Tom Petty’s King of the Hill character buys Brownsville Station tix for primo view of Mike Lutz’s guitar solo

By Steve Newton I was channel surfing last night and came across a King of the Hill episode from 2006 that perked me up and made me yearn for the halcyon days of '70s arena rock. At the end of the Season 10 episode titled "Hank Fixes Everything", the recurring character Lucky--voiced by Tom Petty--buys tickets to … Continue reading Tom Petty’s King of the Hill character buys Brownsville Station tix for primo view of Mike Lutz’s guitar solo

The 70 greatest closing tracks of the ’70s

By Steve Newton Remember when the last track on an album would finish and you'd wish the music would just never end? Me too. "All Right Now" (Fire and Water, Free, 1970) “American Girl” (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1976) "Another Star" (Songs in the Key of Life, Stevie Wonder, … Continue reading The 70 greatest closing tracks of the ’70s

The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

By Steve Newton Remember how you'd set the needle down on the opening track of a new rock album and the first tune would just blow you the funk away? Me too. "(Ain't Nothin' But a) House Party" (Bloodshot, J. Geils Band, 1973) "All the Way From Memphis" (Mott, Mott the Hoople, 1973) "Already Gone" … Continue reading The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

That time Circus Magazine’s editorial department sent me a rejection letter :(

By Steve Newton Thirty-six years ago today somebody at Circus Magazine sent me a rejection letter. They could have at least signed it. Back in the seventies I devoured Circus. It was a total fanzine, but it really covered the bands I was interested in. On any given issue you'd see capitalized band names like MOTT, … Continue reading That time Circus Magazine’s editorial department sent me a rejection letter 🙁

Newt’s top 20 David Bowie songs of the seventies

By Steve Newton As everybody knows by know, pop-rock legend David Bowie has died. It's the worst loss for the music world since John Lennon was murdered, I reckon. A few days ago I did a blog about my personal remembrances of discovering Bowie as a teen in the seventies. Now here's my top 20 Bowie … Continue reading Newt’s top 20 David Bowie songs of the seventies

Michael Bruce’s deletion from Super Duper Alice Cooper is a bloody travesty

By Steve Newton Finally got around to watching the 2014 documentary Super Duper Alice Cooper for the first time the other night, and it was awesome: except for the part where they refused to even mention the name "Michael Bruce". For the uninitiated, Bruce was the rhythm guitarist for the Alice Cooper Band during its first … Continue reading Michael Bruce’s deletion from Super Duper Alice Cooper is a bloody travesty

Backstage with Scott Gorham (and Gary Moore) on Thin Lizzy’s Bad Reputation Tour in 1978

By Steve Newton See that Thin Lizzy mirror pin I'm holding? That's not just any old Thin Lizzy mirror pin. That's the one Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham gave me backstage at Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum on October 12, 1978. That was an unforgettable moment for me. Lemme tell ya about it. At the time I … Continue reading Backstage with Scott Gorham (and Gary Moore) on Thin Lizzy’s Bad Reputation Tour in 1978

The Newt’s 300 Best Rock Albums of the 1970s

By Steve Newton You had to be there. Abraxas: Santana (“Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”, “Oye Coma Va”, “Samba Pa Ti”) 1970 A Day at the Races: Queen (“Tie Your Mother Down”, “Somebody to Love”, “Long Away”) 1976 Aerosmith: Aerosmith (“Make It”, “Dream On”, “Mama Kin”) 1973 After the Gold Rush: Neil Young (“Tell Me Why”, “Southern Man”, “When You … Continue reading The Newt’s 300 Best Rock Albums of the 1970s

Major concert news: Newt’s buddy’s band will play the Chilliwack Senior High class of ’75 reunion

By Steve Newton It probably won't garner as much attention as the announcement of the upcoming AC/DC world tour, but I just found out that my old buddy's cover band is playing the 40-year reunion for the Chilliwack Senior High School class of 1975. So I guess I'll go. Here's the unofficial setlist. The band … Continue reading Major concert news: Newt’s buddy’s band will play the Chilliwack Senior High class of ’75 reunion

