Album review: Whitesnake, Slip of the Tongue (1989)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 8, 1989 By Steve Newton David Coverdale sure knows how to make good use of his previously recorded tunes. First he had a huge hit with a revamped version of “Here I Go Again”, and now he’s resurrected a nine-year-old British hit called “Fool for Your Loving” and … Continue reading Album review: Whitesnake, Slip of the Tongue (1989)

Wicked Whitesnake blows corny Crue off the stage in Vancouver

chris cameron photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 23, 1987 By Steve Newton A healthy-sized crowd of 12,000 packed the Pacific Coliseum last Friday (October 16) for a Motley Crue concert, but for a lot of people the main attraction was Whitesnake, the group that has lately taken over from Bon Jovi as the most … Continue reading Wicked Whitesnake blows corny Crue off the stage in Vancouver

Whitesnake brings the power of Deep Purple to Vancouver

kevin statham photo By Steve Newton I never got to see David Coverdale sing “Burn” with Deep Purple–I wasn’t old enough to travel down to the Ontario Motor Speedway to see them coheadline California Jam with Emerson, Lake & Palmer back in ’74–so it was pretty cool to see him do it with Whitesnake at … Continue reading Whitesnake brings the power of Deep Purple to Vancouver

Whitesnake’s Purple Tour offers equal servings of Burn and Stormbringer, one bite of Come Taste the Band

By Steve Newton I was never that crazy about Whitesnake during it’s mid-’80s heyday, when it went the power-ballad route with hits like “Is This Love”. Sure, I enjoyed ogling Tawny Kitaen on the hood of a car as much as the next guy, but I much preferred Whitesnake in the late ’70s/early ’80s, when … Continue reading Whitesnake’s Purple Tour offers equal servings of Burn and Stormbringer, one bite of Come Taste the Band

Tommy Aldridge talks Black Oak Arkansas, Whitesnake, Ozzy, and the brilliance of Randy Rhoads

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 10, 1990 By Steve Newton After several years in the rock critic biz, it’s easy for a writer to pick up the ONNTD syndrome. That’s an affliction that occurs when you request an interview with a big-name band and the record company won’t let you talk to the … Continue reading Tommy Aldridge talks Black Oak Arkansas, Whitesnake, Ozzy, and the brilliance of Randy Rhoads

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 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 Tommy Aldridge told me that he “wasn’t a fan” of Brian Downey’s drum parts with Thin Lizzy

By Steve Newton As far as seeing concerts goes, I’ve been very lucky to have been situated in Vancouver since the early ’80s. It’s a major stopping point for bands touring North America–just a quick scoot across the border from Seattle–and being a music writer meant most of the shows were free. Only a few … Continue reading That time Tommy Aldridge told me that he “wasn’t a fan” of Brian Downey’s drum parts with Thin Lizzy

That time Tommy Aldridge told me why Black Oak Arkansas wasn’t mentioned in his bio

By Steve Newton When it came to hard rock drummers in the ’70s, there were a couple who particularly turned my crank. One was Cozy Powell, mainly for his work with Rainbow, and the other was Tommy Aldridge, mainly for his work with Black Oak Arkansas and the Pat Travers Band. (In the ’80s he’d … Continue reading That time Tommy Aldridge told me why Black Oak Arkansas wasn’t mentioned in his bio

Tesla frontman Jeff Keith just sang along to the radio like everybody else

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 17, 1988 By Steve Newton Everybody sings along in the car radio. Whether you can carry a tune or not, it’s pretty hard to hold back if a song like “Back in the USSR” or “Brown Sugar” hits the airwaves while you’re cruisin’. For singer Jeff Keith of … Continue reading Tesla frontman Jeff Keith just sang along to the radio like everybody else

Joe Perry says that Aerosmith is playing “wicked tight” after its Permanent Vacation

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 15, 1988 By Steve Newton “If you grew up in the ’70s you liked Aerosmith.” That’s what R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck wrote in the liner notes to his group’s version of Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic” on the Dead Letter Office album. And he knew what he was talking … Continue reading Joe Perry says that Aerosmith is playing “wicked tight” after its Permanent Vacation

Album review: Gary Moore, Corridors of Power (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 22, 1983 By Steve Newton Gary Moore is an astounding rock guitarist, capable of wrenching the most scintillating and unique licks imaginable from six strings. His brief stints with Colosseum II and Thin Lizzy showed him to be a versatile and technically superior player, and on Corridors of … Continue reading Album review: Gary Moore, Corridors of Power (1983)

album reviews

Aerosmith: Honkin’ on Bobo (2004) Eric Clapton: Me and Mr. Johnson (2004) Jimi Hendrix: Axis Outtakes (2003) ZZ Top: Mescalero (2003) Nickelback: The Long Road (2003) Joe Jackson Band: Volume 4 (2003) Led Zeppelin: How the West Was Won (2003) Yardbirds: Birdland (2003) Jimmy Thackery: Guitar (2003) Various Artists: We’re a Happy Family, A Tribute … Continue reading album reviews

