Steve Morse says that his biggest challenge in life was playing Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?” live, with the backwards guitar solo

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN EXPERIENCE HENDRIX MAGAZINE, NOV.-DEC. ISSUE, 1998 By Steve Newton At first glance, Steve Morse might not seem like the ideal guy to take over Ritchie Blackmore’s guitarist spot in Deep Purple. He is undoubtedly a fantastic player, but he’s more noted for technically awesome country-fusion inflections than chunky power chords. But as … Continue reading Steve Morse says that his biggest challenge in life was playing Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?” live, with the backwards guitar solo

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 much 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 much 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 Peek and drummer Rod Morgenstein, Morse unleashes some of the tastiest riffs imaginable, melding … 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 Steve Clark what the guys in Def Leppard liked to do to pass time on the road

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark back in June of 1988 his band was flying about as high as it would ever get, touring behind its most popular album, Hysteria. As a group of fun-loving rock ‘n’ rollers in their twenties, selling millions of albums and packing arenas, Clark and … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Clark what the guys in Def Leppard liked to do to pass time on the road

That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria

By Steve Newton Back in the ’80s, most successful recording bands liked to put an album out every year. Sometimes they’d skip a year, to vacation in the Bahamas or release a live or best-of LP. After three years their fans would start to get a bit worried, and so would their record label–especially if … Continue reading That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria

That time Steve Howe told me that it was “inappropriate” to ask if he’d had a falling out with original Yes singer Jon Anderson

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Steve Howe three times over the years because, hey, he’s Steve Howe, and I’ve been a fan of his ever since high school, when I used to proudly display the triple-disc Yessongs album–with its awesome Roger Dean artwork–on my bedroom dresser. The last time we chatted, though, in 2017, I … Continue reading That time Steve Howe told me that it was “inappropriate” to ask if he’d had a falling out with original Yes singer Jon Anderson

Eddie Van Halen: what Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth, Jake E. Lee, Leslie West, and brother Alex told me about “the king”

By Steve Newton One of the biggest regrets of my career in rock journalism–and there aren’t that many, believe it or not–was never getting the opportunity to interview Eddie Van Halen. I did get to chat with his big brother Alex once, and he gave me a really great interview, but it just wasn’t the … Continue reading Eddie Van Halen: what Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth, Jake E. Lee, Leslie West, and brother Alex told me about “the king”

That time Steve Vai told me that his body language changes a lot when he’s playing rock ‘n’ roll

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Steve Vai, back in May of 1990, he had just released his sophomore solo album, Passion and Warfare, a technically dazzling instrumental guitar opus. At the same time, he was also touring with Whitesnake, whose straightforward, radio-friendly rock tunes were not nearly as challenging to … Continue reading That time Steve Vai told me that his body language changes a lot when he’s playing rock ‘n’ roll

That time Steve Earle raved to me about the influence of Elvis and the generosity of Springsteen

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Steve Earle five times, ’cause he’s one of my favourite all-time songwriters. The first time was back in May of 1987, two weeks before the official release of his second album, Exit O. (“It’s Exit Zero”, he explained to me when I tried pronouncing it “Exit Oh”.) At one point … Continue reading That time Steve Earle raved to me about the influence of Elvis and the generosity of Springsteen

That time Steve Hackett told me about hearing Queen’s demo tapes and thinking Genesis’ label should sign them

By Steve Newton Before Queen became one of the top rock bands on the planet, they were just another struggling band trying to score a record deal. That’s how Steve Hackett remembers it, anyway. When I interviewed the former Genesis guitarist back in 1993 I asked him about his relationship with Queen guitarist Brian May, … Continue reading That time Steve Hackett told me about hearing Queen’s demo tapes and thinking Genesis’ label should sign them

That time Autograph guitarist Steve Lynch told me about the crazy times touring with Van Halen

By Steve Newton Way the heck back in October of 1985 I interviewed Autograph guitarist Steve Lynch because his band was headed to Vancouver as opening act on Motley Crue‘s Theatre of Pain tour. Back then two-handed tapping was very popular among guitarists in hard rock and metal bands, and Lynch was among its top … Continue reading That time Autograph guitarist Steve Lynch told me about the crazy times touring with Van Halen