That time Zakk Wylde told me what he really thought of Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, and Tony Iommi

By Steve Newton Whether you think Ozzy Osbourne is a genius or not, ya gotta admit that he’s a mastermind when it comes to finding killer guitarists. Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, Zakk Wylde–those are some pretty smokin’ pickers. When I interviewed 27-year-old Wylde back in 1994 I asked him what he thought … Continue reading That time Zakk Wylde told me what he really thought of Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, and Tony Iommi

That time I asked Jake E. Lee if there was much pressure taking over Randy Rhoads’ spot with Ozzy

By Steve Newton Way back in April of 1992 I interviewed Jake E. Lee in advance of a Vancouver show by his group Badlands, which was touring behind its second album, Voodoo Highway. At one point in the interview I started asking Jake about his time with Ozzy Osbourne, which led to me wondering if … Continue reading That time I asked Jake E. Lee if there was much pressure taking over Randy Rhoads’ spot with Ozzy

That time Lemmy from Motörhead told me that Randy Rhoads became much better after he died

By Steve Newton I got to interview rock legend Lemmy Kilmister a couple of times, first in April of 1999 and then again in the following century, in May of 2002. During that ’99 chat I mentioned how I’d first seen Motörhead back in 1983, when they opened for Ozzy Osbourne on the Blizzard of Oz tour … Continue reading That time Lemmy from Motörhead told me that Randy Rhoads became much better after he died

Album review: Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads, Tribute (1987)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 5, 1987 By Steve Newton Everybody has their favourite rock guitarists. “Hendrix,” scream some, “Jimi Hendrix rules!” “Page is king,” others argue. “Clapton is God,” says the next person. And then there are people who bow down before Jeff Beck. Me, I’m a Randy Rhoads kinda guy. I … Continue reading Album review: Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads, Tribute (1987)

Annihilator’s Jeff Waters wants to see Van Halen, Kiss, Slayer, and Ozzy (with Randy Rhoads) in a club tonight

By Steve Newton Had a nice chat with Annihilator’s Jeff Waters a couple days ago, in advance of his show at the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver on June 15. It had been a while. The last time I interviewed him was back in 1990, when his then-Vancouver-based band had just released its second (and most … Continue reading Annihilator’s Jeff Waters wants to see Van Halen, Kiss, Slayer, and Ozzy (with Randy Rhoads) in a club tonight

Triumph’s Rik Emmett on the merits of the power trio and his secret song for Randy Rhoads

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 11, 1983 By Steve Newton Triumph’s Rik Emmett is a man of many moods on guitar. Though best known for supplying the driving rhythms and rapid-fire leads that are trademarks of his group’s two-fisted sound, Emmett never hesitates delving into the subtle and contemplative realms of classical and jazz … Continue reading Triumph’s Rik Emmett on the merits of the power trio and his secret song for Randy Rhoads

Rudy Sarzo talks Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads while Quiet Riot storms the charts

By Steve Newton One day back in the summer of ’83 I stopped by the Vancouver offices of CBS Records and did an interview with Rudy Sarzo, who was one of the top hard rock/metal bassists around at the time. Sarzo was in town promoting Metal Health, the new release from his band Quiet Riot, which … Continue reading Rudy Sarzo talks Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads while Quiet Riot storms the charts

Tommy Aldridge talks Black Oak Arkansas, Whitesnake, Ozzy, and the brilliance of Randy Rhoads

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 10, 1990 By Steve Newton After several years in the rock critic biz, it’s easy for a writer to pick up the ONNTD syndrome. That’s an affliction that occurs when you request an interview with a big-name band and the record company won’t let you talk to the … Continue reading Tommy Aldridge talks Black Oak Arkansas, Whitesnake, Ozzy, and the brilliance of Randy Rhoads

Rudy Sarzo on Randy Rhoads, life after Ozzy, and the return of Quiet Riot

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 5, 1983 By Steve Newton Formed in 1975 by Kevin DuBrow and the late Randy Rhoads (who died in a plane crash last year while a member of the Ozzy Osbourne band), Quiet Riot were one of the leading Los Angeles rock bands during the late seventies. Boasting … Continue reading Rudy Sarzo on Randy Rhoads, life after Ozzy, and the return of Quiet Riot

