That time Slash told me how Guns N’ Roses chose the cover tunes for “The Spaghetti Incident”

By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed Slash was two months after the release of “The Spaghetti Incident?”, Guns N’ Roses’ collection of punk and hard-rock cover tunes by bands like the New York Dolls, T-Rex, the Runaways, and Nazareth. At one point in the conversation I mentioned that I was happy they’d recorded … Continue reading That time Slash told me how Guns N’ Roses chose the cover tunes for “The Spaghetti Incident”

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Backstage with Slash and Bruce Dickinson as Guns N’ Roses open for Maiden in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1988 By Steve Newton The politics of rockin’ can be tough on new bands just getting used to the tour circuit. Take for example Guns N’ Roses, who are on the road in support of their first album, and opening for Iron Maiden, who’ve toured the world … Continue reading Backstage with Slash and Bruce Dickinson as Guns N’ Roses open for Maiden in Vancouver

Album review: Slash’s Snakepit, It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (1995)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 16, 1995 By Steve Newton Those Guns N’ Roses guys sure know how to have their cake and gobble it too. When nothing’s happening with big old moneymaker GN’R they just get a few rockin’ pals together, head into the studio with a few dozen crates of … Continue reading Album review: Slash’s Snakepit, It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (1995)

Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan needn’t fear a Tonya Harding from Slash bassist Todd Kerns

By Steve Newton I was interviewing Todd Kerns a couple weeks ago in advance of the Age of Electric show at the Commodore tonight (April 30), and had an evil thought. Since Kerns is well known as the bassist for Slash, just how far would he go to steal the coveted bass gig in Guns N’ Roses … Continue reading Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan needn’t fear a Tonya Harding from Slash bassist Todd Kerns

Slash bassist Todd Kerns thinks it’s “surreal” that Axl Rose is in AC/DC

By Steve Newton I was interviewing Todd Kerns a few days ago in advance of his gig with the Age of Electric in Vancouver next weekend, and naturally–since he’s the bassist for Slash–the conversation headed in to Guns N’ Roses territory. I asked him what he thought of GN’R singer Axl Rose taking Brian Johnson‘s … Continue reading Slash bassist Todd Kerns thinks it’s “surreal” that Axl Rose is in AC/DC

Newt’s hopes of a second shot at Slash’s JD stash fade with Guns N’ Roses tour news

By Steve Newton “Rock and roll’s a loser’s game,” Ian Hunter once sang, and today I get what he was talkin’ about in that line from “The Ballad of Mott the Hoople“. A few hours ago Guns N’ Roses announced 21 cities on its forthcoming summer tour, but my town–Vancouver–wasn’t on the list. So I … Continue reading Newt’s hopes of a second shot at Slash’s JD stash fade with Guns N’ Roses tour news

Rank and File splits from Slash, connects with Everlys

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 7, 1986 By Steve Newton A lot of Rank and File’s Vancouver fans were thrown for a loop when the Los Angeles-based band was booked for two nights at the Town Pump. They hadn’t expected to see the Kinman brothers and company in such close surroundings, especially since … Continue reading Rank and File splits from Slash, connects with Everlys

Slash, Myles Kennedy, and the Conspirators deliver the concert of a lifetime in Vancouver

photos by Jet Sutherland By Steve Newton As I write this it’s been over 12 hours since Slash left the stage at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, and my ears are still ringing loudly. It sounds like rock ‘n’ roll. Holy crap was that an awesome show! I’ve been reviewing rock gigs for nearly 35 years, and … Continue reading Slash, Myles Kennedy, and the Conspirators deliver the concert of a lifetime in Vancouver

Slash’s Vancouver gig tonight promises plenty of Guns N’ Roses–and the return of Todd “Dammit” Kerns

If the setlist from Slash‘s show in San Francisco two nights ago is any indication, his Vancouver fans are in for a whole lotta GN’R action tonight. During his show at the Fillmore the top-hatted guitar hero led his group the Conspirators, featuring vocalist Myles Kennedy, in no less than six Guns N’ Roses numbers, including … Continue reading Slash’s Vancouver gig tonight promises plenty of Guns N’ Roses–and the return of Todd “Dammit” Kerns

