That time Ratt’s Robbin Crosby told me that Jethro Tull winning the metal Grammy in ’89 was “bullshit’

By Steve Newton Few award presentations in the history of rock music have caused as much controversy as the one that took place at the Grammys back on February 6, 1989. That was when Jethro Tull’s Crest of a Knave album won the Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, shockingly beating out the odds-on favourite, … Continue reading That time Ratt’s Robbin Crosby told me that Jethro Tull winning the metal Grammy in ’89 was “bullshit’

That time I asked Ian Anderson how Jethro Tull’s show went last night and it took him a while to answer

By Steve Newton I did my second interview with Jethro Tull mainman Ian Anderson in October of 1992, a month after the band had released its live album A Little Light Music. When I called him up in L.A. I asked him how the show had gone there the previous night, but he’s not the … Continue reading That time I asked Ian Anderson how Jethro Tull’s show went last night and it took him a while to answer

Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Warren Zevon, Rick Derringer, Albert Collins, Ronnie Montrose, Gary Moore, and Jethro Tull

By Steve Newton So the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame did it again. Today the poorly-named musical dumping ground in Cleveland inducted six acts into its fold, including folkie Joan Baez and rapper Tupac Shakur. Sure, they’re both great at what they do, but are they rock ‘n’ roll? Kinda doubt it. The other … Continue reading Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Warren Zevon, Rick Derringer, Albert Collins, Ronnie Montrose, Gary Moore, and Jethro Tull

Ian Anderson goes solo while keeping Jethro Tull intact

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 2, 1984 By Steve Newton Sitting on a park bench, eyeing little girls with bad intent Snot running down his nose, greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes Hey Aqualung Longtime fans of Jethro Tull will recall the above lyrics from the unsavoury tale of a corrupt degenerate named Aqualung. … Continue reading Ian Anderson goes solo while keeping Jethro Tull intact

That time Jethro Tull was so smokin’ I bought a hat just like Ian Anderson’s

By Steve Newton I don’t go nuts buying t-shirts and hats at concerts because they’re usually pricey as hell, but when the band puts on a smokin’ show I sometimes break down and score myself a souvenir. If I recall correctly, Jethro Tull was pretty smokin’ at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver on December 10, 1991, … Continue reading That time Jethro Tull was so smokin’ I bought a hat just like Ian Anderson’s

Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson talks ’70s concept albums but can’t comment on Quadrophenia

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 23, 1997 By Steve Newton Although I have no documented proof that I’m related to either Beavis or Butthead, I do harbour a couple of hazy teenage memories that keep me pondering that possibility. The one that has me most worried goes back to Chilliwack Senior Secondary School, … Continue reading Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson talks ’70s concept albums but can’t comment on Quadrophenia

Jethro Tull’s acoustic side gets showcased on A Little Light Music

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCTOBER 22, 1992 By Steve Newton “So how’d it go last night?” That’s a question I’ll often start an interview with, to loosen things up when I know a musician has played a gig the night before. Usually, I get a response along the lines of, “Really good, actually,” … Continue reading Jethro Tull’s acoustic side gets showcased on A Little Light Music

Jethro Tull slays a sold-out crowd in Vancouver with help from “Michael Jackson’s dad”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 1991 By Steve Newton If there is one thing people have come to expect from a Jethro Tull concert, it’s a cleverly staged, highly theatrical show. If there are two things, they’d be the theatrics and the British rock pioneers’ enormous repertoire of classic tunes. And if … Continue reading Jethro Tull slays a sold-out crowd in Vancouver with help from “Michael Jackson’s dad”

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

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