The Gord Downie Tapes, 1995, Part II: on touring with Page & Plant and the Rolling Stones

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Gord Downie in July of 1995 the Tragically Hip was flying high. Since I’d talked to him six months earlier, the band had won group of the year at the Junos, performed on Saturday Night Live, toured widely with Page & Plant, and opened for the Rolling Stones. Not … Continue reading The Gord Downie Tapes, 1995, Part II: on touring with Page & Plant and the Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones super-deluxe box set falls short without Keith Richards mini cut-out

By Steve Newton The Rolling Stones snubbed Vancouver when it came time to book their current Zip Code Tour, which could very well be the group’s last major trek outside the nursing home. But hardcore fans who’ve been bawling about that omission for months now can take some comfort in the fact that the money … Continue reading Rolling Stones super-deluxe box set falls short without Keith Richards mini cut-out

The Rolling Stones play Vancouver on the Steel Wheels Tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 10, 1989 By Steve Newton In what was surely the biggest Vancouver concert event of the ’80s, the Rolling Stones hit Vancouver for two nights last week amid a flurry of hype and much grovelling for tickets. Now that Jagger and the boys have gathered up their money-bags … Continue reading The Rolling Stones play Vancouver on the Steel Wheels Tour

The Rolling Stones go from bogus to brilliant in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 5, 1998 I’ve seen my fair share of B.C. Place rock concerts over the years, but none that have left me as perplexed as last Wednesday’s (January 28) Stones show. It started out shockingly lame before transforming into something wild and wonderful, and I would have sworn that … Continue reading The Rolling Stones go from bogus to brilliant in Vancouver

Gordon Downie says opening for the Rolling Stones is like being a golf caddy

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 6, 1995 By Steve Newton In 1995, it’s as if the Tragically Hip can do no wrong. Late last February, the Ontario guitar-rockers played a Pacific Coliseum gig that sold out in 20 minutes flat. Not long after that, you could have flicked on Saturday Night Live and … Continue reading Gordon Downie says opening for the Rolling Stones is like being a golf caddy

The Rolling Stones wow Vancouver on the Voodoo Lounge Tour, Spin Doctors not so much

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 22, 1994 There was one nagging question on my mind after the Rolling Stones’ show last Saturday (December 17) at B.C. Place, and it kept elbowing for space in there with about a thousand Chuck Berry guitar riffs. I couldn’t stop wondering just how in hell the Spin … Continue reading The Rolling Stones wow Vancouver on the Voodoo Lounge Tour, Spin Doctors not so much

Rolling Stones to release Some Girls Live in Texas 1978 on DVD and Blu-Ray

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 11, 2011 By Steve Newton A lot of diehard Rolling Stones fans feel strongly that the band’s 1972 double album, Exile on Main St., is its finest recording ever. I’m more of a Some Girls guy myself, which is why I’m psyched that Eagle Rock Entertainment will be releasing Some Girls Live in Texas … Continue reading Rolling Stones to release Some Girls Live in Texas 1978 on DVD and Blu-Ray

Rolling Stones Blu-ray sounds killer with Keef’s botched chords fixed up

By Steve Newton Just hours after the Rolling Stones finished the first of two shows at Hyde Park last July YouTube started getting flooded with fan-shot videos that showed Keith Richards seriously fucking up the opening chords to the big show’s first song, “Start Me Up”. It was not a pretty sound. Ironically, in a … Continue reading Rolling Stones Blu-ray sounds killer with Keef’s botched chords fixed up

Rolling Stones give good bang for big-buck tickets

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 29, 2006 A lot has been made of the astronomical ticket prices the Rolling Stones charged on their recent stop in Vancouver, but considering today’s out-of-control construction costs (see 2010 Olympics), there’s some merit to their exorbitance. It looked as if the Stones’ 300-person production crew had built a five-storey … Continue reading Rolling Stones give good bang for big-buck tickets

The Gord Downie Tapes, 1989: On the music scene in Kingston and being influenced by the Yardbirds and Stones

By Steve Newton Over the last couple of weeks, since the awful news about Gord Downie came out, I’ve been posting excerpts from the first interview I did with him, back in 1989. The first one had him talking about a couple of the tunes on the Hip’s then-new album, Up to Here, and the second … Continue reading The Gord Downie Tapes, 1989: On the music scene in Kingston and being influenced by the Yardbirds and Stones

Roy Buchanan on being asked to join the Stones, his fave guitarists, and Jeff Beck’s dedication to him

By Steve Newton On January 26, 1986, I did my first interview with guitar legend Roy Buchanan. He was coming to Vancouver for a show at the Town Pump, so I called him up at his hotel in Salt Lake City and got the scoop. In this particular excerpt we talked about him being asked … Continue reading Roy Buchanan on being asked to join the Stones, his fave guitarists, and Jeff Beck’s dedication to him

Roy Buchanan on turning down the Stones and being flattered by Beck

me ‘n Roy backstage at the Pump, February 10, 1986 ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 7, 1986 By Steve Newton Not many guitarists can say they were invited to join the Rolling Stones. Not many can say they turned the offer down either. But Roy Buchanan–quite possibly the best white blues guitarist in … Continue reading Roy Buchanan on turning down the Stones and being flattered by Beck