A small world helped Brother Cane score tour with Slash’s Snakepit

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 4, 1995 BY STEVE NEWTON While more than 40 singers auditioned for the lead-vocalist job in Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash’s solo band, Snakepit, probably just as many bands would have lined up to try out for the prestigious opening spot on that group’s tour. When that bill … Continue reading A small world helped Brother Cane score tour with Slash’s Snakepit

With the Big 3-0 looming, Slash figures that “it’s happy hour somewhere”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 27, 1995 By Steve Newton When you’re guitar god Slash from Guns N’ Roses and you’re looking for a singer, you get to take your pick. Many hopefuls tried out for the lead-vocalist position in Slash’s Snakepit, including King’s X crooner Doug Pinnick, Spike from the London Quireboys, … Continue reading With the Big 3-0 looming, Slash figures that “it’s happy hour somewhere”

Hey guitar freaks: Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen is coming to Vancouver after all! Slash too!

Last month I did a blog about how a lot of amazing rock guitarists—Pat Travers, Jake E. Lee, Yngwie Malmsteen, Slash, et cetera—were playing Stateside gigs this year but weren’t crossing the border to bring us Canucks a taste of their wild licks. Well, over the weekend Travers played a whiskey-snortin’ gig at some place in … Continue reading Hey guitar freaks: Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen is coming to Vancouver after all! Slash too!

Axl keeps his cool and Slash burns red hot as Guns N’ Roses slay Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 1, 1993 By Steve Newton The first time I saw Guns N’ Roses perform, the band was opening for Iron Maiden at the Pacific Coliseum, shortly after the release of 1987’s Appetite for Destruction debut. This was several months before tunes like “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet … Continue reading Axl keeps his cool and Slash burns red hot as Guns N’ Roses slay Vancouver

Stateside guitar frenzy: Pat Travers, Jeff Beck, Slash, Jake E. Lee & Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen!

For some reason a lotta old-school rock-guitar heroes don’t play in Vancouver. They head on up for gigs in Washington State, but then turn around and cruise back down to keep on feeding those riff-starved Americans. Are the border guards at Canada Customs really that daunting? Take Pat Travers, for instance. He’s half Canadian, but … Continue reading Stateside guitar frenzy: Pat Travers, Jeff Beck, Slash, Jake E. Lee & Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen!

Bob Geldof and Slash worship Rory Gallagher on Ghost Blues DVD

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 21, 2010 By Steve Newton When superstar humanitarian Sir Bob Geldof was the music editor of the Georgia Straight back in the ’70s he had no qualms about assigning himself to shoot his hero, Rory Gallagher, when he came to town. The result is this beauty photo of the Irish guitar legend … Continue reading Bob Geldof and Slash worship Rory Gallagher on Ghost Blues DVD

Slash says that the original Guns N’ Roses lineup “just stopped rocking”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEBRUARY 11, 1994 By Steve Newton Guns N’ Roses may well be the most popular hard-rock band in the world. It’s certainly one of the most controversial, having made headlines recently with the much-publicized inclusion of an uncredited Charles Manson song on its latest recording, The Spaghetti Incident? There’s … Continue reading Slash says that the original Guns N’ Roses lineup “just stopped rocking”

That time I turned down a swig of Slash’s JD at a Guns N’ Roses gig

By Steve Newton Guns N’ Roses were probably the biggest rock band in the world–or was fighting it out with U2 for that title–when this telling photo was snapped backstage in the early ’90s sometime. The thing I remember most about meeting Slash was when he offered me a guzzle from the bottle of Jack … Continue reading That time I turned down a swig of Slash’s JD at a Guns N’ Roses gig

Slash on Velvet Revolver: “We’re doing pretty fucking well for ourselves.”

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 31, 2005 By Steve Newton When the remnants of Guns N’ Roses-guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Matt Sorum-went looking for a vocalist to front their new band, the first name that came to mind was the Stone Temple Pilots’ Scott Weiland. The problem at the time, though, was … Continue reading Slash on Velvet Revolver: “We’re doing pretty fucking well for ourselves.”

