Album review: Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs, Under the Covers Vol. 2 (2009)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 16, 2009 By Steve Newton Back in 2006, power-pop stalwart Matthew Sweet and sometimes-Bangles singer Susanna Hoffs collaborated on Under the Covers Vol. 1, in which they performed versions of ’60s hits by groups like the Beatles, the Who, and the Beach Boys. On Under the Covers Vol. 2 the … Continue reading Album review: Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs, Under the Covers Vol. 2 (2009)

Matthew Sweet still searching for that elusive SNL appearance

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 17, 1997 By Steve Newton When Matthew Sweet calls in the afternoon from a Manhattan hotel room, he’s just hours away from taping an appearance on Late Show with David Letterman. That night, through the wonder of TV, Sweet’s new single, “Where You Get Love”, will be transmitted … Continue reading Matthew Sweet still searching for that elusive SNL appearance

Matthew Sweet wishes his records were as loose as Neil Young’s

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 6, 1995 By Steve Newton When Matthew Sweet checks in from his L.A. abode for an afternoon chat, I’ve got a fair supply of questions lined up. I want to uncover the acclaimed pop rocker’s thoughts about his place on the Another Roadside Attraction megatour, which comes to … Continue reading Matthew Sweet wishes his records were as loose as Neil Young’s

That time Dickey Betts told me how sweet the buses were that the Allman Brothers toured in

By Steve Newton Hey, how about another audio excerpt from an old interview I did with one of my fave guitarists, Dickey Betts? Back in 1992 I was talkin’ to Dickey about the Allmans’ latest album, An Evening With the Allman Brothers Band: First Set. The disc’s cover photo, taken by the inimitable Kirk West, … Continue reading That time Dickey Betts told me how sweet the buses were that the Allman Brothers toured in

Matthew Good and the great Radiohead controversy of 2000

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 28, 2000 Matthew Good is a loud rocker. That’s easily discernible from a quick spin of his band’s latest CD, Beautiful Midnight. Matthew Good is also a loud talker, as I discover for myself when he calls the Straight from his West End apartment prior to his five … Continue reading Matthew Good and the great Radiohead controversy of 2000

Bittersweet Gin Blossoms encounter UFOs and Alice Cooper in their ‘hood

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 29, 1996 By Steve Newton If there were such a thing as a Webster’s Dictionary of Pop Music, you could probably look up the word bittersweet and find a picture of Arizona’s Gin Blossoms nearby. Like fellow southerner Matthew Sweet and local buddies the Odds—who will tour with … Continue reading Bittersweet Gin Blossoms encounter UFOs and Alice Cooper in their ‘hood

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

That time Ronnie James Dio told me that music was given to us to colour our world

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Ronnie James Dio back in 1985 there was a backlash going against heavy metal, with groups like the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Centre) trying to depict it as dangerous to the wellbeing of young kids. Dio was well aware of how metal artists were being stereotyped for their music … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me that music was given to us to colour our world

Bad Company’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton No Paul Rodgers, no Bad Company. 20. “Weep No More” (Straight Shooter, 1975) 19. “Peace of Mind” (Burnin’ Sky, 1977) 18. “Sweet Lil Sister” (Run with the Pack, 1976) 17. “Painted Face” (Rough Diamonds, 1980) 16. “Rhythm Machine” (Desolation Angels, 1979) 15. “Ready for Love” (Bad Company, 1974) 14. “Deal With the … Continue reading Bad Company’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

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

By Steve Newton Ritchie with Ronnie rules. 20. “Difficult to Cure” (Difficult to Cure, 1981) 19. “Still I’m Sad” (Rainbow, 1975) 18. “Rainbow Eyes” (Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, 1977) 17. “Snake Charmer” (Rainbow, 1975) 16. “Tarot Woman” (Rising, 1976) 15. “Sensitive to Light” (Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, 1977) 14. “Since You’ve Been Gone” … Continue reading Rainbow’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome