That time Roger Glover told me that he was “disgusted” when he saw Deep Purple with Tommy Bolin

By Steve Newton I was 18 years old when Deep Purple released the album Come Taste the Band, so being a huge fan of the band since Fireball, I bought it. It took me a while to get into it--it didn't have the immediacy of a Machine Head or Burn--but eventually I grew very fond … Continue reading That time Roger Glover told me that he was “disgusted” when he saw Deep Purple with Tommy Bolin

That time I asked Alex Van Halen what the best thing was about being in Van Halen

By Steve Newton Here's the last excerpt I'm gonna post from my 1995 interview with Alex Van Halen. I'd like to thank author Greg Renoff for his help in getting these audio clips to the hardcore Van Halen fans. I highly recommend his book Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved … Continue reading That time I asked Alex Van Halen what the best thing was about being in Van Halen

That time Roger Glover told me that he felt very bitter towards Deep Purple’s Mark III lineup, didn’t like Burn much

By Steve Newton Deep Purple is one of my all-time favourite bands. As a teenager in the seventies I grew up on albums like Fireball, Made in Japan, and Burn. Forget Clapton: Ritchie Blackmore was God in my books. So it was cool when, while still in my 20s, I got to interview Purple bassist … Continue reading That time Roger Glover told me that he felt very bitter towards Deep Purple’s Mark III lineup, didn’t like Burn much

That time I asked Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready what he thought was so great about Neil Young

By Steve Newton I like Pearl Jam a lot. And I really love Neil Young. So when those two got together for the Mirror Ball album back in 1995 I was in hog heaven. I would listen to my favourite track, "I'm the Ocean", over and over again. When I interviewed Pearl Jam guitarist Mike … Continue reading That time I asked Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready what he thought was so great about Neil Young

AC/DC’s undying influence on Vancouver rockers, record-store owners, and radio personalities

ORIGINALLY POSTED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 19, 2001 By Steve Newton The members of AC/DC aren’t doing any interviews in advance of their two shows at the Pacific Coliseum on Sunday and Monday (April 22 and 23), but that’s okay, because if they were, they’d probably just want to talk about their latest album, Stiff Upper Lip. … Continue reading AC/DC’s undying influence on Vancouver rockers, record-store owners, and radio personalities

That time Alex Van Halen told me that the first drummer who really blew him away style-wise was Ginger Baker

By Steve Newton Everybody has their favourite all-time rock drummer. Mine, for example, was the Who's Keith Moon, who won me over forever with his frenzied work on Quadrophenia. Many others point to the precise timekeeping of Led Zeppelin skinbasher John Bonham. When I interviewed Alex Van Halen back in 1995 he told me that Moon … Continue reading That time Alex Van Halen told me that the first drummer who really blew him away style-wise was Ginger Baker

That time I asked Nancy Wilson if Heart were Canadians from Vancouver or Americans from Seattle

By Steve Newton Heart was one of the first great rock bands I saw live. I was still in high school when they came and played the hockey rink in Chilliwack around the time of their debut Dreamboat Annie LP, which--with songs like "Magic Man", "Crazy on You", and "White Lightning & Wine"--is still my … Continue reading That time I asked Nancy Wilson if Heart were Canadians from Vancouver or Americans from Seattle

That time Edgar Winter told me about playing Carnegie Hall for Les Paul’s 90th birthday celebration

Carl Lender photo By Steve Newton When I interviewed Edgar Winter in July of 2005 it had only been one month since he'd performed at Carnegie Hall as part of Les Paul's 90th birthday celebration. He'd been joined at that event by the likes of Steve Miller, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Steve Lukather, Stanley Jordan, Peter … Continue reading That time Edgar Winter told me about playing Carnegie Hall for Les Paul’s 90th birthday celebration

UFO bassist Pete Way left his musical mark on some of the wickedest rock tunes of the seventies

By Steve Newton Hard-rock bassist Pete Way passed away yesterday at the age of 69, two months after sustaining life-threatening injuries in an accident at home. He was known for his work with bands such as Fastway and Waysted, but mostly for his lengthy tenure with the highly underrated UFO, of which he was a … Continue reading UFO bassist Pete Way left his musical mark on some of the wickedest rock tunes of the seventies

Martin Birch’s finest moments with Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Blue Öyster Cult

By Steve Newton If you're fan of hard rock and metal you've no doubt already heard that Martin Birch, the preeminent producer of loud rock, passed away recently at the age of 71. I've interviewed my fair share of hard-rock producers, including the formerly Vancouver-based triumvirate of Bruce Fairbairn, Bob Rock, and Mike Fraser, but … Continue reading Martin Birch’s finest moments with Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Blue Öyster Cult

Martin Birch, producer of unforgettable hard-rock/metal albums, dies at 71

By Steve Newton It's a sad day for fans of '70s and '80s hard-rock and heavy-metal. Martin Birch, who produced and/or engineered more popular metal albums than most anyone, died earlier today at the age of 71. Birch produced such monumental loud-rock albums as Rainbow's Rising, Black Sabbath's Heaven and Hell, Blue Oyster Cult's Fire … Continue reading Martin Birch, producer of unforgettable hard-rock/metal albums, dies at 71

That time drum great Terry Bozzio told me about auditioning for Thin Lizzy at Gary Moore’s request

By Steve Newton As anyone who's read my stuff over the years will attest, I'm a huge Thin Lizzy fan. Anytime I get a chance to include a little tidbit about that band in my blogs I go for it. So the other day as I was digitizing my 2003 interview with drum great Terry … Continue reading That time drum great Terry Bozzio told me about auditioning for Thin Lizzy at Gary Moore’s request

That time Deep Purple’s Roger Glover told me what Ritchie Blackmore was really like as a person

