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 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 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

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

David Lee Roth shows off manly biceps, a giant surfboard, and Steve Vai on the Skyscraper Tour

@shotbykevin ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 27, 1988 By Steve Newton Whether you like David Lee Roth or not, there’s one thing you’ve got to admit: the guy’s a star. It’s hard to take your eyes off him, and few did at the Pacific Coliseum last Saturday (May 21). Whether you’re ogling his sexy … Continue reading David Lee Roth shows off manly biceps, a giant surfboard, and Steve Vai on the Skyscraper Tour

Album review: Joe Satriani/Eric Johnson/Steve Vai G3—Live in Concert (1997)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 10, 1997 By Steve Newton Talk about a rock-guitar freak’s dream gig! Three American masters of the electric six-string unite for a tour that sees each of them performing a separate set before they combine on a three-song jam-o-rama. Break out the air guitars, kids—and dust up on … Continue reading Album review: Joe Satriani/Eric Johnson/Steve Vai G3—Live in Concert (1997)

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

Steve Vai on his long fingers, long feet, long arms, and…”you know”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 25, 1997 By Steve Newton On the cover of his Grammy-nominated Alien Love Secrets CD, Steve Vai strikes a pose while covered in metallic-blue body paint. He’s got his hands over his face and is peering out from between fingers that are so long, you’d think one of … Continue reading Steve Vai on his long fingers, long feet, long arms, and…”you know”

Steve Vai takes Devin Townsend on in a guitar duel but doesn’t let the home team win

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 7, 1993 By Steve Newton Vancouver vocalist Devin Townsend caused a minor uproar (and prompted a few letters to the editor) when he was interviewed in the Straight a few weeks back. Some folks didn’t appreciate the 21-year-old’s caustic view of the music industry or his offhand remarks … Continue reading Steve Vai takes Devin Townsend on in a guitar duel but doesn’t let the home team win

Steve Vai talks Zappa, dreams, blow-jobs, and Passion & Warfare

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 7, 1990 By Steve Newton In rock guitar circles, Steve Vai is the type of personality that Entertainment Tonight might giddily term hot. Walk into any magazine shop, glance at the rock ’n’ roll section, and chances are you’ll see the handsome, raven-haired guitarist grinning wickedly from a cover … Continue reading Steve Vai talks Zappa, dreams, blow-jobs, and Passion & Warfare

Devin Townsend’s early days: Gray Skies, Steve Vai, Commodore highs

Vancouver’s Devin Townsend is a master of extreme metal. I’m not saying that from personal experience, because I’m not into extreme metal. Old Iron Maiden’s about as extreme as I get these days. But from what I’ve heard the fortyish singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist is quite the artistic genius when it comes to various … Continue reading Devin Townsend’s early days: Gray Skies, Steve Vai, Commodore highs

Steve Vai goes weedley-eedley-eedley at the Commodore

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 28, 2005 When you go to a Steve Vai concert these days, you definitely get your money’s worth, musicianwise. Not only is Vai one of the most gifted rock guitarists alive, his bandmates hold some serious credentials as well. Rhythm guitarist Dave Weiner is still in his 20s, but he’s … Continue reading Steve Vai goes weedley-eedley-eedley at the Commodore

Steve Hackett doesn’t think the job of Genesis guitarist is available to him

By Steve Newton Genesis freaks will be getting their fill of the band’s “golden age” tonight at the Vogue Theatre’s Genesis Extended show. That’s when former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett leads his touring band in material from the prog-rock group’s ’70s heyday, when it featured him, singer Peter Gabriel, drummer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks, … Continue reading Steve Hackett doesn’t think the job of Genesis guitarist is available to him

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 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 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

Def Leppard’s Steve Clark on the long wait for Hysteria and the legacy of Pyromania

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 17, 1988 By Steve Newton Most successful recording bands like to put an album out every year. Sometimes they’ll skip a year, to vacation in the Bahamas or release a live or best-of LP. After three years their fans start to get a bit worried, not to mention … Continue reading Def Leppard’s Steve Clark on the long wait for Hysteria and the legacy of Pyromania

Steve Hackett leaves Vancouver aglow with a major Genesis buzz

all crappy iPhone photos by the newt By Steve Newton At the Vogue Theatre last night former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett and his killer band performed the best-loved songs from his old group’s ’70s heyday. Those included “The Fountain of Salmacis” from 1971’s Nursery Cryme, the seven-part “Supper’s Ready” from 1972’s Foxtrot, “Firth of Fifth” from my … Continue reading Steve Hackett leaves Vancouver aglow with a major Genesis buzz

Steve Hackett on the old Genesis trick of using restraint and shutting up occasionally

When Steve Hackett called me from Boston a while back to talk about his current Genesis Extended tour–which hits Vancouver this Thursday (December 11)– I was curious as to which Genesis songs were going over best of late. And he was happy to fill me in. “Well let me see,” he pondered. “We start off … Continue reading Steve Hackett on the old Genesis trick of using restraint and shutting up occasionally