Dave Mustaine says Brad Gillis butchered Randy Rhoads’ solos with Ozzy

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 25, 2004 By Steve Newton Megadeth fans who favour the band’s early work were no doubt pleased to see that original member Chris Poland rejoined fellow guitarist (and bandleader) Dave Mustaine for the group’s latest CD, The System Has Failed. But anyone expecting to see Poland in the lineup when Megadeth … Continue reading Dave Mustaine says Brad Gillis butchered Randy Rhoads’ solos with Ozzy

That time Zakk Wylde told me what he really thought of Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, and Tony Iommi

By Steve Newton Whether you think Ozzy Osbourne is a genius or not, ya gotta admit that he’s a mastermind when it comes to finding killer guitarists. Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, Zakk Wylde–those are some pretty smokin’ pickers. When I interviewed 27-year-old Wylde back in 1994 I asked him what he thought … Continue reading That time Zakk Wylde told me what he really thought of Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, and Tony Iommi

That time Zakk Wylde told me about jamming with Skynyrd and covering for Dickey Betts in the Allmans

By Steve Newton Zakk Wylde may be best known as the guitarist and songwriter who took over from Jake E. Lee to help Ozzy Osbourne stay on the charts with tunes like “No More Tears” and “Perry Mason”, but southern-rock fans also know him as the frontman in the power trio Pride & Glory, which was … Continue reading That time Zakk Wylde told me about jamming with Skynyrd and covering for Dickey Betts in the Allmans

Newt’s 30 best rock albums of the decade, 2010-2019

By Steve Newton 30. Soundgarden King Animal (2012) The classic Soundgarden lineup of singer Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Ben Shepherd, and drummer Matt Cameron releases its first album in 16 years, and it sounds like it’s never been gone. The raging, three-minute “Attrition” might be the best damn rock tune of the year. 29. … Continue reading Newt’s 30 best rock albums of the decade, 2010-2019

That time Lemmy from Motörhead told me that Randy Rhoads became much better after he died

By Steve Newton I got to interview rock legend Lemmy Kilmister a couple of times, first in April of 1999 and then again in the following century, in May of 2002. During that ’99 chat I mentioned how I’d first seen Motörhead back in 1983, when they opened for Ozzy Osbourne on the Blizzard of Oz tour … Continue reading That time Lemmy from Motörhead told me that Randy Rhoads became much better after he died

Scorpions’ Klaus Meine talks Monsters of Rock, Savage Amusement, and conquering Russia

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 22, 1988 By Steve Newton It’s being billed as Van Halen’s Monsters of Rock. Fine and dandy. But if it weren’t for “special guests” Scorpions, the five-band rock show that hits Seattle this Wednesday (July 27) wouldn’t be nearly as monstrous. With such mediocre acts as Dokken and … Continue reading Scorpions’ Klaus Meine talks Monsters of Rock, Savage Amusement, and conquering Russia

Album review: Various Artists, Axe Masters–Legends of Rock Guitar

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 19, 1985 By Steve Newton Now this is more like it–heavy metal with class. But then any album that features the playing of metal martyr Randy Rhoads can’t lose. Rhoads is included via Ozzy Osbourne’s first solo hit “Crazy Train”. And he’s in good company. “Axe masters” K.K Downing … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, Axe Masters–Legends of Rock Guitar

Joe Perry says that Aerosmith is playing “wicked tight” after its Permanent Vacation

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 15, 1988 By Steve Newton “If you grew up in the ’70s you liked Aerosmith.” That’s what R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck wrote in the liner notes to his group’s version of Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic” on the Dead Letter Office album. And he knew what he was talking … Continue reading Joe Perry says that Aerosmith is playing “wicked tight” after its Permanent Vacation

Album review: Black Sabbath, Past Lives (2002)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 10, 2002 By Steve Newton I like collecting guitar picks. Whenever I’m near the stage and some six-string legend tosses out one of those wee plastic nubs, I’ll do what it takes to nab it. My most highly prized catch is a plain orange Ronnie Montrose pick … Continue reading Album review: Black Sabbath, Past Lives (2002)