Sax great Bobby Keys was much more than a sideman for the Stones

Bobby Keys passed away this morning at the age of 70 after battling cirrhosis. He was best known as the saxophonist for the Rolling Stones, having blasted out that unforgettable solo on “Brown Sugar”. He also blew like crazy on such Stones gems as “Happy” (from Exile on Main Street) and “Live With Me” (from Let It … Continue reading Sax great Bobby Keys was much more than a sideman for the Stones

The Stones & Muddy Waters make blues magic on Chicago’s south side

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 31, 2012 By Steve Newton Eagle Rock Entertainment recently released the DVD Muddy Waters/The Rolling Stones/Checkerboard Lounge/Live Chicago 1981, and, man, is it a sweet treat for fans of electric blues. The coolest part of the concert comes when the Stones arrive while Muddy’s a minute-and-a-half into “Baby Please Don’t Go” … Continue reading The Stones & Muddy Waters make blues magic on Chicago’s south side

Newt’s 30 best rock albums of the decade, 2010-2019

By Steve Newton 30. Soundgarden King Animal (2012) The classic Soundgarden lineup of singer Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Ben Shepherd, and drummer Matt Cameron releases its first album in 16 years, and it sounds like it’s never been gone. The raging, three-minute “Attrition” might be the best damn rock tune of the year. 29. … Continue reading Newt’s 30 best rock albums of the decade, 2010-2019

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

The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

By Steve Newton Remember how you’d set the needle down on the opening track of a new rock album and the first tune would just blow you the funk away? Me too. “(Ain’t Nothin’ But a) House Party” (Bloodshot, J. Geils Band, 1973) “All the Way From Memphis” (Mott, Mott the Hoople, 1973) “Already Gone” … Continue reading The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

Album review: Colin James, Bad Habits (1995)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 3, 1995 By Steve Newton They say that life begins at 40, but for 30-year-old Colin James the Big Three-O might well be the milestone signifying delivery to the good life. With Bad Habits, the fresh-faced rocker has turned into a goatee-sporting practitioner of funky, soulful, seasoned-sounding … Continue reading Album review: Colin James, Bad Habits (1995)

My 50 fave Vancouver concerts of all time (so far)

By Steve Newton In celebration of the Georgia Straight turning 50 this year, I figured I’d offer a roundup of the 50 top Vancouver concerts I’ve reviewed while writing for the paper since 1982. Maybe you made it out to a couple yourself! Although I doubt you weaseled your way backstage at the Orpheum in ’93 to … Continue reading My 50 fave Vancouver concerts of all time (so far)

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1990

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 1990 By Steve Newton A good portion of my album picks for the year turned out to be from ageing rock veterans. Maybe 1990 wasn’t a great year for new artists—or maybe I just missed ’em—but the tunes that really got me going were by artists I’ve followed … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1990

The incredible story behind the Ear of Newt autographed guitar

By Steve Newton Back in January of 2013 when I started planning the Ear of Newt website–which I launched on Halloween night that year–I knew I had to get my autographed plexiglass guitar into the picture. I’d been dragging it around to concerts to get it signed by my fave pickers–folks like Link Wray, Ronnie … Continue reading The incredible story behind the Ear of Newt autographed guitar

Rock and roll died today: Chuck Berry passes away at age 90

By Steve Newton The man often looked to as the originator of rock ‘n’ roll, Chuck Berry, died today at the age of 90. The singer-songwriter and guitar legend–best known for deathless rock numbers like “Johnny B. Goode”, “Maybelline”, “Roll Over Beethoven”, “Memphis”, and “Nadine”–died this afternoon, St. Charles County Police Department confirmed. The cause of … Continue reading Rock and roll died today: Chuck Berry passes away at age 90

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2016

By Steve Newton Please, God, don’t let any more of my rock heroes die this year. Jeff Beck Loud Hailer The world’s greatest living rock guitarist isn’t resting on his laurels at the age of 72. With Loud Hailer—another term for “megaphone”—Beck delivers a fresh-sounding blast of intense, politically minded rock. His fretwork has never … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2016

Loved me some Leon

By Steve Newton Just when it seems like 2016 couldn’t get much worse–what with the recent death of Leonard Cohen and the election of Donald Trump–here comes some more sad news. Music legend Leon Russell, best known for writing and/or recording songs like “Delta Lady”, “This Masquerade”, and “Tight Rope”–and for performing with virtually everybody–passed … Continue reading Loved me some Leon

The Gord Downie Tapes, 1995, Part II: life on the road with the Tragically Hip

By Steve Newton On July 2, 1995, I did my fourth Georgia Straight interview with the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie. It had only been six months since our previous chat, and it was unusual–even back then, when newspapers were thriving–to publish two feature stories on the same band within such a short span of time. But … Continue reading The Gord Downie Tapes, 1995, Part II: life on the road with the Tragically Hip

Susan Tedeschi bought Derek Trucks binoculars for his birthday ’cause he already has too many guitars

By Steve Newton The day before Susan Tedeschi called me to chat about the Tedeschi Trucks Band, her husband and bandmate Derek Trucks celebrated his 37th birthday. Since Trucks is revered as one of the world’s top slide-guitarists, I ask Tedeschi if she bought him a new six-string to mark the occasion. Her answer isn’t … Continue reading Susan Tedeschi bought Derek Trucks binoculars for his birthday ’cause he already has too many guitars