That time Brian Blush told me about the Refreshments recording the “King of the Hill” theme song

By Steve Newton The Refreshments were a great rock band from Tempe, Arizona that was around for a few years in the mid-'90s. I interviewed lead guitarist Brian Blush in October of 1997, two weeks after the release of the band's third and final album, The Bottle & Fresh Horses. The Refreshments are perhaps best … Continue reading That time Brian Blush told me about the Refreshments recording the “King of the Hill” theme song

That time Joe Elliott told me that Def Leppard wasn’t a big-hair band, and didn’t belong in “the Winger/Warrant/Ratt category”

By Steve Newton Joe Elliott is the fourth Def Leppard member I've interviewed. I started off with bassist Rick Savage in 1983, hooked up with guitarist Steve Clark in '88, and chatted with VIvian Campbell--the guy who took Clark's place after he died--in 1992. I didn't get around to talking with Elliott until 2003, when … Continue reading That time Joe Elliott told me that Def Leppard wasn’t a big-hair band, and didn’t belong in “the Winger/Warrant/Ratt category”

That time Heart’s Ann Wilson told me that the only movie scripts she ever got were for hard-drinking, Janis Joplin-type roles

By Steve Newton Heart were one of the first great rock bands I ever saw. Back in the early seventies they would play gigs in my hometown of Chilliwack, showcasing wicked tunes like "White Lightning and Wine" and "Magic Man" that would eventually appear on their 1975 debut album, Dreamboat Annie. I didn't get to … Continue reading That time Heart’s Ann Wilson told me that the only movie scripts she ever got were for hard-drinking, Janis Joplin-type roles

That time Vinnie Paul told me about experiencing “the ultimate high” when Judas Priest fanatics Pantera jammed with Rob Halford

By Steve Newton Back on February 20, 1992, I did my one and only interview with Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul. That was five days before the Texas metal band released its most popular album, the double-platinum Vulgar Display of Power. At one point in the conversation I asked Vinnie about Rob Halford's professed love for … Continue reading That time Vinnie Paul told me about experiencing “the ultimate high” when Judas Priest fanatics Pantera jammed with Rob Halford

That time I asked Long John Baldry if he was the King in “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll”

By Steve Newton Back in 1985 I did an interview with British blues legend Long John Baldry, who'd recently moved to Vancouver, where he would stay until his death 20 years later. In 1971 Baldry had released an album called It Ain't Easy that was produced by his buddies, Rod Stewart and Elton John. It … Continue reading That time I asked Long John Baldry if he was the King in “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll”

That time Joe Jackson told me that Duke Ellington was wrong: there’s actually three kinds of music

By Steve Newton I interviewed Joe Jackson in August of 2003, when he had reunited with his original band for its 25th anniversary, and to record the album Volume 4. That's the same band--guitarist Gary Sanford, bassist Graham Maby, drummer David Houghton, and Jackson on vocals and piano--that played on his awesome 1979 albums, Look … Continue reading That time Joe Jackson told me that Duke Ellington was wrong: there’s actually three kinds of music

That time Ronnie James Dio told me that Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” was his favourite song out of all the things he’d done

By Steve Newton Way the funk back in 1985 I did my one and only interview with Ronnie James Dio. He was touring behind Dio's Sacred Heart album, and he got tickets and backstage passes to the show in Vancouver at the Pacific Coliseum. I'll never forget how kind and generous he was when we … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me that Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” was his favourite song out of all the things he’d done

That time COC’s Pepper Keenan told me that Warren Haynes “nailed it” with his slide playing on “Stare Too Long”

a closeup shot of Haynes nailing it By Steve Newton Back in January of 2001 I did my first interview with Pepper Keenan of Corrosion of Conformity, whose band was touring behind its America's Volume Dealer album. At one point in the conversation I asked Keenan how he had hooked up with Warren Haynes, who … Continue reading That time COC’s Pepper Keenan told me that Warren Haynes “nailed it” with his slide playing on “Stare Too Long”

People see my photo with Slash and think I’m Kerry King of Slayer, “Ogre” from Revenge of the Nerds, and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

By Steve Newton Here's a funny thing that happened. A week or so ago This Day in Metal tweeted a photo of me with Slash taken backstage in 1988, when Guns N' Roses were opening for Iron Maiden in Vancouver. The tweet read: "Anybody know who's with @slash in this picture?" Well, a few of … Continue reading People see my photo with Slash and think I’m Kerry King of Slayer, “Ogre” from Revenge of the Nerds, and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

