The Tragically Hip’s rhythm guitarist figures I owe him 10 bucks because the Hip played a sloppy show 25 years ago

By Steve Newton Can’t think of anything else to blog about right now, so I’ll do this: On July 12, 1995, the Tragically Hip played a food-bank benefit at the Railway Club in Vancouver. Yesterday, to mark the 25th anniversary of that gig, I tweeted out a link to the short review of the gig … Continue reading The Tragically Hip’s rhythm guitarist figures I owe him 10 bucks because the Hip played a sloppy show 25 years ago

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”

That time Gord Downie told me that the Tragically Hip would love to make a record every month

By Steve Newton Here’s the last audio excerpt I’m gonna post from the fourth interview I did with Gordon Downie, back in July of ’95. As the interview wound down I asked the legendary Canuck rocker if the Tragically Hip ever got pressure from its record label to crank records out by a particular date. … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me that the Tragically Hip would love to make a record every month

That time the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie told me that he just loves meeting other musicians–period

By Steve Newton As most Canadian rock fans know, the Tragically Hip ended its final major tour in August of 2016 with a gig in its Kingston hometown that was broadcast (and celebrated) nationwide. Touring has always been at the heart of what the Hip is all about. Sure, making amazing records is a biggie … Continue reading That time the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie told me that he just loves meeting other musicians–period

That time Gord Downie told me about the Tragically Hip’s Saturday Night Live gig

By Steve Newton On March 25, 1995, the Tragically Hip played Saturday Night Live, when one of my fave actors, John Goodman (“Mark it zero!”), was hosting. Fellow Kingstonite Dan Aykroyd introduced the band, which surprised the hell out of peeps by not opening with a certified crowd-pleasing rocker like “New Orleans is Sinking” or … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me about the Tragically Hip’s Saturday Night Live gig

That time Gord Downie told me about the Tragically Hip touring with Page & Plant and opening for the Rolling Stones

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Gord Downie in July of 1995 the Tragically Hip was flying high. Since I’d talked to him six months earlier, the band had won group of the year at the Junos, performed on Saturday Night Live, toured widely with Page & Plant, and opened for the Rolling Stones. Not … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me about the Tragically Hip touring with Page & Plant and opening for the Rolling Stones

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

That time Gord Downie told me about Bill Barilko and the story behind the Tragically Hip’s “50 Mission Cap”

By Steve Newton I did my second interview with the Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie in November of 1992, one month after the release of the Fully Completely album. As you may already know, that’s the best Hip album ever, partly because of the uber-Canadian song “50 Mission Cap”, which mentions a hockey card and … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me about Bill Barilko and the story behind the Tragically Hip’s “50 Mission Cap”

That time Gord Downie told me that the Tragically Hip made Up To Here to fit its own standards

By Steve Newton Back in September of 1989 I did my first interview with the Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie. At the time Downie was just 25, and the band was basking in the recent release of its incredible Up To Here album. At one point in the conversaiton I sorta played the devils’ advocate … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me that the Tragically Hip made Up To Here to fit its own standards

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