Gord Downie in the raw: an unedited, unpublished chunk of my book about the Tragically Hip’s beloved frontman

When New York’s Sterling Publishing first contacted me about writing a book about Gord Downie, I was obviously thrilled. I had interviewed Downie five times, and was a huge fan of his band, the Tragically Hip. But as writing progressed, I realized the finished product wasn’t going to be exactly what I had in mind. … Continue reading Gord Downie in the raw: an unedited, unpublished chunk of my book about the Tragically Hip’s beloved frontman

That time I took my nephew backstage to meet Bruce Dickinson on Iron Maiden’s Powerslave tour and we all felt sad about Razzle

bev davies photo By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson was back in June of 1983, when Maiden was touring behind its Piece of Mind album. I started the conversation by asking why the band had replaced drummer Clive Burr, who I’d interviewed in ’82 during the Number of … Continue reading That time I took my nephew backstage to meet Bruce Dickinson on Iron Maiden’s Powerslave tour and we all felt sad about Razzle

That time I called up Mojo Nixon and Country Dick Montana and we aced the art of the speakerphone

By Steve Newton Today I posted the 300th audio recording on my Patreon page, and I wanted it to be something special. So I looked around in my cassette stash and found a tape from March of 1993 that included my interview with Mojo Nixon and Country Dick Montana. At the time they were touring … Continue reading That time I called up Mojo Nixon and Country Dick Montana and we aced the art of the speakerphone

That time I asked Bill Davis of Dash Rip Rock how he felt about opening for the Cramps

By Steve Newton Dash Rip Rock were an awesome cowpunk trio from New Orleans. Actually, hold on…I just checked Wikipedia, and it looks like they’re still around, so… …let me just say that Dash Rip Rock are an awesome cowpunk band from New Orleans. I interviewed singer-guitarist Bill Davis almost 30 years ago, back in … Continue reading That time I asked Bill Davis of Dash Rip Rock how he felt about opening for the Cramps

That time 23-year-old Sue Foley told me that she didn’t pick up a guitar to get chicks–or guys, for that matter

By Steve Newton Back in March of 1992 I did my first interview with Canadian blues singer and Telecaster slinger Sue Foley. This was just before the release of her debut album, Young Girl Blues, and she was heading to Vancouver to perform as part of the Antone’s Women Blues Revue. At one point in … Continue reading That time 23-year-old Sue Foley told me that she didn’t pick up a guitar to get chicks–or guys, for that matter

Sean Costello played lead guitar on Susan Tedeschi’s debut album while still in high school

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 4, 2007 By Steve Newton The world is full of wicked blues guitarists, but few are as downright tasty as 26-year-old Sean Costello. He started playing at the age of nine, shortly after moving from Philadelphia to Atlanta, absorbing the skills of the sharpest pickers around. “Hubert Sumlin … Continue reading Sean Costello played lead guitar on Susan Tedeschi’s debut album while still in high school

That time Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Rickey Medlocke told me that Paul Rodgers was one of his big vocal influences

By Steve Newton Back in 1997 I interviewed Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Rickey Medlocke in advance of a Vancouver show by Skynyrd that also had Paul Rodgers on the bill. I’d been a big fan of Medlocke’s previous band, Blackfoot, back in the seventies, and always loved their version of Free’s “Wishing Well” on the 1979 … Continue reading That time Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Rickey Medlocke told me that Paul Rodgers was one of his big vocal influences

That time Cinderella’s Tom Keifer told me that, if you were in a hard-rock band, Philadelphia sucked

By Steve Newton Back in March of 1991 I interviewed Tom Keifer, frontman and main songwriter for Philadelphia hard-rock band Cinderella. That was less than four months after the release of the group’s third album, Heartbreak Station, which spawned the hit single “Shelter Me”. At one point in the conversation I asked Keifer what sort … Continue reading That time Cinderella’s Tom Keifer told me that, if you were in a hard-rock band, Philadelphia sucked

It’s My Life, and it’s my unpublished 1984 interview with Mark Hollis of Talk Talk

By Steve Newton Back in early 1984 I did an interview with Mark Hollis of British synth-pop band Talk Talk.  I wasn’t really into synth-pop–I was more into Iron Maiden, Scorpions, and Van Halen–but I took the assignment because Talk Talk was promoting its new album, It’s My Life, and was planning to visit my … Continue reading It’s My Life, and it’s my unpublished 1984 interview with Mark Hollis of Talk Talk