Album review: Various Artists, Dragon Attack: A Tribute to Queen (1997)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 5, 1997 By Steve Newton The folks behind previous Jeff Beck, Ace Frehley, and Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute CDs deliver a fourth laudatory project, which pays its respects to the estimable Queen catalogue while allowing an all-star lineup of hard-rock guitarists to get their fret-hopping jollies. The list … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, Dragon Attack: A Tribute to Queen (1997)

Wicked Whitesnake blows corny Crue off the stage in Vancouver

chris cameron photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 23, 1987 By Steve Newton A healthy-sized crowd of 12,000 packed the Pacific Coliseum last Friday (October 16) for a Motley Crue concert, but for a lot of people the main attraction was Whitesnake, the group that has lately taken over from Bon Jovi as the most … Continue reading Wicked Whitesnake blows corny Crue off the stage in Vancouver

My 50 fave Vancouver concerts of all time (so far)

By Steve Newton In celebration of the Georgia Straight turning 50 this year, I figured I’d offer a roundup of the 50 top Vancouver concerts I’ve reviewed while writing for the paper since 1982. Maybe you made it out to a couple yourself! Although I doubt you weaseled your way backstage at the Orpheum in ’93 to … Continue reading My 50 fave Vancouver concerts of all time (so far)

album reviews

Aerosmith: Honkin’ on Bobo (2004) Eric Clapton: Me and Mr. Johnson (2004) Jimi Hendrix: Axis Outtakes (2003) ZZ Top: Mescalero (2003) Nickelback: The Long Road (2003) Joe Jackson Band: Volume 4 (2003) Led Zeppelin: How the West Was Won (2003) Yardbirds: Birdland (2003) Jimmy Thackery: Guitar (2003) Various Artists: We’re a Happy Family, A Tribute … Continue reading album reviews

Jon Bon Jovi talks strippers, scenery, and hype as Slippery When Wet tops the charts

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 26, 1987 By Steve Newton Talk about moving up in the world! It was a little more than a year ago that New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi played the now-defunct Embassy on Davie. They were in town recording their Slippery When Wet album, and they wanted to see … Continue reading Jon Bon Jovi talks strippers, scenery, and hype as Slippery When Wet tops the charts

Alice Cooper talks heavy metal, sleazy horror, and getting back in the game with Constrictor

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 7, 1986 By Steve Newton Alice Cooper’s early ’70s rock anthems captured my imagination as a teenager, and have stayed with me ever since. Not only was his image so horrifically new and different, what with the ghoulish makeup, wild costumes, and weird props–but his songs … Continue reading Alice Cooper talks heavy metal, sleazy horror, and getting back in the game with Constrictor

That time I asked Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi if music was just better in the seventies

By Steve Newton When I interviewed legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi in 2007 he had recently reunited with Ronnie James Dio for a tour under the band name Heaven and Hell, which was used to differentiate it from the Ozzy Osbourne-fronted version of Sabbath. At the time there were a few other big reunion … Continue reading That time I asked Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi if music was just better in the seventies

Jon Bon Jovi in 1986: “As long as there’s a plug, we’ll plug it in.”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 11, 1986 By Steve Newton When New York rockers Bon Jovi flew into Vancouver to record their third album, it didn’t take long for them to become attached to the place. “The first night we got there we were into the Embassy and the Metro,” says singer Jon … Continue reading Jon Bon Jovi in 1986: “As long as there’s a plug, we’ll plug it in.”

