That time Vinnie Paul told me that the guy on the cover of Pantera’s new album got paid $300 for getting punched in the face

By Steve Newton I interviewed Pantera cofounder and drummer Vinnie Paul on February 20, 1992, five days before the release of the band’s sixth album, Vulgar Display of Power. The followup to its breakthrough Cowboys from Hell LP, VDOP featured a cover photo of some guy getting punched in the head, so when Vinnie called me … Continue reading That time Vinnie Paul told me that the guy on the cover of Pantera’s new album got paid $300 for getting punched in the face

Blues Traveler’s John Popper went from the Blues Brothers to Paul Butterfield to Elmore James to Hendrix

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 3, 1991 By Steve Newton If you were ever a big fan of the Blues Brothers, chances are you appreciate a few chuckles tossed in with your listening. Blues Traveler singer/harmonica player John Popper certainly does. In fact, it was his love of comedy that first got him … Continue reading Blues Traveler’s John Popper went from the Blues Brothers to Paul Butterfield to Elmore James to Hendrix

That time Gary Moore told me how he scored Peter Green’s ’59 Les Paul

By Steve Newton Gary Moore has been one of my fave guitarists ever since I heard him with Thin Lizzy back in the seventies. I then closely followed his hard-rock/metal solo career in the ’80s, before he got the blues bigtime in 1990. I was fortunate enough to have interviewed the legendary picker once, back in … Continue reading That time Gary Moore told me how he scored Peter Green’s ’59 Les Paul

Yngwie Malmsteen calls Ibanez guitars “a bad copy” of the Strat and says Les Pauls are “furniture”

By Steve Newton Back in 2014 I had a nice little chat with Swedish guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen, in advance of a Guitar Gods show in Vancouver. I mentioned that the last time I saw him live was on the G3 Tour at Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre in 2003 or something. We got to talking about his … Continue reading Yngwie Malmsteen calls Ibanez guitars “a bad copy” of the Strat and says Les Pauls are “furniture”

Pantera’s Vinnie Paul explains what makes Phil Anselmo so “Fucking Hostile” on Vulgar Display of Power

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 27, 1992 By Steve Newton Would you let somebody punch you in the face for 300 bucks? Considering that knuckle sandwiches sometimes come for free, 300 smackers might not sound too bad. Then again, it depends who’s on the other end of the fist. And whether or not … Continue reading Pantera’s Vinnie Paul explains what makes Phil Anselmo so “Fucking Hostile” on Vulgar Display of Power

The Payola$’ Paul Hyde talks coproducer Mick Ronson and rock idols Ian Hunter and Alex Harvey

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 17, 1984 By Steve Newton On the strength of their third album, Hammer on a Drum, Vancouver’s Payola$ have been nominated in nine categories of 1984’s CARAS -sponsored Tribute to West Coast Music. As well as Group of the Year and Album of the Year, the group has … Continue reading The Payola$’ Paul Hyde talks coproducer Mick Ronson and rock idols Ian Hunter and Alex Harvey

Thin Lizzy: A People’s History celebrates one of the greatest rock bands of all time

By Steve Newton British author and music historian Richard Houghton just sent me an autographed copy of his new hardcover book, Thin Lizzy: A People’s History, and man does it look awesome. I haven’t read it yet, but what I can tell you is that it brings together memories of that amazing band from hundreds … Continue reading Thin Lizzy: A People’s History celebrates one of the greatest rock bands of all time

That time I asked B.B. King what advice he had for young guitar players trying to learn the blues

bev davies photo By Steve Newton Back in January of 1984 I did my first interview with B.B. King. Man, was that a thrill. He was playing a string of shows at the Plazazz Showroom in North Vancouver, and I hung out with him in his hotel room before one of the gigs. As the … Continue reading That time I asked B.B. King what advice he had for young guitar players trying to learn the blues

That time John Cougar told me that he’d much rather be known as John Mellencamp

By Steve Newton In May of 1983 I did my first interview with John Mellencamp, or at least that’s who he wanted to be. Back then the heartland rocker was still known as John Cougar, and was riding high on the breakthrough success of his latest album, American Fool, which spent nine weeks at the … Continue reading That time John Cougar told me that he’d much rather be known as John Mellencamp

