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”

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 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

That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

By Steve Newton I interviewed British guitar legend Albert Lee back in July of 1986, when he was touring with the Everly Brothers as their musical director. After chatting with Albert about how he first got involved with the Everlys, I asked him how it was different touring with them than with Eric Clapton, whose … Continue reading That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Jason Bonham back in 1989, I asked him what it was like growing up with a father who was world-famous for being the drummer in Led Zeppelin. Turns out it wasn’t that big of a deal to him. Have a listen: To hear the full … Continue reading That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Joan Jett back in 1992 she was touring behind her Notorious album, which, while not a bad album, wasn’t exactly racing up the charts. Jett explained to me that it didn’t help that the record wasn’t getting much promotional push from Sony, the major label handling distribution. Then she … Continue reading That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

That time I asked Robert Cray if he was surprised that Eric Clapton covered his song “Bad Influence” on August

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Robert Cray four times, ’cause I reckon he’s one of the tastiest guitarists who’s ever strapped on a Strat. This was the first time, back in January of 1996, when he was touring behind his Some Rainy Morning album. Ten years earlier Cray had gotten a bit of a boost … Continue reading That time I asked Robert Cray if he was surprised that Eric Clapton covered his song “Bad Influence” on August

That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

By Steve Newton The best musicians always try to surround themselves with the best musicians. For Edgar Winter that wasn’t hard. When he was born he already had a big brother named Johnny waiting at home, and they would become close musical collaborators throughout their lifetimes. Another hugely talented player that Edgar hooked up with … Continue reading That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1984 I interviewed Tony Carey, who I’d been a fan of since I heard him playing keyboards on Rainbow’s colossal Rising album of 1976. At the time of our chat he was promoting his new solo album Some Tough City, which was doing well on the charts … Continue reading That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open