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 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

That time I asked Justin Hayward if he knew the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” was special as soon as it came to him

By Steve Newton As April Wine once said, “I Like to Rock”. I like to rock as well, but once in a while a beautiful, gentle ballad is, as Ted Nugent once said, “Just What the Doctor Ordered”. But enough about April Wine and Ted Nugent. This little blog’s about a softer-rockin’, more prog-oriented band … Continue reading That time I asked Justin Hayward if he knew the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” was special as soon as it came to him

That time I asked Elliot Easton if he felt like a mercenary playing John Fogerty’s licks in Creedence Clearwater Revisited

By Steve Newton I’ve long felt that John Fogerty was the biggest triple-threat in rock: as a songwriter, singer, and guitarist, few can match him. I’ve also always hated how, for years after the breakup of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fogerty couldn’t even perform the incredible CCR songs he’d written, for legal reasons. The old CCR … Continue reading That time I asked Elliot Easton if he felt like a mercenary playing John Fogerty’s licks in Creedence Clearwater Revisited

That time Wayne Kramer told me about the MC5’s political consciousness in the ’60s

By Steve Newton I missed out on the MC5 when they were a major musical force on the American counterculture scene in the late ’60s. And it’s not just ’cause I’m Canadian. I was only 11 when their groundbreaking Kick Out the Jams debut album came out, and at that point all I listened to … Continue reading That time Wayne Kramer told me about the MC5’s political consciousness in the ’60s

That time Joe Satriani told me how his mind works when he’s playing wicked guitar on stage

By Steve Newton Some guitarists learn how to play by ear, and others–like Joe Satriani–learn how to play by the book. Satch knows music theory better than most, so when I did my first interview with him back in 1990–just after the release of Flying in a Blue Dream–I asked him how that relates to … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me how his mind works when he’s playing wicked guitar on stage

That time Randy Hansen told me about recording his atmospheric, Hendrix-style guitar parts for Apocalypse Now

By Steve Newton Back in August of 2001 I interviewed Jimi Hendrix tribute artist Randy Hansen because he was coming up from Seattle for a gig at a Vancouver club. This was right around the time that Apocalypse Now Redux, an extended version of Francis Ford Coppola’s epic 1979 Vietnam war movie, was being released. … Continue reading That time Randy Hansen told me about recording his atmospheric, Hendrix-style guitar parts for Apocalypse Now

That time Bob Rock told me that he just wakes up in the morning and music is what he does

By Steve Newton Being a rock journalist in Vancouver during the ’80s and ’90s meant that I was close to where a lot of the top-selling albums of the time were made. That was mainly down at Little Mountain Sound, where local producers, engineers, and mixers–guys like Bruce Fairbairn, Bob Rock, and Mike Fraser–were tweaking … Continue reading That time Bob Rock told me that he just wakes up in the morning and music is what he does

That time Steve Vai told me about the “cornball arrangements” on his Zappesque debut album Flex-Able

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Steve Vai, just after he’d released Passion and Warfare in 1990, we got to talking about his previous album, Flex-Able. Turns out the success of Passion and Warfare was pushing sales of the six-year-old Flex-Able, even though the music on it was the opposite of … Continue reading That time Steve Vai told me about the “cornball arrangements” on his Zappesque debut album Flex-Able

That time Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman told me about creating the riff for “American Woman”

By Steve Newton Canada doesn’t seem to have an overabundance of rock-guitar heroes. Sure, you’ve got your Lenny Breau when it comes to jazz, and your Jeff Healey if you’re talkin’ blues. But when it comes to Canadian rock-guitar heroes, I can’t think of tons. Alex Lifeson, Kim Mitchell… Obviously Neil Young, but isn’t he … Continue reading That time Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman told me about creating the riff for “American Woman”

That time Nick Gilder told me about Bryan Adams taking his place in Sweeney Todd

By Steve Newton If you were a rock-loving Canadian teenager in the mid-seventies you no doubt heard “Roxy Roller”, the big hit by Vancouver glam-rock band Sweeney Todd, on the radio. It wasn’t one of my personal favourite tunes, but I do remember buying the album, because back in ’76 I was all about the … Continue reading That time Nick Gilder told me about Bryan Adams taking his place in Sweeney Todd

That time Ann Wilson told me about the heartfelt dedication on Heart’s “These Dreams”

By Steve Newton I was a huge fan of Heart back in the seventies. I remember they played a show at the hockey rink in my hometown of Chilliwack, B.C. when I was just out of high school. With Ann Wilson’s killer voice, Roger Fisher’s killer guitar, and killer songs like “Magic Man” and “Crazy … Continue reading That time Ann Wilson told me about the heartfelt dedication on Heart’s “These Dreams”

Andy Powell on the awesomeness of Wishbone Ash’s Argus, up-and-comer Doyle Bramhall II, and “old friend” the Flying V

brian ferguson photo By Steve Newton I loved Wishbone Ash in the seventies. The dual lead-guitar stylings on albums like Argus and There’s The Rub really turned my crank. So it was cool to finally do a little interview with founding member Andy Powell back in 2003, before the band played a gig at Vancouver’s … Continue reading Andy Powell on the awesomeness of Wishbone Ash’s Argus, up-and-comer Doyle Bramhall II, and “old friend” the Flying V

That time I asked Klaus Meine if the Scorpions were blowing Van Halen off the stage on the Monsters of Rock Tour

By Steve Newton Way back in July of 1988 I made the trek from Vancouver to see the Monsters of Rock Festival at the Seattle Kingdome. The lineup featured Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come, and at the time–since David Lee Roth was no longer in VH–I was particularly psyched to see the … Continue reading That time I asked Klaus Meine if the Scorpions were blowing Van Halen off the stage on the Monsters of Rock Tour

That time Doyle Bramhall II told me that he was “all over” B.B. King and Eric Clapton’s Riding With the King

By Steve Newton I absolutely loved the B.B. King and Eric Clapton album Riding With the King when it came out in 2000. It was a shoo-in for my Top 10 Albums of the Year list, alongside other guitar-centic offerings like Joe Satriani‘s Engines of Creation and Steve Vai‘s The 7th Song. But with such … Continue reading That time Doyle Bramhall II told me that he was “all over” B.B. King and Eric Clapton’s Riding With the King