That time Justin Townes Earle told me that it was Jason Isbell’s songs that made him a big Drive-By Truckers fan

By Steve Newton Very sad to hear the news tonight of the passing of Americana artist Justin Townes Earle. He was a helluva singer-songwriter. I only got to interview him once, back in May of 2009, when he was touring behind his third album, Midnight Movies. Having interviewed his father Steve Earle numerous times, I … Continue reading That time Justin Townes Earle told me that it was Jason Isbell’s songs that made him a big Drive-By Truckers fan

That time Jason Isbell told me he was in a Ford Econoline E350 van and his band cracked up at that

FSimani photo By Steve Newton The Drive-By Truckers are probably my favourite band right now. They were also my favourite band back when Jason Isbell was in the lineup. I did my first interview with him in 2007, after he’d left the DBTs and was promoting his debut solo album, Sirens of the Ditch. I … Continue reading That time Jason Isbell told me he was in a Ford Econoline E350 van and his band cracked up at that

Alabama’s joys and troubles inspire Jason Isbell’s songs

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 8, 2011 By Steve Newton Being from Alabama certainly has its benefits, one being the fact that you can really put your heart into it when you sing the chorus of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s biggest hit. But for Jason Isbell, one of the joys of growing up in northern Alabama was … Continue reading Alabama’s joys and troubles inspire Jason Isbell’s songs

That time Jason Newsted told me that Black Sabbath were “the inventors” and they could do anything they want

By Steve Newton Jason Newsted is best known as the bassist who played with Metallica for 14 years, during the peak of their popularity, on discs like …And Justice For All and The Black Album. I interviewed him back in July of 2013, when he was fronting his own group, Newsted, three weeks before it … Continue reading That time Jason Newsted told me that Black Sabbath were “the inventors” and they could do anything they want

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 Jason Bonham told me about taking Bonzo’s spot to jam with Led Zeppelin as a teen

By Steve Newton Led Zeppelin freaks may recall the first time John Bonham’s son Jason performed with his dad’s old band, back in 1988 as part of the Atlantic Records 40th anniversary concert. But that was only young Jason’s first “official” performance with Zeppelin. When I did my first interview with 23-year-old Jason a year later he … Continue reading That time Jason Bonham told me about taking Bonzo’s spot to jam with Led Zeppelin as a teen

Bonham tours behind The Disregard of Timekeeping and Jason reflects on his dear old dad

By Steve Newton On December 22, 1989, Bonham played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, opening for the Cult. The group was named after 23-year-old drummer Jason Bonham, the son of legendary Zeppelin skin-basher John. In advance of the concert, Bonham called me from Toronto to chat about his current album, The Disregard of Timekeeping, and his … Continue reading Bonham tours behind The Disregard of Timekeeping and Jason reflects on his dear old dad

Ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted says that, with his new band, you work twice as hard for half as much

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 25, 2013 By Steve Newton When a veteran rocker calls in the midst of doing a major North American tour, it’s pretty common for him to use terms like amazing and awesome in response to the journalist’s tried-and-true icebreaker: “So, how’s the tour going?” But when Jason Newsted rings in … Continue reading Ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted says that, with his new band, you work twice as hard for half as much

Ex-Trucker Isbell heeds the siren call of the ditch

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 25, 2007 By Steve Newton When the Straight hooks up with former Drive-By Truckers guitarist-vocalist Jason Isbell on his cellphone, he and his backing band are trying to escape from Manhattan, searching for the Holland Tunnel enroute to a gig at Pennsylvania State College. A casual query about the type … Continue reading Ex-Trucker Isbell heeds the siren call of the ditch

ZZ Top’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton God bless that little ol’ band from Texas. 20. “Just Got Back from Baby’s” (ZZ Top’s First Album, 1971) 19. “She’s a Heartbreaker” (Tejas, 1976) 18, “Just Got Paid” (Rio Grande Mud, 1972) 17. “Tube Snake Boogie” (El Loco, 1981) 16. “Master of Sparks” (Tres Hombres, 1973) 15. “PCH” (Antenna, 1994) 14. … Continue reading ZZ Top’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

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