That time Jeff Beck told me that John McLaughlin was “the greatest player around”

me ‘n Jeff By Steve Newton In my 35 years of writing about rock musicians I’ve never been as psyched as I was back in January 2001 when I got the chance to interview Jeff Beck. He was heading to Vancouver for a rare club appearance at the historic Commodore Ballroom, and I contacted him in … Continue reading That time Jeff Beck told me that John McLaughlin was “the greatest player around”

Hangin’ with AC/DC on the Flick of the Switch tour while Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson talk Bon Scott

By Steve Newton I guess one of the cooler in-person interviews I’ve ever done was that time back in October of ’83 when I hung out with three members of AC/DC–singer Brian Johnson, rhythm-guitarist Malcolm Young, and then-new drummer Simon Wright–at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver. The Aussie earbusters were in town to launch … Continue reading Hangin’ with AC/DC on the Flick of the Switch tour while Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson talk Bon Scott

AC/DC’s Brian Johnson joked about hearing loss back in 1983

By Steve Newton The biggest news in the hard-rock world back in 2016 revolved around AC/DC having to hire Axl Rose to take the place of Brian Johnson for the remainder of its Rock or Bust World Tour. Johnson, the band’s singer since replacing Bon Scott in 1980, had to leave the band–or got tossed … Continue reading AC/DC’s Brian Johnson joked about hearing loss back in 1983

John Fogerty does things his own way on Blue Moon Swamp

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 21, 1997 By Steve Newton David Letterman has never been known to ask his musical guests to return the very next night after a Late Show appearance, but the gap-toothed TV talk-show host broke with tradition a couple of months back when he got John Fogerty to pull … Continue reading John Fogerty does things his own way on Blue Moon Swamp

Bob Dylan Blu-ray smokes with Johnny Winter, Neil Young & Tom Petty

By Steve Newton Back in October of ’92 a mindblowing array of the world’s top recording artists performed at New York’s Madison Square Garden for Bob Dylan’s 30th anniversary concert celebration, and this Tuesday (March 4) a deluxe edition of the concert is being released on CD, DVD and Blu-ray. I watched the Blu-ray this … Continue reading Bob Dylan Blu-ray smokes with Johnny Winter, Neil Young & Tom Petty

Fogerty and Mellencamp: the ultimate double bill

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 25, 2005 When you get two singers like John Mellencamp and John Fogerty on a double bill, you’ve gotta hope to hell that they’ll get together at some point during the show. Rock-star egos being what they are, such on-stage collaborations don’t always pan out, but the two Johns have … Continue reading Fogerty and Mellencamp: the ultimate double bill

John Fogerty stays true to his rock roots in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 8, 2009 It was quite a surprise to step into GM Place last for John Fogerty last night (June 7) and find that it was set up in “Pontiac Theatre” mode, where only a portion of the capacity is used. You’d think that a rocker of Fogerty’s stature would draw … Continue reading John Fogerty stays true to his rock roots in Vancouver

That time Steve Earle raved to me about the influence of Elvis and the generosity of Springsteen

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Steve Earle five times, ’cause he’s one of my favourite all-time songwriters. The first time was back in May of 1987, two weeks before the official release of his second album, Exit O. (“It’s Exit Zero”, he explained to me when I tried pronouncing it “Exit Oh”.) At one point … Continue reading That time Steve Earle raved to me about the influence of Elvis and the generosity of Springsteen

That time the Cadillac Tramps’ Gabby Gaborno told me that if he feels something he does it

By Steve Newton The Cadillac Tramps were one of the wildest live bands around in the early nineties. They were right up there with the Beat Farmers. Matter of fact, when I interviewed Tramps frontman Gabby Gaborno in November of 1991 the punk-rockers from Orange County, California were on tour opening for the Farmers. Now … Continue reading That time the Cadillac Tramps’ Gabby Gaborno told me that if he feels something he does it

That time drum great Terry Bozzio told me about auditioning for Thin Lizzy at Gary Moore’s request

