That time Al Stewart told me that he adored Don Henley’s latest hit, “The Boys of Summer”

By Steve Newton I first got turned on to Scottish-born singer-songwriter Al Stewart when I heard his catchy 1976 hit single "Year of the Cat", from the LP of the same name. I bought his next album, Time Passages, and I liked that one as well. Then I went back and checked out his earlier, … Continue reading That time Al Stewart told me that he adored Don Henley’s latest hit, “The Boys of Summer”

Al Stewart admits that he might be lynched if he doesn’t play “Year of the Cat”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 12, 1985 By Steve Newton In 1976, British singer-songwriter Al Stewart had a massive hit with the title track of his seventh album, Year of the Cat. A smooth and snappy number with a nice piano intro, acoustic and electric guitar solos, a breezy sax break, and evocative … Continue reading Al Stewart admits that he might be lynched if he doesn’t play “Year of the Cat”

China Crisis found Steely Dan’s Walter Becker a taskmaster on Flaunt the Imperfection

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 10, 1987 By Steve Newton There's nothing like seeing a band that's huge in another country close up in a club-size venue. For local fans of Britain's China Crisis, that opportunity will arise Thursday (April 9) at Club Soda. It will be the pop quintet's first Vancouver appearance … Continue reading China Crisis found Steely Dan’s Walter Becker a taskmaster on Flaunt the Imperfection

Cliff Jones doesn’t think Texas cowboys will appreciate Gay Dad’s “Limey faggot look”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 17, 2000 By Steve Newton It’s high noon (or thereabouts) in Texas when Cliff Jones, who’s lounging in his band’s tour bus outside the Austin Music Hall, answers his cellphone. He’s playing there that night—if he makes it past sundown in one piece. “I’ve never been to Texas … Continue reading Cliff Jones doesn’t think Texas cowboys will appreciate Gay Dad’s “Limey faggot look”

Ireland’s Devlins find Canadian connections with producer Malcolm Burn and manager Terry McBride

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 16, 1997 By Steve Newton The music industry moves fast these days. As soon as there’s enough consumer demand for the next version of, say, No Doubt, some band with a slim blonde singer and quirky-looking bandmates rolls off the assembly line. I know, because I saw it … Continue reading Ireland’s Devlins find Canadian connections with producer Malcolm Burn and manager Terry McBride

It’s My Life, and it’s my unpublished 1984 interview with Mark Hollis of Talk Talk

By Steve Newton Back in early 1984 I did an interview with Mark Hollis of British synth-pop band Talk Talk.  I wasn't really into synth-pop--I was more into Iron Maiden, Scorpions, and Van Halen--but I took the assignment because Talk Talk was promoting its new album, It's My Life, and was planning to visit my … Continue reading It’s My Life, and it’s my unpublished 1984 interview with Mark Hollis of Talk Talk

Lenny Zakatek’s soulful singing is a special part of the Alan Parsons Project

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 9, 1983 By Steve Newton "One day I got this call around ten at night, saying 'Come on down and sing this track. If you make it, fine--if you don't there's a little change in it for you.' "So I went over, went straight in and he said, … Continue reading Lenny Zakatek’s soulful singing is a special part of the Alan Parsons Project

Simon Townshend says that if people don’t like his brother Pete producing his LP, they can stuff it

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 17, 1984 By Steve Newton "As soon as I got Pete involved at the production level, and not the musical, it was as if I'd stood up and said, 'Look, I'm Simon Townshend. My brother Pete just happens to be producing my album. If you don't like it, … Continue reading Simon Townshend says that if people don’t like his brother Pete producing his LP, they can stuff it

That time Mark Kelly told me that Marillion were touring with Rush and I questioned the matchup

By Steve Newton Way back in March of 1986 Marillion keyboardist Mark Kelly called me up from a tour stop in Quebec City. As the interview kicked off he told me that his band was opening for Rush there, which caught me off guard. I figured Rush, which was touring behind its Power Windows album, … Continue reading That time Mark Kelly told me that Marillion were touring with Rush and I questioned the matchup

