That time I asked Randy Hansen what he thought was so great about Hendrix when he first heard him

By Steve Newton Few guitar players have proven as influential as Jimi Hendrix. As the years go passing by, the rock legend’s influence just keeps growing and growing. Back in 2001 I interviewed Randy Hansen, the world’s best-known Hendrix tribute artist, and at one point I asked him what he thought was so great about … Continue reading That time I asked Randy Hansen what he thought was so great about Hendrix when he first heard him

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

That time Randy Hansen told me about recording his atmospheric, Hendrix-style guitar parts for Apocalypse Now

By Steve Newton Back in August of 2001 I interviewed Jimi Hendrix tribute artist Randy Hansen because he was coming up from Seattle for a gig at a Vancouver club. This was right around the time that Apocalypse Now Redux, an extended version of Francis Ford Coppola’s epic 1979 Vietnam war movie, was being released. … Continue reading That time Randy Hansen told me about recording his atmospheric, Hendrix-style guitar parts for Apocalypse Now

That time Randy Hansen told me that everything became clear to him when he first heard Jimi Hendrix

By Steve Newton If there ever were a guitarist who deserved being paid tribute to, it’s Jimi Hendrix. Randy Hansen has been doing just that for decades now, and few Hendrix aficionados have complained. I interviewed Hansen back in August of 2001, and he told me about the first time he heard his idol. Have … Continue reading That time Randy Hansen told me that everything became clear to him when he first heard Jimi Hendrix

Randy Hansen was baptized by the rain dripping off Jimi Hendrix’s boots

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 16, 2001 By Steve Newton Randy Hansen has been immersing himself in the music of Jimi Hendrix since 1967, when an older acquaintance tipped him off about this amazing guitarist who had just played the Monterey Pop Festival. Taking this fellow’s advice, Hansen went out and bought the … Continue reading Randy Hansen was baptized by the rain dripping off Jimi Hendrix’s boots

That time David Johansen of the New York Dolls told me my son was gonna need a shrink

By Steve Newton When I heard the sad news that original New York Dolls guitarist Syl Sylvain had died of cancer three days ago, it made me remember how much I adored the Dolls as a teenager in the seventies. It also got me thinking about any New York Dolls interviews I might have done … Continue reading That time David Johansen of the New York Dolls told me my son was gonna need a shrink

Ten weeks after Randy Rhoads’ death Ozzy told me that the fallen guitar hero could do anything

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Ozzy Osbourne in early June of 1982, ten weeks after his beloved guitarist, Randy Rhoads, perished in a fiery plane crash at the age of 25. No wonder he sounded bummed out. Rhoads’ place on the Diary of a Madman Tour had been taken first by … Continue reading Ten weeks after Randy Rhoads’ death Ozzy told me that the fallen guitar hero could do anything

That time Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman told me about creating the riff for “American Woman”

By Steve Newton Canada doesn’t seem to have an overabundance of rock-guitar heroes. Sure, you’ve got your Lenny Breau when it comes to jazz, and your Jeff Healey if you’re talkin’ blues. But when it comes to Canadian rock-guitar heroes, I can’t think of tons. Alex Lifeson, Kim Mitchell… Obviously Neil Young, but isn’t he … Continue reading That time Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman told me about creating the riff for “American Woman”

That time I asked Jake E. Lee if there was much pressure taking over Randy Rhoads’ spot with Ozzy

By Steve Newton Way back in April of 1992 I interviewed Jake E. Lee in advance of a Vancouver show by his group Badlands, which was touring behind its second album, Voodoo Highway. At one point in the interview I started asking Jake about his time with Ozzy Osbourne, which led to me wondering if … Continue reading That time I asked Jake E. Lee if there was much pressure taking over Randy Rhoads’ spot with Ozzy

That time Tommy Aldridge told me that Randy Rhoads was the most talented guitarist he ever played with