By Steve Newton As anyone who’s read my stuff over the years will attest, I’m a huge Thin Lizzy fan. Anytime I get a chance to include a little tidbit about that band in my blogs I go for it. So the other day as I was digitizing my 2003 interview with drum great Terry … Continue reading That time drum great Terry Bozzio told me about auditioning for Thin Lizzy at Gary Moore’s request

That time Joe Satriani told me why Neil Young was such a great guitarist

By Steve Newton Back in 1990 I did the first of my eight interviews with American guitar wizard Joe Satriani. At the time Satch was touring behind his Flying in a Blue Dream album, which is one fine batch of tunes. At one point in the conversation I asked him about a quote in Kerrang! … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me why Neil Young was such a great guitarist

That time Deep Purple’s Roger Glover told me what Ritchie Blackmore was really like as a person

By Steve Newton I did my second interview with Roger Glover back in March of 1985, when Deep Purple’s “Mark II” lineup had reunited and the band was touring behind its Perfect Strangers album. At one point in the conversation I asked Glover about the band’s legendary guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore, and his reputation for being … Continue reading That time Deep Purple’s Roger Glover told me what Ritchie Blackmore was really like as a person

Powerage, the only AC/DC album better than Back in Black, was released 42 years and 81 days ago today

By Steve Newton There was a lotta fuss being made in the rock-music world recently, surrounding the fact that AC/DC’s Back in Black was released exactly 40 years ago today. But where was all the commotion two years and 81 days ago, on May 5, 2018, when Powerage hit the BIg Four-Oh? Now that was … Continue reading Powerage, the only AC/DC album better than Back in Black, was released 42 years and 81 days ago today

Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page, but Mick Fleetwood says “he was the guy”

Steve Newton Sad news for music fans today. Peter Green, the British guitarist who made a name for himself with his stunning work in the Bluesbreakers and Fleetwood Mac, has passed away at the age of 73. Long before the pop-minded duo of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham put their radio-friendly stamp on Fleetwood Mac, … Continue reading Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page, but Mick Fleetwood says “he was the guy”

That time I called up Albert Collins and asked what attracted him to the blues

By Steve Newton Sometimes when I’m feeling a little down, uncertain about the future, I like to go through my piles of interview cassettes, pick something out, and just listen to bits of conversations I had with legendary bluesmen decades ago. Fight the blues with the blues, I reckon. Here’s what it sounded like back … Continue reading That time I called up Albert Collins and asked what attracted him to the blues

That time Steve Hackett told me about hearing Queen’s demo tapes and thinking Genesis’ label should sign them

By Steve Newton Before Queen became one of the top rock bands on the planet, they were just another struggling band trying to score a record deal. That’s how Steve Hackett remembers it, anyway. When I interviewed the former Genesis guitarist back in 1993 I asked him about his relationship with Queen guitarist Brian May, … Continue reading That time Steve Hackett told me about hearing Queen’s demo tapes and thinking Genesis’ label should sign them

54-40 guitarist Dave Genn recalls his chance meeting with Stevie Ray Vaughan just weeks before his tragic death

By Steve Newton One of my favourite guitar-hero memories involves that time back in the early ’80s when I went backstage at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum and met Stevie Ray Vaughan. I’ll never forget it because he signed my vinyl copy of Texas Flood, and when I shook his hand it felt like a freakin’ vice! … Continue reading 54-40 guitarist Dave Genn recalls his chance meeting with Stevie Ray Vaughan just weeks before his tragic death

That time Randy Bachman told me what it felt like when the Guess Who’s “American Woman” hit number one

By Steve Newton Canadian rock legend Randy Bachman has accomplished a helluva lot in his musical career. For one thing, how many musicians can say that they’ve reached the top in two different bands? Before Bachman-Turner Overdrive was ruling the airwaves in the mid-seventies, he’d already hit the big time with the Guess Who, whose … Continue reading That time Randy Bachman told me what it felt like when the Guess Who’s “American Woman” hit number one

That time 24-year-old Grace Potter told me that she wasn’t too young to appreciate the Allman Brothers

