Roses bandmates—drummer Matt Sorum and guitarist Gilby Clarke—as well as Alice in Chains bassist Mike Inez and former Jellyfish member Eric Dover on lead … Continue reading That time I asked Slash if he was having more fun with Slash’s Snakepit than he was with GN’R

Ian Hunter’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

Man, this was hard, trying to keep a list of Ian Hunter’s best songs down to just 20 tunes. By Steve Newton 20. “I Get So Excited” (Ian Hunter, 1975) 19. “All American Alien Boy” (All American Alien Boy, 1976) 18. “Cleveland Rocks” (You’re Never Alone with a Schizophrenic, 1979) 17. “Boy” (Ian Hunter, 1975) … Continue reading Ian Hunter’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

Mott the Hoople’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

Mott the Hoople are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Neither is Ian Hunter, or either of the Micks (Ralphs and Ronson). Screw the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. By Steve Newton 20. “Death May Be Your Santa Claus” (Brain Capers, 1971) 19. “Walkin’ with a Mountain” (Mad Shadows, 1970) 18. … Continue reading Mott the Hoople’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

That time Steve Vai told me that he only got offered demonic roles in movies after Crossroads

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1990 I did my first interview with guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, who was 29 at the time. Four years earlier Vai had portrayed Jack Butler, the devil’s guitar player, in the blues movie Crossroads, which was inspired by the legend of Robert Johnson. The climax of the … Continue reading That time Steve Vai told me that he only got offered demonic roles in movies after Crossroads

That time Ronnie James Dio told me that music was given to us to colour our world

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Ronnie James Dio back in 1985 there was a backlash going against heavy metal, with groups like the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Centre) trying to depict it as dangerous to the wellbeing of young kids. Dio was well aware of how metal artists were being stereotyped for their music … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me that music was given to us to colour our world

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

Rainbow’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton Ritchie with Ronnie rules. 20. “Difficult to Cure” (Difficult to Cure, 1981) 19. “Still I’m Sad” (Rainbow, 1975) 18. “Rainbow Eyes” (Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, 1977) 17. “Snake Charmer” (Rainbow, 1975) 16. “Tarot Woman” (Rising, 1976) 15. “Sensitive to Light” (Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, 1977) 14. “Since You’ve Been Gone” … Continue reading Rainbow’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

The Allman Brothers’ 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton If you’re wondering why “Statesboro Blues” and “One Way Out” aren’t on here, it’s because I didn’t include live recordings, just studio ones. Sorry about that. 20. “Old Friend” (Hittin’ the Note, 2003) 19. “Dreams” (The Allman Brothers Band, 1969) 18. “Pegasus” (Enlightened Rogues, 1979) 17. “Kind of Bird” (Shades of Two … Continue reading The Allman Brothers’ 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

Album review: Ozzy Osbourne, Bark at the Moon (1984)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 16, 1984 By Steve Newton It looks like Ozzy’ll be laughing all the way to the bank when the royalty cheques for his new album Bark at the Moon come rolling in. The raunched-out guitars, pounding drums and madman vocals that made his first two albums, Blizzard of … Continue reading Album review: Ozzy Osbourne, Bark at the Moon (1984)

John Doe describes X as “a rock and roll band that loves songs”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 3, 1984 By Steve Newton “They were so close it was scary,” claims X bassist John Doe of the near-identical musician’s ads he and guitarist Billy Zoom ran in a Los Angeles paper back in 1979. The eerie similarity of the two advertisements brought the players quickly together, … Continue reading John Doe describes X as “a rock and roll band that loves songs”