Jon Bon Jovi talks strippers, scenery, and hype as Slippery When Wet tops the charts

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 26, 1987 By Steve Newton Talk about moving up in the world! It was a little more than a year ago that New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi played the now-defunct Embassy on Davie. They were in town recording their Slippery When Wet album, and they wanted to see … Continue reading Jon Bon Jovi talks strippers, scenery, and hype as Slippery When Wet tops the charts

Queen guitarist Brian May doesn’t have much interest in doing “virtuoso stuff”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 25, 1993 By Steve Newton Ever since Wayne’s World came out, I’ve been considering legal action against writer/star Mike Myers. You know that scene where Wayne and Garth are driving around with their buddies in a purple Pinto, singing along and banging their heads to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”? … Continue reading Queen guitarist Brian May doesn’t have much interest in doing “virtuoso stuff”

Kick Axe avoids Quiet Riot syndrome, welcomes their friends to the club

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 3, 1986 By Steve Newton Some years ago there was a club at the corner of Broadway and Kingsway known as Vancouver’s Tonite–one of the Top Three local clubs along with Frams and Outlaws where nasty guitar licks and heavy sounds were the stock-in-trade. And one of the … Continue reading Kick Axe avoids Quiet Riot syndrome, welcomes their friends to the club

Motley Crue plays Vancouver on the Theatre of Pain tour, Nikki Sixx cranks AC/DC backstage

mila geran photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 22, 1985 By Steve Newton “Excuse me women…I mean ladies,” said Nikki Sixx as he pushed through the hordes of groupies backstage at the Coliseum last week (November 12). The Motley Crue bassist wasn’t zeroing in on any one in particular–his aim was the group’s … Continue reading Motley Crue plays Vancouver on the Theatre of Pain tour, Nikki Sixx cranks AC/DC backstage

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

Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover on the Mark II reunion and the “uncompromising” Ritchie Blackmore

By Steve Newton On April 6, 1985, A.D.–Deep Purple played Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum on its Perfect Strangers tour. Obviously I went, because the year before Ritchie Blackmore and Roger Glover had reunited with Ian Gillan, Jon Lord, and Ian Paice to get the Mark II lineup back in action. “Highway Star”, motherfvckers! Anyway, in advance … Continue reading Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover on the Mark II reunion and the “uncompromising” Ritchie Blackmore

From Black Oak to Thin Lizzy, Tommy Aldridge has been a monster on the kit

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 25, 2001 By Steve Newton Tommy Aldridge is one of the most recognizable hard-rock drummers in the world. His name may not be a household word along the lines of Moon or Bonham, but anyone who’s followed the careers of Pat Travers, Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, Ted Nugent, and … Continue reading From Black Oak to Thin Lizzy, Tommy Aldridge has been a monster on the kit

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”

Ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes on Blue Murder, Bob Rock, and the Little Mountain sound

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 16, 1989 By Steve Newton By now, most every rock fan in Vancouver must be aware that many of North America’s best-selling bands–Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and the Cult to name a few–have been making their latest chart-topping records right here in town. Little Mountain Sound on West 7th … Continue reading Ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes on Blue Murder, Bob Rock, and the Little Mountain sound

Cult guitarist Billy Duffy says it all boils down to the Les Paul

By Steve Newton On May 31, 1989, the Cult opened for Metallica at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. A month earlier the band had released its fourth album, Sonic Temple, which wasn’t no Electric, but did boast one of my fave tunes that year–“Fire Woman”. And the album cover was definitely rockin: In advance of … Continue reading Cult guitarist Billy Duffy says it all boils down to the Les Paul

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

Bob Rock plays every lick he knows on Rockhead’s “dumb old hard-rock album”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 15, 1993 By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed veteran Vancouver musician and producer extraordinaire Bob Rock, he was in the middle of helming Bitter Sweet & Twisted, the new release by British blues-rockers the Quireboys. The last time we chatted, he was heavily involved in the … Continue reading Bob Rock plays every lick he knows on Rockhead’s “dumb old hard-rock album”

Three times ain’t the charm as Def Leppard brings the sap to Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 8, 1992 Last Saturday (October 3) I saw British rockers Def Leppard for the third—and probably last—time. I’d actually enjoyed their exhilarating brand of “happy metal” on the 1984 Pyromania tour with Uriah Heep, and on the 1988 Hysteria tour with Tesla. This time around they didn’t have … Continue reading Three times ain’t the charm as Def Leppard brings the sap to Vancouver