That time Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse thanked me for bringing up the topic of Hendrix

By Steve Newton The vast majority of my music interviews over the last 40 years were originally published in the Vancouver weekly, Georgia Straight, but I've also done some writing for other publications. Back in 1998 I interviewed guitar god Steve Morse--who'd been with Deep Purple for four years at that point--for Experience Hendrix, a … Continue reading That time Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse thanked me for bringing up the topic of Hendrix

Sean Costello played lead guitar on Susan Tedeschi’s debut album while still in high school

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 4, 2007 By Steve Newton The world is full of wicked blues guitarists, but few are as downright tasty as 26-year-old Sean Costello. He started playing at the age of nine, shortly after moving from Philadelphia to Atlanta, absorbing the skills of the sharpest pickers around. “Hubert Sumlin … Continue reading Sean Costello played lead guitar on Susan Tedeschi’s debut album while still in high school

That time I asked Gary Moore why he thought metal was so big in Britain

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1984 I did my one and only interview with guitar legend Gary Moore, while he was on tour with Rush. That was five months after the release of his fourth album, Victims of the Future, which was still during his pre-blues, hard rock/heavy metal phase. At one … Continue reading That time I asked Gary Moore why he thought metal was so big in Britain

That time Joe Perry told me that Aerosmith’s best album, it’s Exile on Main Street, was yet to come

By Steve Newton I've interviewed Joe Perry four times so far, 'cause back when I was teenager in the '70s, Aerosmith ruled. I went crazy for albums like Get Your Wings, Rocks, and Draw the Line. Our last chat was in September of 2010, which was long after I'd grown disenchanted with Aerosmith albums, which … Continue reading That time Joe Perry told me that Aerosmith’s best album, it’s Exile on Main Street, was yet to come

That time I asked Slash if he was having more fun with Slash’s Snakepit than he was with GN’R

By Steve Newton When I interviewed American guitar hero Slash in April of 1995 he was playing with his own band, Slash's Snakepit, which originally included two of his Guns N' Roses bandmates—drummer Matt Sorum and guitarist Gilby Clarke—as well as Alice in Chains bassist Mike Inez and former Jellyfish member Eric Dover on lead … Continue reading That time I asked Slash if he was having more fun with Slash’s Snakepit than he was with GN’R

That time Steve Vai told me that he only got offered demonic roles in movies after Crossroads

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1990 I did my first interview with guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, who was 29 at the time. Four years earlier Vai had portrayed Jack Butler, the devil's guitar player, in the blues movie Crossroads, which was inspired by the legend of Robert Johnson. The climax of the … Continue reading That time Steve Vai told me that he only got offered demonic roles in movies after Crossroads

God bless Hughie Thomasson’s guitar solo on the Outlaws’ “Hurry Sundown”

By Steve Newton I really, really enjoy guitar solos sometimes. When a geetar player hits just the right notes with just the right feel, it's almost like a religious experience for me. That's why I've asked God to bless exquisite guitar solos by Scott Gorham on Thin Lizzy's "Romeo and the Lonely Girl", Donald "Buck … Continue reading God bless Hughie Thomasson’s guitar solo on the Outlaws’ “Hurry Sundown”

That time I called up Steve Clark and asked him how Def Leppard’s Hysteria tour was going

By Steve Newton Back on June 6 of 1988 I called up Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark at his hotel room in Moncton, New Brunswick. It was the first date of the Canadian leg of the band's hugely successful Hysteria World Tour, and they were as popular as they would ever get. A month later … Continue reading That time I called up Steve Clark and asked him how Def Leppard’s Hysteria tour was going

That time I asked Robin Trower if fans still shouted out “Day of the Eagle!” or “Too Rolling Stoned!”

By Steve Newton Back in February of 1990 I interviewed Robin Trower, one of my all-time favourite rock guitarists from the '70s. At the time he was touring behind his 15th album, In the Line of Fire, which I wasn't that crazy about. It wasn't the same quality as his seventies LPs, like his 1973 … Continue reading That time I asked Robin Trower if fans still shouted out “Day of the Eagle!” or “Too Rolling Stoned!”