Todd Kerns speaks on playing bass with Slash and living the rock ‘n’ roll fantasy

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 21, 2011 By Steve Newton A couple of weeks ago former Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler called from L.A. to promote his gig at Venue this Thursday (August 25), and ended up chatting up a storm. Since then former Vancouverite Todd Kerns–who plays here the same night at the Media Club–checked … Continue reading Todd Kerns speaks on playing bass with Slash and living the rock ‘n’ roll fantasy

That time Richie Sambora told me why Bon Jovi switched producers from Bruce Fairbairn to Bob Rock

By Steve Newton Bon Jovi may have been hugely popular back in the day, but I actually enjoyed guitarist Richie Sambora’s solo debut album, Stranger in This Town, more than any Bon Jovi band release. I even preferred Sambora’s lead vocals over Jon Bon Jovi’s, especially on solo tunes like “Ballad of Youth”. So it … Continue reading That time Richie Sambora told me why Bon Jovi switched producers from Bruce Fairbairn to Bob Rock

That time 18-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd told me about meeting his idol Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Kenny Wayne Shepherd four times, ’cause I’m a sucker for folks who can play the shit out of a Strat. The first time was back in December of 1995, when he was only 18 and touring behind his platinum-selling debut album, Ledbetter Heights. At one point in the conversation I … Continue reading That time 18-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd told me about meeting his idol Stevie Ray Vaughan

That time I asked Justin Hayward if he knew the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” was special as soon as it came to him

By Steve Newton As April Wine once said, “I Like to Rock”. I like to rock as well, but once in a while a beautiful, gentle ballad is, as Ted Nugent once said, “Just What the Doctor Ordered”. But enough about April Wine and Ted Nugent. This little blog’s about a softer-rockin’, more prog-oriented band … Continue reading That time I asked Justin Hayward if he knew the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” was special as soon as it came to him

That time I asked Elliot Easton if he felt like a mercenary playing John Fogerty’s licks in Creedence Clearwater Revisited

By Steve Newton I’ve long felt that John Fogerty was the biggest triple-threat in rock: as a songwriter, singer, and guitarist, few can match him. I’ve also always hated how, for years after the breakup of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fogerty couldn’t even perform the incredible CCR songs he’d written, for legal reasons. The old CCR … Continue reading That time I asked Elliot Easton if he felt like a mercenary playing John Fogerty’s licks in Creedence Clearwater Revisited

That time Wayne Kramer told me about the MC5’s political consciousness in the ’60s

By Steve Newton I missed out on the MC5 when they were a major musical force on the American counterculture scene in the late ’60s. And it’s not just ’cause I’m Canadian. I was only 11 when their groundbreaking Kick Out the Jams debut album came out, and at that point all I listened to … Continue reading That time Wayne Kramer told me about the MC5’s political consciousness in the ’60s

That time Joe Satriani told me how his mind works when he’s playing wicked guitar on stage

By Steve Newton Some guitarists learn how to play by ear, and others–like Joe Satriani–learn how to play by the book. Satch knows music theory better than most, so when I did my first interview with him back in 1990–just after the release of Flying in a Blue Dream–I asked him how that relates to … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me how his mind works when he’s playing wicked guitar on stage

That time Randy Hansen told me about recording his atmospheric, Hendrix-style guitar parts for Apocalypse Now

By Steve Newton Back in August of 2001 I interviewed Jimi Hendrix tribute artist Randy Hansen because he was coming up from Seattle for a gig at a Vancouver club. This was right around the time that Apocalypse Now Redux, an extended version of Francis Ford Coppola’s epic 1979 Vietnam war movie, was being released. … Continue reading That time Randy Hansen told me about recording his atmospheric, Hendrix-style guitar parts for Apocalypse Now

That time Bob Rock told me that he just wakes up in the morning and music is what he does

By Steve Newton Being a rock journalist in Vancouver during the ’80s and ’90s meant that I was close to where a lot of the top-selling albums of the time were made. That was mainly down at Little Mountain Sound, where local producers, engineers, and mixers–guys like Bruce Fairbairn, Bob Rock, and Mike Fraser–were tweaking … Continue reading That time Bob Rock told me that he just wakes up in the morning and music is what he does