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

That time Kate Bush told me about creating the music video for her new single “Running Up That Hill”

By Steve Newton Back in November of 1985 I did a phone interview with Kate Bush, who was promoting her new album The Hounds of Love at the time. Three months earlier she'd released the single "Running Up That Hill", which I really liked, but I hadn't yet seen the new video for it. So … Continue reading That time Kate Bush told me about creating the music video for her new single “Running Up That Hill”

Marillion moves beyond cult status with Misplaced Childhood and “Kayleigh”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 7, 1986 By Steve Newton Yessongs. Brain Salad Surgery. Selling England By the Pound. Do those album titles ring a bell? They should if you remember back to 1973. At that time, 'progressive' rock was big around the world and its foremost practitioners were British bands such as … Continue reading Marillion moves beyond cult status with Misplaced Childhood and “Kayleigh”

Kate Bush on David Gilmour, Pink Floyd, and the new Hounds of Love

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 6, 1985 By Steve Newton When Kate Bush was 15 years old, she thought it would be nice if she could get some of her songs published. There was a friend of her family who knew someone that was looking for talent to encourage and produce. That someone … Continue reading Kate Bush on David Gilmour, Pink Floyd, and the new Hounds of Love

Dan Hawkins ponders the brilliance of Iron Maiden and whether the Darkness is the last of its kind

By Steve Newton A couple of the famous rockers I've interviewed lately have been raving about the new Iron Maiden album, The Book of Souls. Judas Priest singer Rob Halford, for example, called it "a fantastic achievement" a couple of weeks ago. And the Darkness guitarist Dan Hawkins is mightily impressed as well--especially for a … Continue reading Dan Hawkins ponders the brilliance of Iron Maiden and whether the Darkness is the last of its kind

The Darkness guitarist Dan Hawkins loves Jimmy Page’s wrong notes and Joe Perry’s swagger

the Hawkins brothers pull off their best Robertson/Gorham impression By Steve Newton Fans of rowdy, old-school, Les Paul–driven guitar rock have a band worth worshipping in British noisemakers the Darkness. The Marshall-powered six-string team of 40-year-old Justin Hawkins and his two-years-younger brother, Dan, really do tear up the frets, both on-stage and on record—as evidenced … Continue reading The Darkness guitarist Dan Hawkins loves Jimmy Page’s wrong notes and Joe Perry’s swagger

David Gilmour’s guitar solos embolden Supertramp after loss of Roger Hodgson

By Steve Newton On June 28, 1985, the Georgia Straight newspaper published my interview with Supertramp drummer Bob Seibenberg. That's no big whoop in the grand scheme of things, but at the time the band has just released its first album without original member Roger Hodgson, Brother Where You Bound, so there was interest in how … Continue reading David Gilmour’s guitar solos embolden Supertramp after loss of Roger Hodgson

Squeeze carries on undeterred after Jools Holland opts for his “Mr. Showbiz caper”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 25, 1990 By Steve Newton The liner notes to Squeeze's new live album, A Round and a Bout, contain a precise itinerary of the 892 concerts that the band has performed around the world since forming in '74. There are early shows at the Camden Girls School and … Continue reading Squeeze carries on undeterred after Jools Holland opts for his “Mr. Showbiz caper”

“Our hair was no bigger than Zeppelin or Sabbath,” declares Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 18, 2003 By Steve Newton A lot of bands that were big in the ’80s are now having trouble getting booked into bowling alleys, but Def Leppard’s not one of them. The British melodic-rock quintet—which hit its commercial peak in 1987 with Hysteria, which has sold 16 million … Continue reading “Our hair was no bigger than Zeppelin or Sabbath,” declares Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott