That time Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon told me about his love/hate relationship with John Lydon

By Steve Newton I only got to interview Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon once before his tragic drug-overdose death at the age of 28. It was December of 1992, and earlier in the year Hoon’s band had been part of the MTV 120 Minutes Tour, opening for Public Image Ltd., Big Audio Dynamite II, and … Continue reading That time Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon told me about his love/hate relationship with John Lydon

Blind Melon makes Soup in New Orleans but the Big Easy is “evil on a lot of levels”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 28, 1995 By Steve Newton Although I’ve never been there, I always pictured New Orleans as a carefree, laid-back location, where the relaxed residents would happily welcome visitors into a fantasyland of down-home music, to-die-for food, and endless celebration. But in a chat with Blind Melon bassist Brad … Continue reading Blind Melon makes Soup in New Orleans but the Big Easy is “evil on a lot of levels”

Blind Melon’s Shannon Hoon defines success as making it last

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 23, 1992 By Steve Newton When he was a headline-making member of the infamous Sex Pistols, John Lydon went to extremes to make sure people either loved or hated his grating, nihilistic Johnny Rotten persona. And, according to Blind Melon vocalist Shannon Hoon, Lydon hasn’t given up his … Continue reading Blind Melon’s Shannon Hoon defines success as making it last

Blind Melon plays Vancouver, Shannon Hoon holds his piss

On December 20, 1993, Blind Melon played Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom. It was a benefit for the Vancouver Food Bank as part of a plea deal stemming from charges against singer Shannon Hoon for an incident that occured two months earlier when he’d gotten naked on stage and peed into the front row at the Pacific Coliseum … Continue reading Blind Melon plays Vancouver, Shannon Hoon holds his piss

Blind Melon’s Shannon Hoon pees on stage in Vancouver

Most of the Halloweens I lived through in the nineties involved getting dressed up and going to house parties–usually the semi-rowdy ones I threw at the divey South Van house I rented for over a decade near Main & 58th. But on October 31, 1993, I had a concert to go to at the Pacific … Continue reading Blind Melon’s Shannon Hoon pees on stage in Vancouver

Warren Haynes calls Blind Willie Johnson’s “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground” one of the most haunting recordings ever

By Steve Newton Gov’t Mule is one of my favourite bands, and not just because their original music is so damn fine. Once in a while they’ll do a cover of an old blues tune that inspires me to search out previous versions, with wonderful results. Like back in 1998 when they recorded “John the … Continue reading Warren Haynes calls Blind Willie Johnson’s “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground” one of the most haunting recordings ever

That time I asked Steve Clark what the guys in Def Leppard liked to do to pass time on the road

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark back in June of 1988 his band was flying about as high as it would ever get, touring behind its most popular album, Hysteria. As a group of fun-loving rock ‘n’ rollers in their twenties, selling millions of albums and packing arenas, Clark and … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Clark what the guys in Def Leppard liked to do to pass time on the road

That time Rob Halford called me up from the Defenders of the Faith tour and said that Judas Priest had been playing “lethal” shows

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Rob Halford five times between 1984 and 2015–four times when he was in Judas Priest and once when he was in the industrial-metal project Two. This was the first time, on May 14, 1984, four months after Priest had released its platinum Defenders of the Faith album (the one with … Continue reading That time Rob Halford called me up from the Defenders of the Faith tour and said that Judas Priest had been playing “lethal” shows

That time I asked Gary Moore if he’d ever write a song about “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland

By Steve Newton I did my one and only interview with Irish guitar legend Gary Moore on May 11, 1984. Five months earlier the Provisional wing of the Irish Republican Army had exploded a car bomb outside Harrods department store in central London, killing three police officers and three civilians, and injuring 90 people. (The … Continue reading That time I asked Gary Moore if he’d ever write a song about “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland

That time I asked Long John Baldry who his favourite blues people were these days and he went with Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton I did my one and only interview with blues legend Long John Baldry on September 8, 1985, shortly after he’d moved to Vancouver, where he would remain until his death 20 years later. Ten days earlier I’d gone to an incredible Vancouver concert by another blues legend, Stevie Ray Vaughan, whose third … Continue reading That time I asked Long John Baldry who his favourite blues people were these days and he went with Stevie Ray Vaughan

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

That time Sean Costello told me about recording with Susan Tedeschi at 17 and playing with Derek Trucks at 12

anthony pepitone photo By Steve Newton Sean Costello is one of those guitarists who blows you away with his amazing talent and then you look around and he’s gone. The fast-rising blues guitarist and singer-songwriter –who suffered from bipolar disorder–died of an overdose 16 months after I interviewed him in December of 2006. He was … Continue reading That time Sean Costello told me about recording with Susan Tedeschi at 17 and playing with Derek Trucks at 12

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2005

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 15, 2005 By Steve Newton Both young upstarts and grizzled old-timers made my Top 10 this year, proving yet again that good rock ‘n’ roll transcends generational boundaries. And needs lots of guitars. Audioslave Out of Exile With the help of producer Rick Rubin and mixer Brendan O’Brien, former … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2005

That time I asked Roger Hodgson why he left Supertramp anyway

By Steve Newton Like most kids growing up in the seventies who were into prog rock, I liked Supertramp. Probably not as much as my sisters did, though. They were crazy about Supertramp. I interviewed one of the band’s two main guys, singer-songwriter-guitarist Roger Hodgson, in March of 1998, long after he’d quit the group … Continue reading That time I asked Roger Hodgson why he left Supertramp anyway

That time Brian Blush told me about the Refreshments recording the “King of the Hill” theme song

By Steve Newton The Refreshments were a great rock band from Tempe, Arizona that was around for a few years in the mid-’90s. I interviewed lead guitarist Brian Blush in October of 1997, two weeks after the release of the band’s third and final album, The Bottle & Fresh Horses. The Refreshments are perhaps best … Continue reading That time Brian Blush told me about the Refreshments recording the “King of the Hill” theme song

That time Joe Elliott told me that Def Leppard wasn’t a big-hair band, and didn’t belong in “the Winger/Warrant/Ratt category”

By Steve Newton Joe Elliott is the fourth Def Leppard member I’ve interviewed. I started off with bassist Rick Savage in 1983, hooked up with guitarist Steve Clark in ’88, and chatted with VIvian Campbell–the guy who took Clark’s place after he died–in 1992. I didn’t get around to talking with Elliott until 2003, when … Continue reading That time Joe Elliott told me that Def Leppard wasn’t a big-hair band, and didn’t belong in “the Winger/Warrant/Ratt category”

That time Heart’s Ann Wilson told me that the only movie scripts she ever got were for hard-drinking, Janis Joplin-type roles

By Steve Newton Heart were one of the first great rock bands I ever saw. Back in the early seventies they would play gigs in my hometown of Chilliwack, showcasing wicked tunes like “White Lightning and Wine” and “Magic Man” that would eventually appear on their 1975 debut album, Dreamboat Annie. I didn’t get to … Continue reading That time Heart’s Ann Wilson told me that the only movie scripts she ever got were for hard-drinking, Janis Joplin-type roles

That time Vinnie Paul told me about experiencing “the ultimate high” when Judas Priest fanatics Pantera jammed with Rob Halford

By Steve Newton Back on February 20, 1992, I did my one and only interview with Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul. That was five days before the Texas metal band released its most popular album, the double-platinum Vulgar Display of Power. At one point in the conversation I asked Vinnie about Rob Halford’s professed love for … Continue reading That time Vinnie Paul told me about experiencing “the ultimate high” when Judas Priest fanatics Pantera jammed with Rob Halford