That time J.D. Fortune told me about the pressure of competing in the reality show Rock Star: INXS

By Steve Newton I interviewed INXS vocalist J.D. Fortune in January of 2006, two weeks before the band kicked off a North American Tour in Vancouver. The Canadian singer had earned the frontman position with the Aussie group the year before by winning the 11-week reality-TV competition Rock Star: INXS. So at one point in … Continue reading That time J.D. Fortune told me about the pressure of competing in the reality show Rock Star: INXS

John Kay says he couldn’t hope to leave a Steppenwolf concert alive without playing “Born to Be Wild”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 27, 1984 By Steve Newton Back in the summer of 1968 you could hardly turn on the radio without hearing the surging power chords and menacing vocals of "Born to Be Wild", a song that became an anthem for the carefree life and a harbinger of seventies hard-rock. … Continue reading John Kay says he couldn’t hope to leave a Steppenwolf concert alive without playing “Born to Be Wild”

Skynyrd’s Live at Knebworth ’76 makes me pine for Ronnie and the shitkicker days of southern-rock

By Steve Newton There's quite a few bands that I really wish I'd seen perform live in their prime, but Lynyrd Skynyrd is right up there at the top. On August 21, 1976--the day Skynyrd played the Knebworth Festival along with the likes of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, 10cc, and the Rolling Stones--I was still a … Continue reading Skynyrd’s Live at Knebworth ’76 makes me pine for Ronnie and the shitkicker days of southern-rock

That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria

By Steve Newton Back in the '80s, most successful recording bands liked to put an album out every year. Sometimes they’d skip a year, to vacation in the Bahamas or release a live or best-of LP. After three years their fans would start to get a bit worried, and so would their record label–especially if … Continue reading That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria

That time Long John Baldry told me that he inspired Eric Clapton to take up guitar

By Steve Newton Long John Baldry had a huge influence on the British blues scene in the sixties. In fact, when I interviewed Baldry back in 1985, he confirmed that none other than Slowhand himself was urged to take up the guitar after seeing him perform. Have a listen: To hear the full audio of … Continue reading That time Long John Baldry told me that he inspired Eric Clapton to take up guitar

That time Steve Howe told me that it was “inappropriate” to ask if he’d had a falling out with original Yes singer Jon Anderson

By Steve Newton I've interviewed Steve Howe three times over the years because, hey, he's Steve Howe, and I've been a fan of his ever since high school, when I used to proudly display the triple-disc Yessongs album--with its awesome Roger Dean artwork--on my bedroom dresser. The last time we chatted, though, in 2017, I … Continue reading That time Steve Howe told me that it was “inappropriate” to ask if he’d had a falling out with original Yes singer Jon Anderson

That time Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran told me that he wasn’t exactly a Pink Floyd fan

By Steve Newton I was never a big Duran Duran fan, let's make that abundantly clear. Not enough wailin' guitar solos for my liking. But back on December 12 of 1985 I interviewed the group's keyboardist Nick Rhodes, who at the time was promoting a new LP by Duran Duran spin-off band Arcadia. That album, … Continue reading That time Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran told me that he wasn’t exactly a Pink Floyd fan

Tommy Aldridge says that doing drum clinics is better than a jab in the ass with a frozen carrot

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN MODERN DRUMMER MAGAZINE, APRIL 2002 By Steve Newton Fifty-year-old drum great Tommy Aldridge first came to prominence with ’70s Southern-rock hooligans Black Oak Arkansas, although you wouldn’t know that by visiting his current Web site. B.O.A. is only grudgingly referred to as “that band” in Aldridge’s online biography. “I had some real … Continue reading Tommy Aldridge says that doing drum clinics is better than a jab in the ass with a frozen carrot

That time Rudolf Schenker told me about the Scorps playing at Roger Waters’ The Wall–Live in Berlin

@shotbykevin By Steve Newton I used to love the Scorpions--especially back in the early '80s around the time of the Blackout album. The band was also a hoot to watch in concert, because Rudolf Schenker was a total maniac. That guy rocked! I interviewed him in February of 1991, when the band was touring behind … Continue reading That time Rudolf Schenker told me about the Scorps playing at Roger Waters’ The Wall–Live in Berlin

That time the B-52s’ Keith Strickland told me that Lux Interior of the Cramps suggested “Rock Lobster” as their first single

