That time I asked Steve Morse if the success of Joe Satriani and Steve Vai boded well for instrumental-rock artists

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Steve Morse for the first time in May of 1991, the American instrumental-rock scene was making great strides. While Morse himself was winning over critics with his Southern Steel album, both Joe Satriani and Steve Vai were heading toward gold-album status with their most recent discs, Flying in a … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Morse if the success of Joe Satriani and Steve Vai boded well for instrumental-rock artists

That time I asked Steve Morse if winning readers poll awards in guitar mags meant anything to him

By Steve Newton There’s a good reason I dragged the world-famous Ear of Newt Guitar to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom one night back in 1991 when the Dixie Dregs were playing on a bill with Ronnie Montrose. It’s because Steve Morse was the guitarist in the Dixie Dregs, and I really wanted to score his autograph, … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Morse if winning readers poll awards in guitar mags meant anything to him

That time Steve Morse told me that he transforms into a different kind of person at night

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Steve Morse in May of 1991, just after he’d released his fourth post-Dixie Dregs album, Southern Steel, and just three years before he’d join his current band, Deep Purple. At one point in the conversation I brought up Steve’s claim that he didn’t “live, breathe, and … Continue reading That time Steve Morse told me that he transforms into a different kind of person at night

Album review: Steve Morse, The Introduction (1984)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 2, 1984 By Steve Newton My choice for best instrumental rock album of the year–so far–has got to be this new release by former Dixie Dregs guitarist Steve Morse. With accompaniment from bassist Jerry Peck and drummer Rod Morgenstein, Morse unleashes some of the tastiest riffs imaginable, melding technical genius and spontaneous feel within … Continue reading Album review: Steve Morse, The Introduction (1984)

Steve Howe lists his favourite guitarists, calls Steve Morse “phenomenal!”

By Steve Newton I interviewed guitar legend Steve Howe for the third time in 2017, in advance of a Yes show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. Near the end of the conversation I asked the 70-year-old fretmaster who he’d been listening to in his spare time, which led to him naming some of his … Continue reading Steve Howe lists his favourite guitarists, calls Steve Morse “phenomenal!”

Ronnie Montrose and Steve Morse jam for the first time on the Yardbirds’ “Shapes of Things”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 29, 1994 By Steve Newton What do ’60s British rock pioneers the Yardbirds, ’70s fusion greats the Mahavishnu Orchestra, instrumental southern-rockers the Dixie Dregs, and cult guitar hero Ronnie Montrose have in common? Not that much, really, but at the Commodore on Wednesday (September 21) the musical legacies … Continue reading Ronnie Montrose and Steve Morse jam for the first time on the Yardbirds’ “Shapes of Things”

Deep Purple’s overdue induction into Rock Hall means snubbing of Tommy Bolin and Steve Morse

By Steve Newton Now that the millions of Deep Purple fans around the world have finished celebrating the hard-rock legends’ shockingly overdue induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it’s time to take the bad news with the good. The names of guitar legends Tommy Bolin and Steve Morse will not be included. … Continue reading Deep Purple’s overdue induction into Rock Hall means snubbing of Tommy Bolin and Steve Morse

Joe Satriani gave Steve Morse his full endorsement to join Deep Purple

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 18, 2000 By Steve Newton I’ve yet to be bitten by the techno bug. You won’t find any discs by the Chemical Brothers or Crystal Method in my collection, or any stashes of Ecstasy in my dresser drawer. But after listening to the new Joe Satriani CD, Engines … Continue reading Joe Satriani gave Steve Morse his full endorsement to join Deep Purple

Steve Morse transforms into a different kind of person at night

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 6, 1991 By Steve Newton Guitarist Steve Morse might not be one of the best-known instrumental recording artists around; he’s certainly not as familiar to the general record-buying public as someone like Jeff Beck or Joe Satriani—or even the new-found phenomenon Eric Johnson. But the folks that do … Continue reading Steve Morse transforms into a different kind of person at night

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 Joe Satriani who his best guitar student was and he said Steve Vai caught on the quickest

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1990 I did the first of my seven interviews with Joe Satriani. At the time he was touring behind his latest album, Flying in a Blue Dream, and the buzz about him was growing fast. People were learning that he’d spent several years as a guitar instructor, teaching … Continue reading That time I asked Joe Satriani who his best guitar student was and he said Steve Vai caught on the quickest

That time Steve Vai told me about the “cornball arrangements” on his Zappesque debut album Flex-Able

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Steve Vai, just after he’d released Passion and Warfare in 1990, we got to talking about his previous album, Flex-Able. Turns out the success of Passion and Warfare was pushing sales of the six-year-old Flex-Able, even though the music on it was the opposite of … Continue reading That time Steve Vai told me about the “cornball arrangements” on his Zappesque debut album Flex-Able

That time Steve Kilbey told me that the Church “rocks like a bitch” on the Gold Afternoon Fix Tour

By Steve Newton Back in June of 1990 I interviewed Steve Kilbey of Aussie pop-rock band the Church. The quartet was touring behind its Gold Afternoon Fix, the followup to its hugely successful Starfish album, which you may remember for the catchy tune “Under the Milky Way”. At one point in the conversation I asked … Continue reading That time Steve Kilbey told me that the Church “rocks like a bitch” on the Gold Afternoon Fix Tour

