Album review: Various Artists, We’re a Happy Family—A Tribute to Ramones (2003)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 27, 2003 By Steve Newton You don’t fuck with the Ramones. And one of the best ways to not fuck with them is to not change their music around; i.e., slow it down. Somebody should have pointed that obvious fact out to Marilyn Manson before they let the … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, We’re a Happy Family—A Tribute to Ramones (2003)

That time Johnny Ramone told me why the Ramones covered the Doors’ “Take It as It Comes”

By Steve Newton I got to interview legendary punk-rock guitarist Johnny Ramone a couple of times, once way back in 1983 and again in ’92, when the Ramones were touring Brazil in support of their Mondo Bizarro album. That album featured a pretty nifty cover of the Doors’ 1967 tune “Take It As it Comes”, with … Continue reading That time Johnny Ramone told me why the Ramones covered the Doors’ “Take It as It Comes”

That time I called Johnny Ramone up in Rio and he said the Ramones were huge down there

By Steve Newton Back in September of 1992 I did my second interview with punk-rock guitar legend Johnny Ramone. (Here’s my first one, from 1983.) At the time the Ramones were touring South America, promoting their brand new album Mondo Bizarro. Johnny took my call at his hotel in Rio, just as he was about … Continue reading That time I called Johnny Ramone up in Rio and he said the Ramones were huge down there

The Ramones stay fast and furious on Mondo Bizarro

ORIGINALLY POSTED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 1, 1992 By Steve Newton The Ramones have come a long way since their ear-bustin’ brand of music first helped kick-start the late-’70s punk-rock craze. The band is still delivering the same barrage of noise—three-minute, three-chord tunes played fast and furious, with humorous lyrics and wacky titles like … Continue reading The Ramones stay fast and furious on Mondo Bizarro

Ramones box set boasts over 75 tunes on six discs

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 13, 2013 By Steve Newton Like the band itself, there’s nothing fancy about the new Ramones boxed set, The Sire Years: 1976-1981. The seminal NYC punks just collected their first six albums—Ramones (’76), Leave Home and Rocket to Russia (’77), Road to Ruin (’78), the Phil Spector-produced End of the Century (’80), and Pleasant Dreams (’81)—and stuck ’em in a little box. … Continue reading Ramones box set boasts over 75 tunes on six discs

Johnny Ramone says being in the Ramones “beats working”

By Steve Newton Whether you remember or not, May of 1983 was a great month for historic rock concerts in Vancouver. On May 9 Roxy Music played the Pacific Coliseum, performing tunes from its final studio album, Avalon. Then on the 25th a little band from Ireland named U2 played the Queen E., blasting out political … Continue reading Johnny Ramone says being in the Ramones “beats working”

That time I told Bill Elm that I wished Friends of Dean Martinez had recorded Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk”

By Steve Newton I usually write about loud rock and roll music, but every once in a while I get turned on to something else. Back in September of 1995 I interviewed Bill Elm, lap-steel guitarist for the instrumental group Friends of Dean Martinez. The band was formed in Tucson, Arizona as an experimental side-project by … Continue reading That time I told Bill Elm that I wished Friends of Dean Martinez had recorded Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk”

That time Simon Townshend told me what it was like growing up with one of the world’s most famous rock guitarists for a brother

By Steve Newton Back in February of 1984 I interviewed Simon Townshend, the 23-year-old kid brother of Pete Townshend from the Who. The younger Townshend was touring behind his debut album, the Pete-produced Sweet Sound, and trying to distance himself from the shadow of his 16-years-older bro. At one point in the conversation I asked … Continue reading That time Simon Townshend told me what it was like growing up with one of the world’s most famous rock guitarists for a brother

Aldo Nova on touring with Blue Öyster Cult, covering Coney Hatch, and the new Subject…Aldo Nova

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DECEMBER 23, 1983 By Steve Newton “It was supposed to be a post-nuclear holocaust type thing,” says Aldo Nova, referring to the initial concept idea for his latest album, Subject…Aldo Nova. Over the phone from Shreveport, Louisiana last week, Nova (his real name’s Caporuscio) outlined the proposed plan for … Continue reading Aldo Nova on touring with Blue Öyster Cult, covering Coney Hatch, and the new Subject…Aldo Nova