By Steve Newton The first time I ever saw Grace Potter perform live I was blown away. Her band the Nocturnals opened for Gov’t Mule in Vancouver, and she joined the Mule on a killer version of “Honky Tonk Women”, displaying a whole lotta soul. A couple months later, in January of 2008, I interviewed … Continue reading That time 24-year-old Grace Potter told me that she wasn’t too young to appreciate the Allman Brothers

That time Zakk Wylde told me that he’d always be Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist

By Steve Newton If Randy Rhoads hadn’t died in that tragic plane crash in 1982, do you think he’d still be playing with Ozzy Osbourne? I kinda doubt it. He was so fiercely talented that I bet he would have left heavy-metal in the dust and moved on to creating adventurous, technically mind-boggling instrumental music … Continue reading That time Zakk Wylde told me that he’d always be Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist

That time Chris Cornell told me about the beauty of what it is that he gets to do

By Steve Newton Back in December of 2008 I did my one and only interview with Chris Cornell. At the time he was touring behind his solo album, Carry On, which I thought had some great songs. I was asking him about some of the lyrics from my fave track on the album, “Killing Birds”, … Continue reading That time Chris Cornell told me about the beauty of what it is that he gets to do

That time I asked Yngwie Malmsteen if he’d ever been tempted to “cheat” on the Strat

By Steve Newton Yngwie Malmsteen is synonymous with the Fender Stratocaster. Since the get-go he’s proclaimed the superiority of Leo Fender’s classy creation. He’s even gone so far as to compare the competition to “bad copies” and “furniture”. So when I interviewed him back in 2014 I asked him if he’d ever been tempted to … Continue reading That time I asked Yngwie Malmsteen if he’d ever been tempted to “cheat” on the Strat

That time Buddy Guy told me that he was a bluesman from his heart, as if I didn’t know

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Buddy Guy five times, because I freakin’ love Buddy Guy. The second time we chatted was in March of 1993, three weeks after the release of his Feels Like Rain album, which featured guest appearances by Bonnie Raitt, John Mayall, and Paul Rodgers. Rodgers performed on a version of the … Continue reading That time Buddy Guy told me that he was a bluesman from his heart, as if I didn’t know

That time Mick Mars told me that I might have to listen harder to hear the sex and violence on the Crue’s Theatre of Pain

By Steve Newton Back in November of 1985 I interviewed Motley Crue’s Mick Mars at a Vancouver hotel before the band performed on its Theatre of Pain tour. If anybody can remember that far back they may recall that that was the same month that the RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) agreed to put … Continue reading That time Mick Mars told me that I might have to listen harder to hear the sex and violence on the Crue’s Theatre of Pain

That time Autograph guitarist Steve Lynch told me about the crazy times touring with Van Halen

By Steve Newton Way the heck back in October of 1985 I interviewed Autograph guitarist Steve Lynch because his band was headed to Vancouver as opening act on Motley Crue‘s Theatre of Pain tour. Back then two-handed tapping was very popular among guitarists in hard rock and metal bands, and Lynch was among its top … Continue reading That time Autograph guitarist Steve Lynch told me about the crazy times touring with Van Halen

That time Steve Vai told me that he had to make Passion and Warfare when he did make Passion and Warfare

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Steve Vai, back in May of 1990, he was touring with Whitesnake while at the same time promoting his new solo album, Passion and Warfare. As he explained to me quite vehemently, it was the album that he had to make at that time. I … Continue reading That time Steve Vai told me that he had to make Passion and Warfare when he did make Passion and Warfare

That time Randy Hansen told me about exchanging ideas and creating animal sounds with Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Jimi Hendrix tribute artist Randy Hansen back in 2001 I learned that he had known Stevie Ray Vaughan quite well. I was cool to hear Hansen reminisce about Stevie Ray opening shows for him in Austin, Texas, and the two of them creating animal sounds on guitar. Have a … Continue reading That time Randy Hansen told me about exchanging ideas and creating animal sounds with Stevie Ray Vaughan