Wherein the Newt pines for the ’70s along with a panel of Vancouver rock experts

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 4, 1993 “The music you listen to becomes the soundtrack of your life.” —Mike Bloomfield Ah, the ’70s—what a great decade for rock. I don’t care what anybody says, because, disco aside, the ’70s ruled, man. Back then I could easily name 50 bands that I was crazy … Continue reading Wherein the Newt pines for the ’70s along with a panel of Vancouver rock experts

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1979

Ah, 1979. According to my calculations, that was the last year of the '70s, which was the greatest decade for guitar-based rock music ever. I'd like to thank Fender, Gibson, Marshall, and everyone else who created the instruments of my enjoyment back then. A Million Vacations: Max Webster ("Paradise Skies", "A Million Vacations", "Let Go … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1979

Steve Miller will keep on rockin’ you at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver

The Hard Rock Casino Vancouver announced today that it's bringing the Steve Miller Band to town on April 12, which is good news for anyone with a hankering for old-school guitar-rock. According to the most recent setlist available, Miller is concentrating on the two albums that pretty well ruled rock radio back in the day: Fly Like an … Continue reading Steve Miller will keep on rockin’ you at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1978

I'll always remember 1978 as the year I saw Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, when they were touring behind You're Gonna Get It. I'll also remember it for that time Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham took me backstage when the band opened for Styx at the Coliseum. Unfortunately, I'll … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1978

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1977

Cheap Trick and David Bowie led the way in '77 with two albums each, and the blues was represented by Johnny Winter, Muddy Waters, and Roy Buchanan. Aja: Steely Dan ("Peg", "Deacon Blues", "Josie") American Stars n' Bars: Neil Young ("Hey Babe", "Will to Love", "Like a Hurricane") Bad Reputation: Thin Lizzy ("Opium Trail", "Bad Reputation", … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1977

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1976

The spirit of '76 will never falter because that's the year Thin Lizzy put out two LPs instead of just one. Albums listed in alphabetical order according to title, otherwise Jailbreak would be right there at the top. I've included three song titles to help you remember how awesome the music was, and one clip to bring it … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1976

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1975

Ah, 1975. The year I graduated high school. Talk about dazed and confused. Albums listed alphabetically by title, including three choice tracks from each one to help you remember how wicked they really were. Against the Grain: Rory Gallagher ("Bought and Sold", "Out on the Western Plain", "Lost at Sea") America's Choice: Hot Tuna ("Sleep … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1975

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1972

1972 was a year when I got introduced to a number of bands that would become all-time faves, including Blue Oyster Cult, Mott the Hoople, and Steely Dan. And as far as live albums went, the Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, the J. Geils Band, and Rory Gallagher were well represented. I wouldn't say '72 was … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1972

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1971

All in all, 1971 wasn't one of the greatest years for rock in the seventies. But it was a pretty great one for Alice Cooper, Rory Gallagher, and Yes, who each had two albums on my Top 30. As before, I’ve listed the LPs alphabetically by title, and included three choice tracks from each disc … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1971

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1970

Last year I decided to turn the clock back four decades and put together a list of my 30 fave albums of 1973, because, for one thing, that was the year when the greatest rock album of all time--the Who's Quadrophenia--was released. Then,  a couple of weeks back, I kept up the "40 years ago" … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1970

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1974

Last year I put together a list of my 30 fave albums from 1973, which was a particularly awesome year since it included the release of what I've always felt was the world's greatest rock album, the Who's Quadrophenia. Now that you've all had a good chance to go out and purchase each and every one … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1974

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1973

I've been reminiscing a lot lately about rock stuff that happened 30 years ago. I recently posted interviews originally published back in '83 with such still-active artists as British guitar phenomenon Allan Holdsworth and legendary Aussie earbusters AC/DC. Then I started thinking about maybe doing a list of my fave rock albums from 30 years back, … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1973