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

That time Lars Ulrich told me that Metallica just wasn’t a let’s-sit-around-and-drink-beers-all-day-with-the-support-act type of band

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich four times because, hey, the guy likes to talk. The last time was back in August of 1998, when his band was touring behind its Reload album. Two years earlier Metallica had headlined Lollapalooza, sharing the stage with the likes of Soundgarden, the Ramones, Rancid, and … Continue reading That time Lars Ulrich told me that Metallica just wasn’t a let’s-sit-around-and-drink-beers-all-day-with-the-support-act type of band

That time Tinsley Ellis told me that it was a dream come true playing with keyboard legend Chuck Leavell

Ellis playing with Leavell in 2016 By Steve Newton Back in March of 1992 I did my first interview with Atlanta blues-rocker Tinsley Ellis, who was touring behind his third album, Trouble Time. One of the attractions of the album–apart from Ellis’s smokin’ guitarwork–was the keyboard wizardry of one Chuck Leavell. (As you may recall, … Continue reading That time Tinsley Ellis told me that it was a dream come true playing with keyboard legend Chuck Leavell

That time Matt Minglewood told me that MacLean & MacLean were good people

By Steve Newton Back in the early ’80s I used to laugh my ass off to the comedy stylings of the Canadian musical-comedy duo MacLean & MacLean. They were rude ‘n’ crude and downright hilarious at times. They were comically abusing the F-word long before the Trailer Park Boys made a career out of it. … Continue reading That time Matt Minglewood told me that MacLean & MacLean were good people

Rik Emmett ponders the pros and cons of heavy metal while Triumph tours behind Thunder Seven

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 15, 1985 By Steve Newton Canadian power trio Triumph will be headlining at the Pacific Coliseum tomorrow (Saturday) night with Australia’s Angel City, in what promises to be an evening of intense, thundering rock and roll. Mssrs. Rik Emmett (guitar), Mike Levine (bass), and Gil Moore (drums) are … Continue reading Rik Emmett ponders the pros and cons of heavy metal while Triumph tours behind Thunder Seven

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

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