Black Sabbath cancels Born Again show in Vancouver, Tony Iommi says “If I go deaf I go deaf”

By Steve Newton On January 19, 1984, Black Sabbath was scheduled to play the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. The British metal legends were touring behind their new album Born Again, their first and last one to feature Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan. Also in the lineup–though not on the album–was former Electric Light Orchestra drummer Bev Bevan. The show … Continue reading Black Sabbath cancels Born Again show in Vancouver, Tony Iommi says “If I go deaf I go deaf”

The Newt’s top 10 albums of 2013

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, Dr. John, Steve Winwood, Grace Potter, and West Van resident Elvis Costello. Black Sabbath 13 It was definitely a … Continue reading The Newt’s top 10 albums of 2013

Black Sabbath minus Bill Ward equals Bill Sabbath t-shirt

When word first went out in November of 2011 that Black Sabbath was getting back together for its first studio album since 1978–and a worldwide tour to boot–hard-rock fans far and wide rejoiced. I was among them. But the shine came off the project later on when it was revealed that, due to financial squabbles, … Continue reading Black Sabbath minus Bill Ward equals Bill Sabbath t-shirt

Remembering SRV

It was on August 27, 1990, that a helicopter crashed into a ski hill in heavy fog at Wisconsin’s Alpine Valley Resort, killing the pilot, three members of Eric Clapton’s entourage, and guitar hero Stevie Ray Vaughan. Vaughan had just finished performing in front of 30,000 fans, jamming with Clapton, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, and … Continue reading Remembering SRV

Black Sabbath’s Vancouver show ruled by monster riffs

photo by rebecca blissett ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 23, 2013 By Steve Newton Talk about a study in contrasts. Strolling past Science World on the way to see Black Sabbath last night, we happened upon quite an unusual sight. Hundreds of well-to-do-looking folk dressed all in white were converging on an area beside the … Continue reading Black Sabbath’s Vancouver show ruled by monster riffs

The Sabbath Time Machine

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 18, 2013 By Steve Newton Black Sabbath (without Bill Ward) isn’t giving any interviews in advance of its show at Rogers Arena this Thursday (Aug. 22), but that’s okay with me. It just gives me an excuse to crawl back into my ’70s time machine and reminisce, home movie-style, about what … Continue reading The Sabbath Time Machine

Jason Newsted’s brand of heavy metal is a gift for the headbanger set

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 25, 2013 By Steve Newton When a veteran rocker calls in the midst of doing a major North American tour, it’s pretty common for him to use terms like amazing and awesome in response to the journalist’s tried-and-true icebreaker: “So, how’s the tour going?” But when Jason Newsted rings in … Continue reading Jason Newsted’s brand of heavy metal is a gift for the headbanger set

Wylde-Man Guitarist Is Married With Children

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 28, 2005 By Steve Newton My earliest memory of drinkin’ beer goes back to when I was about seven or eight. Don’t panic, I wasn’t wasted. I just recall sampling the warm dregs of my dad’s Black Label stubby while watching an Original Six NHL game on the tube. It … Continue reading Wylde-Man Guitarist Is Married With Children

Dave Mustaine recalls how Black Sabbath was too heavy for him as a kid

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 7, 2007 By Steve Newton Heavy metal has seen a lot of changes since Megadeth delivered its thrashy debut album, Killing Is My Business.. And Business Is Good!, back in 1985. Nowadays it includes death metal, black metal, speed metal, thrash metal, power metal, pop metal, alternative metal, nu metal, … Continue reading Dave Mustaine recalls how Black Sabbath was too heavy for him as a kid

Tony Iommi on Heaven and Hell and how Frank Zappa always loved his “Supernaut” riff

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 7, 2007 By Steve Newton It’s somewhat ironic that Black Sabbath‘s 1978 album was titled Never Say Die, because that disc actually signalled the end of the group’s original lineup. After eight albums with Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, the metal pioneers gave him the boot, replacing him with Ronnie James … Continue reading Tony Iommi on Heaven and Hell and how Frank Zappa always loved his “Supernaut” riff

Black Sabbath comes to town as Heaven and Hell

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 14, 2007 When Black Sabbath came to town last Sunday—calling itself Heaven and Hell, I guess, to make sure no one expected Ozzy Osbourne to dodder onto the stage—it was the quartet’s first public performance in 14 years. More importantly, it was the group’s first Vancouver show in a quarter-century. … Continue reading Black Sabbath comes to town as Heaven and Hell

Black Label Society goes on a Wylde ride in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 18, 2009 Boy, those metal maniacs sure can market the goods. At its sold-out Commodore show last Monday (March 15), Los Angeles–based Black Label Society had a merch table set up that was pushing everything from licence-plate holders ($15) to drumsticks ($25 a pair), from tote-bag sets ($50) to “Brewtality” … Continue reading Black Label Society goes on a Wylde ride in Vancouver

Rob Zombie on horror movies, Alice Cooper, and the Gruesome Twosome Tour

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 28, 2010 By Steve Newton Alice Cooper is a born-again Christian and a staunch Republican. Rob Zombie most certainly is not. But that hasn’t stopped them from combining their passions for heavy music and the macabre in a shock-rock extravaganza called the Gruesome Twosome Tour. “We’ve known each other for … Continue reading Rob Zombie on horror movies, Alice Cooper, and the Gruesome Twosome Tour

Metal legend Ronnie James Dio dead at 67

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 16, 2010 Heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio, best known for his work with Rainbow and Black Sabbath, passed away today at the age of 67. He had been battling stomach cancer. His wife Wendy posted the following message on his web site. “Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed … Continue reading Metal legend Ronnie James Dio dead at 67