By Steve Newton I did my second interview with Roger Glover back in March of 1985, when Deep Purple's "Mark II" lineup had reunited and the band was touring behind its Perfect Strangers album. At one point in the conversation I asked Glover about the band's legendary guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore, and his reputation for being … Continue reading That time Deep Purple’s Roger Glover told me what Ritchie Blackmore was really like as a person

Powerage, the only AC/DC album better than Back in Black, was released 42 years and 81 days ago today

By Steve Newton There was a lotta fuss being made in the rock-music world recently, surrounding the fact that AC/DC's Back in Black was released exactly 40 years ago today. But where was all the commotion two years and 81 days ago, on May 5, 2018, when Powerage hit the BIg Four-Oh? Now that was … Continue reading Powerage, the only AC/DC album better than Back in Black, was released 42 years and 81 days ago today

That time Chris Cornell told me about the beauty of what it is that he gets to do

By Steve Newton Back in December of 2008 I did my one and only interview with Chris Cornell. At the time he was touring behind his solo album, Carry On, which I thought had some great songs. I was asking him about some of the lyrics from my fave track on the album, "Killing Birds", … Continue reading That time Chris Cornell told me about the beauty of what it is that he gets to do

That time the Ventures’ Don Wilson and I shared our fondness for John Fogerty

By Steve Newton John Fogerty proudly inducted the Ventures into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, but I learned of his affection for the instro-rock legends years before that. When I interviewed original Ventures rhythm-guitarist Don Wilson back in 1997 I asked him if he'd had a lot of people tell him … Continue reading That time the Ventures’ Don Wilson and I shared our fondness for John Fogerty

That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Jason Bonham back in 1989, I asked him what it was like growing up with a father who was world-famous for being the drummer in Led Zeppelin. Turns out it wasn't that big of a deal to him. Have a listen: To hear the full … Continue reading That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Joan Jett back in 1992 she was touring behind her Notorious album, which, while not a bad album, wasn't exactly racing up the charts. Jett explained to me that it didn't help that the record wasn't getting much promotional push from Sony, the major label handling distribution. Then she … Continue reading That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

By Steve Newton The best musicians always try to surround themselves with the best musicians. For Edgar Winter that wasn't hard. When he was born he already had a big brother named Johnny waiting at home, and they would become close musical collaborators throughout their lifetimes. Another hugely talented player that Edgar hooked up with … Continue reading That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1984 I interviewed Tony Carey, who I'd been a fan of since I heard him playing keyboards on Rainbow's colossal Rising album of 1976. At the time of our chat he was promoting his new solo album Some Tough City, which was doing well on the charts … Continue reading That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open

That time Ian Hunter told me that what sells Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter–or what doesn’t sell Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter

By Steve Newton Mott the Hoople is one of my all-time favourite bands, and Ian Hunter is one of my all-time favourite rockers. I interviewed him and Mick Ronson separately on the same day--September 9, 1988--when they were headed to Vancouver for a show in advance of recording their awesome 1989 album YUI Orta. At … Continue reading That time Ian Hunter told me that what sells Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter–or what doesn’t sell Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter

That time Alex Van Halen told me how early on he discovered the fascinating power of live music

By Steve Newton We've all heard the old joke before: "What do you call somebody who hangs around with musicians? A drummer." I think it's fair to say that drummers don't always get the credit they deserve. I haven't interviewed that many over the years--for the simple fact that I prefer talking to guitarists--but some … Continue reading That time Alex Van Halen told me how early on he discovered the fascinating power of live music

My nephew Jeff didn’t mind getting a Pink Floyd box set for his 50th birthday

shey gonzales photo By Steve Newton A bunch of us got together in Penticton over the weekend to gather around an old friend and celebrate the upcoming 50th birthday of my nephew Jeff. He's a big Pink Floyd fan. He's got Pink Floyd artwork all over his house. He even took me to see Roger … Continue reading My nephew Jeff didn’t mind getting a Pink Floyd box set for his 50th birthday

That time Richie Sambora told me why Bon Jovi switched producers from Bruce Fairbairn to Bob Rock

By Steve Newton Bon Jovi may have been hugely popular back in the day, but I actually enjoyed guitarist Richie Sambora's solo debut album, Stranger in This Town, more than any Bon Jovi band release. I even preferred Sambora's lead vocals over Jon Bon Jovi's, especially on solo tunes like "Ballad of Youth". So it … Continue reading That time Richie Sambora told me why Bon Jovi switched producers from Bruce Fairbairn to Bob Rock

That time I asked Justin Hayward if he knew the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” was special as soon as it came to him

By Steve Newton As April Wine once said, "I Like to Rock". I like to rock as well, but once in a while a beautiful, gentle ballad is, as Ted Nugent once said, "Just What the Doctor Ordered". But enough about April Wine and Ted Nugent. This little blog's about a softer-rockin', more prog-oriented band … Continue reading That time I asked Justin Hayward if he knew the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” was special as soon as it came to him

That time Wayne Kramer told me about the MC5’s political consciousness in the ’60s

By Steve Newton I missed out on the MC5 when they were a major musical force on the American counterculture scene in the late '60s. And it's not just 'cause I'm Canadian. I was only 11 when their groundbreaking Kick Out the Jams debut album came out, and at that point all I listened to … Continue reading That time Wayne Kramer told me about the MC5’s political consciousness in the ’60s

That time Bob Rock told me that he just wakes up in the morning and music is what he does

By Steve Newton Being a rock journalist in Vancouver during the '80s and '90s meant that I was close to where a lot of the top-selling albums of the time were made. That was mainly down at Little Mountain Sound, where local producers, engineers, and mixers--guys like Bruce Fairbairn, Bob Rock, and Mike Fraser--were tweaking … Continue reading That time Bob Rock told me that he just wakes up in the morning and music is what he does