That time Slash told me how Guns N’ Roses chose the cover tunes for “The Spaghetti Incident”

By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed Slash was two months after the release of “The Spaghetti Incident?”, Guns N’ Roses’ collection of punk and hard-rock cover tunes by bands like the New York Dolls, T-Rex, the Runaways, and Nazareth. At one point in the conversation I mentioned that I was happy they’d recorded … Continue reading That time Slash told me how Guns N’ Roses chose the cover tunes for “The Spaghetti Incident”

Roadie-biker Bean recalls the bottle-in-the-nuts craziness of an early “Guns N’ Fucking Roses” gig

By Steve Newton Last week I posted a blog about the Iron Maiden/Guns N’ Roses gig I went to in Vancouver 30 years ago, on May 30, 1988. That was fun to write, but the best thing about it is that it inspired a friend of a friend, Andy Bean David, to contact me with … Continue reading Roadie-biker Bean recalls the bottle-in-the-nuts craziness of an early “Guns N’ Fucking Roses” gig

Backstage with Slash and Bruce Dickinson as Guns N’ Roses open for Maiden in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1988 By Steve Newton The politics of rockin’ can be tough on new bands just getting used to the tour circuit. Take for example Guns N’ Roses, who are on the road in support of their first album, and opening for Iron Maiden, who’ve toured the world … Continue reading Backstage with Slash and Bruce Dickinson as Guns N’ Roses open for Maiden in Vancouver

Album review: Guns N’ Roses, The Spaghetti Incident (1993)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 25, 1993 By Steve Newton As Guns N’ Roses would likely proclaim themselves, The Spaghetti Incident KICKS F***IN’ ASS! It’s the band’s rockingest album ever, although when you’re out to deliver raunchy covers of tunes by the New York Dolls (“Human Being”), Iggy Pop (“Raw Power”), and … Continue reading Album review: Guns N’ Roses, The Spaghetti Incident (1993)

Album review: Guns N’ Roses, Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II (1991)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 19, 1991 By Steve Newton It’s hard to believe that just three years ago Guns N’ Roses couldn’t get a rise out of a Vancouver crowd. The band opened for Iron Maiden at the Coliseum on May 30, 1988, and was so ticked off at the lame reaction … Continue reading Album review: Guns N’ Roses, Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II (1991)

Guns N’ Roses hit the mark in Vancouver by playing covers better than their own

photo by the Newt By Steve Newton I wasn’t that excited about going to see Guns N’ Roses at BC Place last night, mainly because I wasn’t sure if they were still gonna have what it takes to pull off killer rock shows like they did back in the nineties. There were concerns about Axl … Continue reading Guns N’ Roses hit the mark in Vancouver by playing covers better than their own

Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan needn’t fear a Tonya Harding from Slash bassist Todd Kerns

By Steve Newton I was interviewing Todd Kerns a couple weeks ago in advance of the Age of Electric show at the Commodore tonight (April 30), and had an evil thought. Since Kerns is well known as the bassist for Slash, just how far would he go to steal the coveted bass gig in Guns N’ Roses … Continue reading Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan needn’t fear a Tonya Harding from Slash bassist Todd Kerns

Newt’s hopes of a second shot at Slash’s JD stash fade with Guns N’ Roses tour news

By Steve Newton “Rock and roll’s a loser’s game,” Ian Hunter once sang, and today I get what he was talkin’ about in that line from “The Ballad of Mott the Hoople“. A few hours ago Guns N’ Roses announced 21 cities on its forthcoming summer tour, but my town–Vancouver–wasn’t on the list. So I … Continue reading Newt’s hopes of a second shot at Slash’s JD stash fade with Guns N’ Roses tour news

Slash’s Vancouver gig tonight promises plenty of Guns N’ Roses–and the return of Todd “Dammit” Kerns

If the setlist from Slash‘s show in San Francisco two nights ago is any indication, his Vancouver fans are in for a whole lotta GN’R action tonight. During his show at the Fillmore the top-hatted guitar hero led his group the Conspirators, featuring vocalist Myles Kennedy, in no less than six Guns N’ Roses numbers, including … Continue reading Slash’s Vancouver gig tonight promises plenty of Guns N’ Roses–and the return of Todd “Dammit” Kerns

Axl keeps his cool and Slash burns red hot as Guns N’ Roses slay Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 1, 1993 By Steve Newton The first time I saw Guns N’ Roses perform, the band was opening for Iron Maiden at the Pacific Coliseum, shortly after the release of 1987’s Appetite for Destruction debut. This was several months before tunes like “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet … Continue reading Axl keeps his cool and Slash burns red hot as Guns N’ Roses slay Vancouver

Now that he’s in Guns N’ Roses Dizzy Reed can buy drinks for all his freennz

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 13, 1992 By Steve Newton Some hard-rock bands like to boast about not using keyboards; they take pride in sticking with the trusty old guitar-bass-drums ideal. Guns N’ Roses might have been such a band in its early days, but when it came time to record its ground-breaking … Continue reading Now that he’s in Guns N’ Roses Dizzy Reed can buy drinks for all his freennz

Slash says that the original Guns N’ Roses lineup “just stopped rocking”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEBRUARY 11, 1994 By Steve Newton Guns N’ Roses may well be the most popular hard-rock band in the world. It’s certainly one of the most controversial, having made headlines recently with the much-publicized inclusion of an uncredited Charles Manson song on its latest recording, The Spaghetti Incident? There’s … Continue reading Slash says that the original Guns N’ Roses lineup “just stopped rocking”

That time I turned down a swig of Slash’s JD at a Guns N’ Roses gig

By Steve Newton Guns N’ Roses were probably the biggest rock band in the world–or was fighting it out with U2 for that title–when this telling photo was snapped backstage in the early ’90s sometime. The thing I remember most about meeting Slash was when he offered me a guzzle from the bottle of Jack … Continue reading That time I turned down a swig of Slash’s JD at a Guns N’ Roses gig

CKY’s Chad I Ginsburg recalls the 2002 Guns N’ Roses riot in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 11, 2005 By Steve Newton The last time Philadelphia hard-rockers CKY were set to play Vancouver, they were just minutes from warming up for Guns N’ Roses at GM Place on November 7, 2002. Then dedicated shit-disturber Axl Rose pulled his unpopular no-show trick. Glass shattered, batons swung, teeth flew, … Continue reading CKY’s Chad I Ginsburg recalls the 2002 Guns N’ Roses riot in Vancouver

That time Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Warren Haynes six times, because he’s one of my favourite musicians of all time. I can’t get enough of his voice, his guitar, and his songs. And even if they aren’t his actual songs I’m crazy about ’em. Like when Gov’t Mule recorded the traditional gospel-blues tune “John the Revelator” … Continue reading That time Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

That time I asked Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin whether Steve Howe was a hard act to follow

By Steve Newton Way back in April of 1984 I interviewed Trevor Rabin, who at the time was the new guitarist in Yes. The band was on a world tour supporting its latest album, 90125, which had spawned the hit single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and was topping the charts. At one point in … Continue reading That time I asked Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin whether Steve Howe was a hard act to follow

That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

By Steve Newton I interviewed British guitar legend Albert Lee back in July of 1986, when he was touring with the Everly Brothers as their musical director. After chatting with Albert about how he first got involved with the Everlys, I asked him how it was different touring with them than with Eric Clapton, whose … Continue reading That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Jason Bonham back in 1989, I asked him what it was like growing up with a father who was world-famous for being the drummer in Led Zeppelin. Turns out it wasn’t that big of a deal to him. Have a listen: To hear the full … Continue reading That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Joan Jett back in 1992 she was touring behind her Notorious album, which, while not a bad album, wasn’t exactly racing up the charts. Jett explained to me that it didn’t help that the record wasn’t getting much promotional push from Sony, the major label handling distribution. Then she … Continue reading That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

That time I asked Robert Cray if he was surprised that Eric Clapton covered his song “Bad Influence” on August

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Robert Cray four times, ’cause I reckon he’s one of the tastiest guitarists who’s ever strapped on a Strat. This was the first time, back in January of 1996, when he was touring behind his Some Rainy Morning album. Ten years earlier Cray had gotten a bit of a boost … Continue reading That time I asked Robert Cray if he was surprised that Eric Clapton covered his song “Bad Influence” on August

That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

By Steve Newton The best musicians always try to surround themselves with the best musicians. For Edgar Winter that wasn’t hard. When he was born he already had a big brother named Johnny waiting at home, and they would become close musical collaborators throughout their lifetimes. Another hugely talented player that Edgar hooked up with … Continue reading That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1984 I interviewed Tony Carey, who I’d been a fan of since I heard him playing keyboards on Rainbow’s colossal Rising album of 1976. At the time of our chat he was promoting his new solo album Some Tough City, which was doing well on the charts … Continue reading That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open

That time Ian Hunter told me that what sells Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter–or what doesn’t sell Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter

By Steve Newton Mott the Hoople is one of my all-time favourite bands, and Ian Hunter is one of my all-time favourite rockers. I interviewed him and Mick Ronson separately on the same day–September 9, 1988–when they were headed to Vancouver for a show in advance of recording their awesome 1989 album YUI Orta. At … Continue reading That time Ian Hunter told me that what sells Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter–or what doesn’t sell Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter

That time Alex Van Halen told me how early on he discovered the fascinating power of live music

By Steve Newton We’ve all heard the old joke before: “What do you call somebody who hangs around with musicians? A drummer.” I think it’s fair to say that drummers don’t always get the credit they deserve. I haven’t interviewed that many over the years–for the simple fact that I prefer talking to guitarists–but some … Continue reading That time Alex Van Halen told me how early on he discovered the fascinating power of live music

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