Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Mountain, the Cramps, Roy Buchanan, Nazareth, the Georgia Satellites, the New York Dolls, and the Tragically Hip

  By Steve Newton As you may have already heard, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2019 a couple of days ago. It includes: Stevie Nicks, the Cure, Def Leppard, the Zombies, Roxy Music, Radiohead, and Janet Jackson. That’s right: Janet Freakin’ Jackson. That legendary rock and roller finally got … Continue reading Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Mountain, the Cramps, Roy Buchanan, Nazareth, the Georgia Satellites, the New York Dolls, and the Tragically Hip

Exclusive excerpt from my new book, Gord Downie, about the late frontman of the Tragically Hip

By Steve Newton The following is the Preface from my new coffeetable book, Gord Downie, published by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. of New York City and currently available at Indigo, Coles, and Chapters outlets across Canada. ———————————————————————- The first time I spoke to Gord Downie he was a longhaired 25-year-old rocker touring behind his band’s first full-length … Continue reading Exclusive excerpt from my new book, Gord Downie, about the late frontman of the Tragically Hip

The Tragically Hip causes traffic havoc before getting messy with a surprise gig at Vancouver’s wee Railway Club

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 20, 1995 By Steve Newton Canadian guitar-rock heroes the Tragically Hip took all of Vancouver by surprise on July 12 when they announced a last-minute concert that night at the wee Railway Club (capacity 176). When word went out over local rock station 99.3 the Fox that 75 … Continue reading The Tragically Hip causes traffic havoc before getting messy with a surprise gig at Vancouver’s wee Railway Club

Rock producer Chris Tsangarides, known for his work with Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, and the Tragically Hip, dead at 61

By Steve Newton Sad news to report today. Chris Tsangarides–who produced such albums as Thin Lizzy’s Thunder and Lightning, Gary Moore’s Back on the Streets, and the Tragically Hip’s Fully Completely–died of heart failure today after battling pneumonia. He was only 61. Tsangarides, who specialized in hard rock, had also worked on albums by Black … Continue reading Rock producer Chris Tsangarides, known for his work with Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, and the Tragically Hip, dead at 61

Album review: The Tragically Hip, Phantom Power (1998)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 20, 1998 By Steve Newton I took my wife, Dawn, to see the Tragically Hip at Thunderbird Stadium last summer when she was seven months pregnant with our first child, Tess Georgia. They say a body is susceptible to sonic vibrations in utero, and I’d have to … Continue reading Album review: The Tragically Hip, Phantom Power (1998)

Album review: The Tragically Hip, Live Between Us (1997)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 5, 1997 By Steve Newton It beats the hell outta me why the most Canadian rock band of all time had to go and record its historic live album in the all-powerful U.S. of A. Even if Detroit is Rock City, it doesn’t make sense for these proud … Continue reading Album review: The Tragically Hip, Live Between Us (1997)

Album review: The Tragically Hip, Trouble at the Henhouse (1996)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 9, 1996 By Steve Newton With this, its sixth album, the Tragically Hip appears to be taking the moody musical route favoured when it chose “Grace, Too” as the leadoff single from its previous CD, Day for Night. That tune revealed a more subtle, shadowy side to … Continue reading Album review: The Tragically Hip, Trouble at the Henhouse (1996)

15 minutes on the phone with 25-year-old Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip

By Steve Newton Back in 1989 I did the first of my five Georgia Straight interviews with Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip. I know a lot of my fellow Hip fans are hurting right now with the news of his passing, so here’s something I hope brings a bit of comfort: 15 minutes of Gord … Continue reading 15 minutes on the phone with 25-year-old Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip

Album review: The Tragically Hip, Day for Night (1994)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 29, 1994 Having gotten kinda used to the Hip starting off its CDs with hard-rocking tunes like “Blow at High Dough” and “Little Bones”, I was somewhat taken aback by Day for Night’s sombre leadoff track, “Grace, Too”. I was happy to hear that the pride of Kingston, … Continue reading Album review: The Tragically Hip, Day for Night (1994)

