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

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

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