That time Ricky Medlocke told me that he was almost on the plane with Skynyrd when it went down

By Steve Newton Back in August of 1997 I interviewed Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Rickey Medlocke in advance of a Skynyrd show in Vancouver with openers Paul Rodgers and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. At one point in the conversation I asked Medlocke, who'd also been a band member in the early days, if he'd been following Lynyrd … Continue reading That time Ricky Medlocke told me that he was almost on the plane with Skynyrd when it went down

That time I asked Gary Moore why he thought Def Leppard got so huge so fast, unlike Thin Lizzy

By Steve Newton Back in May of 1984 I did my one and only interview with Gary Moore, who's one of my all-time favourite guitarists. Man that guy could play. I called him up in Reno, where he was touring with Rush. The previous summer he'd toured with Def Leppard after they released their breakthrough … Continue reading That time I asked Gary Moore why he thought Def Leppard got so huge so fast, unlike Thin Lizzy

That time I called Mick Ronson up in Oklahoma and asked him how the tour with Ian Hunter was going

By Steve Newton Mick Ronson is one of my favourite guitar players of all time. He's an underrated musical genius, and I can't fathom why the dimwits down at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame refuse to even nominate him. Those twits in Cleveland really burn my ass. Anyway, for my second interview with … Continue reading That time I called Mick Ronson up in Oklahoma and asked him how the tour with Ian Hunter was going

That time Tom Morello told me that he looks at guitars as collaborators

By Steve Newton Tom Morello is one of those activist-minded musicians who use their talent to bring attention to important causes they feel strongly about, and I admire that a lot. Morello is best known for his tenure with the political rock band Rage Against the Machine and then with Audioslave, but I interviewed him … Continue reading That time Tom Morello told me that he looks at guitars as collaborators

That time primo Vancouver picker Paul Pigat told me about getting turned on to Danny Gatton

By Steve Newton Metro Vancouver has spawned quite a few wicked guitar players, and I've been lucky to have interviewed a bunch. Some of my faves include Shaun Verreault, Dave Martone, Scott Smith, Don Alder, Russell Marsland, Lindsay Mitchell, Todd Taylor, Erol Sora, Devin Townsend, Harris Van Berkel, the late Scotty Hall, and the ever-lovin' … Continue reading That time primo Vancouver picker Paul Pigat told me about getting turned on to Danny Gatton

Roger Fisher moves on from Heart-break with new band 10 Bulls and hopes for a record deal

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 20, 1985 By Steve Newton Former Heart guitarist Roger Fisher, and his new band 10 Bulls, had their Vancouver debut at Club Soda this summer. The most surprising thing about their performance was the fact that nearly all their songs--with the exception of maybe five--were covers! I mean, … Continue reading Roger Fisher moves on from Heart-break with new band 10 Bulls and hopes for a record deal

That time I called up Stevie Ray Vaughan and he said he had to leave for soundcheck in five minutes

By Steve Newton Back in August of 1985 I did my first interview with Stevie Ray Vaughan, just before the release of his third studio album, Soul to Soul. He was on a tour that would bring him to Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom for two shows, on August 29 and 31. When he picked up the … Continue reading That time I called up Stevie Ray Vaughan and he said he had to leave for soundcheck in five minutes

That time original Heart guitarist Roger Fisher told me how he really felt about the Wilson sisters

jim summaria photo By Steve Newton I interviewed former Heart lead-guitarist Roger Fisher in September of 1985, when he was promoting his new Seattle-based band 10 Bulls. As you may already know, Fisher was an original Heart member whose fiery guitarwork lit up tunes like "Barracuda" and "Magic Man". He was also guitarist-vocalist Nancy Wilson's … Continue reading That time original Heart guitarist Roger Fisher told me how he really felt about the Wilson sisters

That time I asked Steve Clark what the guys in Def Leppard liked to do to pass time on the road

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark back in June of 1988 his band was flying about as high as it would ever get, touring behind its most popular album, Hysteria. As a group of fun-loving rock 'n' rollers in their twenties, selling millions of albums and packing arenas, Clark and … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Clark what the guys in Def Leppard liked to do to pass time on the road