Ryan Adams, 23, celebrates Whiskeytown out-adding the Stones on American rock radio

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 12, 1998 By Steve Newton Theresa Blackwell, the local ambassador for Universal Music, is widely acknowledged by the Georgia Straight editorial department as far and away the best record rep in town. She’s efficient, genuine, and a joy to work with. Not only that, but she plies us … Continue reading Ryan Adams, 23, celebrates Whiskeytown out-adding the Stones on American rock radio

Brian Vander Ark says everyone in the Verve Pipe loves Talking Heads

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 17, 1997 By Steve Newton Anyone who’s been listening to mainstream rock radio lately has likely heard “The Freshmen”, a pretty little ballad by the Verve Pipe that seems based on the singer’s poignant recollections of indelible collegiate relationships. But as “The Freshmen” creator Brian Vander Ark explains … Continue reading Brian Vander Ark says everyone in the Verve Pipe loves Talking Heads

Something I wrote after the death of the Beat Farmers’ Country Dick Montana, who might be my dad

photo by kevin statham ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 16, 1995 By Steve Newton On Halloween day in 1987, I did my first interview with Country Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers. At the time, the big, bearded mountain of a man was looking forward to an All Hallows’ Eve gig in “some … Continue reading Something I wrote after the death of the Beat Farmers’ Country Dick Montana, who might be my dad

Shock-rocker Dukey Flyswatter invites horror fans to park in the Haunted Garage

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 20, 1992 By Steve Newton Screamin’ Jay Hawkins was probably the first artist to bring together elements of horror and rock ’n’ roll. Back in the late ’50s and early ’60s, he would open his concerts by rising from a coffin and letting loose with a blood-curdling scream. … Continue reading Shock-rocker Dukey Flyswatter invites horror fans to park in the Haunted Garage

Wayne Toups says Zydecajun’s foot-stompin’ music is universal

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 19, 1991 By Steve Newton People initially pick up musical instruments for all kinds of reasons. For singer/accordionist Wayne Toups, it was jealousy of an older brother’s musical abilities that caused him to pick up the multi-buttoned squeeze-box in the first place. But he laughs about that inspiration … Continue reading Wayne Toups says Zydecajun’s foot-stompin’ music is universal

Tim McConnell takes a down-to-earth approach to making music on the Havalinas’ debut album

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 7, 1990 By Steve Newton When I interviewed the Havalinas I lucked out by procuring a ten-page promo package that gave me the facts on the members’ early days in bands like the Rockats, the Plugz, and the Cruzados, and explained the origin of the group’s name (they’re … Continue reading Tim McConnell takes a down-to-earth approach to making music on the Havalinas’ debut album

Michael Penn talks lyrical inspiration, four-track recording, and his debut album March

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 5, 1990 By Steve Newton As long as you keep the channel-changer handy for the first frightening sign of Michael Williams, Kim Clarke Champniss, or Rap City, flicking on MuchMusic is sometimes worth the trouble. Once in a while you come across a heavily rotated video that catches … Continue reading Michael Penn talks lyrical inspiration, four-track recording, and his debut album March

Dave Gonzalez says the Paladins are at their best when pared down

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 17, 1991 By Steve Newton When Paladins guitarist Dave Gonzales called snowbound Vancouver last week, yours truly wasn’t in a cheery mood—and it had nothing to do with the frosty mounds of white stuff entombing his car. The TV news was broadcasting live press conferences with Iraq’s foreign … Continue reading Dave Gonzalez says the Paladins are at their best when pared down

That time I called up Mojo Nixon and Country Dick Montana and we aced the art of the speakerphone

By Steve Newton Today I posted the 300th audio recording on my Patreon page, and I wanted it to be something special. So I looked around in my cassette stash and found a tape from March of 1993 that included my interview with Mojo Nixon and Country Dick Montana. At the time they were touring … Continue reading That time I called up Mojo Nixon and Country Dick Montana and we aced the art of the speakerphone

That time I asked Bill Davis of Dash Rip Rock how he felt about opening for the Cramps

By Steve Newton Dash Rip Rock were an awesome cowpunk trio from New Orleans. Actually, hold on...I just checked Wikipedia, and it looks like they're still around, so... ...let me just say that Dash Rip Rock are an awesome cowpunk band from New Orleans. I interviewed singer-guitarist Bill Davis almost 30 years ago, back in … Continue reading That time I asked Bill Davis of Dash Rip Rock how he felt about opening for the Cramps

That time NRBQ’s Terry Adams told me that the music is always best when it’s surprising

By Steve Newton Back in August of 1997 I did my first interview with NRBQ keyboardist-vocalist Terry Adams. His quartet--one of the world's greatest live rock 'n' roll bands--was headed to Vancouver for a gig at a short-lived venue called The Gate. As the conversation was winding down I asked Adams about his penchant for … Continue reading That time NRBQ’s Terry Adams told me that the music is always best when it’s surprising

John Doe describes X as “a rock and roll band that loves songs”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 3, 1984 By Steve Newton "They were so close it was scary," claims X bassist John Doe of the near-identical musician's ads he and guitarist Billy Zoom ran in a Los Angeles paper back in 1979. The eerie similarity of the two advertisements brought the players quickly together, … Continue reading John Doe describes X as “a rock and roll band that loves songs”

That time Buddy Cage told me about replacing Jerry Garcia in New Riders of the Purple Sage

By Steve Newton I interviewed New Riders of the Purple Sage pedal-steel player Buddy Cage back in November of 2006. I got into that band back in the seventies when they had a reefer-ready radio hit called "Panama Red", which featured some pretty sweet pedal-steel from Cage. Buddy Cage was the guy who replaced Jerry … Continue reading That time Buddy Cage told me about replacing Jerry Garcia in New Riders of the Purple Sage

That time I told Bill Elm that I wished Friends of Dean Martinez had recorded Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk”

By Steve Newton I usually write about loud rock and roll music, but every once in a while I get turned on to something else. Back in September of 1995 I interviewed Bill Elm, lap-steel guitarist for the instrumental group Friends of Dean Martinez. The band was formed in Tucson, Arizona as an experimental side-project by … Continue reading That time I told Bill Elm that I wished Friends of Dean Martinez had recorded Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk”

America’s Dewey Bunnell says “A Horse with No Name” is all about the feeling of the desert

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 16, 1983 By Steve Newton America, the masters of mellow, have just released their 13th album. Produced by Russ Ballard, Your Move continues the collaboration between Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley that began in 1970 when--along with Dan Peek--they had a huge hit in their first single, "A … Continue reading America’s Dewey Bunnell says “A Horse with No Name” is all about the feeling of the desert

Henry Fambrough says he could never think about being without the Spinners

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 22, 1983 By Steve Newton The last time the Spinners were in Vancouver was way back in the sixties, when they came through here with the Marvin Gaye Revue. But lovers of the group's unmistakable brand of funky R&B still have a chance to catch the spirit of … Continue reading Henry Fambrough says he could never think about being without the Spinners

That time Rob Thomas told me that “penis size” was what sets Matchbox 20 apart from all the other rock bands with debut albums

By Steve Newton I'm not the biggest Matchbox 20 fan in the world, but when I interviewed 25-year-old frontman Rob Thomas in June of 1997 the band was touring behinds its debut album, Yourself or Someone Like You, which would go on to sell over nine-million copies in the U.S. alone. So what do I … Continue reading That time Rob Thomas told me that “penis size” was what sets Matchbox 20 apart from all the other rock bands with debut albums

Dan Hartman flying high 12 years after taking his “Free Ride” with the Edgar Winter Group

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 18, 1985 By Steve Newton Dan Hartman likes to pull people's legs. That's why, for the video of his big 1984 hit "I Can Dream About You", he had four black guys doing the song, singing and dancing and sliding around. The first impression is that one of … Continue reading Dan Hartman flying high 12 years after taking his “Free Ride” with the Edgar Winter Group