Dave Mustaine says Brad Gillis butchered Randy Rhoads’ solos with Ozzy

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 25, 2004 By Steve Newton Megadeth fans who favour the band’s early work were no doubt pleased to see that original member Chris Poland rejoined fellow guitarist (and bandleader) Dave Mustaine for the group’s latest CD, The System Has Failed. But anyone expecting to see Poland in the lineup when Megadeth … Continue reading Dave Mustaine says Brad Gillis butchered Randy Rhoads’ solos with Ozzy

Randy Rhoads’ bizarre death incomprehensible to a little kid

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 28, 2011 I was at the supermarket with my nine-year-old son Danny a couple of days ago, and we were hanging around in the magazine section, scanning for headlines on the latest video-game titles (“Whoa! Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2! Cool!”) when we came upon the latest issue of Guitar World magazine, … Continue reading Randy Rhoads’ bizarre death incomprehensible to a little kid

That time I asked Tommy Aldridge to name the most talented guitarist he ever played with

By Steve Newton Drum legend Tommy Aldridge has played with some of the greatest rock guitarists of all time: Gary Moore, Steve Vai, Randy Rhoads, Pat Travers, Tony MacAlpine, Scott Gorham, John Sykes. Heck, even his first band of note, Black Oak Arkansas, featured some pretty heavy-duty pickers. When I interviewed Aldridge back in 2001 … Continue reading That time I asked Tommy Aldridge to name the most talented guitarist he ever played with

Album review: Ozzy Osbourne, No Rest for the Wicked (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 11, 1988 By Steve Newton All right? Chalk one up for the rockers in the battle between heavy metal and the Moral Majority. Trust good old Ozzy to take a two-fisted slug at Jimmy Swaggart’s recent downfall: “Today I saw a Miracle Man, on TV cryin’/Such a hypocritical … Continue reading Album review: Ozzy Osbourne, No Rest for the Wicked (1988)

Album review: Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Marching Out (1985)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 8, 1985 By Steve Newton Swedish guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen has been heralded as the rock guitarist of the eighties, a successor to Eddie Van Halen and the late Randy Rhoads. And there’s no doubt that Yngwie is several cuts above the typical metal guitarist. But blinding speed and technical dazzle … Continue reading Album review: Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Marching Out (1985)

Album review: Various Artists, Axe Masters–Legends of Rock Guitar

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 19, 1985 By Steve Newton Now this is more like it–heavy metal with class. But then any album that features the playing of metal martyr Randy Rhoads can’t lose. Rhoads is included via Ozzy Osbourne’s first solo hit “Crazy Train”. And he’s in good company. “Axe masters” K.K Downing … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, Axe Masters–Legends of Rock Guitar

Album review: Quiet Riot, Metal Health (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 25, 1983 By Steve Newton Dedicated to the memory of Randy Rhoads, the first album by his former band is one heavy chunk of vinyl. “Metal Health”, “Slick Black Cadillac”, and “Breathless” are all excellent, bang-your-head crotch rockers, but the album’s most outstanding cuts are the bluesy “Don’t Want to Let … Continue reading Album review: Quiet Riot, Metal Health (1983)

Album review: Motley Crue: Too Fast For Love (1982)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 9, 1982 By Steve Newton Talk about ugly. These guys make the New York Dolls look like the kids on Leave It To Beaver! Well, maybe they aren’t that bad. Anyway, their music sure isn’t ugly. It’s beautiful, in fact. That is, if you’re into energetic, hook-filled boogie. … Continue reading Album review: Motley Crue: Too Fast For Love (1982)

Album review: Scorpions, Blackout (1982)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 4, 1982 By Steve Newton The cover art of Scorpions’ new album Blackout is really quite shocking. Created by Austrian painter Gottfried Heinwein, it shows a mustachioed young man with his head completely bandaged and two steel forks protruding from the white cloth at his temples, curling menacingly into his … Continue reading Album review: Scorpions, Blackout (1982)

album reviews

Aerosmith: Honkin’ on Bobo (2004) Eric Clapton: Me and Mr. Johnson (2004) Jimi Hendrix: Axis Outtakes (2003) ZZ Top: Mescalero (2003) Nickelback: The Long Road (2003) Joe Jackson Band: Volume 4 (2003) Led Zeppelin: How the West Was Won (2003) Yardbirds: Birdland (2003) Jimmy Thackery: Guitar (2003) Various Artists: We’re a Happy Family, A Tribute … Continue reading album reviews

