That time primo Vancouver picker Paul Pigat told me about getting turned on to Danny Gatton

By Steve Newton Metro Vancouver has spawned quite a few wicked guitar players, and I’ve been lucky to have interviewed a bunch. Some of my faves include Shaun Verreault, Dave Martone, Scott Smith, Don Alder, Russell Marsland, Lindsay Mitchell, Todd Taylor, Erol Sora, Devin Townsend, Harris Van Berkel, the late Scotty Hall, and the ever-lovin’ … Continue reading That time primo Vancouver picker Paul Pigat told me about getting turned on to Danny Gatton

That time I asked Danny Gatton what Washington, D.C. was like as a music city to grow up in

By Steve Newton I interviewed Telecaster master Danny Gatton back in April of 1993 before he appeared at a Music West event in Vancouver. I called him up at his home in Washington, D.C., and at one point in the conversation I asked him what the U.S. capital was like as a music city to … Continue reading That time I asked Danny Gatton what Washington, D.C. was like as a music city to grow up in

That time I asked Danny Gatton, the world’s greatest unknown guitarist, if he wished he were better known

By Steve Newton Danny Gatton has long been described as “the world’s greatest unknown guitarist.” Some have argued that that title is more suited to Roy Buchanan, but I think it’s safe to say that Gatton is the lesser known of the two relatively unheralded Telecaster masters. At least it seemed that way to me … Continue reading That time I asked Danny Gatton, the world’s greatest unknown guitarist, if he wished he were better known

If Joe Bonamassa had his way, Rory Gallagher, Paul Kossoff, and Danny Gatton would all be in the Rock Hall

By Steve Newton The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony for its class of 2020 was broadcast on HBO last weekend. I didn’t watch it. Nothing against inductees like T-Rex and the Doobie Brothers, but when somebody like Whitney Houston gets the nod over 2020 nominees like Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest, I … Continue reading If Joe Bonamassa had his way, Rory Gallagher, Paul Kossoff, and Danny Gatton would all be in the Rock Hall

That time I asked Telecaster master Danny Gatton if he liked playing slide with beer bottles

By Steve Newton I did my one and only interview with Danny Gatton, “the world’s greatest unknown guitarist”, back in 1993, just before the release of his Cruisin’ Deuces album. Tragically, he took his own life the following year. A close friend said he thought Gatton had suffered from depression for over two decades. He … Continue reading That time I asked Telecaster master Danny Gatton if he liked playing slide with beer bottles

That time I called up Danny Gatton while he was sorting through his Roy Buchanan tapes

By Steve Newton When it comes to unheralded guitar geniuses, Danny Gatton is right up there. He’s never achieved the fame of a Clapton, Beck, or Page, but in-the-know guitar freaks realize that he’s worthy of comparison, talent-wise. I only got to interview Gatton once, back in April of 1993, before he came to Vancouver … Continue reading That time I called up Danny Gatton while he was sorting through his Roy Buchanan tapes

That time Danny Gatton told me that he thought Lenny Breau was the biggest “Humbler” of all time

By Steve Newton Back in April of 1993 I called Danny Gatton up at his home in Washington, D.C., to interview him in advance of a show in Vancouver as part of Music West. When he picked up the phone he’d been busy cleaning out his garage, and told me that he’d come across a huge … Continue reading That time Danny Gatton told me that he thought Lenny Breau was the biggest “Humbler” of all time

Guitar god Danny Gatton says Lenny Breau is the biggest humbler of all time

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 22, 1993 By Steve Newton Guitar World magazine called him “the world’s greatest unknown guitarist”. Guitar Player ran his photo on the cover with his face behind a mask, while inside they asked: “What famous guitarist could outplay him?” So how come virtuoso guitarman Danny Gatton is so … Continue reading Guitar god Danny Gatton says Lenny Breau is the biggest humbler of all time

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

God bless Hughie Thomasson’s guitar solo on the Outlaws’ “Hurry Sundown”

By Steve Newton I really, really enjoy guitar solos sometimes. When a geetar player hits just the right notes with just the right feel, it’s almost like a religious experience for me. That’s why I’ve asked God to bless exquisite guitar solos by Scott Gorham on Thin Lizzy’s “Romeo and the Lonely Girl”, Donald “Buck … Continue reading God bless Hughie Thomasson’s guitar solo on the Outlaws’ “Hurry Sundown”