By Steve Newton Back in March of 2008 I interviewed B-52s guitarist and founding member Keith Strickland. Strickland had taken over on lead guitar after the 1985 AIDS death of Ricky Wilson, but originally he was the band's drummer. That's him pounding away on "Rock Lobster", the decidedly kooky debut single that brought the band … Continue reading That time the B-52s’ Keith Strickland told me that Lux Interior of the Cramps suggested “Rock Lobster” as their first single

That time David Johansen of the New York Dolls told me my son was gonna need a shrink

By Steve Newton When I heard the sad news that original New York Dolls guitarist Syl Sylvain had died of cancer three days ago, it made me remember how much I adored the Dolls as a teenager in the seventies. It also got me thinking about any New York Dolls interviews I might have done … Continue reading That time David Johansen of the New York Dolls told me my son was gonna need a shrink

AC/DC dropped fake American dollar bills on its fans during the 1990-’91 Razors Edge world tour, and I’ve still got mine

By Steve Newton It's not too often you take home a free souvenir from an AC/DC concert. Most likely you'll be dropping $40 for a t-shirt, $25 for a tour program, and maybe seven or eight bucks for a "Have a Drink on Me" shotglass or a "Highway to Hell" keychain. Mind you, if you're … Continue reading AC/DC dropped fake American dollar bills on its fans during the 1990-’91 Razors Edge world tour, and I’ve still got mine

That time Todd Kerns told me that AC/DC replacing Brian Johnson with Axl Rose was the most surreal thing he’d heard in a long time

By Steve Newton I've interviewed Todd Kerns a few times, because he's one of my favourite Canadian rockers. A few years ago I actually dubbed him "The Rockingest Canadian Bass Player of the 21st Century," partly because of his unwavering enthusiasm on stage. The title didn't really catch on in the media, but I stand … Continue reading That time Todd Kerns told me that AC/DC replacing Brian Johnson with Axl Rose was the most surreal thing he’d heard in a long time

That time I asked Bill Payne if Little Feat had any thoughts of calling it quits when Lowell George died

By Steve Newton Just finished watching the documentary Little Feats: The Life & Times of Lowell George on Amazon Prime and that got me thinking about that time back in August of 2002 when I interviewed Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne. Payne had cofounded the band with singer-guitarist and main songwriter Lowell George back in … Continue reading That time I asked Bill Payne if Little Feat had any thoughts of calling it quits when Lowell George died

A certain Chuck Berry tune comes to mind every Christmas in Newtville

By Steve Newton Every year when I'm putting up the Christmas lights a certain Chuck Berry tune comes to mind. Can you guess which one it is? No, it's not "Run Rudolph Run". "House of Blue Lights" was actually first recorded in 1946 by Ella Mae Morse and Freddie Slack. Did the groovy lingo from … Continue reading A certain Chuck Berry tune comes to mind every Christmas in Newtville

That time Alejandro Escovedo told me that the Modernettes’ “Rebel Kind” was a great song

By Steve Newton A couple days ago Alejandro Escovedo posted a fun little blog I'd written in 2015 on his Facebook page. It was about "the greatest guitar solo of all time", which I attributed to Mick Ronson for his solo on Ian Hunter's "Once Bitten Twice Shy". Alejandro must be a big Ronson fan … Continue reading That time Alejandro Escovedo told me that the Modernettes’ “Rebel Kind” was a great song

That time Joan Jett told me that her songs come from real life, and that misery loves company

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Joan Jett back in 1992 I told her that one of her new songs, "The Only Good Thing (You Ever Said Was Goodbye)", reminded me, message-wise, of her hit tune from 1988, "I Hate Myself For Loving You". Then I asked her if those kind of tunes were inspired … Continue reading That time Joan Jett told me that her songs come from real life, and that misery loves company

That time I asked Ian Gillan if he ever wished Joe Satriani had become a permanent member of Deep Purple

By Steve Newton As most dedicated Deep Purple fans know, Joe Satriani was once a member of that legendary band. The Bay Area guitar wizard joined in December of 1993 after the volatile Ritchie Blackmore quit and left the group high-and-dry in the middle of a tour. Satch only stayed in the lineup for a … Continue reading That time I asked Ian Gillan if he ever wished Joe Satriani had become a permanent member of Deep Purple