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 the Cult’s Billy Duffy told me that Thin Lizzy was his number-one “teenie band”, and that it all boils down to the Les Paul

By Steve Newton Way back on April 7 of 1989 I interviewed the Cult guitarist Billy Duffy. That was three days before the band released its fourth album, the Bob Rock-produced Sonic Temple, which would go platinum on the strength of tunes like “Fire Woman”, “Sweet Soul Sister”, and “Edie (Ciao Baby)”. At one point … Continue reading That time the Cult’s Billy Duffy told me that Thin Lizzy was his number-one “teenie band”, and that it all boils down to the Les Paul

That time Jason Isbell told me he was in a Ford Econoline E350 van and his band cracked up at that

FSimani photo By Steve Newton The Drive-By Truckers are probably my favourite band right now. They were also my favourite band back when Jason Isbell was in the lineup. I did my first interview with him in 2007, after he’d left the DBTs and was promoting his debut solo album, Sirens of the Ditch. I … Continue reading That time Jason Isbell told me he was in a Ford Econoline E350 van and his band cracked up at that

That time Alice Cooper told me that he would blow “clone bands” like Ratt and Mötley Crüe off the stage

me ‘n the coop. @shotbykevin By Steve Newton When I was a teenager in the early ’70s, Alice Cooper was god. I couldn’t get enough of his nasty image and the killer guitar-rock on albums Love It to Death, Killer, School’s Out, Billion Dollar Babies, and Muscle of Love. I lost interest somewhat after he … Continue reading That time Alice Cooper told me that he would blow “clone bands” like Ratt and Mötley Crüe off the stage

That time Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell told me how he got into Tom Petty’s band

By Steve Newton Tom Petty is one of my favourite rockers, and I’m really bummed that I never got to interview him. But I did get to do the next best thing, which was chat with his forever guitarist, Mike Campbell. I interviewed Campbell in August of 1999, before Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played … Continue reading That time Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell told me how he got into Tom Petty’s band

That time Allan Holdsworth told me that a lotta people love the things that he hates…like his old band U.K.

By Steve Newton I’d been wondering which of my hundreds of old interviews I should digitize next when I realized that the one with guitar legend Allan Holdsworth from 1983 should take precedence, because apparently cassette tapes don’t last forever and can deteriorate. Luckily the damn thing still works. Thank you Maxell. When I did … Continue reading That time Allan Holdsworth told me that a lotta people love the things that he hates…like his old band U.K.

That time John Mayall told me that his Bluesbreakers of 1988 were the best band he ever had

By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed blues legend John Mayall was in December of 1988, shortly after he’d released his Chicago Line album, which featured smokin’ guitarists Walter Trout and Carlos Montoya. Mayall has always surrounded himself with the finest pickers–including guys like Mick Taylor, Eric Clapton, and Peter Green–so at one point … Continue reading That time John Mayall told me that his Bluesbreakers of 1988 were the best band he ever had

Iron Maiden was the world’s best metal band in Vancouver last night

all photos by Jeff Sutherland By Steve Newton Your first concert is a big deal–or that’s what my nephew Jeff says, anyway. Thirty-five years ago I took him to his very first rock show, at the Pacific Coliseum. It was Iron Maiden on the Powerslave tour. He was 14. It ruled. Last night (Sept. 3) … Continue reading Iron Maiden was the world’s best metal band in Vancouver last night

That time I asked 28-year-old Susan Tedeschi if she had a favourite tune on Just Won’t Burn

By Steve Newton I love listening to Susan Tedeschi sing and play guitar. I mean, who doesn’t? I love interviewing her too, because she’s not just a wicked musician, but a total sweetie as well. The first time I chatted with her was back in 1998, when she was just 28, and touring behind her … Continue reading That time I asked 28-year-old Susan Tedeschi if she had a favourite tune on Just Won’t Burn

That time I called Susan Tedeschi to talk about Just Won’t Burn and her mom said she was in the tub

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Susan Tedeschi in November of 1998, just eight months before she met husband-to-be Derek Trucks while opening for the Allman Brothers and they started the relationship that would result in two beautiful kids and the formation of the equally stunning Tedeschi Trucks Band. At the time … Continue reading That time I called Susan Tedeschi to talk about Just Won’t Burn and her mom said she was in the tub

That time Dickey Betts told me why he got kicked out of the Allman Brothers Band

By Steve Newton I did my fourth interview with guitar legend Dickey Betts in August of 2001, when he was touring with the Dickey Betts Band in support of their new album Let’s Get Together. A little over a year earlier he’d been fired by fax by the Allman Brothers, who he’d cofounded back in … Continue reading That time Dickey Betts told me why he got kicked out of the Allman Brothers Band

That time I asked Dickey Betts what Allman Brothers tunes he was playing with his own band

By Steve Newton Back in 2001 I did my fourth interview with Dickey Betts, one of my fave pickers ever. At the time he was touring with the Dickey Betts Band, which had recently released its Let’s Get Together album, the one where Dickey wore an Allen Woody t-shirt for the cover photo. At one … Continue reading That time I asked Dickey Betts what Allman Brothers tunes he was playing with his own band

Georgia Satellites, the Newt’s fave bar band in 1988, play bits of “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll”, but he likes it

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 5, 1988 By Steve Newton There’s nothing quite like your favourite bar band in your favourite bar to bring a tired body back to life. After a long haul to Seattle last week to check out the Monsters of Rock show at the Kingdome, I was pretty tired, … Continue reading Georgia Satellites, the Newt’s fave bar band in 1988, play bits of “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll”, but he likes it

Jeff Healey on playing a bar-band guitarist in Roadhouse and “marvellous” star Patrick Swayze

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 1, 1988 By Steve Newton Patrick Swayze may be one of the sexiest movie stars around today, but he can’t play mean blues guitar. Jeff Healey might not be your typical matinee idol, but he can play mean blues guitar–as anyone at the Town Pump will discover this … Continue reading Jeff Healey on playing a bar-band guitarist in Roadhouse and “marvellous” star Patrick Swayze

Midnight Oil proves itself a kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll band that counts on the Diesel and Dust tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 29, 1988 By Steve Newton At Midnight Oil’s press conference the day of their April 22 show the band’s drummer (and one of the major songwriters) Rob Hirst was asked about the group’s preoccupation with political themes. Hirst acknowledged the political side of the band, but also pointed out … Continue reading Midnight Oil proves itself a kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll band that counts on the Diesel and Dust tour

Warren Haynes says that playing guitar with Derek Trucks comes naturally, “like drinkin’ water”

kirk west photo By Steve Newton I love talking to Warren Haynes. Apart from being one of my fave guitarists, he’s just such a cool, cool guy. I did my sixth interview with Haynes in 2017, when Gov’t Mule was playing a show at Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre. At one point in the interview I had … Continue reading Warren Haynes says that playing guitar with Derek Trucks comes naturally, “like drinkin’ water”

Warren Haynes says he’s open to playing with former Allman Brothers bandmate Dickey Betts again

kirk west photo By Steve Newton Warren Haynes is one of my alltime favourite guitarists, singers, and songwriters, so any chance I get to interview him I take. I’ve chatted with him five times for stories on Gov’t Mule, and once–back in 1994–when he was speaking as a member of the fabled Allman Brothers Band. … Continue reading Warren Haynes says he’s open to playing with former Allman Brothers bandmate Dickey Betts again