That time I asked Country Dick Montana what he liked best about playing live with the Beat Farmers

kevin statham photo By Steve Newton Here’s another audio excerpt from my 1990 interview with the legendary Country Dick Montana, because it’s Sunday afternoon and posting this seems like way more fun than the other crap I should be doing instead. Please note: you can hear the entire interview–all 20 minutes of Dick being Dick–by … Continue reading That time I asked Country Dick Montana what he liked best about playing live with the Beat Farmers

That time Country Dick Montana sang me a couple of lines from the Beat Farmers’ version of “Angel of the Morning”

By Steve Newton I loved Country Dick Montana. He was a true rock god as far as I was concerned. I got to interview the wildman drummer and sometime singer for San Diego’s Beat Farmers three times before his heart-attack death on stage in 1995. I chatted with him in 1987, 1990, and–when he was … Continue reading That time Country Dick Montana sang me a couple of lines from the Beat Farmers’ version of “Angel of the Morning”

The Beat Farmers’ wildman drummer Country Dick Montana steals the show in Vancouver

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 2, 1988 By Steve Newton Picture this: you walk into 86 Street and the first thing you see on stage is a big, bearded mother of a biker-type in a long black coat and cowboy hat. During a raunched-up version of “Lucille”, this crazy dude … Continue reading The Beat Farmers’ wildman drummer Country Dick Montana steals the show in Vancouver

The Beat Farmers’ Country Dick Montana offers tips for men and insight into The Pursuit of Happiness

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 6, 1987 By Steve Newton Devoted fans of serious music should make a point of being as far away as possible from the 86 Street Music Hall this Tuesday (November 10). However, those with less cultivated tastes–and a penchant for rowdy, party-time country rock with … Continue reading The Beat Farmers’ Country Dick Montana offers tips for men and insight into The Pursuit of Happiness

Album review: the Beat Farmers, Loud and Plowed and…Live!! (1990)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 9, 1990 By Steve Newton San Diego’s prime providers of rude ’n’ rowdy rock ’n’ roll have finally done it. After years of putting on shows—a lot of them right here in Vancouver—that were so wild they verged on the criminal, the Beat Farmers have released a live … Continue reading Album review: the Beat Farmers, Loud and Plowed and…Live!! (1990)

Nirvana plays the Town Pump in Vancouver (two days after the Beat Farmers)

Twenty-five years ago today—on March 12, 1990—Nirvana played Vancouver’s Town Pump on a double-bill with fellow Seattle grunge-rockers Tad. Remember that amazing gig? I don’t. For some strange reason I didn’t go, although a year later I’d return to the fabled Gastown venue to review Tad, and then six months after that, the mighty Pearl Jam. I’ve been … Continue reading Nirvana plays the Town Pump in Vancouver (two days after the Beat Farmers)

Junkhouse at the Town Pump evokes the Beat Farmers’ Glad & Greasy

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 14, 1995 It’s midnight on a Friday (September 8) at the Town Pump. The brew has been flowing freely for hours already, and the hard-rocking headlining band is about to take the stage. The crowd is definitely stoked for some good old…spoken-word performance? Apparently, Junkhouse singer-songwriter Tom Wilson … Continue reading Junkhouse at the Town Pump evokes the Beat Farmers’ Glad & Greasy

Beer-drenched Beat Farmers get a boner for Vancouver at the Commodore

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 29, 1990 By Steve Newton Before the Beat Farmers hit the stage last Friday (November 23) for the first of two weekend shows at the Commodore, a flock of young women—entrants in the La Hunt for La Goddess contest—was paraded before the assembled multitudes. But the crowd only … Continue reading Beer-drenched Beat Farmers get a boner for Vancouver at the Commodore

The Beat Farmers’ Country Dick Montana expects “large crowds of roaming bozos” in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 15, 1990 By Steve Newton If aliens from another world ever happened to beam down into a nightclub where the Beat Farmers were playing, they’d witness an unusual rock ’n’ roll custom that might be mistaken for a strange religious rite. They’d see a rough-looking biker-type poised at … Continue reading The Beat Farmers’ Country Dick Montana expects “large crowds of roaming bozos” in Vancouver

That time Golden Earring frontman Barry Hay told me about touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd and getting beaten up with Ronnie Van Zandt

By Steve Newton It’s amazing what a person can find when they listen to old interviews they recorded on cassette back in 1984. Like that time I was chatting with Golden Earring vocalist and cosongwriter Barry Hay and asked him about touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd back in the seventies. Have a listen:   To hear … Continue reading That time Golden Earring frontman Barry Hay told me about touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd and getting beaten up with Ronnie Van Zandt

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

That time I told Tony Iommi that “Supernaut” was my fave Black Sabbath riff, and he said that it was Zappa’s too

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Tony Iommi, the Riffmaster General, twice: the first time was back in ’84 when the Ian Gillan-fronted Black Sabbath was touring behind the Born Again album, and the last time was in 2007 when he was back with Ronnie James Dio in the Heaven and Hell format. As the second … Continue reading That time I told Tony Iommi that “Supernaut” was my fave Black Sabbath riff, and he said that it was Zappa’s too

That time Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Warren Haynes six times, because he’s one of my favourite musicians of all time. I can’t get enough of his voice, his guitar, and his songs. And even if they aren’t his actual songs I’m crazy about ’em. Like when Gov’t Mule recorded the traditional gospel-blues tune “John the Revelator” … Continue reading That time Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

That time I asked Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin whether Steve Howe was a hard act to follow

By Steve Newton Way back in April of 1984 I interviewed Trevor Rabin, who at the time was the new guitarist in Yes. The band was on a world tour supporting its latest album, 90125, which had spawned the hit single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and was topping the charts. At one point in … Continue reading That time I asked Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin whether Steve Howe was a hard act to follow

That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

By Steve Newton I interviewed British guitar legend Albert Lee back in July of 1986, when he was touring with the Everly Brothers as their musical director. After chatting with Albert about how he first got involved with the Everlys, I asked him how it was different touring with them than with Eric Clapton, whose … Continue reading That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Jason Bonham back in 1989, I asked him what it was like growing up with a father who was world-famous for being the drummer in Led Zeppelin. Turns out it wasn’t that big of a deal to him. Have a listen: To hear the full … Continue reading That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Joan Jett back in 1992 she was touring behind her Notorious album, which, while not a bad album, wasn’t exactly racing up the charts. Jett explained to me that it didn’t help that the record wasn’t getting much promotional push from Sony, the major label handling distribution. Then she … Continue reading That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

That time I asked Robert Cray if he was surprised that Eric Clapton covered his song “Bad Influence” on August

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Robert Cray four times, ’cause I reckon he’s one of the tastiest guitarists who’s ever strapped on a Strat. This was the first time, back in January of 1996, when he was touring behind his Some Rainy Morning album. Ten years earlier Cray had gotten a bit of a boost … Continue reading That time I asked Robert Cray if he was surprised that Eric Clapton covered his song “Bad Influence” on August

That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

By Steve Newton The best musicians always try to surround themselves with the best musicians. For Edgar Winter that wasn’t hard. When he was born he already had a big brother named Johnny waiting at home, and they would become close musical collaborators throughout their lifetimes. Another hugely talented player that Edgar hooked up with … Continue reading That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1984 I interviewed Tony Carey, who I’d been a fan of since I heard him playing keyboards on Rainbow’s colossal Rising album of 1976. At the time of our chat he was promoting his new solo album Some Tough City, which was doing well on the charts … Continue reading That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open

That time Ian Hunter told me that what sells Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter–or what doesn’t sell Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter

By Steve Newton Mott the Hoople is one of my all-time favourite bands, and Ian Hunter is one of my all-time favourite rockers. I interviewed him and Mick Ronson separately on the same day–September 9, 1988–when they were headed to Vancouver for a show in advance of recording their awesome 1989 album YUI Orta. At … Continue reading That time Ian Hunter told me that what sells Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter–or what doesn’t sell Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter

That time Alex Van Halen told me how early on he discovered the fascinating power of live music

By Steve Newton We’ve all heard the old joke before: “What do you call somebody who hangs around with musicians? A drummer.” I think it’s fair to say that drummers don’t always get the credit they deserve. I haven’t interviewed that many over the years–for the simple fact that I prefer talking to guitarists–but some … Continue reading That time Alex Van Halen told me how early on he discovered the fascinating power of live music

That time I asked Joe Satriani who his best guitar student was and he said Steve Vai caught on the quickest

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1990 I did the first of my seven interviews with Joe Satriani. At the time he was touring behind his latest album, Flying in a Blue Dream, and the buzz about him was growing fast. People were learning that he’d spent several years as a guitar instructor, teaching … Continue reading That time I asked Joe Satriani who his best guitar student was and he said Steve Vai caught on the quickest

That time I called up 22-year-old Jeff Healey and asked him about his role in the upcoming bouncer flick Roadhouse

By Steve Newton I was fortunate enough to have interviewed Canadian guitar wizard Jeff Healey three times. Man could that guy wail on the Strat! The first interview took place in June of 1988, when he was just 22, and still three months away from releasing his incredible debut album, See the Light. When I … Continue reading That time I called up 22-year-old Jeff Healey and asked him about his role in the upcoming bouncer flick Roadhouse

That time Richie Sambora told me why Bon Jovi switched producers from Bruce Fairbairn to Bob Rock

By Steve Newton Bon Jovi may have been hugely popular back in the day, but I actually enjoyed guitarist Richie Sambora’s solo debut album, Stranger in This Town, more than any Bon Jovi band release. I even preferred Sambora’s lead vocals over Jon Bon Jovi’s, especially on solo tunes like “Ballad of Youth”. So it … Continue reading That time Richie Sambora told me why Bon Jovi switched producers from Bruce Fairbairn to Bob Rock

That time 18-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd told me about meeting his idol Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Kenny Wayne Shepherd four times, ’cause I’m a sucker for folks who can play the shit out of a Strat. The first time was back in December of 1995, when he was only 18 and touring behind his platinum-selling debut album, Ledbetter Heights. At one point in the conversation I … Continue reading That time 18-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd told me about meeting his idol Stevie Ray Vaughan