Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Rainbow, BTO, Steve Earle, Judas Priest, Little Feat, Todd Rundgren, and Mahogany Rush

By Steve Newton As you may aware, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame crapped the bed again yesterday, inducting the likes of Whitney Houston and Depeche Mode over nominees like Thin Lizzy, Soundgarden, Judas Priest, and the MC5. So today Newt’s Rock Hall is gonna match their six additions, and add a seventh to … Continue reading Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Rainbow, BTO, Steve Earle, Judas Priest, Little Feat, Todd Rundgren, and Mahogany Rush

That time I asked Alex Lifeson what the attraction was to Rush for so many diehard fans

By Steve Newton By now you’ve no doubt heard the awful news: that Rush drummer-lyricist Neil Peart has died from brain cancer. The man who inspired a million drummers is now up there jammin’ with Allan Holdsworth and Jaco Pastorius or equally brilliant and pioneering players like that. So Rush is no more. There will … Continue reading That time I asked Alex Lifeson what the attraction was to Rush for so many diehard fans

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 blues legend Otis Rush told me that he was always tryin’

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed a lot of legendary blues guitarists over the years. B.B. King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughan–they don’t get much more famous than that. But I’ve also managed to score time with lesser-known blues artists who–though not as familiar to the average music fan–have been very influential … Continue reading That time blues legend Otis Rush told me that he was always tryin’

Rush | Time Stand Still is all about devotion

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 26, 2016 By Steve Newton I was a rock-crazed 17-year-old when the first Rush album came out in 1974, so of course I became an instant fan. And that was even before they latched on to the wildest drummer this side of Keith Moon. Paul Rudd was only four years … Continue reading Rush | Time Stand Still is all about devotion

Rush kicks the asses of ailments to deliver the goods in Vancouver

By Steve Newton For 40 years now the trio of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart has been traversing the world, taking their patented brand of challenging prog-rock to the masses, proving to all and sundry that Canada is more than just hockey, beer, and maple syrup. And weed. I guess ya gotta add … Continue reading Rush kicks the asses of ailments to deliver the goods in Vancouver

Geddy Lee on Neil Peart’s personal struggles, shaping his lyrics, and loving Rush

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 5, 2002 By Steve Newton Rush’s latest CD, Vapor Trails, may be its best recording ever, and since the Canuck prog-rock trio now has 17 studio releases to its credit, that’s saying something. But the album would never have been made if drummer-lyricist Neil Peart hadn’t had the … Continue reading Geddy Lee on Neil Peart’s personal struggles, shaping his lyrics, and loving Rush

Rush to issue box set with previously unreleased live footage (of John Rutsey!)

By Steve Newton If you’re the type of diehard Rush freak who thinks who’ve seen everything the band’s ever put to video, get ready for this. The Canuck prog-rock legends announced today that, on November 11, they’ll be releasing R40, a 10-DVD/6-Blu-ray collector’s boxed set which also includes all eight songs from a show in … Continue reading Rush to issue box set with previously unreleased live footage (of John Rutsey!)

Jeff Beck’s astonishing Vancouver show crushes the myth that Clapton is God

By Steve Newton ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 23, 1999 Apart from an arena show with Rod Stewart in the ’80s, it had been nearly 25 years since fans of Jeff Beck last saw him play here, so the anticipatory vibe that surged through the Queen E around 9 p.m. last Saturday (September … Continue reading Jeff Beck’s astonishing Vancouver show crushes the myth that Clapton is God

Chicago blues legend Otis Rush still gets around: “It’s a job, you know, and I got to work.”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 19, 1997 By Steve Newton In conversation, blues legend Otis Rush comes across like one of his classic guitar solos: direct and to the point. He’s no fancy talker, but he gets to the heart of the matter. When the Georgia Straight tracks the 62-year-old musician down at … Continue reading Chicago blues legend Otis Rush still gets around: “It’s a job, you know, and I got to work.”

Rush refuses to give John Rutsey his due on Test for Echo tour in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 22, 1997 By Steve Newton Although they’ve sold more than 35 million records and been a major force on the hard-rock world for 23 years, it appears as though Rush’s status as an arena-packing concert draw—at least in Vancouver—has slipped a few notches. There were scads of empty … Continue reading Rush refuses to give John Rutsey his due on Test for Echo tour in Vancouver

Geddy Lee on the music of the ’70s, the Order of Canada, and the full-time job of Rush

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 15, 1997 By Steve Newton Although I’m usually too lazy to bother fiddling with LPs these days, those old black beauties sure do come in handy when I’m preparing to interview a band that’s been around as long as Rush. Shuffling through my prized rows of plastic-enclosed 12-inchers, … Continue reading Geddy Lee on the music of the ’70s, the Order of Canada, and the full-time job of Rush

Rush gives John Rutsey his due on ReDISCovered box set

By Steve Newton The Pete Best of Canada finally gets his due. John Rutsey, the drummer who played on the very first Rush album before being replaced by Neil Peart, will get some of the credit he deserves with today’s (April 29) release of the Rush ReDISCovered LP boxed set. If you don’t understand how important Rutsey … Continue reading Rush gives John Rutsey his due on ReDISCovered box set

Alex Lifeson says Rush’s no-compromise approach is key to its staying power

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 30, 1992 By Steve Newton When the Georgia Straight interviewed Queensrÿche vocalist Geoff Tate last month, the singer had some intriguing things to say about an alleged “backlash” against progressive rock, which he felt had been initiated by the music industry in the ’70s. Tate uncovered a plot … Continue reading Alex Lifeson says Rush’s no-compromise approach is key to its staying power

