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 Joe Bonamassa complained to me about Rolling Stone’s ranking of Robert Johnson on its 100 Greatest Guitarists list

By Steve Newton I did the second of my three interviews with American blues-rock guitar virtuoso Joe Bonamassa in December of 2011, when he was touring behind his Dust Bowl album. Shortly before our chat Rolling Stone had published its 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list, so we spent some time ridiculing that, and … Continue reading That time Joe Bonamassa complained to me about Rolling Stone’s ranking of Robert Johnson on its 100 Greatest Guitarists list

Joe Bonamassa’s “Guitar Event of the Year” sabotaged by poor sound (at least from where I was sitting)

By Steve Newton Man, was I ever stoked for Joe Bonamassa’s show–the first of three nights–at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver last night. For starters, the dude’s a wicked guitarist, as most folks know, and his latest album, Redemption, blew me away, especially tracks like “Molly O”, “Just ‘Cos You Can Don’t Mean You … Continue reading Joe Bonamassa’s “Guitar Event of the Year” sabotaged by poor sound (at least from where I was sitting)

Booker T. Jones mistook his son Ted for Joe Bonamassa on YouTube

By Steve Newton When Booker T. Jones answers the phone at his Lake Tahoe home he sounds cool, calm, and collected. Mostly cool. That’s no surprise, as Jones has been producing some of the chilliest sounds around for the last 50 years or so. Ever since his instrumental combo the M.G.’s shot to fame with … Continue reading Booker T. Jones mistook his son Ted for Joe Bonamassa on YouTube

Joe Bonamassa says “I’m not a full-time rock ‘n’ roll guy. I like blues.”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 7, 2015 By Steve Newton For his latest album, American guitar hero Joe Bonamassa came up with one helluva great idea. Or at least his producer, Kevin Shirley, did. The plan was to record a one-off concert dedicated to the music of blues legends Muddy Waters and Howlin’ … Continue reading Joe Bonamassa says “I’m not a full-time rock ‘n’ roll guy. I like blues.”

Joe Bonamassa wanted Deep Purple and Free in the Rock Hall “before f***ing Green Day”

By Steve Newton When American guitar hero Joe Bonamassa called me up back in 2015 in advance of a Vancouver double-header we mostly talked about his new live album, Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks. But since I also see it as my duty to slag the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame whenever necessary–which is … Continue reading Joe Bonamassa wanted Deep Purple and Free in the Rock Hall “before f***ing Green Day”

Aussie rock legend Jimmy Barnes joins Joe Bonamassa on Deep Purple tribute

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 11, 2012 By Steve Newton Deep Purple fans saddened by the cancer death of keyboardist Jon Lord last month have something to look forward to, as a 40th-anniversary tribute to the group’s biggest album, Machine Head, is scheduled for release this September. On Re-Machined, some of the world’s loudest bands will be covering songs from … Continue reading Aussie rock legend Jimmy Barnes joins Joe Bonamassa on Deep Purple tribute

Joe Bonamassa has 200 guitars, says he’s “okay for guitars”

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 27, 2008 By Steve Newton In their recent autobiographies, famed British rockers Ronnie Wood and Eric Clapton hazily recall how one of their main pastimes while on tour—apart from getting wasted and rattling groupies—was cruising pawnshops and secondhand stores for cool guitars. When blues-rock virtuoso Joe Bonamassa calls from a … Continue reading Joe Bonamassa has 200 guitars, says he’s “okay for guitars”

That time Joe Bonamassa told me to give Jann Wenner a good bashing

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 14, 2011 By Steve Newton When blues-guitar great Hubert Sumlin passed away on December 4 at the age of 80, it didn’t take long for the condolences and accolades to hit cyberspace. Within hours, ace picker Joe Bonamassa had tweeted his heartfelt sentiments, saying what a huge effect the “extraordinary” … Continue reading That time Joe Bonamassa told me to give Jann Wenner a good bashing

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 Joe Jackson told me that Duke Ellington was wrong: there’s actually three kinds of music

By Steve Newton I interviewed Joe Jackson in August of 2003, when he had reunited with his original band for its 25th anniversary, and to record the album Volume 4. That’s the same band–guitarist Gary Sanford, bassist Graham Maby, drummer David Houghton, and Jackson on vocals and piano–that played on his awesome 1979 albums, Look … Continue reading That time Joe Jackson told me that Duke Ellington was wrong: there’s actually three kinds of music

That time Joe Perry called and I let my friend answer it ’cause she was a big Aerosmith fan with a crush

By Steve Newton Sometimes you forget things you did back in the nineties. When I was digitizing my 1993 interview with Aerosmith‘s Joe Perry so I could post it on my Patreon page today, I realized I’d done something I’d never done before (or since) when talking to rockers. I let somebody else answer the … Continue reading That time Joe Perry called and I let my friend answer it ’cause she was a big Aerosmith fan with a crush

That time Joe Satriani told me that he strove for a live sound worthy of Yes, Pink Floyd, and the Grateful Dead

By Steve Newton I did the first of my eight interviews with Joe Satriani back in January of 1990, when he was touring behind his awesome Flying in a Blue Dream album. As the conversation wound down I asked him if it was tricky controlling the acoustics at some venues, playing at the volume that … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me that he strove for a live sound worthy of Yes, Pink Floyd, and the Grateful Dead

The best guitarist you’ve never heard of, Ireland’s Joe Hodgson, idolized Gallagher and Moore

By Steve Newton Ireland has spawned two of the greatest rock guitarists of all time in Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore. Yet for some unfathomable reason, neither of them have garnered the massive, worldwide fame their dedicated followers know is their due. In a perfect world, their names would be as recognizable as those of … Continue reading The best guitarist you’ve never heard of, Ireland’s Joe Hodgson, idolized Gallagher and Moore

Guitar wizard Dave Martone calls his mentor Joe Satriani a member of “the Good Guy Club”

By Steve Newton I interviewed Dave Martone last week for a story in the Georgia Straight‘s annual Best of Vancouver issue, because when I think about who might be the best guitarist in Vancouver, he always comes to mind. At one point in the conversation I asked Martone about his relationship with Joe Satriani, because … Continue reading Guitar wizard Dave Martone calls his mentor Joe Satriani a member of “the Good Guy Club”

That time I asked Ian Gillan if he ever wished Joe Satriani had become a permanent member of Deep Purple

By Steve Newton As most dedicated Deep Purple fans know, Joe Satriani was once a member of that legendary band. The Bay Area guitar wizard joined in December of 1993 after the volatile Ritchie Blackmore quit and left the group high-and-dry in the middle of a tour. Satch only stayed in the lineup for a … Continue reading That time I asked Ian Gillan if he ever wished Joe Satriani had become a permanent member of Deep Purple

That time Joe Satriani told me that he wanted Flying in a Blue Dream to be something heavy and deep

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Joe Satriani in January of 1990 his Flying in a Blue Dream album had been out for only two months, and word had gotten around about what an ambitious project it was, clocking in at nearly 65 minutes. (His previous full-length disc, Surfing With the … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me that he wanted Flying in a Blue Dream to be something heavy and deep

That time Joe Satriani told me how an unsolicited Mastercard application got Not of This Earth off the ground

By Steve Newton You know how you’re always getting those unsolicited credit-card applications in the mail? The ones that say “Dear [insert your name here]. You’ve been approved for a shitload of money, so just sign up here.” Well, Joe Satriani got one of those once, and it turned out to be exactly what he … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me how an unsolicited Mastercard application got Not of This Earth off the ground