Marshall Crenshaw shows Vancouver that life’s too short–and pretty precious too

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 25, 1991 By Steve Newton Balding and bespectacled, Marshall Crenshaw looks more like a mild-mannered librarian (and a couple of rock critics I know) than the type to rip up a nightclub with tune after tune of jarring, picture-perfect pop. But, as the Detroit-bred, New York-based rocker proved … Continue reading Marshall Crenshaw shows Vancouver that life’s too short–and pretty precious too

Underrated Marshall Crenshaw flies under the pop radar

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 27, 2013 By Steve Newton In the annals of underappreciated pop-rock singer-songwriters, Marshall Crenshaw is probably at the top of the chart. Some may vaguely recall him hitting the top 40 back in 1982 with the single “Someday, Someway”, but it’s quite likely that even more remember rockabilly crooner Robert … Continue reading Underrated Marshall Crenshaw flies under the pop radar

Frank Steffen Mueller releases original instrumental for Irish guitar legend Gary Moore

By Steve Newton Woke up today to find that German guitarist, session musician, composer, and teacher Frank Steffen Mueller had shared a link to my Facebook group, Newt’s Flaming Colossal Rockatorium. The link is for a YouTube video Mueller just posted of himself playing a ’69 Les Paul goldtop, performing an original song in the … Continue reading Frank Steffen Mueller releases original instrumental for Irish guitar legend Gary Moore

The Killjoys’ Mike Trebilcock does love the C, G, and F chords

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 7, 1998 By Steve Newton Armchair rockers who fear that making records is too much like work should take encouragement from Mike Trebilcock of the Killjoys. The singer-songwriter-guitarist recorded three tunes for the Hamilton power-pop trio’s new album while reclining slackerlike in a leather La-Z-Boy! “It just kinda … Continue reading The Killjoys’ Mike Trebilcock does love the C, G, and F chords

Something I wrote after the death of the Beat Farmers’ Country Dick Montana, who might be my dad

photo by kevin statham ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 16, 1995 By Steve Newton On Halloween day in 1987, I did my first interview with Country Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers. At the time, the big, bearded mountain of a man was looking forward to an All Hallows’ Eve gig in “some … Continue reading Something I wrote after the death of the Beat Farmers’ Country Dick Montana, who might be my dad

Sandbox guitarist Mike Scott says the band’s perceived connection to Anne Murray is kind of a drag

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 28, 1995 By Steve Newton Nova Scotia guitar-rockers Sandbox were nominated for a Juno Award in the best-new-group category this year, and considering the critical and commercial (near-gold) success of its Bionic debut, the band had a decent shot at the prize. Then there’s the fact that Sandbox … Continue reading Sandbox guitarist Mike Scott says the band’s perceived connection to Anne Murray is kind of a drag

Bob Rock resurrects the Payola$ with Paul Hyde and sets up a helluva three-night benefit for B.C.’s Children’s Hospital

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 8, 1994 By Steve Newton When the time comes to interview Bob Rock about the recent resurrection of the Payola$, the prospect is particularly appealing. Rumour has it that the big-time Vancouver producer (the Cult, Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe) is to work with Metallica again soon, and I’m … Continue reading Bob Rock resurrects the Payola$ with Paul Hyde and sets up a helluva three-night benefit for B.C.’s Children’s Hospital

Guitar wizard David Gogo on his new debut LP and the undeniable influence of Stevie Ray Vaughan

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 14, 1994 By Steve Newton If there’s a rock ’n’ roll heaven, you know they’ve got a helluva band…and I like to think that there are at least three guitarists in the lineup: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, and Randy Rhoads. And when I picture Vaughan, I see … Continue reading Guitar wizard David Gogo on his new debut LP and the undeniable influence of Stevie Ray Vaughan

That time I asked Rob Halford what his personal fave tune was on the new Judas Priest album Painkiller

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford four times, and he’s always been a very amicable, well-spoken chap. The second time was back in October of 1990, one month after the release of Priest’s Painkiller album. At one point in the conversation I asked Halford what his personal favourite tune was on … Continue reading That time I asked Rob Halford what his personal fave tune was on the new Judas Priest album Painkiller

Blue Rodeo gets grungier and more country on new disc Lost Together

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 23, 1992 By Steve Newton HEDLEY, B.C.—Backstage at the Hedley Blast, Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor slumps in his chair and casually scribbles out a song list, pausing now and again to ask roaming band-mates which tunes they want added or dropped from their upcoming set. New drummer Glenn … Continue reading Blue Rodeo gets grungier and more country on new disc Lost Together

The Phantoms’ Jerome Godboo says the world is a playground

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 25, 1990 By Steve Newton The way today’s product-oriented music industry functions, it’s hard for most bands to have their cake and eat it too. But Toronto’s Phantoms are one band that’s licking the icing from its fingers these days. They managed to ink a deal with A&M … Continue reading The Phantoms’ Jerome Godboo says the world is a playground

That time I asked Alain Caron how he felt about UZEB being called “the Van Halen of jazz”

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1985 I interviewed Alain Caron, the phenomenal bassist for Quebec jazz-fusion band UZEB. His group was touring behind its second studio album, You, Be Easy, and headed to Vancouver for a two-night stand at the Commodore Ballroom. At one point in the conversation I asked Caron about … Continue reading That time I asked Alain Caron how he felt about UZEB being called “the Van Halen of jazz”

That time I asked Bruce Dickinson what his favourite tune was on Iron Maiden’s new album Piece of Mind

By Steve Newton Over the last 40 years I’ve been fortunate enough to have done one-on-one interviews with four members of Iron Maiden: Clive Burr, Steve Harris, Dave Murray, and Bruce Dickinson. I interviewed Dickinson back in June of 1983, when Maiden was touring behind its fourth studio album, Piece of Mind, which had been … Continue reading That time I asked Bruce Dickinson what his favourite tune was on Iron Maiden’s new album Piece of Mind

Nazareth’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton The sad news about Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton passing away on July 5 inspired me to compile my list of the band’s best songs. Not surprisingly, they’re almost all from the ’70s. 20. “Just to Get Into It” (No Mean City, 1979) 19. “Silver Dollar Forger (Parts 1 & 2)” (Rampant, 1974) … Continue reading Nazareth’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

That time I asked ex-David Lee Roth bassist Billy Sheehan if he would jump at the chance to join Van Halen

By Steve Newton Back in August of 1989 I interviewed American bass god Billy Sheehan, who was promoting the new, self-titled debut album by his latest band, Mr. Big. The previous year Sheehan had been playing with Steve Vai in David Lee Roth‘s band, so as the conversation was winding down I asked him whether–if … Continue reading That time I asked ex-David Lee Roth bassist Billy Sheehan if he would jump at the chance to join Van Halen

That time King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor told me that he wasn’t into chops for chops’ sake

By Steve Newton I interviewed King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor back in June of 2001, when his funky prog-rock trio was touring behind its ninth studio album, Manic Moonlight, and headed to Vancouver for a club gig. Tabor’s solo career had recently seen him putting on several guitar clinics in Southeast Asia, where he was … Continue reading That time King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor told me that he wasn’t into chops for chops’ sake

Metal mayhem in the summer of ’82: scoring cover stories on Ozzy, Maiden, and Scorps

By Steve Newton Forty years ago, around this time, I was livin’ the dream–if the dream was to be a journalist specializing in heavy metal. I’d recently found work as a freelance music writer/proofreader with the Georgia Straight, a weekly Vancouver newspaper. The cool thing was, within a span of six weeks, I got to … Continue reading Metal mayhem in the summer of ’82: scoring cover stories on Ozzy, Maiden, and Scorps

That time I asked Mike Gordon if he was amazed by the success of H.O.R.D.E. tourmates Spin Doctors

By Steve Newton Back in March of 1993 I interviewed Phish bassist Mike Gordon, whose band was touring behind its fourth album, Rift, and heading to Vancouver for a club show. The previous year Phish had taken part in the first annual H.O.R.D.E. festival, which also included the Spin Doctors. So at one point in … Continue reading That time I asked Mike Gordon if he was amazed by the success of H.O.R.D.E. tourmates Spin Doctors