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

Album review: Led Zeppelin, How the West Was Won (2003)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 5, 2003 By Steve Newton Back in June of 1972, when these live recordings were made at the L.A. Forum and Long Beach Arena, I wasn’t a big Led Zeppelin fan. I was too busy reaming my ears with then-new LPs like Black Sabbath’s Vol. 4, Deep Purple’s … Continue reading Album review: Led Zeppelin, How the West Was Won (2003)

Singers from Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Free connect for a rock-god vocal summit in Oxford

By Steve Newton What do you get when you gather the lead singers from Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Free on stage at the same time? A pretty rockin’ version of the ’50s chestnut “Money (That’s What I Want)”, it appears. Robert Plant, Brian Johnson, and Paul Rodgers got together at one of Rodgers’ shows in … Continue reading Singers from Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Free connect for a rock-god vocal summit in Oxford

Led Zeppelin’s best album, Physical Graffiti, to get deluxe box-set treatment

By Steve Newton Led Zeppelin announced the other day that it will release a super-deluxe boxed-set edition of its best album, 1975‘s Physical Graffiti. Fvckin-AAA! The package–newly remastered by Jimmy Page and featuring previously unreleased tracks–will hit stores on February 24, 40 years to the day after the release of the original. In case you forgot what … Continue reading Led Zeppelin’s best album, Physical Graffiti, to get deluxe box-set treatment

Led Zeppelin box gets you the best of Zep on tape or CD for one nominal price

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 3, 1991 By Steve Newton So you’re all upset because over the years you’ve invested $200 into your mint collection of Led Zeppelin LPs, only to turn around and find that vinyl is going the way of the dodo. Well, quit your bawling, ’cause now you can get … Continue reading Led Zeppelin box gets you the best of Zep on tape or CD for one nominal price

Touring with the singer from Led Zeppelin hasn’t given Todd Park Mohr a big head

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 30, 1993 By Steve Newton Not many Vancouver rock fans have heard of Big Head Todd & the Monsters, the Colorado-based trio that warms up the Orpheum on Thursday (October 7). Every Vancouver rock fan has heard of Robert Plant, the fellow who Big Head Todd & the … Continue reading Touring with the singer from Led Zeppelin hasn’t given Todd Park Mohr a big head

Jason Bonham calls Led Zeppelin biography “a load of exaggerated stories”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 3, 1992 By Steve Newton In the middle of a phone interview with Jason Bonham there’s a rap on the door of the drummer’s L.A. hotel room. He goes to see who it is, a brief chuckle is audible in the distance, then Bonham returns. “Somebody just sent … Continue reading Jason Bonham calls Led Zeppelin biography “a load of exaggerated stories”

Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same remains awesome on vinyl

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 3, 2008 By Steve Newton No sooner had I replaced the stylus on my ancient Yamaha turntable than into my mail slot slid a review copy of The Song Remains the Same, a four-disc vinyl re-release recorded during three sold-out Led Zeppelin gigs at Madison Square Garden in 1973. Thanks … Continue reading Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same remains awesome on vinyl

The riff returns with first batch of deluxe Led Zeppelin box sets

By Steve Newton If you’re a Led Zeppelin fan–and who isn’t, apart from those indie geeks at Pitchfork–you should mark June 3 on your calendar and start putting away some spendin’ money. That’s when the mighty Zep will release super-deluxe boxed sets of its first three albums–1969’s Led Zeppelin, 1969’s Led Zeppelin II, and 1970’s Led Zeppelin III. Each … Continue reading The riff returns with first batch of deluxe Led Zeppelin box sets

Gov’t Mule channels Led Zeppelin and Humble Pie in Vancouver, no Elvis required

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 26, 2013 There was a rumour swirling around town recently that West Van resident Elvis Costello might show up at Gov’t Mule’s Vancouver show to perform “Funny Little Tragedy”, the song he sings on the band’s star-studded new album, Shout! Well, last night at the Commodore, Elvis never entered the building. Didn’t matter … Continue reading Gov’t Mule channels Led Zeppelin and Humble Pie in Vancouver, no Elvis required

Album review: Dread Zeppelin, Un-Led-Ed (1990)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 6, 1990 By Steve Newton You gotta wonder how a band like Dread Zeppelin ever came into being. Did a down-on-his-luck Elvis impersonator drowning his sorrows in a bar knock into a zonked-out reggae fiend, who then spilled his beer on a guitarist who idolizes Jimmy Page? And … Continue reading Album review: Dread Zeppelin, Un-Led-Ed (1990)

A little Zeppelin goes a long way at Robert Plant’s Vancouver concert

crappy iPhone photo by the Newt By Steve Newton When I interviewed Robert Plant back in 1993, the first thing he said on the phone from New York City was that he was “pissed off” that Black Sabbath wasn’t getting back together. He was joking, though. It was more a comment on how frustrated he … Continue reading A little Zeppelin goes a long way at Robert Plant’s Vancouver concert

“Our hair was no bigger than Zeppelin or Sabbath,” declares Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 18, 2003 By Steve Newton A lot of bands that were big in the ’80s are now having trouble getting booked into bowling alleys, but Def Leppard’s not one of them. The British melodic-rock quintet—which hit its commercial peak in 1987 with Hysteria, which has sold 16 million … Continue reading “Our hair was no bigger than Zeppelin or Sabbath,” declares Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott

Beppe Gambetta has been a Zeppelin guy and a Doc Watson guy

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 28, 2003 Beppe Gambetta has been opening new doors for American traditional music in Europe since 1977, when he founded the acclaimed Italian bluegrass group Red Wine. In recent years his output has included Serenata, a 1997 CD of works by turn-of-the-century Italian string virtuosi, which he recorded … Continue reading Beppe Gambetta has been a Zeppelin guy and a Doc Watson guy

Lester Quitzau was a Zeppelin-loving wheelie king as a kid

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 14, 2002 On his latest CD, So Here We Are, Edmonton’s Lester Quitzau makes a strong case for his being touted as among this country’s finest blues-roots pickers. But a close look at the disc’s video portion reveals that Quitzau’s talents are more than just musical. In one … Continue reading Lester Quitzau was a Zeppelin-loving wheelie king as a kid

If Gordie Johnson has to pick between Zeppelin and Sabbath, he picks Sabbath

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 27, 2001 By Steve Newton The cover of the new Big Sugar CD, Brothers and Sisters, Are You Ready?, features a classic hard-rock image of a skinny, longhaired fellow flailing away on a doubleneck Gibson guitar. If you didn’t know the guy was Big Sugar singer-guitarist Gordie Johnson, … Continue reading If Gordie Johnson has to pick between Zeppelin and Sabbath, he picks Sabbath

Jeff Beck freak and knowledge junkie Mark Fitchett leads Cult of the Wrong Note

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 21, 1996 Everyone’s heard the stories of starry-eyed youths who journey to Tinseltown with visions of glory and not much else, but they might not have heard about the kid from Richmond who hopped a bus for Hollywood with the dream of becoming a professional guitar player. Mark … Continue reading Jeff Beck freak and knowledge junkie Mark Fitchett leads Cult of the Wrong Note

Warren Haynes’ “Star-Spangled Banner” evokes the beauty of the States, not its bombs

Anyone who knows the Newt knows that I’m crazy about Warren Haynes, guitarist-vocalist-songwriter for Gov’t Mule and the Allman Brothers Band. Everything he touches musically is magic to me, and I write about it whenever I can. As such, I heard a lot I liked in this reverb-heavy version of “The Star-Spangled Banner”, which he … Continue reading Warren Haynes’ “Star-Spangled Banner” evokes the beauty of the States, not its bombs

Brother Cane melds Zeppelin-style raunch and southern-rock spirit in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 26, 1995 When I first heard Brother Cane’s self-titled debut CD three years ago, I was mightily impressed by the Alabama quartet’s bluesy, southern-tinged guitar-rock, spurred on as it was by the multiple talents of Damon Johnson, lead guitarist, lead vocalist, and main songwriter. But aside from the … Continue reading Brother Cane melds Zeppelin-style raunch and southern-rock spirit in Vancouver

Album review: Cinderella, Long Cold Winter (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOVEMBER 18, 1988 By Steve Newton Cinderella kinda turned me off with their multi-platinum ’86 debut album. I thought they were too much of an Aerosmith clone. It didn’t seem to bother the multitudes of kids that scooped up the record, though. On their new album they sound a … Continue reading Album review: Cinderella, Long Cold Winter (1988)

The 70 greatest closing tracks of the ’70s

By Steve Newton Remember when the last track on an album would finish and you’d wish the music would just never end? Me too. “All Right Now” (Fire and Water, Free, 1970) “American Girl” (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1976) “Another Star” (Songs in the Key of Life, Stevie Wonder, … Continue reading The 70 greatest closing tracks of the ’70s

The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

By Steve Newton Remember how you’d set the needle down on the opening track of a new rock album and the first tune would just blow you the funk away? Me too. “(Ain’t Nothin’ But a) House Party” (Bloodshot, J. Geils Band, 1973) “All the Way From Memphis” (Mott, Mott the Hoople, 1973) “Already Gone” … Continue reading The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

That time I asked Jeff Healey about his 1989 Grammy nomination and he told me that Jimmy Page would probably win

By Steve Newton On February 16, 1989, I did the second of my three interviews with Canadian guitar hero Jeff Healey. He was only 22 at the time, but holy crap could that guy play! Anyway, this was about five months after the release of his wicked debut album, See the Light, which you may … Continue reading That time I asked Jeff Healey about his 1989 Grammy nomination and he told me that Jimmy Page would probably win

AC/DC in Vancouver: Mike Fraser spotted with Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd, maybe calling Cliff Williams on his phone?

photo courtesy Glenn Slavens and Crystal Lambert (cgrocker18@gmail.com) By Steve Newton Hardcore AC/DC fans and photographic rumour-spreaders Glenn Slavens and Crystal Lambert are at it again. The dynamic Vancouver duo–he has the camera, she has the pad–have shared another photo with Ear of Newt that furthers the idea that everybody’s fave hard-rock band is working … Continue reading AC/DC in Vancouver: Mike Fraser spotted with Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd, maybe calling Cliff Williams on his phone?

Album review: Jimmy Page, Outrider (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 26, 1988 By Steve Newton As if Led Zeppelin fans didn’t have enough to satisfy them with the recent return to prominence of Robert Plant, now his old guitar-playin’ buddy Jimmy Page has gone solo for the first time. The result is the closest recreation of the old … Continue reading Album review: Jimmy Page, Outrider (1988)

Album review: Kingdom Come, Kingdom Come (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 22, 1988 By Steve Newton I don’t know about these guys. Displaying your respect for a classic rock band by showing its influence is one thing, but to make a deliberate attempt at being a clone is another. Not to worry, though, because Kingdom Come isn’t capable of capturing the essence … Continue reading Album review: Kingdom Come, Kingdom Come (1988)