Rudy Sarzo recalls the buzz of Quiet Riot opening Heavy Metal Day at the US Festival in ’83

By Steve Newton As I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago, I got to interview hard rock/metal bass god Rudy Sarzo in Vancouver back in August of 1983. That was less than three months after Sarzo’s band, Quiet Riot, had opened Heavy Metal Day at the US Festival, one of the biggest outdoor … Continue reading Rudy Sarzo recalls the buzz of Quiet Riot opening Heavy Metal Day at the US Festival in ’83

Black Sabbath gets all Paranoid at final Vancouver gig

By Steve Newton Every Black Sabbath freak has his fave Sabbath album. I for one have long trumpeted the supreme awesomeness of 1975’s Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath. Others point to the band’s spooky self-titled debut of 1970 as its pinnacle achievement. But most of the Sabbath fans I’ve encountered tend to regard Paranoid–also released in 1970–as the heavy-metal … Continue reading Black Sabbath gets all Paranoid at final Vancouver gig

Even the kids in Def Leppard can’t make Uriah Heep feel old

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 15, 1983 By Steve Newton Next Wednesday (July 20) at the Pacific Coliseum original Heepsters Mick Box and Lee Kerslake on guitar and drums will be joined by bassist Trevor Bolder, keyboardist John Sinclair, and singer Peter Goalby to give us Uriah Heep ’80s-style. Performing material from their … Continue reading Even the kids in Def Leppard can’t make Uriah Heep feel old

Vancouver rockers, radio hosts, and record-store owners reflect on the power of Black Sabbath

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 15, 1999 By Steve Newton Because of its brutal sound and satanic overtones, Black Sabbath was never as widely accepted as the Beatles or the Stones, but its influence among rock fans is incredibly far-reaching. We asked a few local hard-rock aficionados and musicians to divulge their fondest … Continue reading Vancouver rockers, radio hosts, and record-store owners reflect on the power of Black Sabbath

Metal world mourns death of Motörhead mainman Lemmy Kilmister

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT. COM, DEC. 28, 2015 By Steve Newton The heavy-metal world is in mourning tonight as one of its most beloved figures has passed away. Lemmy Kilmister, singer-bassist and principal songwriter for legendary metal act Motörhead, died at his home in L.A. today, just days after being diagnosed with an extremely aggressive … Continue reading Metal world mourns death of Motörhead mainman Lemmy Kilmister

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2013

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 11, 2013 By Steve Newton Whatever happened to the Gangnam style? Gov’t Mule Shout!  Mule fans got a double dose of their favourite southern-flavoured blues/jam-rock outfit this time around, as all 11 tracks on Shout! were rerecorded on a second disc with a stellar cast of guest singers, including Ben Harper, … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2013

Ronnie James Dio: the Lost Interview of 1985, an Ear of Newt exclusive

By Steve Newton On December 20, 1985, Ronnie James Dio called me up at home and we chatted for 20 minutes or so. How cool was that? The legendary heavy-metal artist was doing press promoting his Sacred Heart tour, which was scheduled to play Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum on December 28, with guest Yngwie Malmsteen. We talked … Continue reading Ronnie James Dio: the Lost Interview of 1985, an Ear of Newt exclusive

My first-ever Judas Priest interview: Screaming for Vengeance Tour, 1982

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 5, 1982 By Steve Newton If there ever was a music devised to torture grandmothers, it would probably sound a lot like Judas Priest, a band that fuses the meanest of lyrics and nastiest of guitar sounds to create what can only be described as raunch. Though more … Continue reading My first-ever Judas Priest interview: Screaming for Vengeance Tour, 1982

Judas Priest’s Rob Halford calls “Black Sabbath” the most evil song that’s ever been written

By Steve Newton I was interviewing Rob Halford yesterday in advance of Judas Priest’s two shows at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver this month and, as old-school rockheads will do, we got to talkin’ Sabbath. I’d known that Halford had sang with the metal legends three times–twice covering for Ronnie James Dio, and once for … Continue reading Judas Priest’s Rob Halford calls “Black Sabbath” the most evil song that’s ever been written

Kick Axe feels that if you can make metal work in Vancouver, you can make it work anywhere

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 15, 1983 By Steve Newton “If people can look at a band, “say Kick Axe guitarist Larry Gillstrom, “and see that everybody’s coming from the same direction and are together on it, then I think they can relate to it a lot better. At least that’s what we noticed … Continue reading Kick Axe feels that if you can make metal work in Vancouver, you can make it work anywhere