Jon Bon Jovi talks strippers, scenery, and hype as Slippery When Wet tops the charts

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 26, 1987 By Steve Newton Talk about moving up in the world! It was a little more than a year ago that New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi played the now-defunct Embassy on Davie. They were in town recording their Slippery When Wet album, and they wanted to see … Continue reading Jon Bon Jovi talks strippers, scenery, and hype as Slippery When Wet tops the charts

Billy Idol humps the stage and Steve Stevens’ guitars rage as the Whiplash Smile tour hits Vancouver

chris cameron photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 22, 1987 By Steve Newton When Billy Idol kept stalling and stalling the release of his latest LP, Whiplash Smile, there was some real danger that the man’s popularity–which had reached great heights after the release of 1983’s Rebel Yell–was beginning to run its course. When a … Continue reading Billy Idol humps the stage and Steve Stevens’ guitars rage as the Whiplash Smile tour hits Vancouver

Rolling Stone can piss right off: here’s the 100 Greatest Guitarists (that I’ve interviewed) and 50 that I haven’t (yet)

By Steve Newton Google “100 greatest guitarists” these days and what shows up at the top is a total joke. It’s the high ‘n’ mighty Rolling Stone‘s list of the so-called finest, posted from 2015. And man does it suck. But what do you expect from the same bozos who oversee the Rock and Roll … Continue reading Rolling Stone can piss right off: here’s the 100 Greatest Guitarists (that I’ve interviewed) and 50 that I haven’t (yet)

That time Ozzy Osbourne told me that he wasn’t “a fucking warlock” trying to turn people into satanists

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Ozzy Osbourne a couple of times, but it’s been over 30 years. The first time was in 1982–not long after the tragic death of guitar legend Randy Rhoads–and the second was in ’84, when he was touring with Rhoads’ replacement, Jake E. Lee, on the Bark at the Moon Tour. … Continue reading That time Ozzy Osbourne told me that he wasn’t “a fucking warlock” trying to turn people into satanists

That time Graham Bonnet told me that Ritchie Blackmore was just a real nice, shy guy

By Steve Newton Ritchie Blackmore is one of my favourite guitarists of all time. As a 15-year-old when Machine Head was released in 1972, I could barely comprehend how great his guitar solo on “Highway Star” made me feel. Over and over again. Two years later he did it again with the lead break on “Burn”. … Continue reading That time Graham Bonnet told me that Ritchie Blackmore was just a real nice, shy guy

That time Ronnie James Dio told me about the entity that tried to kill his wife during the recording of Rainbow’s Long Live Rock and Roll

By Steve Newton In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Rainbow Rising–one of the greatest metal albums of all time–I’ve been posting blogs with soundbites from interviews I did with former Rainbow members Ronnie James Dio (in 1985) and Tony Carey (in ’84). The first one I did on Carey last Tuesday did not go over well … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me about the entity that tried to kill his wife during the recording of Rainbow’s Long Live Rock and Roll

Ronnie James Dio: the Lost Interview of 1985, an Ear of Newt exclusive

By Steve Newton On December 20, 1985, Ronnie James Dio called me up at home and we chatted for 20 minutes or so. How cool was that? The legendary heavy-metal artist was doing press promoting his Sacred Heart tour, which was scheduled to play Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum on December 28, with guest Yngwie Malmsteen. We talked … Continue reading Ronnie James Dio: the Lost Interview of 1985, an Ear of Newt exclusive

33 years after the Screaming for Vengeance tour, Priest still sounds pretty rockin’ to the Newt

all crappy iPhone photos by the Newt By Steve Newton The first time I ever saw Judas Priest was at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum on the Screaming for Vengeance tour in 1982. I remember the show well because a week or two before it I did one of my earliest heavy-metal interviews, with bass player Ian Hill. … Continue reading 33 years after the Screaming for Vengeance tour, Priest still sounds pretty rockin’ to the Newt