That time NRBQ’s Terry Adams told me that the music is always best when it’s surprising

By Steve Newton Back in August of 1997 I did my first interview with NRBQ keyboardist-vocalist Terry Adams. His quartet–one of the world’s greatest live rock ‘n’ roll bands–was headed to Vancouver for a gig at a short-lived venue called The Gate. As the conversation was winding down I asked Adams about his penchant for … Continue reading That time NRBQ’s Terry Adams told me that the music is always best when it’s surprising

That time I asked Gary Moore why he thought metal was so big in Britain

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1984 I did my one and only interview with guitar legend Gary Moore, while he was on tour with Rush. That was five months after the release of his fourth album, Victims of the Future, which was still during his pre-blues, hard rock/heavy metal phase. At one … Continue reading That time I asked Gary Moore why he thought metal was so big in Britain

ZZ Top’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton God bless that little ol’ band from Texas. 20. “Just Got Back from Baby’s” (ZZ Top’s First Album, 1971) 19. “She’s a Heartbreaker” (Tejas, 1976) 18, “Just Got Paid” (Rio Grande Mud, 1972) 17. “Tube Snake Boogie” (El Loco, 1981) 16. “Master of Sparks” (Tres Hombres, 1973) 15. “PCH” (Antenna, 1994) 14. … Continue reading ZZ Top’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

Led Zeppelin’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton I realize millions of Zep fans might complain about “Stairway to Heaven” not being Number One, but they’ll get over it. 20. “Ten Years Gone” (Physical Graffiti, 1975) 19. “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” (Led Zeppelin, 1969) 18. “Celebration Day” (Led Zeppelin III, 1970) 17. “Achilles Last Stand” (Presence, 1976) 16. “In … Continue reading Led Zeppelin’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

That time Rickey Medlocke told me that the rebel flag was just a symbol of where Skynyrd came from

By Steve Newton Lynyrd Skynyrd doesn’t fly the rebel flag in concert anymore, from what I’ve heard. But back in 1997 they sure did. So when I interviewed guitarist Rickey Medlocke before a ’97 show in Vancouver I asked him if, from his Native American perspective, he found there to an intolerance among southern-rock fans … Continue reading That time Rickey Medlocke told me that the rebel flag was just a symbol of where Skynyrd came from

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton There might be a more impressive triple-threat musician–singer, songwriter, and guitarist–than John Fogerty. But I have no idea who it is. 20. “Long As I Can See the Light” (Cosmo’s Factory, 1970) 19. “Penthouse Pauper” (Bayou Country, 1969) 18. “Susie Q” (Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1968) 17. “Someday Never Comes” (Mardi Gras, 1971) … Continue reading Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

That time Joe Perry told me that Aerosmith’s best album, it’s Exile on Main Street, was yet to come

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Joe Perry four times so far, ’cause back when I was teenager in the ’70s, Aerosmith ruled. I went crazy for albums like Get Your Wings, Rocks, and Draw the Line. Our last chat was in September of 2010, which was long after I’d grown disenchanted with Aerosmith albums, which … Continue reading That time Joe Perry told me that Aerosmith’s best album, it’s Exile on Main Street, was yet to come

That time I took my nephew backstage for autographs on Mötley Crüe’s Theatre of Pain tour and naughty Nikki scribbled “do drugs”

bev davies photo By Steve Newton Way back in November of 1985 I took my nephew Jeff to see Mötley Crüe at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. It was the second big concert of his 15-year life, the first being Iron Maiden the previous year. I took him to that one too, thinking the more … Continue reading That time I took my nephew backstage for autographs on Mötley Crüe’s Theatre of Pain tour and naughty Nikki scribbled “do drugs”

That time I asked Slash if he was having more fun with Slash’s Snakepit than he was with GN’R

By Steve Newton When I interviewed American guitar hero Slash in April of 1995 he was playing with his own band, Slash’s Snakepit, which originally included two of his Guns N’ Roses bandmates—drummer Matt Sorum and guitarist Gilby Clarke—as well as Alice in Chains bassist Mike Inez and former Jellyfish member Eric Dover on lead … Continue reading That time I asked Slash if he was having more fun with Slash’s Snakepit than he was with GN’R