Album review: Blue Oyster Cult, Extraterrestrial Live (1982)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 11, 1982 By Steve Newton Extraterrestrial Live is Blue Oyster Cult’s third, and best, live album. The weak production and muddled performances on 1975’s On Your Feet Or on Your Knees and the rush job “this will keep them going till our next studio album” impression of 1978’s Some … Continue reading Album review: Blue Oyster Cult, Extraterrestrial Live (1982)

Album review: Blue Oyster Cult, Heaven Forbid (1998)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 9, 1998 By Steve Newton Don’t let the cheapjack horror-movie cover fool ya, ’cause Heaven Forbid—Blue Oyster Cult’s first new recording since 1988’s substandard Imaginos—is one classy slab of hard rock. It’s not a masterwork in the league of Tyranny and Mutation or Agents of Fortune, but … Continue reading Album review: Blue Oyster Cult, Heaven Forbid (1998)

HIM’s Ville Valo discovered the dark side of rock through Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 7, 2007 By Steve Newton According to Ville Valo, lead vocalist for Finnish rockers HIM, “It’s very hard to sing about sunshine and ice cream and birds in fast cars.” So he doesn’t even try. Instead, song titles like “Cyanide Sun”, “Dead Lovers’ Lane”, and “Song or Suicide” … Continue reading HIM’s Ville Valo discovered the dark side of rock through Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper”

Newt’s Rock Hall inducts UFO, Robin Trower, Blue Oyster 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 Oyster Cult, Mott the Hoople, and Ten Years After

Blue Oyster Cult’s “Transmaniacon MC” an apt soundtrack for the mayhem of Altamont

By Steve Newton The infamous concert at Altamont Speedway in northern California, which took place December 6, 1969, is often viewed as “the anti-Woodstock”, its violence signalling the end of the peace-and-love era. A YouTube video that blends footage of the event from the 1970 Rolling Stones documentary Gimme Shelter with the 1972 Blue Oyster Cult song … Continue reading Blue Oyster Cult’s “Transmaniacon MC” an apt soundtrack for the mayhem of Altamont

Blue Oyster Cult’s Buck Dharma likes making people strain to hear

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 24, 2002 By Steve Newton As a metal-crazed teen in the ’70s, I was obsessed with Long Island hard-rockers Blue Oyster Cult. I used to blow all my lawn-mowing money on their albums and play them at ear-busting volume for hours on end, even though I had trouble … Continue reading Blue Oyster Cult’s Buck Dharma likes making people strain to hear

Blue Oyster Cult’s “Reaper” writer says death is on everybody’s mind

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 10, 2000 By Steve Newton Ever wonder why classic-rock stations often play the hell out of a ’70s band’s old hits, but won’t even touch its current material, no matter how strong it is? I have. I’m especially curious about why local FM station CFMI Rock 101 totally … Continue reading Blue Oyster Cult’s “Reaper” writer says death is on everybody’s mind

Blue Oyster Cult’s Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser on the origins of “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 23, 1997 By Steve Newton It’s hard for me to pick one all-time favourite rock band or rock album, but when it comes to my all-time fave song, that’s easy: Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”. I suppose it helps that, when that propulsive ode to the … Continue reading Blue Oyster Cult’s Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser on the origins of “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”

New Godzilla trailer brings that old Blue Oyster Cult tune to life

I don’t normally watch trailers for movies I know I’m going to review because they often give too much away—especially with the horror flicks I specialize in. But I wasn’t worried about viewing this new trailer for the Godzilla movie, which opens May 16. I already know what’s gonna happen: the Lizard King is gonna wreck Tokyo. Or some … Continue reading New Godzilla trailer brings that old Blue Oyster Cult tune to life

Blue Oyster Cult and Aldo Nova play Vancouver, I get stuck with Nova

By Steve Newton On December 27, 1983, Blue Oyster Cult and Aldo Nova played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. (That gig is not to be confused with the one they played at the same venue in August of ’82) I was pretty psyched about seeing B.O.C. Nova not so much. I must admit that I … Continue reading Blue Oyster Cult and Aldo Nova play Vancouver, I get stuck with Nova

It’s ’70s-rock heaven as Blue Oyster Cult, Wishbone Ash, Uriah Heep, and Nazareth play Vancouver

By Steve Newton On November 6, 1993, I saw the Total Recall tour at the Commodore Ballroom. No less than four of my fave bands from the ’70s were on the bill. Here’s the review that ran in the Georgia Straight the following week. In last week’s Straight we ran a little panel discussion wherein various … Continue reading It’s ’70s-rock heaven as Blue Oyster Cult, Wishbone Ash, Uriah Heep, and Nazareth play Vancouver

Blue Oyster Cult: “The world’s biggest underground band” (in 1982)

By Steve Newton One of the first interviews I ever did with a rock band I was totally nuts about happened way back in August of 1982. The mighty Blue Öyster Cult was playing Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum–with Aldo Nova opening up!–and the weekly paper I was still new at, the Georgia Straight, wanted me to … Continue reading Blue Oyster Cult: “The world’s biggest underground band” (in 1982)

That time the Cult’s Billy Duffy told me that Thin Lizzy was his number-one “teenie band”, and that it all boils down to the Les Paul

By Steve Newton Way back on April 7 of 1989 I interviewed the Cult guitarist Billy Duffy. That was three days before the band released its fourth album, the Bob Rock-produced Sonic Temple, which would go platinum on the strength of tunes like “Fire Woman”, “Sweet Soul Sister”, and “Edie (Ciao Baby)”. At one point … Continue reading That time the Cult’s Billy Duffy told me that Thin Lizzy was his number-one “teenie band”, and that it all boils down to the Les Paul

That time Joe Satriani told me that he wanted Flying in a Blue Dream to be something heavy and deep

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Joe Satriani in January of 1990 his Flying in a Blue Dream album had been out for only two months, and word had gotten around about what an ambitious project it was, clocking in at nearly 65 minutes. (His previous full-length disc, Surfing With the … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me that he wanted Flying in a Blue Dream to be something heavy and deep

That time Kim Simmonds told me that Eric Clapton was the greatest white blues guitar player he’d ever seen

By Steve Newton I was a huge Foghat fan in the seventies. I couldn’t get enough of their hard-driving boogie-blues on albums like Energized and Rock and Roll Outlaws. When I learned that most of their original members had come from a band called Savoy Brown I went and checked them out as well, and … Continue reading That time Kim Simmonds told me that Eric Clapton was the greatest white blues guitar player he’d ever seen

That time I asked Taj Mahal which blues artists were making him smile lately

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed American blues great Taj Mahal (real name Henry Saint Clair Fredericks) a couple of times. The first time was back in November of 2001, before he headed to Vancouver for a solo acoustic show at the historic Commodore Ballroom. At one point in the conversation I asked the 59-year-old Grammy-winner … Continue reading That time I asked Taj Mahal which blues artists were making him smile lately

That time I called up Albert Collins and asked what attracted him to the blues

By Steve Newton Sometimes when I’m feeling a little down, uncertain about the future, I like to go through my piles of interview cassettes, pick something out, and just listen to bits of conversations I had with legendary bluesmen decades ago. Fight the blues with the blues, I reckon. Here’s what it sounded like back … Continue reading That time I called up Albert Collins and asked what attracted him to the blues

That time Buddy Guy told me that he was a bluesman from his heart, as if I didn’t know

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Buddy Guy five times, because I freakin’ love Buddy Guy. The second time we chatted was in March of 1993, three weeks after the release of his Feels Like Rain album, which featured guest appearances by Bonnie Raitt, John Mayall, and Paul Rodgers. Rodgers performed on a version of the … Continue reading That time Buddy Guy told me that he was a bluesman from his heart, as if I didn’t know

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 John Sykes told me how he got Tony Franklin and Carmine Appice to commit to Blue Murder

By Steve Newton If you’ve been reading my blogs for any length of time you must know that Thin Lizzy is one of my all-time favourite bands. I just love anything to do with them. John Sykes had something to do with Thin Lizzy–like playing on their final studio album, and their last live one … Continue reading That time John Sykes told me how he got Tony Franklin and Carmine Appice to commit to Blue Murder

That time 26-year-old Stevie Salas told me about opening for Joe Satriani on the Blue Dream tour

By Steve Newton Way the funk back in June of 1990 I interviewed singer-songwriter and kick-ass guitarist Stevie Salas, who at the time was promoting his Stevie Salas Colorcode album, which I liked enough to put on my Top 10 list that year. “Hendrix meets Funkadelic in the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ practice space,” was … Continue reading That time 26-year-old Stevie Salas told me about opening for Joe Satriani on the Blue Dream tour

That time Stevie Ray Vaughan told me about his love of sixties blues

By Steve Newton Stevie Ray Vaughan wrote (and co-wrote) some damn fine songs, but he didn’t mind covering somebody else’s tunes either. When I did my second interview with him in 1990 his latest album was In Step, which included covers of sixties blues tunes by Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy, and Willie Dixon. When I … Continue reading That time Stevie Ray Vaughan told me about his love of sixties blues

That time John Mayall told me that his Bluesbreakers of 1988 were the best band he ever had

By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed blues legend John Mayall was in December of 1988, shortly after he’d released his Chicago Line album, which featured smokin’ guitarists Walter Trout and Carlos Montoya. Mayall has always surrounded himself with the finest pickers–including guys like Mick Taylor, Eric Clapton, and Peter Green–so at one point … Continue reading That time John Mayall told me that his Bluesbreakers of 1988 were the best band he ever had

That time I asked Buck Dharma how he came up with the classic riff for Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper”

By Steve Newton “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” might be my favourite song of all time. Or maybe it’s tied with John Lennon’s “Imagine”. Either way, I freakin’ love that song. Several times over the years I’ve felt a tweak of pleasure along the top of my skull when I hear that song, coinciding with the … Continue reading That time I asked Buck Dharma how he came up with the classic riff for Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper”

Album review: Joe Satriani, Flying in a Blue Dream (1989)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 15, 1989 By Steve Newton Joe Satriani is the ultimate hero for air guitarists. When he burst on to the mainstream recording scene with the all-instrumental Surfing With the Alien last year, his high-voltage attack had people everywhere going, “What the hell is that?” Not since Eddie Van … Continue reading Album review: Joe Satriani, Flying in a Blue Dream (1989)

God bless Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser’s guitar solo on Blue Öyster Cult’s “Burnin’ For You”

  By Steve Newton Back in June of 1981 Blue Öyster Cult released it’s eight studio album, Fire of Unknown Origin, and I immediately snapped it up, just like I’d done with their previous nine discs (including the two live albums). I’d been absolutely crazy about B.O.C. ever since I’d bought Tyranny and Mutation because of … Continue reading God bless Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser’s guitar solo on Blue Öyster Cult’s “Burnin’ For You”

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers bring the guitar-heavy Chicago Line to Vancouver’s Town Pump

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 20, 1989 By Steve Newton Lynyrd Skynyrd once recorded an LP called Nuthin’ Fancy. Now I don’t know if British blues great John Mayall ever heard that album or not, but he sure seems to have taken the title to heart. At the Town Pump … Continue reading John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers bring the guitar-heavy Chicago Line to Vancouver’s Town Pump