Danny Kirwan’s death revives memories of cruising the Chilliwack strip listening to Fleetwood Mac’s Kiln House

By Steve Newton You may have heard that British musician Danny Kirwan passed away on Friday, at the age of 68. Don't feel too bad if his name doesn't sound familiar, but he was a member of Fleetwood Mac between 1968 and 1972. I didn't know his work all that well myself, even though he … Continue reading Danny Kirwan’s death revives memories of cruising the Chilliwack strip listening to Fleetwood Mac’s Kiln House

The incredible story behind the Ear of Newt autographed guitar

By Steve Newton Back in January of 2013 when I started planning the Ear of Newt website--which I launched on Halloween night that year--I knew I had to get my autographed plexiglass guitar into the picture. I'd been dragging it around to concerts to get it signed by my fave pickers--folks like Link Wray, Ronnie … Continue reading The incredible story behind the Ear of Newt autographed guitar

Newt rocks out at 60th birthday bash with members of Chilliwack bands Cold Chain, Horsepower, and Concrete Jungle

jet sutherland photo By Steve Newton After 35-plus years of writing about other people rockin' out on guitar, I finally got off my butt, hopped on stage, and did some half-assed riffing myself. Last night at the Coast Hotel, in the heart of beautiful downtown Chilliwack, B.C., a bunch of old guys who were born … Continue reading Newt rocks out at 60th birthday bash with members of Chilliwack bands Cold Chain, Horsepower, and Concrete Jungle

Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 10: Hydra hasn’t had a bad response yet

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, DEC. 29, 1982 By Steve Newton Christmas Eve is traditionally a time for taking in the congenial aura of well-lit trees and jingling yuletide melodies, but sights and sounds of quite another sort had patrons of Casanova's cabaret in jolly spirits last Friday night. The upbeat, racy rhythms of one … Continue reading Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 10: Hydra hasn’t had a bad response yet

That time I hired an Elvis impersonator for my mom’s 87th birthday and he stole her away to Vegas!

photos by Julie Newton Katz By Steve Newton Okay, so maybe he didn't steal her away to Vegas. But Steve "Elvis" Elliott sure charmed the heck outta my mom during his one-hour show at the Waverly Seniors Village in Chilliwack today. Elliott--a resident of the 'Wack who travels all around B.C. performing Elvis Presley tribute shows--rolled … Continue reading That time I hired an Elvis impersonator for my mom’s 87th birthday and he stole her away to Vegas!

Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 9: Thunderhead are “heavy metal all the way”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, JUNE 17, 1981 By Steve Newton (In the final story of a series on local bands that has profiled Joker, The Lakers, The Vacationers, Loose Change, Citizen's Band, The Postcards, Midnight Smoke and Homegrown, The Progress presents a look at Thunderhead.) Heavily metallic rock music has come a long way … Continue reading Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 9: Thunderhead are “heavy metal all the way”

Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 8: Homegrown just plans on “having a good time”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, MAY 20, 1981 By Steve Newton (In the eighth of a series of stories on local bands, The Progress presents a profile of the group Homegrown. Next: Thunderhead.) Homegrown, probably the best-known dance band in the Chilliwack area, is a prime example of local musical talent that has been … Continue reading Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 8: Homegrown just plans on “having a good time”

Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 7: Midnight Smoke says Chilliwack is a “gold mine” for a versatile band

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, MAY 6, 1981 By Steve Newton (In the seventh of a series of stories on local bands, The Progress presents a profile on Midnight Smoke. Next: Homegrown) Midnight Smoke is a longtime Chilliwack band that is currently composed of Peter Priebe on bass and lead vocals, Ed Porter on … Continue reading Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 7: Midnight Smoke says Chilliwack is a “gold mine” for a versatile band

Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 6: The Postcards say “school gets in the way of jamming”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, APRIL 29, 1981 By Steve Newton (In the sixth of a series of stories on local bands The Progress presents a profile of The Postcards. Next: Midnight Smoke.) The Postcards is a young rock and roll band made up of students from the Chilliwack and Sardis areas. Members of … Continue reading Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 6: The Postcards say “school gets in the way of jamming”

Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 5: Citizen’s Band are “too old” for stardom

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, APRIL 22, 1981 By Steve Newton (In the fifth of a series of stories on local bands, The Progress presents a profile of The Citizen's Band. Next: The Postcards) The Citizen's Band is a Chilliwack group composed of Brian Loewen on guitar and vocals, Phil Derksen on bass and … Continue reading Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 5: Citizen’s Band are “too old” for stardom

Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 4: Loose Change “breaks in” new singer Lori Paul

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, APRIL 15, 1981 By Steve Newton (In the fourth of a series of stories on local bands The Progress presents a profile of the group Loose Change. Next: Midnight Smoke.) Loose Change, described by bass player Richard Todd as "an uptempo blues-rock" band, is a Chilliwack group composed of … Continue reading Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 4: Loose Change “breaks in” new singer Lori Paul

Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 3: The Vacationers enjoy “doing a couple of Jeff Beck tunes”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, APRIL 8, 1981 By Steve Newton (In the third of a series of stories on local bands, The Progress presents a profile of The Vacationers. Next: Loose Change.) The Vacationers, specialists in hard driving rock and roll, are a Chilliwack group composed of Mike Evans on lead guitar and … Continue reading Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 3: The Vacationers enjoy “doing a couple of Jeff Beck tunes”

Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 2: The Lakers say “booking agents are parasites”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, APRIL 1, 1981 By Steve Newton (In the second of a series of stories on local bands The Progress presents a profile on The Lakers. Next Week: The New Vacationers.) The Lakers are a rhythm and blues-based band composed of Ernie Britton on keyboards and vocals, John Moran on … Continue reading Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 2: The Lakers say “booking agents are parasites”

Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 1: Joker, featuring my old buddy Scott Vye

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, MARCH 18, 1981 By Steve Newton (In the first of a series of stories on local bands The Progress presents a profile on the group, Joker. Next week: The Lakers. ) Joker is a Chilliwack-based performing band composed of leader and MC Gary McNab on rhythm guitar, wife Gail … Continue reading Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 1: Joker, featuring my old buddy Scott Vye