That time Gord Downie told me that he thought the Tragically Hip was a success from day one

By Steve Newton As I mentioned in a blog last month, the last time I interviewed Gord Downie he got a little “cunty” (his word) when I brought up the subject of how the Tragically Hip hadn’t enjoyed nearly the same level of success in the States as it had in Canada. After that minor … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me that he thought the Tragically Hip was a success from day one

That time Gord Downie told me his original lyrics for the Tragically Hip’s “Ahead By a Century”

By Steve Newton In October of 1996 I did my fifth and final interview with the Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, which became a main source for my 2018 coffeetable book on him. At one point during the lengthy conversation I brought up “Ahead By a Century”, the band’s highest charting single, off their ’96 … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me his original lyrics for the Tragically Hip’s “Ahead By a Century”

The Gord Downie Tapes, 1995, Part II: life on the road with the Tragically Hip

By Steve Newton On July 2, 1995, I did my fourth Georgia Straight interview with the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie. It had only been six months since our previous chat, and it was unusual–even back then, when newspapers were thriving–to publish two feature stories on the same band within such a short span of time. But … Continue reading The Gord Downie Tapes, 1995, Part II: life on the road with the Tragically Hip

The Tragically Hip’s frontman goes Fully Completely bonkers in Vancouver

By Steve Newton Gordon Downie is famous for his wacky stage moves and bizarre gestures, but last night (February 6) at Rogers Arena he ramped up the oddness big-time. I’ve seen the Tragically Hip numerous times over the years, but never witnessed him being quite so wonderfully nutzoid. The fact that it was his 51st … Continue reading The Tragically Hip’s frontman goes Fully Completely bonkers in Vancouver

The Tragically Hip rises above poor sound in Vancouver to peak with “Nautical Disaster”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 23, 2000 By Steve Newton Are the Tragically Hip, long thought of as Canada’s best rock band, finally losing their grip on that title? The fact that it just played two shows at the 12,000-seat Pacific Coliseum might make you think the Kingston quintet is as popular as … Continue reading The Tragically Hip rises above poor sound in Vancouver to peak with “Nautical Disaster”

25-year-old Gordon Downie talks “38 Years Old” on the Tragically Hip’s Up to Here tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 1989 By Steve Newton What’s the most important element in a new band as far as making it in rock goes? Some might say financial backing, although when you look at groups like Kiss or the Sex Pistols it’s pretty clear that image and/or hype are as effective … Continue reading 25-year-old Gordon Downie talks “38 Years Old” on the Tragically Hip’s Up to Here tour

The Tragically Hip to release super-deluxe edition of the Newt’s fave Hip album

By Steve Newton When you love the Tragically Hip as much as I do—or did, anyway, back in the ’90s—it’s hard to pinpoint one favourite album. But let’s try anyway. My alltime fave song of theirs—the one that has given me the most chills when heard either on record or live—is “Nautical Disaster”, so sometimes … Continue reading The Tragically Hip to release super-deluxe edition of the Newt’s fave Hip album

The Northern Pikes’ Bryan Potvin still plays air-guitar to the Tragically Hip

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 23, 1990 By Steve Newton “Never judge lovers by good-looking covers,” warned Phil Lynott on “Romeo and the Lonely Girl”, a track from Thin Lizzy’s classic ’76 album, Jailbreak. Bryan Potvin of the Northern Pikes didn’t heed Lynott’s advice and paid the price, as evidenced by “She Ain’t … Continue reading The Northern Pikes’ Bryan Potvin still plays air-guitar to the Tragically Hip