Passion for ear-busting metal still drives Halford

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 9, 2010 THAT ROB HALFORD guy really gets around. On October 12, when the first of the Chilean miners was being rescued after 69 days underground, the self-proclaimed “metal god” was in Japan, touring with his quintet Halford. “I had a couple of days off,” he recalls, on the line from … Continue reading Passion for ear-busting metal still drives Halford

Randy Rhoads’ bizarre death incomprehensible to a little kid

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 28, 2011 I was at the supermarket with my nine-year-old son Danny a couple of days ago, and we were hanging around in the magazine section, scanning for headlines on the latest video-game titles (“Whoa! Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2! Cool!”) when we came upon the latest issue of Guitar World magazine, … Continue reading Randy Rhoads’ bizarre death incomprehensible to a little kid

Glenn Tipton says Judas Priest was shocked by K.K. Downing’s departure

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 26, 2011 By Steve Newton When Judas Priest announced its final world tour last month headbangers far and wide, young and ancient, stained their black-leather pants with a torrent of tears. The British metal icons had been bringing the noise to its followers—off and (mostly) on—since 1969, traversing the globe … Continue reading Glenn Tipton says Judas Priest was shocked by K.K. Downing’s departure

Judas Priest goes out loud ‘n’ proud in Vancouver on final world tour

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 31, 2011 By Steve Newton There were a lot of empty seats at Rogers Arena last night (October 30)–including the entire top level–but that didn’t stop British heavy-metal legends Judas Priest from playing like it was their last gig ever in Vancouver. And it just might be. As guitarist Glenn Tipton … Continue reading Judas Priest goes out loud ‘n’ proud in Vancouver on final world tour

concert reviews

So, yeah, I’ve reviewed a few shows over the years. IRON MAIDEN at Rogers Arena, Sept. 3, 2019 SONNY LANDRETH at the Rio Theatre, Aug. 24, 2019 BAND OF FRIENDS at the Fox Cabaret, Dec. 18, 2018 ROGER WATERS at Rogers Arena, Oct. 28, 2017 GUNS N’ ROSES at BC Place Stadium, Sept. 1, 2017 THE … Continue reading concert reviews

interviews

Some of my interviews, arranged alphabetically, from AC/DC to ZZ Top AC/DC Malcolm Young & Brian Johnson, 1983 AEROSMITH Joe Perry, Sept. 2010 AEROSMITH Steven Tyler, 1997 AEROSMITH Joe Perry, 1997 AEROSMITH Tom Hamilton, 1994 AEROSMITH Joe Perry, 1988 AEROSMITH Tom Hamilton, 1983 TOMMY ALDRIDGE 2001 ALICE IN CHAINS Jerry Cantrell, 1991 ALL Bill Stevenson, 1993 … Continue reading interviews

covers

Why yes, I have done some covers during my 30-odd years in the journalistic trenches. Vancouver’s best newspaper, the Georgia Straight, has published about a dozen of them on local bands, record producers, and the local horror scene. Here’s a sampling. I very much enjoyed interviewing Vancouver music producer BRUCE FAIRBAIRN for this November 1998 … Continue reading covers

That time Tony Iommi told me about the “loon” who wanted to stab him onstage at a Black Sabbath show

By Steve Newton This is probly the last audio excerpt I’ll post from my 2007 interview with legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi. Maybe one day I’ll just post the whole damn conversation–and the one from 1984 as well. You’ll have to keep checking back to find out, I suppose. Anyway, this excerpt I thought was … Continue reading That time Tony Iommi told me about the “loon” who wanted to stab him onstage at a Black Sabbath show

That time Tony Iommi told me about the early rivalry between Black Sabbath and Deep Purple

By Steve Newton When I interviewed guitar legend Tony Iommi back in March of 2007 he was bringing his Ronnie James Dio-fronted version of Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell, to Vancouver for a show at the Pacific Coliseum with Megadeth and Down. At one point I asked Iommi whether he was a fan of Dio’s … Continue reading That time Tony Iommi told me about the early rivalry between Black Sabbath and Deep Purple

That time Tony Iommi told me about the guys from Black Sabbath blowing up singer Ian Gillan’s boat

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1984 I called Tony Iommi up for a chat at his home in Birmingham, England. I was pretty psyched, since Sabbath albums like Paranoid, Volume 4, and Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath had meant a lot to me as a metal-loving teenager in the ’70s, growing up in the wilds of … Continue reading That time Tony Iommi told me about the guys from Black Sabbath blowing up singer Ian Gillan’s boat

Fastway’s “Fast” Eddie Clarke on his days with Motorhead and not wanting to be a guitar hero

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 8, 1983 By Steve Newton Fastway, the new band put together by former Motorhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke and featuring original Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley, opened last Wednesday’s Iron Maiden concert at the Pacific Coliseum. I spoke to “Fast” Eddie that afternoon and caught a few glimpses … Continue reading Fastway’s “Fast” Eddie Clarke on his days with Motorhead and not wanting to be a guitar hero

Quireboys pride themselves on “proper” rock ‘n’ roll

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 19, 1990 By Steve Newton There are some bands out there that are just made to play in bars—they have that certain something that demands you sip a frosty cold one while wallowing in their raucous boogie noise. The Beat Farmers are one of those, the Georgia Satellites … Continue reading Quireboys pride themselves on “proper” rock ‘n’ roll

Horror review: My Soul to Take

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 12, 2010 For his latest horror outing, writer-director Wes Craven tried to inject elements from his two best slasher flicks, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, but something went terribly wrong along the way. What he wound up with was a witless stab-the-teen time-waster that could be his worst film ever. And … Continue reading Horror review: My Soul to Take