By Steve Newton Drum legend Tommy Aldridge has played with some of the greatest rock guitarists of all time: Gary Moore, Steve Vai, Randy Rhoads, Pat Travers, Tony MacAlpine, Scott Gorham, John Sykes. Heck, even his first band of note, Black Oak Arkansas, featured some pretty heavy-duty pickers. When I interviewed Aldridge back in 2001 … Continue reading That time Tommy Aldridge told me that Randy Rhoads was the most talented guitarist he ever played with

Album review: Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads, Tribute (1987)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 5, 1987 By Steve Newton Everybody has their favourite rock guitarists. “Hendrix,” scream some, “Jimi Hendrix rules!” “Page is king,” others argue. “Clapton is God,” says the next person. And then there are people who bow down before Jeff Beck. Me, I’m a Randy Rhoads kinda guy. I … Continue reading Album review: Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads, Tribute (1987)

Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s Randy Bachman once tried paying a surprise visit to Stephen King

By Steve Newton Hardcore fans of Stephen King are aware that he used the pen name Richard Bachman for a number of his early novels because he was a huge fan of Bachman-Turner Overdrive. But not many BTO fans know that the band’s founding guitarist, Randy Bachman, once went looking for King in the horror … Continue reading Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s Randy Bachman once tried paying a surprise visit to Stephen King

Triumph’s Rik Emmett on the merits of the power trio and his secret song for Randy Rhoads

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 11, 1983 By Steve Newton Triumph’s Rik Emmett is a man of many moods on guitar. Though best known for supplying the driving rhythms and rapid-fire leads that are trademarks of his group’s two-fisted sound, Emmett never hesitates delving into the subtle and contemplative realms of classical and jazz … Continue reading Triumph’s Rik Emmett on the merits of the power trio and his secret song for Randy Rhoads

Thin Lizzy: A People’s History celebrates one of the greatest rock bands of all time

By Steve Newton British author and music historian Richard Houghton just sent me an autographed copy of his new hardcover book, Thin Lizzy: A People’s History, and man does it look awesome. I haven’t read it yet, but what I can tell you is that it brings together memories of that amazing band from hundreds … Continue reading Thin Lizzy: A People’s History celebrates one of the greatest rock bands of all time

That time I asked B.B. King what advice he had for young guitar players trying to learn the blues

bev davies photo By Steve Newton Back in January of 1984 I did my first interview with B.B. King. Man, was that a thrill. He was playing a string of shows at the Plazazz Showroom in North Vancouver, and I hung out with him in his hotel room before one of the gigs. As the … Continue reading That time I asked B.B. King what advice he had for young guitar players trying to learn the blues

That time John Cougar told me that he’d much rather be known as John Mellencamp

By Steve Newton In May of 1983 I did my first interview with John Mellencamp, or at least that’s who he wanted to be. Back then the heartland rocker was still known as John Cougar, and was riding high on the breakthrough success of his latest album, American Fool, which spent nine weeks at the … Continue reading That time John Cougar told me that he’d much rather be known as John Mellencamp

That time I asked Mick Mars if Mötley Crüe made enough money for Vince Neil to pay off his deadly drunk-driving fine

By Steve Newton Back in November of 1985 I sat down with Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars for an interview before the band played Vancouver on its Theatre of Pain tour. That was just two months after Crue singer Vince Neil had been sentenced to 30 days in jail (he served 19), five years’ probation, … Continue reading That time I asked Mick Mars if Mötley Crüe made enough money for Vince Neil to pay off his deadly drunk-driving fine

Sean Costello played lead guitar on Susan Tedeschi’s debut album while still in high school

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 4, 2007 By Steve Newton The world is full of wicked blues guitarists, but few are as downright tasty as 26-year-old Sean Costello. He started playing at the age of nine, shortly after moving from Philadelphia to Atlanta, absorbing the skills of the sharpest pickers around. “Hubert Sumlin … Continue reading Sean Costello played lead guitar on Susan Tedeschi’s debut album while still in high school