That time Judas Priest’s Glenn Tipton told me that Rory Gallagher was the guy who made him pick up a guitar

By Steve Newton Back in 2005 I did my first interview with Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton, who I'd been a fan of ever since I heard him wailin' away with KK on the Screaming for Vengeance album of '82. After asking him what his fave Priest albums were, and which of his solos he … Continue reading That time Judas Priest’s Glenn Tipton told me that Rory Gallagher was the guy who made him pick up a guitar

That time Jack Blades told me about the different playing styles of Night Ranger guitarists Brad Gillis and Jeff Watson

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1984 I interviewed Night Ranger vocalist-bassist Jack Blades while his band was accompanying ZZ Top on its Eliminator Tour. I wasn't the biggest Night Ranger fan in the world back then. In the midst of the hard rock/metal craze I was more into Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and … Continue reading That time Jack Blades told me about the different playing styles of Night Ranger guitarists Brad Gillis and Jeff Watson

Eddie Van Halen: what Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth, Jake E. Lee, Leslie West, and brother Alex told me about “the king”

By Steve Newton One of the biggest regrets of my career in rock journalism--and there aren't that many, believe it or not--was never getting the opportunity to interview Eddie Van Halen. I did get to chat with his big brother Alex once, and he gave me a really great interview, but it just wasn't the … Continue reading Eddie Van Halen: what Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth, Jake E. Lee, Leslie West, and brother Alex told me about “the king”

That time Vivian Campbell told me that he got paid less than the road crew in Dio

By Steve Newton I interviewed Irish guitar hero Vivian Campbell in September of 1992, three weeks after his 30th birthday. Five months earlier he'd joined Def Leppard, one of the world's most popular rock bands, apparently being chosen over the likes of John Sykes, Gary Hoey, and Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden. So no wonder … Continue reading That time Vivian Campbell told me that he got paid less than the road crew in Dio

That time Colin James told me that playing electric slide-guitar was a challenge for him

By Steve Newton Back in August of 1995 I interviewed Canadian blues-rocker Colin James, who I'd been a fan of since his self-titled 1988 debut album. At the time he was touring behind his fourth album, Bad Habits, which saw him playing quite a bit of slide guitar on tunes like "Real Stuff" and "Walkin' … Continue reading That time Colin James told me that playing electric slide-guitar was a challenge for him

That time Kim Simmonds told me that Eric Clapton was the greatest white blues guitar player he’d ever seen

By Steve Newton I was a huge Foghat fan in the seventies. I couldn't get enough of their hard-driving boogie-blues on albums like Energized and Rock and Roll Outlaws. When I learned that most of their original members had come from a band called Savoy Brown I went and checked them out as well, and … Continue reading That time Kim Simmonds told me that Eric Clapton was the greatest white blues guitar player he’d ever seen

That time Joe Satriani told me how an unsolicited Mastercard application got Not of This Earth off the ground

By Steve Newton You know how you're always getting those unsolicited credit-card applications in the mail? The ones that say "Dear [insert your name here]. You've been approved for a shitload of money, so just sign up here." Well, Joe Satriani got one of those once, and it turned out to be exactly what he … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me how an unsolicited Mastercard application got Not of This Earth off the ground

Hendrix’s 1970 Hawaiian happening captured in new film and previously unreleased Live in Maui album

By Steve Newton Hardcore Jimi Hendrix freaks with a hankering for some previously unreleased music by the master have something to look forward to. On November 20, Experience Hendrix L.L.C. and Sony Music's Legacy Recordings will release a brand new feature-length documentary titled Music, Money, Madness...Jimi Hendrix in Maui, along with the previously unheard album … Continue reading Hendrix’s 1970 Hawaiian happening captured in new film and previously unreleased Live in Maui album

That time Steve Vai told me that his body language changes a lot when he’s playing rock ‘n’ roll

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Steve Vai, back in May of 1990, he had just released his sophomore solo album, Passion and Warfare, a technically dazzling instrumental guitar opus. At the same time, he was also touring with Whitesnake, whose straightforward, radio-friendly rock tunes were not nearly as challenging to … Continue reading That time Steve Vai told me that his body language changes a lot when he’s playing rock ‘n’ roll