That time I asked David Ellefson if there was any competition between Megadeth and Metallica

By Steve Newton I interviewed Megadeth bassist David Ellefson back in November of 1992. when he was 27. That was four months after the band released its most popular album, Countdown to Extinction, the one with "Symphony of Destruction" on it. Man I love that tune. (As you may have heard, founding member Ellefson recently … Continue reading That time I asked David Ellefson if there was any competition between Megadeth and Metallica

That time Derek Trucks told me that Duane Allman’s slide was one of the first sounds he ever heard

By Steve Newton I've interviewed Derek Trucks three times so far, including back in 1998 when he was 18 years old. Our second conversation happened 14 years later, when he was touring with his wife Susan and their 11-piece band, Tedeschi Trucks. Four months before that the group had been awarded the Grammy for Best … Continue reading That time Derek Trucks told me that Duane Allman’s slide was one of the first sounds he ever heard

Chicago’s Lois Lane brings original tunes and flaming drumset to Chilliwack but calls small-town booking a mistake

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, MAY 27, 1981 By Steve Newton Casanova's nightclub was the scene last week of three nightly performances by touring Chicago-based rock band Lois Lane. The group, supposedly the top drawing band in the windy city, is not your average club act band and, in fact, has toured with such … Continue reading Chicago’s Lois Lane brings original tunes and flaming drumset to Chilliwack but calls small-town booking a mistake

That time David Lee Roth told me that a reunion with Van Halen was possible as long as he could “bang that high note like a freebie from a Vegas call girl”

By Steve Newton Back in June of 2003 I did my second interview with David Lee Roth. At the time he was touring behind his most recent solo album, Diamond Dave, but of course I had to ask him about the possibility of getting back together with Van Halen, which had been on hiatus for … Continue reading That time David Lee Roth told me that a reunion with Van Halen was possible as long as he could “bang that high note like a freebie from a Vegas call girl”

That time I asked Gregg Allman how it was different touring solo than with the Allman Brothers

By Steve Newton I did my only interview with Gregg Allman on February 5, 1998. The legendary Allman Brothers Band singer, keyboardist, and occasional guitarist was 50 years old, and was touring behind his sixth solo album, Searching for Simplicity. At one point in the conversation I asked him how it was different touring as … Continue reading That time I asked Gregg Allman how it was different touring solo than with the Allman Brothers

That time I took a limo from Vancouver to Seattle to see Van Halen’s Monsters of Rock Tour

@shotbykevin By Steve Newton I haven't taken many limousine rides during my lifetime. It's a little hoity-toity for my liking. But there were a couple of times when I actually enjoyed that lifestyle of the rich and famous. The first time was back in 1986, when I got flown out to Berkeley, California to review … Continue reading That time I took a limo from Vancouver to Seattle to see Van Halen’s Monsters of Rock Tour

Recalling the release of the Tragically Hip’s Road Apples in the wake of the new Saskadelphia

By Steve Newton Since the Tragically Hip just put out several unreleased tracks from its 1990 Road Apples sessions, I figured I'd celebrate the occasion in my own little way. So for all the hardcore Hip fans out there who still hold the original Road Apples album dear, here's an unedited excerpt from my 2018 … Continue reading Recalling the release of the Tragically Hip’s Road Apples in the wake of the new Saskadelphia

The Elvis Brothers on hangin’ with Carl Perkins and hoping Big Country don’t throw them off the tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 25, 1983 By Steve Newton "The name Menudo was already taken," quips Rob Elvis, "and the Three Dog Night Brothers--we didn't figure that would go over as well." High up in a Century Plaza Hotel room, just hours before their opening set for Big Country at the Commodore, … Continue reading The Elvis Brothers on hangin’ with Carl Perkins and hoping Big Country don’t throw them off the tour

That time B.B. King told me how playing guitar was like telling the truth

bev davies photo By Steve Newton I've been very fortunate to have interviewed several legendary bluesmen over the last 40 years, guys like Albert King, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Roy Buchanan, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. But the very first legendary bluesman I ever interviewed was B.B. King. In January of 1984 he was playing a … Continue reading That time B.B. King told me how playing guitar was like telling the truth