Rush debut gets vinyl reissue; John Rutsey gets vindicated

By Steve Newton Universal Music Canada announced today that the mighty Rush will reissue its self-titled 1974 debut album on vinyl to mark its 40-year recording career. Here’s the promotional bumph: As part of Universal’s reDISCovered vinyl series, the original 1974 analogue stereo masters were cut to copper plates using the Direct Metal Mastering (DMM) … Continue reading Rush debut gets vinyl reissue; John Rutsey gets vindicated

Feeling out The Crush with 16-year-old Alicia Silverstone in Vancouver

By Steve Newton Just before she started getting recognized for her appearances in a string of videos for Aerosmith power-ballads, Alicia Silverstone made her feature film debut in the low-budget 1993 thriller The Crush. The film was shot in Vancouver, so naturally I did the set visit for Fangoria magazine. I interviewed Silverstone, who had recently … Continue reading Feeling out The Crush with 16-year-old Alicia Silverstone in Vancouver

Rush is in, Deep Purple’s out: the Rock Hall’s worth is still in doubt

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 12, 2012 By Steve Newton If you’re a Rush freak who’s been holding a grudge against the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for not inducting your heroes, you’ve probably already heard that the Cleveland-based institution broke down yesterday and finally—after 14 years of eligibility—let the Canuck prog-rock legends in. … Continue reading Rush is in, Deep Purple’s out: the Rock Hall’s worth is still in doubt

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson calls the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame “a popularity contest”

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 20, 2012 By Steve Newton If you’re a Rush fan, you’ve no doubt heard that the Canuck power trio has finally been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The group has been eligible for induction since 1999–25 years after the release of its self-titled debut album (featuring … Continue reading Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson calls the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame “a popularity contest”

Rush finally chosen for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…NOT!

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 27, 2011 By Steve Newton Those dickwads down at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have done it again. The list of nominees for induction in 2012 was released today and–much to the chagrin of anyone with the slightest notion of what the term “Rock and Roll” stands for–Canuck … Continue reading Rush finally chosen for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…NOT!

Rush defies age with vitality and verve (and rotisserie chickens) in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 30, 2008 By Steve Newton When you’ve been around as long as Rush has, you can pretty well do as you please. If you don’t feel like doing any interviews to support your tour—even though you have a relatively new studio album, 2007’s Snakes & Arrows, to talk about—you don’t … Continue reading Rush defies age with vitality and verve (and rotisserie chickens) in Vancouver

Rush takes a trip back in time in Vancouver concert at Rogers Arena

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 1, 2011 Rush fans are famous for their unwavering devotion to the Canuck prog-rock trio, but some go that extra mile—like the guy who showed up at Rogers Arena Thursday night (June 30) sporting a homemade placard tied around his neck. The young dude had obviously thrown this hokey piece … Continue reading Rush takes a trip back in time in Vancouver concert at Rogers Arena

That time the Ventures’ Don Wilson and I shared our fondness for John Fogerty

By Steve Newton John Fogerty proudly inducted the Ventures into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, but I learned of his affection for the instro-rock legends years before that. When I interviewed original Ventures rhythm-guitarist Don Wilson back in 1997 I asked him if he’d had a lot of people tell him … Continue reading That time the Ventures’ Don Wilson and I shared our fondness for John Fogerty

That time Randy Hansen told me about exchanging ideas and creating animal sounds with Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Jimi Hendrix tribute artist Randy Hansen back in 2001 I learned that he had known Stevie Ray Vaughan quite well. I was cool to hear Hansen reminisce about Stevie Ray opening shows for him in Austin, Texas, and the two of them creating animal sounds on guitar. Have a … Continue reading That time Randy Hansen told me about exchanging ideas and creating animal sounds with Stevie Ray Vaughan

That time I made Gordie Johnson’s day by telling him that Bruce Fairbairn admired his production work

By Steve Newton It’s fun to pass on compliments sometimes. Like when I was interviewing Big Sugar frontman Gordie Johnson back in October of 1998. A couple weeks earlier I’d interviewed famed Vancouver producer-to-the-stars Bruce Fairbairn, who’d mentioned that he was impressed by the production on Big Sugar’s latest album, Heated. When I told Johnson … Continue reading That time I made Gordie Johnson’s day by telling him that Bruce Fairbairn admired his production work

That time I told Tony Iommi that “Supernaut” was my fave Black Sabbath riff, and he said that it was Zappa’s too

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Tony Iommi, the Riffmaster General, twice: the first time was back in ’84 when the Ian Gillan-fronted Black Sabbath was touring behind the Born Again album, and the last time was in 2007 when he was back with Ronnie James Dio in the Heaven and Hell format. As the second … Continue reading That time I told Tony Iommi that “Supernaut” was my fave Black Sabbath riff, and he said that it was Zappa’s too

That time Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Warren Haynes six times, because he’s one of my favourite musicians of all time. I can’t get enough of his voice, his guitar, and his songs. And even if they aren’t his actual songs I’m crazy about ’em. Like when Gov’t Mule recorded the traditional gospel-blues tune “John the Revelator” … Continue reading That time Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

That time I asked Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin whether Steve Howe was a hard act to follow

By Steve Newton Way back in April of 1984 I interviewed Trevor Rabin, who at the time was the new guitarist in Yes. The band was on a world tour supporting its latest album, 90125, which had spawned the hit single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and was topping the charts. At one point in … Continue reading That time I asked Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin whether Steve Howe was a hard act to follow