That time I asked Mick Mars if Mötley Crüe made enough money for Vince Neil to pay off his deadly drunk-driving fine

By Steve Newton Back in November of 1985 I sat down with Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars for an interview before the band played Vancouver on its Theatre of Pain tour. That was just two months after Crue singer Vince Neil had been sentenced to 30 days in jail (he served 19), five years’ probation, … Continue reading That time I asked Mick Mars if Mötley Crüe made enough money for Vince Neil to pay off his deadly drunk-driving fine

That time Joan Jett told me how she was inspired to write “Don’t Surrender” by actress Jill Ireland

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1992 I interviewed Joan Jett while she was promoting her latest album, Notorious. At one point in the conversation we started talking about potential singles on the album, which led to her explaining the inspiration for her latest video/single, “Don’t Surrender”. Turns out it was inspired by British … Continue reading That time Joan Jett told me how she was inspired to write “Don’t Surrender” by actress Jill Ireland

Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy freaks get a primo double-shot with new concert/documentary package

By Steve Newton Today I received a press release from Kayos Productions regarding an upcoming CD/DVD by one of my all-time favourite bands. The promo material started off like this: “With their driving hooks, twin lead guitars, lyrics saturated in working-class lore, and the charismatic presence of singer, songwriter, and bassist Phil Lynott, Thin Lizzy … Continue reading Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy freaks get a primo double-shot with new concert/documentary package

That time Bob Rock told me that Metallica never have and never will sell out

By Steve Newton Bob Rock is the famed producer best known for helming several Metallica albums, including their hugely popular Black Album of 1991. I’ve interviewed Rock a few times, both for his role as a producer and as a rockin’ guitarist in bands like the Payola$, Rock and Hyde, and Rockhead. Back in February of … Continue reading That time Bob Rock told me that Metallica never have and never will sell out

That time John Cougar told me that he was looking forward to the US Festival (but then he didn’t go)

By Steve Newton I interviewed John Mellencamp for the first time when he was still called John Cougar. Back in May of 1983 he was touring behind his latest album, American Fool, but for some reason the Vancouver show got canceled and the interview I did with him never ran. At one point in the … Continue reading That time John Cougar told me that he was looking forward to the US Festival (but then he didn’t go)

That time Cy Curnin of the Fixx told me about his love for Tina Turner

You’d smile if you were next to Tina too! By Steve Newton Way back in October of 1984 I interviewed Cy Curnin, lead vocalist for the Fixx. That was one year after the band released its most popular album, Reach the Beach, which went platinum in the States on the strength of hits like “Saved … Continue reading That time Cy Curnin of the Fixx told me about his love for Tina Turner

That time Styx guitarist James Young told me about getting drunk with Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott

By Steve Newton I remember buying the Styx album The Grand Illusion when it came out back in 1977, but they were never one of my favourite bands. I enjoyed a few of their more rockin’ tunes (“Too Much Time on My Hands”, “Blue Collar Man [Long Nights]”), but there was also something about them–a … Continue reading That time Styx guitarist James Young told me about getting drunk with Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott

That time blues legend Charlie Musselwhite told me what it was like moving to Chicago as a teen

By Steve Newton I interviewed Charlie Musselwhite, one of the greatest blues harpists of all time, on February 19, 2002. That was one week before the official release of Musselwhite’s 21st studio album, One Night in America–a fine platter that featured such ace guitarists as G.E. Smith, Robben Ford, and Marty Stuart–and exactly one month … Continue reading That time blues legend Charlie Musselwhite told me what it was like moving to Chicago as a teen

That time Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse thanked me for bringing up the topic of Hendrix

By Steve Newton The vast majority of my music interviews over the last 40 years were originally published in the Vancouver weekly, Georgia Straight, but I’ve also done some writing for other publications. Back in 1998 I interviewed guitar god Steve Morse–who’d been with Deep Purple for four years at that point–for Experience Hendrix, a … Continue reading That time Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse thanked me for bringing up the topic of Hendrix