That time Mark Kelly told me that Marillion were touring with Rush and I questioned the matchup

By Steve Newton Way back in March of 1986 Marillion keyboardist Mark Kelly called me up from a tour stop in Quebec City. As the interview kicked off he told me that his band was opening for Rush there, which caught me off guard. I figured Rush, which was touring behind its Power Windows album, … Continue reading That time Mark Kelly told me that Marillion were touring with Rush and I questioned the matchup

That time new Anthrax vocalist John Bush told me that he thought the band’s weakest link had always been its singer

By Steve Newton When I interviewed metal vocalist John Bush back in August of 1993 he was touring with Anthrax, who had released their first album with him, Sound of White Noise, three months earlier. The 30-year-old Bush, formerly of Armored Saint, had been brought in to replace the fired Joey Belladonna, who had sung … Continue reading That time new Anthrax vocalist John Bush told me that he thought the band’s weakest link had always been its singer

That time Aldo Nova told me that the guys in Blue Öyster Cult were not as wild as you’d think they are

By Steve Newton I interviewed Aldo Nova back in December of 1983, when he was touring with one of my favourite all-time bands, Blue Öyster Cult. This was a month after BOC released the Bruce Fairbairn-produced The Revolution By Night, which isn’t one of my fave Cult albums. But it does include a pretty cool … Continue reading That time Aldo Nova told me that the guys in Blue Öyster Cult were not as wild as you’d think they are

That time Steven Adler told me that he wished he’d checked out Iron Maiden when Guns N’ Roses opened for them in the ’80s

By Steve Newton I interviewed original Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler back in August of 2011, the same year he appeared in Season 5 of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. At the time he was heading to Vancouver for a club show with his own band, Adler’s Appetite, performing originals and the tunes he … Continue reading That time Steven Adler told me that he wished he’d checked out Iron Maiden when Guns N’ Roses opened for them in the ’80s

America’s Dewey Bunnell says “A Horse with No Name” is all about the feeling of the desert

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 16, 1983 By Steve Newton America, the masters of mellow, have just released their 13th album. Produced by Russ Ballard, Your Move continues the collaboration between Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley that began in 1970 when–along with Dan Peek–they had a huge hit in their first single, “A … Continue reading America’s Dewey Bunnell says “A Horse with No Name” is all about the feeling of the desert

That time I called Mick Ronson up in Oklahoma and asked him how the tour with Ian Hunter was going

By Steve Newton Mick Ronson is one of my favourite guitar players of all time. He’s an underrated musical genius, and I can’t fathom why the dimwits down at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame refuse to even nominate him. Those twits in Cleveland really burn my ass. Anyway, for my second interview with … Continue reading That time I called Mick Ronson up in Oklahoma and asked him how the tour with Ian Hunter was going

That time Tom Morello told me that he looks at guitars as collaborators

By Steve Newton Tom Morello is one of those activist-minded musicians who use their talent to bring attention to important causes they feel strongly about, and I admire that a lot. Morello is best known for his tenure with the political rock band Rage Against the Machine and then with Audioslave, but I interviewed him … Continue reading That time Tom Morello told me that he looks at guitars as collaborators

That time primo Vancouver picker Paul Pigat told me about getting turned on to Danny Gatton

By Steve Newton Metro Vancouver has spawned quite a few wicked guitar players, and I’ve been lucky to have interviewed a bunch. Some of my faves include Shaun Verreault, Dave Martone, Scott Smith, Don Alder, Russell Marsland, Lindsay Mitchell, Todd Taylor, Erol Sora, Devin Townsend, Harris Van Berkel, the late Scotty Hall, and the ever-lovin’ … Continue reading That time primo Vancouver picker Paul Pigat told me about getting turned on to Danny Gatton

Roger Fisher moves on from Heart-break with new band 10 Bulls and hopes for a record deal

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 20, 1985 By Steve Newton Former Heart guitarist Roger Fisher, and his new band 10 Bulls, had their Vancouver debut at Club Soda this summer. The most surprising thing about their performance was the fact that nearly all their songs–with the exception of maybe five–were covers! I mean, … Continue reading Roger Fisher moves on from Heart-break with new band 10 Bulls and hopes for a record deal