That time I asked Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready what he thought was so great about Neil Young

By Steve Newton I like Pearl Jam a lot. And I really love Neil Young. So when those two got together for the Mirror Ball album back in 1995 I was in hog heaven. I would listen to my favourite track, “I’m the Ocean”, over and over again. When I interviewed Pearl Jam guitarist Mike … Continue reading That time I asked Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready what he thought was so great about Neil Young

Album review: Pearl Jam, Vs. (1993)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 25, 1993 By Steve Newton Although I became a fan of Pearl Jam the first time I heard its debut album, Ten, I must admit that I haven’t played that disc a lot since scoring a review copy back in ’91. Shortly after its release I saw … Continue reading Album review: Pearl Jam, Vs. (1993)

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

Patriots vs. Seahawks = Aerosmith vs. Nirvana, Cars vs. Pearl Jam, J. Geils vs. Soundgarden

By Steve Newton Today I just realized that the New England Patriots–who play some big football game with fancy TV commercials tomorrow–are from the greater Boston area. I didn’t know that. In my blissful ignorance of American geography–which may be unconscious payback for the Yanks’ legendary cluelessness about all things Canada–I always thought New England was a … Continue reading Patriots vs. Seahawks = Aerosmith vs. Nirvana, Cars vs. Pearl Jam, J. Geils vs. Soundgarden

Pete Droge’s Pearl Jam connection led him to Find a Door

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 12, 1996 When you think Seattle rock, you picture plaid shirts, baggy shorts, vein-bulging vocals, and propulsive guitar noise comin’ at you in heavily amplified blasts. You don’t necessarily envision a guy like Pete Droge, whose rootsy, laid-back style has more in common with Tom Petty’s breezy, melodic … Continue reading Pete Droge’s Pearl Jam connection led him to Find a Door

Stone Gossard says Pearl Jam’s hard work is all paying off

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 19, 1991 By Steve Newton When a rock writer does a lot of “phoners”—media slang for telephone interviews—with bands that are coming to town, once in a while wires get crossed. This scribbler was planning to speak to Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder last week, but guitarist Stone … Continue reading Stone Gossard says Pearl Jam’s hard work is all paying off

Pearl Jam pulls off a loud one at the Town Pump in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 3, 1991 By Steve Newton I’d been warned by someone who caught Pearl Jam’s sound check at the Town Pump last Thursday afternoon (September 26) that the Seattle band was extremely loud. My second clue, upon entering the busy club around midnight, was the abundance of black leather … Continue reading Pearl Jam pulls off a loud one at the Town Pump in Vancouver

Pearl Jam releases Vs., and the Newt’s right into it

By Steve Newton Twenty years ago Seattle grunge masters Pearl Jam released their second album, Vs., and seeing as the band is playing Vancouver’s Rogers Arena this Wednesday, I figured it was time to take a quick look back at the disc. Vs. sold 950,378 copies its first week of release, and outperformed all other entries … Continue reading Pearl Jam releases Vs., and the Newt’s right into it

That time Vinnie Paul told me about experiencing “the ultimate high” when Judas Priest fanatics Pantera jammed with Rob Halford

By Steve Newton Back on February 20, 1992, I did my one and only interview with Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul. That was five days before the Texas metal band released its most popular album, the double-platinum Vulgar Display of Power. At one point in the conversation I asked Vinnie about Rob Halford’s professed love for … Continue reading That time Vinnie Paul told me about experiencing “the ultimate high” when Judas Priest fanatics Pantera jammed with Rob Halford

That time Ronnie James Dio told me that Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” was his favourite song out of all the things he’d done

By Steve Newton Way the funk back in 1985 I did my one and only interview with Ronnie James Dio. He was touring behind Dio’s Sacred Heart album, and he got tickets and backstage passes to the show in Vancouver at the Pacific Coliseum. I’ll never forget how kind and generous he was when we … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me that Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” was his favourite song out of all the things he’d done

That time Ronnie James Dio told me that he thought Black Sabbath’s Mob Rules was a better album than Heaven and Hell

By Steve Newton Black Sabbath impressed a lot of people in April of 1980 when it released Heaven and Hell, its first album with Ronnie James Dio on vocals. I was one of those people. So I was pretty surprised when, while I was interviewing him in 1985, Dio told me that he thought Sabbath’s … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me that he thought Black Sabbath’s Mob Rules was a better album than Heaven and Hell

That time Colin James told me that playing electric slide-guitar was a challenge for him

By Steve Newton Back in August of 1995 I interviewed Canadian blues-rocker Colin James, who I’d been a fan of since his self-titled 1988 debut album. At the time he was touring behind his fourth album, Bad Habits, which saw him playing quite a bit of slide guitar on tunes like “Real Stuff” and “Walkin’ … Continue reading That time Colin James told me that playing electric slide-guitar was a challenge for him

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

That time Zakk Wylde told me about jamming with Skynyrd and covering for Dickey Betts in the Allmans

By Steve Newton Zakk Wylde may be best known as the guitarist and songwriter who took over from Jake E. Lee to help Ozzy Osbourne stay on the charts with tunes like “No More Tears” and “Perry Mason”, but southern-rock fans also know him as the frontman in the power trio Pride & Glory, which was … Continue reading That time Zakk Wylde told me about jamming with Skynyrd and covering for Dickey Betts in the Allmans

That time I asked Alex Van Halen about his earliest memories of jamming with Eddie

By Steve Newton I haven’t interviewed that many drummers over the years–mainly because I like talking to guitarists more–but when Van Hagar was heading to Vancouver for a show in 1995 and the opportunity came to chat with Alex Van Halen I didn’t turn it down. And boy was I glad I didn’t, because he … Continue reading That time I asked Alex Van Halen about his earliest memories of jamming with Eddie

That time Peter Frampton told me that he and David Bowie used to jam at school as kids

By Steve Newton Back in August of ’87 I interviewed Peter Frampton in a Vancouver hotel room. At the time he was playing guitar with David Bowie on the Glass Spider tour, in support of Bowie’s Never Let Me Down album, which he also played on. So of course I started the conversation off by … Continue reading That time Peter Frampton told me that he and David Bowie used to jam at school as kids

Jeff Healey jams at the Yale Pub before tearing up the Town Pump with a feedback-laden “Oh Canada”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 8, 1988 By Steve Newton Jeff Healey loves to play guitar. Two long, sweat-soaked nights at the Town Pump obviously weren’t going to be enough for the blind blues ace. So he could be seen down at the Yale Saturday afternoon (July 2), taking part in the pub’s … Continue reading Jeff Healey jams at the Yale Pub before tearing up the Town Pump with a feedback-laden “Oh Canada”

Blues Traveler’s John Popper went from the Blues Brothers to Paul Butterfield to Elmore James to Hendrix

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 3, 1991 By Steve Newton If you were ever a big fan of the Blues Brothers, chances are you appreciate a few chuckles tossed in with your listening. Blues Traveler singer/harmonica player John Popper certainly does. In fact, it was his love of comedy that first got him … Continue reading Blues Traveler’s John Popper went from the Blues Brothers to Paul Butterfield to Elmore James to Hendrix