Blue Öyster Cult don’t need no stinkin’ strobes to light up a stage in 2000

steven c. pesant photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN EXPERIENCE HENDRIX MAGAZINE, SUMMER 2000 By Steve Newton On the way in to see Blue Öyster Cult at the Rage on February 17 I thought I was having a '70s flashback: a sign on the door read, "Health warning: strobe lights will be used throughout tonight's performance!!!" Strangely … Continue reading Blue Öyster Cult don’t need no stinkin’ strobes to light up a stage in 2000

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 I asked “Honeyboy” Edwards if he thought that his friend Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads

Robert Johnson was tight with "Honeyboy" Edwards By Steve Newton I'm pretty sure that David "Honeyboy" Edwards was the oldest musician I've ever interviewed. He was 87 in March of 2003 when I called him up in Chicago to get the scoop on his early days with Mississippi Delta blues legends like Big Joe Williams, … Continue reading That time I asked “Honeyboy” Edwards if he thought that his friend Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads

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 Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen told me that nobody under 21 gets to play his five-neck guitar

By Steve Newton I loved Cheap Trick in the seventies, especially the In Color and Heaven Tonight albums of '77 and '78. By the time of 1979's Dream Police I'd kind of lost interest. But that didn't stop me from interviewing guitarist Rick Nielsen when I got the chance back in July of 2001. At … Continue reading That time Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen told me that nobody under 21 gets to play his five-neck guitar

That time back in ’88 when Jeff Keith told me why his band took its name from Nicola Tesla

By Steve Newton Back in June of 1988--which was a pretty rockin' summer, if I recall correctly--I did an interview with Jeff Keith, the lead singer of a Sacramento band called Tesla that was making waves with its platinum debut album, Mechanical Resonance. The band was headed to Vancouver on tour with Def Leppard, which … Continue reading That time back in ’88 when Jeff Keith told me why his band took its name from Nicola Tesla

Steve Morse says that his biggest challenge in life was playing Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?” live, with the backwards guitar solo

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN EXPERIENCE HENDRIX MAGAZINE, NOV.-DEC. ISSUE, 1998 By Steve Newton At first glance, Steve Morse might not seem like the ideal guy to take over Ritchie Blackmore's guitarist spot in Deep Purple. He is undoubtedly a fantastic player, but he's more noted for technically awesome country-fusion inflections than chunky power chords. But as … Continue reading Steve Morse says that his biggest challenge in life was playing Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?” live, with the backwards guitar solo

That time I asked Doyle Bramhall II if he was excited about playing with Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section in Arc Angels

By Steve Newton Back in May of 1992 I sat down at a Vancouver restaurant with Doyle Bramhall II and Charlie Sexton of Arc Angels. They were both 23 at the time. One month earlier the band had released its self-titled debut album, which I thought was pretty freakin' cool--partly because it featured Stevie Ray … Continue reading That time I asked Doyle Bramhall II if he was excited about playing with Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section in Arc Angels

That time Doyle Bramhall II told me that being in Arc Angels was both a good time and a bad time for him

By Steve Newton Long before he started getting known in guitar circles for his extremely tasty playing both onstage and in the studio with Eric Clapton, Doyle Bramhall II was a member of Arc Angels. He and Charlie Sexton shared the singer-songwriter-guitarist duties in the band, with a rhythm section comprised of bassist Tommy Shannon … Continue reading That time Doyle Bramhall II told me that being in Arc Angels was both a good time and a bad time for him

Halfwits at Rock Hall again ignore Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, and Link Wray, instead nominate the Go-Go’s and Dionne Warwick

By Steve Newton You may have heard that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recently announced the nominees for its class of 2021. And man does the list suck in spots. The Go-Go's? Dionne Warwick? That's what passes for rock and roll these days? Here's the full list of 15 nominees: Mary J. Blige, Kate … Continue reading Halfwits at Rock Hall again ignore Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, and Link Wray, instead nominate the Go-Go’s and Dionne Warwick

That time guitar great Marc Bonilla told me how inspired he was by the playing of Ronnie Montrose

By Steve Newton Marc Bonilla might be one of the greatest guitarists you've never heard of. I guess he's kind of like Joe Hodgson is today, except that Bonilla came on the scene 30 years ago. I interviewed him back in April of 1992, the year after he released an amazing all-instrumental debut album called … Continue reading That time guitar great Marc Bonilla told me how inspired he was by the playing of Ronnie Montrose

That time future Trailer Park Boy Mike Smith told me about his band Sandbox snubbing Bon Jovi

By Steve Newton Before he became famous for his role as googley-eyed goofball "Bubbles" on The Trailer Park Boys, Mike Smith was a member of Canadian '90s alt-rock band Sandbox. One day back in March of 1996 I interviewed him in advance of a Sandbox show at a Vancouver bar called the Starfish Room. At … Continue reading That time future Trailer Park Boy Mike Smith told me about his band Sandbox snubbing Bon Jovi

That time I asked Dewey Bunnell why his band named itself America

By Steve Newton If you've been reading this blog for a while, you might have figured out that I'm not the world's biggest soft-rock fan. But when it's time to take a break from the Blue Oyster Cult and Thin Lizzy I've got nothing against throwing on America's Greatest Hits and mellowing out with easygoing … Continue reading That time I asked Dewey Bunnell why his band named itself America

That time Robert Randolph told me that he was inspired by the passion and soul of Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton Back in April of 2003 I did my first interview with pedal-steel virtuoso Robert Randolph, who was just 24 at the time. At one point in the conversation I asked him about the time five years earlier when somebody gave him a tape of Stevie Ray Vaughan, which made a huge impression … Continue reading That time Robert Randolph told me that he was inspired by the passion and soul of Stevie Ray Vaughan

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 Nathan Followill told me that the Kings of Leon didn’t know a right way or a wrong way to play rock ‘n’ roll when they started

By Steve Newton I interviewed Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill on September 19, 2003, exactly one month after the release of the band's debut album, Youth and Young Manhood. Exactly five years after that--on September 19, 2008--the band released its fourth album, Only by the Night, which spawned the hit single "Sex on Fire" … Continue reading That time Nathan Followill told me that the Kings of Leon didn’t know a right way or a wrong way to play rock ‘n’ roll when they started