Bonnie Tyler skips the heartache and goes straight for the glory with “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 10, 1983 By Steve Newton Bonnie Tyler? You mean that Welsh girl who used to sing about heartaches in a gravelly, Rod Stewart-type voice. She still around? After her four years absence from the charts, there must be a lot of people who've written Bonnie Tyler off as … Continue reading Bonnie Tyler skips the heartache and goes straight for the glory with “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

That time I asked Mark Kelly if it bothered him when people compared Marillion to Genesis

Marillion's Fish and Genesis' Tony Banks get the joke By Steve Newton As a prog-rock fan who was crazy about bands like Yes and Genesis in the seventies, it made sense that I liked Marillion in the '80s. I interviewed Marillion keyboardist Mark Kelly back in March of 1986, when the band was touring behind … Continue reading That time I asked Mark Kelly if it bothered him when people compared Marillion to Genesis

That time Robin Gibb told me that the Bee Gees had never been a disco group

By Steve Newton Back in the '70s when rock music was having a huge impact on me I was rabidly anti-disco. I didn't go so far as to wear a "Disco Sucks" t-shirt like one of my high school buddies, but I was with him in spirit. But in 1977, when the blockbuster Saturday Night … Continue reading That time Robin Gibb told me that the Bee Gees had never been a disco group

That time the Bee Gees’ Robin Gibb told me that he thought the Saturday Night Fever movie was “awful”

By Steve Newton I was never a huge fan of the Bee Gees. But that didn't stop me from interviewing one of its members, Robin Gibb, back in August of 1984. At the time he was promoting a solo album called Secret Agent, which featured nine songs cowritten with his twin brother Maurice Gibb. Their … Continue reading That time the Bee Gees’ Robin Gibb told me that he thought the Saturday Night Fever movie was “awful”

That time Mark Hollis of Talk Talk told me all about the video-within-a-video called It’s My Life

By Steve Newton You may have heard the sad news making the rounds in the music press today regarding Mark Hollis. The singer-songwriter of Talk Talk, one of the most adventurous and under-rated of '80s pop acts, has died at the age of 64. Now, those who've read my stuff over the last 37 years … Continue reading That time Mark Hollis of Talk Talk told me all about the video-within-a-video called It’s My Life

Sound thief Mike Edwards says perverted samples keep Jesus Jones from getting sued

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 16, 1991 By Steve Newton Mike Edwards is a very talented thief—a thief of sounds, that is. When the 26-year-old Brit hears something he likes, he takes it. And puts it on a Jesus Jones album. And sells a bunch. “When it comes to sampling, I just pick … Continue reading Sound thief Mike Edwards says perverted samples keep Jesus Jones from getting sued

Nick Feldman on how Wang Chung gave To Live and Die in L.A. a deeper dimension

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 13, 1987 By Steve Newton Why would a British commercial pop outfit name themselves Wang Chung? Beats me. Maybe because Duran Duran was already taken. Or it might have something to d0 with the Chinese musical term huang chung, which means perfect pitch. "It means lots of different things," laughs Nick … Continue reading Nick Feldman on how Wang Chung gave To Live and Die in L.A. a deeper dimension

The one-hit wonders behind “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” got Lemmy in their video for a bottle of vodka

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 11, 1986 By Steve Newton When Britain's Boys Don't Cry open for Platinum Blonde at Expo Theatre this Monday and Tuesday (July 14 and 15), it's a sure thing that their current hit "I Wanna Be a Cowboy" will be a highlight of the set. A funky rocker … Continue reading The one-hit wonders behind “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” got Lemmy in their video for a bottle of vodka

That time Kate Bush told me about working with David Gilmour and experiencing the “profound” Pink Floyd

By Steve Newton Back in 1985 I interviewed British art-pop legend Kate Bush, who was promoting her new album Hounds of Love, which you may recall spawned the hit single "Running Up That Hill". At one point in the conversation she told me about working with David Gilmour as a teenager, discovering Pink Floyd, and … Continue reading That time Kate Bush told me about working with David Gilmour and experiencing the “profound” Pink Floyd