Rock Hall finally inducts Deep Purple; could Rory, Link, Johnny, and Maiden be far behind?

By Steve Newton Well, those bozos down at the highly slaggable Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally came to their senses. Twenty-two years after it first became eligible for induction, legendary British hard-rockers Deep Purple finally gained admittance into the Cleveland institution’s hallowed halls. I guess the powers-that-be finally broke down and played Machine Head … Continue reading Rock Hall finally inducts Deep Purple; could Rory, Link, Johnny, and Maiden be far behind?

Graveyard has nothing to do with death (metal)

By Steve Newton When your band is called Graveyard, it’s no surprise that you sometimes get pegged as yet another grinding death-metal act. According to Graveyard frontman Joakim Nilsson, it happens quite a bit. “Yeah, we hear that a lot,” says the 37-year-old singer-guitarist, on the line from his home outside Gothenburg, Sweden. “But I … Continue reading Graveyard has nothing to do with death (metal)

Rock Hall proves worthless yet again, overlooks Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher, and Link Wray

By Steve Newton The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominated 15 artists for induction today, but neither Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, nor Link Wray were among them. Instead, Jan Wenner and his tonedeaf buddies chose such legendary rockers as the Spinners, Janet Jackson, the J.B.’s, and Chic. Janet Jackson instead of Johnny Winter? Chic instead … Continue reading Rock Hall proves worthless yet again, overlooks Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher, and Link Wray

Guitarists from Exodus, Exciter, and Metal Church weigh in on the heaviness of metal in 1985

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 2, 1985 By Steve Newton Blue Oyster Cult‘s Tyranny and Mutation. Aerosmith‘s Rocks. UFO’s Phenomenon. The Montrose debut. Back in the early to mid-’70s those albums forged a sound that critic Lester Bangs called “heavy metal”. They were dynamic and forceful, fast, loud, and proud. The bands that … Continue reading Guitarists from Exodus, Exciter, and Metal Church weigh in on the heaviness of metal in 1985

Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Deep Purple, Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, Iron Maiden, and Link Wray

By Steve Newton Okay, it has finally come to this. After years of slagging the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for its inconceivable ignorance of the best rock music from the past, I’ve gone ahead and established my own institution to pay tribute to the stellar artists the RRHOF deems unworthy. Based somewhere near … Continue reading Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Deep Purple, Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, Iron Maiden, and Link Wray

Iron Maiden’s Clive Burr on Martin Birch, Ruddles, and The Number of the Beast

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 9, 1982 By Steve Newton Iron Maiden is quickly becoming one of Britain’s most popular metal bands. Last year the band sold well over a million albums with their second release, Killers, cracking the top ten in the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and Belgium. Their latest album, … Continue reading Iron Maiden’s Clive Burr on Martin Birch, Ruddles, and The Number of the Beast

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

Scorpions inflict deadliest sting yet as guitarist Matthias Jabs helps cause a Blackout

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 16, 1982 By Steve Newton It’s a hard road, and often a long one, that leads to success in the world of heavy metal. With the exception of a few bands that luck out on their debut recordings because radio is good to them, most hard rockers fight … Continue reading Scorpions inflict deadliest sting yet as guitarist Matthias Jabs helps cause a Blackout

Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown tear it up old-school in Vancouver

By Steve Newton When I interviewed blues-rock legend Kim Simmonds last week from his home outside Syracuse, New York, he revealed that there had been a time when, during his thirties, personal problems had cost him his ability to really play guitar. Lucky for him–and the couple of hundred Savoy Brown fans crowded into the … Continue reading Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown tear it up old-school in Vancouver

Terry Bozzio on auditioning for Thin Lizzy and wishing he could play with Zappa again

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 29, 2003 By Steve Newton Terry Bozzio is among the most revered drummers in rock, but these days you won’t catch him tearing up the kit in concert or laying down tracks in a studio. The 52-year-old skin basher is more apt to be leading a drum clinic, … Continue reading Terry Bozzio on auditioning for Thin Lizzy and wishing he could play with Zappa again

The Newt’s 300 Best Rock Albums of the 1970s

By Steve Newton You had to be there. Abraxas: Santana (“Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”, “Oye Coma Va”, “Samba Pa Ti”) 1970 A Day at the Races: Queen (“Tie Your Mother Down”, “Somebody to Love”, “Long Away”) 1976 Aerosmith: Aerosmith (“Make It”, “Dream On”, “Mama Kin”) 1973 After the Gold Rush: Neil Young (“Tell Me Why”, “Southern Man”, “When You … Continue reading The Newt’s 300 Best Rock Albums of the 1970s

Nikki Sixx says he’d turn down Rock Hall: awesome, more room for Rory

By Steve Newton Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx declared on his Facebook page yesterday that he’d “probably” turn down induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fvckin-AAA! That just leaves more room for more deserving types like Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, and Link Wray. Here’s Sixx’s post, complete with grammatical errors: The only … Continue reading Nikki Sixx says he’d turn down Rock Hall: awesome, more room for Rory

Brent Butt + Craig Northey = “shits ‘n’ giggles”

When I talked to Vancouver-based comic and actor Brent Butt a couple months ago we spent most of the time chatting about how he came to make Corner Gas: The Movie, which he described as “the little-cherry-on-top kinda thing” in relation to his popular Corner Gas TV series, which had halted production back in 2009. But we … Continue reading Brent Butt + Craig Northey = “shits ‘n’ giggles”