Gordon Downie thanks Bruce Allen for making the Tragically Hip famous

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 18, 1999 By Steve Newton I’ve always been mightily impressed by the Tragically Hip’s live presentation. It didn’t matter which venue I’d see them in—whether it was the wee Railway Club or sprawling T-Bird Stadium, the classic Commodore or scenic Seabird Island—I always went away fully, completely satisfied. … Continue reading Gordon Downie thanks Bruce Allen for making the Tragically Hip famous

The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie finds humour in “The Inevitability of Death”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 16, 1995 By Steve Newton The Tragically Hip don’t always do things the way other rock groups do, and maybe that’s why folks love ’em so much. For starters, the band got its road manager, of all people, to write its official MCA Records bio. Instead of the … Continue reading The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie finds humour in “The Inevitability of Death”

Flies on Fire fell in love with Canada and the Tragically Hip

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 16, 1992 By Steve Newton Although Flies on Fire have already released two albums full of honest, no-frills guitar rock with major-label distribution on Atco Records, they haven’t yet made much of a name for themselves. But they’re probably better known to Vancouver rock fans than to the … Continue reading Flies on Fire fell in love with Canada and the Tragically Hip

Even Bruce Allen would have loved the Tragically Hip at the Commodore

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 18, 1991 By Steve Newton The first time I heard Bruce Allen’s late-night talk show on CFOX, I heard the Big A comment: “Colin James for five nights at the Commodore? Why?” Was Allen jealous because Loverboy might never have had enough over-19 fans to accomplish the feat? Did he … Continue reading Even Bruce Allen would have loved the Tragically Hip at the Commodore

The Tragically Hip brings Road Apples to the Town Pump–and that’s no horseshit

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 21, 1991 By Steve Newton I wasn’t expecting such a cheery tone from Tragically Hip lead guitarist Bobby Baker when he called recently from the band’s hometown of Kingston, Ontario. When the band played Vancouver last—at the Trade & Convention Centre’s New Year’s Eve bash—the crowd pelted the … Continue reading The Tragically Hip brings Road Apples to the Town Pump–and that’s no horseshit

My fifth and final interview with Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 7, 1996 By Steve Newton When word went out over the local airwaves one July morning last year that the Tragically Hip were playing a tiny Vancouver club that night to raise funds for the Vancouver Food Bank—and give 200 or so of their die-hard fans the thrill … Continue reading My fifth and final interview with Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip

“Nautical Disaster” is the greatest Tragically Hip song ever, says Newt

By Steve Newton I love a lot of Tragically Hip songs, but if you asked me which one was my all-time favourite, I’d have to say “Nautical Disaster”, off the 1994 Day for Night album. I adore every second of that tune, like the way it calmly opens up before Rob Baker and Paul Langlois’ guitars fabulously … Continue reading “Nautical Disaster” is the greatest Tragically Hip song ever, says Newt

Gordon Downie goes Fully Completely Canadian on new Tragically Hip album

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 26, 1992 By Steve Newton If there were a CRTC regulation that based Canadian content on actual lyrics as opposed to the citizenship of a song’s composer, the Tragically Hip would be the darlings of CanCon advocates across the country. On their new album, Fully Completely, the Hipsters … Continue reading Gordon Downie goes Fully Completely Canadian on new Tragically Hip album

Tragically Hip box set artfully melds sound and vision

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 8, 2005 By Steve Newton My wife Dawn and I are big Tragically Hip fans. Heck, back in ’97 we went to see them at Thunderbird Stadium when she was eight-months pregnant, giving our first-born an in-utero sampling of Canada’s top guitar rockers. No wonder the opening riffs of “Little … Continue reading Tragically Hip box set artfully melds sound and vision

That time Joan Jett told me about the sect in San Francisco that worships her as a god

By Steve Newton The words “rock god” get thrown around a lot, but when they land on somebody like Joan Jett, they fit pretty well. If you’re gonna worship anybody in rock ‘n’ roll, it might as well be someone like her, someone who’s been at it forever, who’s never sold out, and who always … Continue reading That time Joan Jett told me about the sect in San Francisco that worships her as a god