That time King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor told me that he wasn’t into chops for chops’ sake

By Steve Newton I interviewed King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor back in June of 2001, when his funky prog-rock trio was touring behind its ninth studio album, Manic Moonlight, and headed to Vancouver for a club gig. Tabor’s solo career had recently seen him putting on several guitar clinics in Southeast Asia, where he was … Continue reading That time King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor told me that he wasn’t into chops for chops’ sake

Metal mayhem in the summer of ’82: scoring cover stories on Ozzy, Maiden, and Scorps

By Steve Newton Forty years ago, around this time, I was livin’ the dream–if the dream was to be a journalist specializing in heavy metal. I’d recently found work as a freelance music writer/proofreader with the Georgia Straight, a weekly Vancouver newspaper. The cool thing was, within a span of six weeks, I got to … Continue reading Metal mayhem in the summer of ’82: scoring cover stories on Ozzy, Maiden, and Scorps

That time I asked Mike Gordon if he was amazed by the success of H.O.R.D.E. tourmates Spin Doctors

By Steve Newton Back in March of 1993 I interviewed Phish bassist Mike Gordon, whose band was touring behind its fourth album, Rift, and heading to Vancouver for a club show. The previous year Phish had taken part in the first annual H.O.R.D.E. festival, which also included the Spin Doctors. So at one point in … Continue reading That time I asked Mike Gordon if he was amazed by the success of H.O.R.D.E. tourmates Spin Doctors

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

That time Joan Jett told me how she was inspired to write “Don’t Surrender” by actress Jill Ireland

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1992 I interviewed Joan Jett while she was promoting her latest album, Notorious. At one point in the conversation we started talking about potential singles on the album, which led to her explaining the inspiration for her latest video/single, “Don’t Surrender”. Turns out it was inspired by British … Continue reading That time Joan Jett told me how she was inspired to write “Don’t Surrender” by actress Jill Ireland

Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy freaks get a primo double-shot with new concert/documentary package

By Steve Newton Today I received a press release from Kayos Productions regarding an upcoming CD/DVD by one of my all-time favourite bands. The promo material started off like this: “With their driving hooks, twin lead guitars, lyrics saturated in working-class lore, and the charismatic presence of singer, songwriter, and bassist Phil Lynott, Thin Lizzy … Continue reading Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy freaks get a primo double-shot with new concert/documentary package

That time Bob Rock told me that Metallica never have and never will sell out

By Steve Newton Bob Rock is the famed producer best known for helming several Metallica albums, including their hugely popular Black Album of 1991. I’ve interviewed Rock a few times, both for his role as a producer and as a rockin’ guitarist in bands like the Payola$, Rock and Hyde, and Rockhead. Back in February of … Continue reading That time Bob Rock told me that Metallica never have and never will sell out

That time John Cougar told me that he was looking forward to the US Festival (but then he didn’t go)

By Steve Newton I interviewed John Mellencamp for the first time when he was still called John Cougar. Back in May of 1983 he was touring behind his latest album, American Fool, but for some reason the Vancouver show got canceled and the interview I did with him never ran. At one point in the … Continue reading That time John Cougar told me that he was looking forward to the US Festival (but then he didn’t go)

That time Cy Curnin of the Fixx told me about his love for Tina Turner

You’d smile if you were next to Tina too! By Steve Newton Way back in October of 1984 I interviewed Cy Curnin, lead vocalist for the Fixx. That was one year after the band released its most popular album, Reach the Beach, which went platinum in the States on the strength of hits like “Saved … Continue reading That time Cy Curnin of the Fixx told me about his love for Tina Turner

That time Styx guitarist James Young told me about getting drunk with Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott

By Steve Newton I remember buying the Styx album The Grand Illusion when it came out back in 1977, but they were never one of my favourite bands. I enjoyed a few of their more rockin’ tunes (“Too Much Time on My Hands”, “Blue Collar Man [Long Nights]”), but there was also something about them–a … Continue reading That time Styx guitarist James Young told me about getting drunk with Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott

That time blues legend Charlie Musselwhite told me what it was like moving to Chicago as a teen

By Steve Newton I interviewed Charlie Musselwhite, one of the greatest blues harpists of all time, on February 19, 2002. That was one week before the official release of Musselwhite’s 21st studio album, One Night in America–a fine platter that featured such ace guitarists as G.E. Smith, Robben Ford, and Marty Stuart–and exactly one month … Continue reading That time blues legend Charlie Musselwhite told me what it was like moving to Chicago as a teen

That time Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse thanked me for bringing up the topic of Hendrix

By Steve Newton The vast majority of my music interviews over the last 40 years were originally published in the Vancouver weekly, Georgia Straight, but I’ve also done some writing for other publications. Back in 1998 I interviewed guitar god Steve Morse–who’d been with Deep Purple for four years at that point–for Experience Hendrix, a … Continue reading That time Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse thanked me for bringing up the topic of Hendrix

That time Lars Ulrich told me that Metallica just wasn’t a let’s-sit-around-and-drink-beers-all-day-with-the-support-act type of band

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich four times because, hey, the guy likes to talk. The last time was back in August of 1998, when his band was touring behind its Reload album. Two years earlier Metallica had headlined Lollapalooza, sharing the stage with the likes of Soundgarden, the Ramones, Rancid, and … Continue reading That time Lars Ulrich told me that Metallica just wasn’t a let’s-sit-around-and-drink-beers-all-day-with-the-support-act type of band

That time Tinsley Ellis told me that it was a dream come true playing with keyboard legend Chuck Leavell

Ellis playing with Leavell in 2016 By Steve Newton Back in March of 1992 I did my first interview with Atlanta blues-rocker Tinsley Ellis, who was touring behind his third album, Trouble Time. One of the attractions of the album–apart from Ellis’s smokin’ guitarwork–was the keyboard wizardry of one Chuck Leavell. (As you may recall, … Continue reading That time Tinsley Ellis told me that it was a dream come true playing with keyboard legend Chuck Leavell

That time Matt Minglewood told me that MacLean & MacLean were good people

By Steve Newton Back in the early ’80s I used to laugh my ass off to the comedy stylings of the Canadian musical-comedy duo MacLean & MacLean. They were rude ‘n’ crude and downright hilarious at times. They were comically abusing the F-word long before the Trailer Park Boys made a career out of it. … Continue reading That time Matt Minglewood told me that MacLean & MacLean were good people