The Faces-loving London Quireboys still like to have a tipple

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 30, 2001 By Steve Newton When the London Quireboys blasted onto the music scene in 1990 with the swaggering boogie-blues hit “7 O’Clock”, originality wasn’t their stock-in-trade. They took their musical cues directly from Rod Stewart and the Faces, and even looked the part with their scarecrow hairdos … Continue reading The Faces-loving London Quireboys still like to have a tipple

Joe Satriani gave Steve Morse his full endorsement to join Deep Purple

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 18, 2000 By Steve Newton I’ve yet to be bitten by the techno bug. You won’t find any discs by the Chemical Brothers or Crystal Method in my collection, or any stashes of Ecstasy in my dresser drawer. But after listening to the new Joe Satriani CD, Engines … Continue reading Joe Satriani gave Steve Morse his full endorsement to join Deep Purple

Steve Howe says sheer determination keeps the core of Yes intact

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 6, 1998 By Steve Newton Guitar legend Steve Howe first hooked up with Yes vocalist Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire back in 1971, just in time to help steer the British prog-rock outfit to glory with best-selling albums such as Fragile and Close to the Edge. While … Continue reading Steve Howe says sheer determination keeps the core of Yes intact

Cheap Trick box set wisely avoids ’80s clunkers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 1996 By Steve Newton Back in ’78, my personal Top 10 included power-rock LPs such as UFO’s Obsession, AC/DC’s Powerage, Thin Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous, and the third Cheap Trick album, Heaven Tonight. At the time I was a UBC faculty of arts slacker, and the best … Continue reading Cheap Trick box set wisely avoids ’80s clunkers

Rick Derringer is still alive and well in Vancouver in 1993

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 15, 1993 By Steve Newton The first time I saw Rick Derringer play live was back in ’73 or something, when me and a bunch of high-school pals from Chilliwack loaded into a van and drove to the Pacific Coliseum to see the Edgar Winter Group and opening … Continue reading Rick Derringer is still alive and well in Vancouver in 1993

Stateside guitar frenzy: Pat Travers, Jeff Beck, Slash, Jake E. Lee & Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen!

For some reason a lotta old-school rock-guitar heroes don’t play in Vancouver. They head on up for gigs in Washington State, but then turn around and cruise back down to keep on feeding those riff-starved Americans. Are the border guards at Canada Customs really that daunting? Take Pat Travers, for instance. He’s half Canadian, but … Continue reading Stateside guitar frenzy: Pat Travers, Jeff Beck, Slash, Jake E. Lee & Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen!

Guitar hero Michael Schenker goes acoustic and his fans are fine with it

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 12, 1992 By Steve Newton When Michael Schenker was only 15, he met up with Scorpions singer Klaus Meine. Just a year later, he was laying down the white-hot guitar licks for the Scorpions’ debut album, Lonesome Crow. But Schenker’s early musical accomplishments were not without their price, … Continue reading Guitar hero Michael Schenker goes acoustic and his fans are fine with it

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

The volume knob on the Heavy Metal Box goes past 11

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 5, 2007 By Steve Newton This is one of the coolest-looking box sets ever. It’s designed to resemble the head of a Marshall amp, and even features a volume knob that goes all the way to 11. How appropriate that Spinal Tap’s “Big Bottom” is featured among the four-disc package’s … Continue reading The volume knob on the Heavy Metal Box goes past 11

sound & vision

“Sound and Vision” was a pretty cool tune from a David Bowie album that made my Top 30 Rock Albums of 1977. It’s also a pretty cool name for this page where I’ll gather up my box set (sound) and Blu-ray (vision) reviews. I might also throw in the odd DVD and CD/vinyl reissue when … Continue reading sound & vision

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1979

Ah, 1979. According to my calculations, that was the last year of the ’70s, which was the greatest decade for guitar-based rock music ever. I’d like to thank Fender, Gibson, Marshall, and everyone else who created the instruments of my enjoyment back then. A Million Vacations: Max Webster (“Paradise Skies”, “A Million Vacations”, “Let Go … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1979

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1978

I’ll always remember 1978 as the year I saw Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, when they were touring behind You’re Gonna Get It. I’ll also remember it for that time Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham took me backstage when the band opened for Styx at the Coliseum. Unfortunately, I’ll … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1978

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1977

Cheap Trick and David Bowie led the way in ’77 with two albums each, and the blues was represented by Johnny Winter, Muddy Waters, and Roy Buchanan. Aja: Steely Dan (“Peg”, “Deacon Blues”, “Josie”) American Stars n’ Bars: Neil Young (“Hey Babe”, “Will to Love”, “Like a Hurricane”) Bad Reputation: Thin Lizzy (“Opium Trail”, “Bad Reputation”, … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1977

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1975

Ah, 1975. The year I graduated high school. Talk about dazed and confused. Albums listed alphabetically by title, including three choice tracks from each one to help you remember how wicked they really were. Against the Grain: Rory Gallagher (“Bought and Sold”, “Out on the Western Plain”, “Lost at Sea”) America’s Choice: Hot Tuna (“Sleep … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1975