Album review: Neil Young, Mirror Ball (1995)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 6, 1995 By Steve Newton I’ve been a Neil Young fan ever since the Harvest days of the ’70s, when folksy, acoustic-based tunes such as “Heart of Gold” and “Old Man” were the ideal soundtrack to youthful experiments with massive consumption of Old Style in a wood-grained … Continue reading Album review: Neil Young, Mirror Ball (1995)

Album review: Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Weld (1991)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 21, 1991 By Steve Newton Any folks crazy enough to miss Neil Young & Crazy Horse at the Pacific Coliseum earlier this year now have a chance to redeem themselves quite admirably by purchasing Weld, a live double-disc release that faithfully recaptures Young and his band in … Continue reading Album review: Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Weld (1991)

Album review: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Ragged Glory (1990)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 27, 1990 By Steve Newton So what if Canuck native Neil Young deserted this fair country for the more lucrative land down south; to reinterpret Ronnie Van Zant: “A northern man don’t need him around, anyhow”. Still, whenever Young saddles up with that beautiful beast called Crazy … Continue reading Album review: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Ragged Glory (1990)

Moist releases Creature, opens for Neil Young, and waits for reality to set in

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 17, 1996 By Steve Newton Whenever I feel like getting a rise out of my 16-year-old niece, all it takes is a quick mention of her former fondness for New Kids on the Block. So what if she was only in Grade 3 at the time of the … Continue reading Moist releases Creature, opens for Neil Young, and waits for reality to set in

I played Neil Young’s “I’m the Ocean” eight times on my shitty commute today

By Steve Newton My morning commute from Delta to Vancouver can really suck—mainly because of a concrete montrosity called the Alex Fraser Bridge—but every now and again I slide in a CD that makes the trip a little less painful. Today I chose Neil Young’s Mirror Ball album—that awesome one from ’95 that he recorded with the … Continue reading I played Neil Young’s “I’m the Ocean” eight times on my shitty commute today

Neil Young’s ragged glory undermined by shitty sound in Vancouver

The sound from the stage was great–until the band got up there. By Steve Newton Yesterday I wrote a fun little blog about how nice it would be if Neil Young topped off his show in Vancouver last night with one of my fave tunes of his, “Long May You Run”. He didn’t do that–opting instead to … Continue reading Neil Young’s ragged glory undermined by shitty sound in Vancouver

Sooner or later it all gets real for Neil Young’s 26-year-old guitarist Lukas Nelson

By Steve Newton Willie Nelson celebrated his 82nd birthday on April 29, so when his son Lukas calls for an interview the next day, the first question has to be “So how was the party last night?” “It wasn’t much of a party,” he replies. “We just played poker, and a little golf.” If copious … Continue reading Sooner or later it all gets real for Neil Young’s 26-year-old guitarist Lukas Nelson

Neil Young’s new guitarist calls On the Beach and Tonight’s the Night his all-time Shakey faves

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Lukas Nelson last week–in advance of the gig with his band Promise of the Real in Vancouver this Saturday–we talked a lot about Neil Young. And not just ’cause we both love him. Nelson played guitar on Shakey’s upcoming album, The Monsanto Years, and POTR may well be Young’s next touring … Continue reading Neil Young’s new guitarist calls On the Beach and Tonight’s the Night his all-time Shakey faves

Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready on Ticketmaster, Neil Young, Nickelback, and the new Riot Act

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 29, 2003 By Steve Newton Pearl Jam is one of those hugely influential, multiplatinum rock acts that’s notorious for refusing to talk to the press, often for extended periods of time. So when PJ guitarist Mike McCready calls from the “lovely offices” of Vandenberg Public Relations in Seattle, … Continue reading Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready on Ticketmaster, Neil Young, Nickelback, and the new Riot Act

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

Neil Young & Crazy Horse create a gorgeous guitar noise, Sonic Youth not so much

@shotbykevin ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 25, 1991 By Steve Newton The chameleon-like Neil Young has travelled through a kaleidoscope of musical styles over the years, switching effortlessly (and with varying degrees of success) between acoustic folk, bare-bones country, futuristic techno-bop, rockabilly, and whatever else happened to pique his interest at the time. … Continue reading Neil Young & Crazy Horse create a gorgeous guitar noise, Sonic Youth not so much

Bob Dylan Blu-ray smokes with Johnny Winter, Neil Young & Tom Petty

By Steve Newton Back in October of ’92 a mindblowing array of the world’s top recording artists performed at New York’s Madison Square Garden for Bob Dylan’s 30th anniversary concert celebration, and this Tuesday (March 4) a deluxe edition of the concert is being released on CD, DVD and Blu-ray. I watched the Blu-ray this … Continue reading Bob Dylan Blu-ray smokes with Johnny Winter, Neil Young & Tom Petty

Neil Young & Crazy Horse Finish Strong

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 26, 2004 Few bands set the heart of a dedicated guitar-rock fan atwitter the way that Neil Young & Crazy Horse can. Over the years, the no-frills combo of lead guitarist Young, bassist Billy Talbot, drummer Ralph Molina, and rhythm guitarist Frank “Poncho” Sampedro–and before him, drug casualty Danny Whitten–have … Continue reading Neil Young & Crazy Horse Finish Strong

Nicolette Larson talks Neil Young, Eddie Van Halen, and roommate Linda Ronstadt

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 24, 2013 By Steve Newton On February 22, 1983, Nicolette Larson played Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom. It wasn’t a major concert event by any means, but it was definitely a potential night out for Larson fans who’d been following her career since ’78, when her debut album Nicolette spawned a hit version of … Continue reading Nicolette Larson talks Neil Young, Eddie Van Halen, and roommate Linda Ronstadt