That time I asked veteran studio ace David Lindley what his favourite recording session had been

By Steve Newton David Lindley is widely hailed as one of the finest players of stringed instruments in the world. As well as acoustic and electric guitar, he's been known to handle upright and electric bass, banjo, lap steel guitar, mandolin, hardingfele, bouzouki, cittern, bağlama, gumbus, charango, cümbüş, and zither. When I interviewed him back … Continue reading That time I asked veteran studio ace David Lindley what his favourite recording session had been

That time Megadeth’s Marty Friedman told me about the satanic bonfires in Dallas on the Clash of the Titans tour

By Steve Newton Megadeth has featured some wicked guitar players over the years, but arguably non wickeder than Marty Friedman, who did his thing on killer albums like Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia. When I called Friedman up in May of 1991 he was in El Paso, Texas, where Megadeth was playing as part of … Continue reading That time Megadeth’s Marty Friedman told me about the satanic bonfires in Dallas on the Clash of the Titans tour

That time Joe Satriani told me that Jeff Beck’s Blow By Blow was just the kind of music his generation wanted to hear

By Steve Newton Man, was 1975 the best year for guitar-based rock or what? That's the year I graduated high school, and spent countless hours cramming my head with riffs from LPs like Thin Lizzy's Fighting, Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti, Bad Company's Straight Shooter, Heart's Dreamboat Annie, and the self-titled debuts by Ian Hunter, the … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me that Jeff Beck’s Blow By Blow was just the kind of music his generation wanted to hear

That time I made Gary Moore laugh by asking what drives him

By Steve Newton I've interviewed scads of incredible guitarists over the years, but I can't think of any more amazing than Gary Moore. Everything about his playing just blew me away. So I was mighty psyched when I did my one and only interview with him way back on May 11, 1984. At the time … Continue reading That time I made Gary Moore laugh by asking what drives him

That time Jeff Golub told me that, as a kid in Akron, Ohio, you could either be a juvenile delinquent or a guitarist

Rod Stewart Fan Club photo By Steve Newton One summer day back in July of 1989 Rod Stewart played Vancouver's BC Place Stadium on his Out of Order World tour. It would have been great to meet Rod the Mod down at the pub and do a little interview, but he wasn't available, so I … Continue reading That time Jeff Golub told me that, as a kid in Akron, Ohio, you could either be a juvenile delinquent or a guitarist

That time Joe Satriani told me that he vowed to take up guitar on the day Jimi Hendrix died

By Steve Newton Jimi Hendrix has to be the most influential electric guitarist of all time. Joe Satriani surely wouldn't argue the point. When I did the first of my eight interviews with Satch back in 1990, after the release of Flying in a Blue Dream, I asked him if it was true that he … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me that he vowed to take up guitar on the day Jimi Hendrix died

That time Canadian guitar wizard Jack Semple told me about winning the 1992 Guitar Warz competition

By Steve Newton Canada isn't really known for its abundance of guitar wizards. I mean, you've got your Lenny Breau--"The Humbler", according to Danny Gatton--and guys like Jeff Healey. And Neil Young has been known to crank out a tasty note or two. But for the most part the Great White North isn't known as … Continue reading That time Canadian guitar wizard Jack Semple told me about winning the 1992 Guitar Warz competition

Peter Green’s masterful guitarwork lights up vinyl release of unearthed Fleetwood Mac live and demo tracks

By Steve Newton The blues-guitar world lost one of its finest practitioners last month when Peter Green passed away at the age of 73. But hardcore Greeny fans can take some solace in the fact that a new collection of previously unreleased recordings, Fleetwood Mac Before the Beginning Vol 2: Live & Demo Sessions 1970, … Continue reading Peter Green’s masterful guitarwork lights up vinyl release of unearthed Fleetwood Mac live and demo tracks

That time Joe Satriani told me why Neil Young was such a great guitarist

By Steve Newton Back in 1990 I did the first of my eight interviews with American guitar wizard Joe Satriani. At the time Satch was touring behind his Flying in a Blue Dream album, which is one fine batch of tunes. At one point in the conversation I asked him about a quote in Kerrang! … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me why Neil Young was such a great guitarist

Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page, but Mick Fleetwood says “he was the guy”

Steve Newton Sad news for music fans today. Peter Green, the British guitarist who made a name for himself with his stunning work in the Bluesbreakers and Fleetwood Mac, has passed away at the age of 73. Long before the pop-minded duo of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham put their radio-friendly stamp on Fleetwood Mac, … Continue reading Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page, but Mick Fleetwood says “he was the guy”

That time I called up Albert Collins and asked what attracted him to the blues

By Steve Newton Sometimes when I'm feeling a little down, uncertain about the future, I like to go through my piles of interview cassettes, pick something out, and just listen to bits of conversations I had with legendary bluesmen decades ago. Fight the blues with the blues, I reckon. Here's what it sounded like back … Continue reading That time I called up Albert Collins and asked what attracted him to the blues

That time Steve Hackett told me about hearing Queen’s demo tapes and thinking Genesis’ label should sign them

By Steve Newton Before Queen became one of the top rock bands on the planet, they were just another struggling band trying to score a record deal. That's how Steve Hackett remembers it, anyway. When I interviewed the former Genesis guitarist back in 1993 I asked him about his relationship with Queen guitarist Brian May, … Continue reading That time Steve Hackett told me about hearing Queen’s demo tapes and thinking Genesis’ label should sign them

54-40 guitarist Dave Genn recalls his chance meeting with Stevie Ray Vaughan just weeks before his tragic death

By Steve Newton One of my favourite guitar-hero memories involves that time back in the early '80s when I went backstage at Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum and met Stevie Ray Vaughan. I'll never forget it because he signed my vinyl copy of Texas Flood, and when I shook his hand it felt like a freakin' vice! … Continue reading 54-40 guitarist Dave Genn recalls his chance meeting with Stevie Ray Vaughan just weeks before his tragic death

That time Zakk Wylde told me that he’d always be Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist

By Steve Newton If Randy Rhoads hadn't died in that tragic plane crash in 1982, do you think he'd still be playing with Ozzy Osbourne? I kinda doubt it. He was so fiercely talented that I bet he would have left heavy-metal in the dust and moved on to creating adventurous, technically mind-boggling instrumental music … Continue reading That time Zakk Wylde told me that he’d always be Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist

That time I asked Yngwie Malmsteen if he’d ever been tempted to “cheat” on the Strat

By Steve Newton Yngwie Malmsteen is synonymous with the Fender Stratocaster. Since the get-go he's proclaimed the superiority of Leo Fender's classy creation. He's even gone so far as to compare the competition to "bad copies" and "furniture". So when I interviewed him back in 2014 I asked him if he'd ever been tempted to … Continue reading That time I asked Yngwie Malmsteen if he’d ever been tempted to “cheat” on the Strat

That time Buddy Guy told me that he was a bluesman from his heart, as if I didn’t know

By Steve Newton I've interviewed Buddy Guy five times, because I freakin' love Buddy Guy. The second time we chatted was in March of 1993, three weeks after the release of his Feels Like Rain album, which featured guest appearances by Bonnie Raitt, John Mayall, and Paul Rodgers. Rodgers performed on a version of the … Continue reading That time Buddy Guy told me that he was a bluesman from his heart, as if I didn’t know

That time Autograph guitarist Steve Lynch told me about the crazy times touring with Van Halen

By Steve Newton Way the heck back in October of 1985 I interviewed Autograph guitarist Steve Lynch because his band was headed to Vancouver as opening act on Motley Crue's Theatre of Pain tour. Back then two-handed tapping was very popular among guitarists in hard rock and metal bands, and Lynch was among its top … Continue reading That time Autograph guitarist Steve Lynch told me about the crazy times touring with Van Halen

That time Steve Vai told me that he had to make Passion and Warfare when he did make Passion and Warfare

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Steve Vai, back in May of 1990, he was touring with Whitesnake while at the same time promoting his new solo album, Passion and Warfare. As he explained to me quite vehemently, it was the album that he had to make at that time. I … Continue reading That time Steve Vai told me that he had to make Passion and Warfare when he did make Passion and Warfare