That time Steve Stevens told me that he thought Sweet’s “Action” was a Queen song

By Steve Newton I was a pretty big Billy Idol fan back in the ’80s, around the Rebel Yell period, but my attraction to his music had as much to do with his guitarist and cosongwriter as the sneering blonde rocker himself. I thought Steve Stevens was a wicked picker who had his own unique … Continue reading That time Steve Stevens told me that he thought Sweet’s “Action” was a Queen song

That time Steve Vai told me that a teenage out-of-body experience inspired his Passion and Warfare

By Steve Newton Steve Vai blew a lot of guitar freaks away when he released his Passion and Warfare album back in May of 1990. I was one of them. Just as the album hit record-store shelves  I interviewed the 29-year-old fret master and asked him about the “dream state” experience that inspired it. Have … Continue reading That time Steve Vai told me that a teenage out-of-body experience inspired his Passion and Warfare

That time Steve Vai told me what was so great about Ibanez guitars

By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed Steve Vai, back in May of 1990, he had just released his Passion and Warfare album and was on the covers of all the top guitar mags clutching an Ibanez guitar. So at one point in the conversation I asked him about the Ibanez seven-string and what made … Continue reading That time Steve Vai told me what was so great about Ibanez guitars

That time I said hello to Little Steven from Jon Bon Jovi and then things got political

By Steve Newton June 18, 1987 was kind of an interesting day as far as my endless adventures in rock journalism go. That was the day I interviewed Little Steven–who was promoting his highly political Freedom–No Compromise album–just minutes after interviewing Jon Bon Jovi–who was promoting his highly non-political Slippery When Wet album. They’re both … Continue reading That time I said hello to Little Steven from Jon Bon Jovi and then things got political

That time I asked Steve Vai how it was different playing with David Coverdale than David Lee Roth

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Steve Vai in 1990 he had just released his solo album Passion and Warfare, but at the time was also a member of David Coverdale’s hugely popular Whitesnake. A year earlier Vai had left David Lee Roth’s equally successful band, so when I called him up I … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Vai how it was different playing with David Coverdale than David Lee Roth

That time Steve Vai told me that there never will be another musician like Frank Zappa

By Steve Newton I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t know much about Frank Zappa’s music. One day I need to sit down and absorb some of that guy’s massive body of work, I reckon. What I do know is that many of the finest musicians I’ve interviewed over the past 40 years or so … Continue reading That time Steve Vai told me that there never will be another musician like Frank Zappa

That time 29-year-old Steve Vai told me that he suffered making “For the Love of God”, but that blowjobs also do the trick

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Steve Vai when he was touring with Whitesnake in May of 1990, but I was more interested in talking about his brand-new solo album, Passion and Warfare. I was particularly blown away by the track “For the Love of God”, which still stands up as one … Continue reading That time 29-year-old Steve Vai told me that he suffered making “For the Love of God”, but that blowjobs also do the trick

That time I asked Steve Vai if he was daunted by stepping into Eddie Van Halen’s shoes with David Lee Roth

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Steve Vai in May of 1990, when he was just 29. He had just released his solo album Passion and Warfare, and was touring with Whitesnake, which was then basking in the glory of its multiplatinum Slip of the Tongue album. Before Whitesnake Vai had played … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Vai if he was daunted by stepping into Eddie Van Halen’s shoes with David Lee Roth

Yes guitarist Steve Howe on paying tribute to bass god Chris Squire at the Rock Hall

kevin kane photo By Steve Newton I called Steve Howe up at a Yes tour stop in San Diego in 2017 and had a nice chat with the British guitar wizard, who I’ve adored ever since first hearing him go to town on “Roundabout” back in the seventies. During our conversation I asked Steve about … Continue reading Yes guitarist Steve Howe on paying tribute to bass god Chris Squire at the Rock Hall

That time Def Leppard’s Steve Clark told me that Pyromania set the standard for a lot of groups

By Steve Newton Some Def Leppard fans think the band was at its best when Steve Clark was in the lineup. I’m one of them. I interviewed Clark back in 1988 when the band was selling out arenas worldwide, touring behind its massively popular Hysteria album. At one point in the conversation I mentioned a quote from … Continue reading That time Def Leppard’s Steve Clark told me that Pyromania set the standard for a lot of groups

Bass god Stu Hamm compares Joe Satriani to Steve Vai and raves about Jaco Pastorius

By Steve Newton Way back in October of 1991 I did an interview with bassist Stu Hamm, a giant of the four-string who was best known for his work with guitar heroes Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. He had recently released his album The Urge, and was headed to Vancouver for a club gig. At … Continue reading Bass god Stu Hamm compares Joe Satriani to Steve Vai and raves about Jaco Pastorius

Steve Vai on cocky G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen and tormented “genius” Devin Townsend

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 9, 2003 By Steve Newton I was a tad taken aback when the press release came in announcing the lineup for Joe Satriani’s 2003 G3 Tour. It wasn’t a surprise to see long-time G3er (and former Satch student) Steve Vai’s name on the bill. But I didn’t expect … Continue reading Steve Vai on cocky G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen and tormented “genius” Devin Townsend

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