That time a drunk Andy McCoy from Hanoi Rocks sang me a bit of “All the Young Dudes”

By Steve Newton Back in February of 1984, 10 months before a drunk-driving Vince Neil killed Razzle, I interviewed Hanoi Rocks’ lead guitarist/main songwriter Andy McCoy and bassist Sami Yaffa. They were both pretty wasted, and shouldn’t have been doing interviews, but at one point in the conversation McCoy proved he was at least sober … Continue reading That time a drunk Andy McCoy from Hanoi Rocks sang me a bit of “All the Young Dudes”

That time I asked Rush’s Geddy Lee if he was in awe of how Neil Peart carried on after tragedy

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Geddy Lee a couple of times, in 1997 and 2002. This was the second time, when Rush was touring behind its Vapour Trails album, which I thought was awesome. It was their first album in six years, as the tragic events in drummer Neil Peart’s life–the deaths of his daughter and … Continue reading That time I asked Rush’s Geddy Lee if he was in awe of how Neil Peart carried on after tragedy

That time Malcolm Young told me that if AC/DC started looking a little “cabaret” they wouldn’t be around much longer

By Steve Newton When I interviewed some of the guys from AC/DC back in ’83, on the eve of the Flick of the Switch tour, I asked them which groups they liked listening to in their spare time. Both Brian Johnson and Malcolm Young mentioned ZZ Top. “I just like their attitude and all ya … Continue reading That time Malcolm Young told me that if AC/DC started looking a little “cabaret” they wouldn’t be around much longer

That time Malcolm Young told me that his biggest influences were “the old rockers” and early Clapton

By Steve Newton I love listening to these old soundbites of me hangin’ out with AC/DC‘s Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson at a Vancouver hotel room, sippin’ tea and chattin’ it up. The vast majority of interviews I’ve done since getting into the music-writing game back in ’82 with Vancouver’s Georgia Straight newspaper have been done … Continue reading That time Malcolm Young told me that his biggest influences were “the old rockers” and early Clapton

Hangin’ with AC/DC on the Flick of the Switch tour while Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson talk Bon Scott

By Steve Newton I guess one of the cooler in-person interviews I’ve ever done was that time back in October of ’83 when I hung out with three members of AC/DC–singer Brian Johnson, rhythm-guitarist Malcolm Young, and then-new drummer Simon Wright–at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver. The Aussie earbusters were in town to launch … Continue reading Hangin’ with AC/DC on the Flick of the Switch tour while Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson talk Bon Scott

That time Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil cursed me out and called Axl Rose a pussy, a wimp, and a poser

By Steve Newton Ha! Here’s a good one. Today I was listening to an old interview I did with Vince Neil back in October of 1991 when Motley Crue was promoting its Decade of Decadence greatest hits album. This was around the time Neil was making headlines in the music press for his feud with … Continue reading That time Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil cursed me out and called Axl Rose a pussy, a wimp, and a poser

Neil Finn got passion from his dad and ability from his mom

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 4, 2002 By Steve Newton I might not be the most sensitive guy in the world—what Skynyrd-loving bozo ever could be?—but there are certain heart-rending pop songs that can get even my old throat aclenchin’. Neil Finn’s “Lullaby Requiem” is one such pensive tune. It’s included on the … Continue reading Neil Finn got passion from his dad and ability from his mom

Neil Finn recruits loved ones to reach Dizzy Heights

As a singer-songwriter, Neil Finn has been known to create tunes that are both beautifully simple (Split Enz’s “One Step Ahead”) and simply beautiful (Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over”). Simplicity has been part of his oeuvre since day one, but on his latest solo album, Dizzy Heights, things get a bit more involved. As … Continue reading Neil Finn recruits loved ones to reach Dizzy Heights

That time Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman told me about creating the riff for “American Woman”

By Steve Newton Canada doesn’t seem to have an overabundance of rock-guitar heroes. Sure, you’ve got your Lenny Breau when it comes to jazz, and your Jeff Healey if you’re talkin’ blues. But when it comes to Canadian rock-guitar heroes, I can’t think of tons. Alex Lifeson, Kim Mitchell… Obviously Neil Young, but isn’t he … Continue reading That time Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman told me about creating the riff for “American Woman”

Steve Cropper’s musical career has been touched by tragedy but his killer guitar licks endure

By Steve Newton On the phone from his home in Nashville, Steve Cropper sounds happy and full of life. He talks a lot and ends most of his sentences with a chuckle, as you might expect from a guy who’s spent the last 60-or-so years of his life doing exactly what he loves the most: … Continue reading Steve Cropper’s musical career has been touched by tragedy but his killer guitar licks endure

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

Album review: Lonnie Mack, Strike Like Lightning (1985)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 24, 1985 By Steve Newton Strike Like Lightning–the newest release from blues innovator Lonnie Mack–packs a sizzling guitar-drenched punch. Produced by Mack and six-string hero Stevie Ray Vaughan, the album features Vaughan’s nifty fretwork on five tracks, including the go-for-broke instrumental “Double Whammy” and the acoustic, back-porch jam of … Continue reading Album review: Lonnie Mack, Strike Like Lightning (1985)

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2017

By Steve Newton Welcome to the old-rocker department. You won’t find much in the hip-and-happening realm here, but it’s not all about the kids, ya know. Gregg Allman Southern Blood One of the hardest-hitting musician deaths this year was southern-rock legend Gregg Allman’s passing in May of complications from liver cancer. But he left his millions … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2017