That time Def Leppard’s Steve Clark told me that Pyromania set the standard for a lot of groups

By Steve Newton Some Def Leppard fans think the band was at its best when Steve Clark was in the lineup. I’m one of them. I interviewed Clark back in 1988 when the band was selling out arenas worldwide, touring behind its massively popular Hysteria album. At one point in the conversation I mentioned a quote from … Continue reading That time Def Leppard’s Steve Clark told me that Pyromania set the standard for a lot of groups

Bass god Stu Hamm compares Joe Satriani to Steve Vai and raves about Jaco Pastorius

By Steve Newton Way back in October of 1991 I did an interview with bassist Stu Hamm, a giant of the four-string who was best known for his work with guitar heroes Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. He had recently released his album The Urge, and was headed to Vancouver for a club gig. At … Continue reading Bass god Stu Hamm compares Joe Satriani to Steve Vai and raves about Jaco Pastorius

Steve Vai on cocky G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen and tormented “genius” Devin Townsend

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 9, 2003 By Steve Newton I was a tad taken aback when the press release came in announcing the lineup for Joe Satriani’s 2003 G3 Tour. It wasn’t a surprise to see long-time G3er (and former Satch student) Steve Vai’s name on the bill. But I didn’t expect … Continue reading Steve Vai on cocky G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen and tormented “genius” Devin Townsend

Yes guitarist Steve Howe says Chet Atkins was–and is–his number one

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 26, 2001 By Steve Newton When Yes guitarist Steve Howe calls the Straight office from Reno, Nevada, it’s not to brag about how well he’s been doing at the blackjack tables. Although he and his bandmates—vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, and drummer Alan White—have been holed up … Continue reading Yes guitarist Steve Howe says Chet Atkins was–and is–his number one

That time the Cadillac Tramps’ Gabby Gaborno told me that if he feels something he does it

By Steve Newton The Cadillac Tramps were one of the wildest live bands around in the early nineties. They were right up there with the Beat Farmers. Matter of fact, when I interviewed Tramps frontman Gabby Gaborno in November of 1991 the punk-rockers from Orange County, California were on tour opening for the Farmers. Now … Continue reading That time the Cadillac Tramps’ Gabby Gaborno told me that if he feels something he does it

That time drum great Terry Bozzio told me about auditioning for Thin Lizzy at Gary Moore’s request

By Steve Newton As anyone who’s read my stuff over the years will attest, I’m a huge Thin Lizzy fan. Anytime I get a chance to include a little tidbit about that band in my blogs I go for it. So the other day as I was digitizing my 2003 interview with drum great Terry … Continue reading That time drum great Terry Bozzio told me about auditioning for Thin Lizzy at Gary Moore’s request

That time Joe Satriani told me why Neil Young was such a great guitarist

By Steve Newton Back in 1990 I did the first of my eight interviews with American guitar wizard Joe Satriani. At the time Satch was touring behind his Flying in a Blue Dream album, which is one fine batch of tunes. At one point in the conversation I asked him about a quote in Kerrang! … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me why Neil Young was such a great guitarist

That time Deep Purple’s Roger Glover told me what Ritchie Blackmore was really like as a person

By Steve Newton I did my second interview with Roger Glover back in March of 1985, when Deep Purple’s “Mark II” lineup had reunited and the band was touring behind its Perfect Strangers album. At one point in the conversation I asked Glover about the band’s legendary guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore, and his reputation for being … Continue reading That time Deep Purple’s Roger Glover told me what Ritchie Blackmore was really like as a person

Powerage, the only AC/DC album better than Back in Black, was released 42 years and 81 days ago today

By Steve Newton There was a lotta fuss being made in the rock-music world recently, surrounding the fact that AC/DC’s Back in Black was released exactly 40 years ago today. But where was all the commotion two years and 81 days ago, on May 5, 2018, when Powerage hit the BIg Four-Oh? Now that was … Continue reading Powerage, the only AC/DC album better than Back in Black, was released 42 years and 81 days ago today

Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page, but Mick Fleetwood says “he was the guy”

Steve Newton Sad news for music fans today. Peter Green, the British guitarist who made a name for himself with his stunning work in the Bluesbreakers and Fleetwood Mac, has passed away at the age of 73. Long before the pop-minded duo of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham put their radio-friendly stamp on Fleetwood Mac, … Continue reading Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page, but Mick Fleetwood says “he was the guy”

That time the Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik told me that his big sister first turned him on to music

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Goo Goo Dolls singer-guitarist John Rzeznik three months after the release of A Boy Named Goo, when the band was headed to Vancouver for a club gig. This was just three months before the release of the hit single “Name”, which shot the Goo to the … Continue reading That time the Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik told me that his big sister first turned him on to music

That time I called up Albert Collins and asked what attracted him to the blues

By Steve Newton Sometimes when I’m feeling a little down, uncertain about the future, I like to go through my piles of interview cassettes, pick something out, and just listen to bits of conversations I had with legendary bluesmen decades ago. Fight the blues with the blues, I reckon. Here’s what it sounded like back … Continue reading That time I called up Albert Collins and asked what attracted him to the blues

54-40 guitarist Dave Genn recalls his chance meeting with Stevie Ray Vaughan just weeks before his tragic death

By Steve Newton One of my favourite guitar-hero memories involves that time back in the early ’80s when I went backstage at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum and met Stevie Ray Vaughan. I’ll never forget it because he signed my vinyl copy of Texas Flood, and when I shook his hand it felt like a freakin’ vice! … Continue reading 54-40 guitarist Dave Genn recalls his chance meeting with Stevie Ray Vaughan just weeks before his tragic death

That time Randy Bachman told me what it felt like when the Guess Who’s “American Woman” hit number one

By Steve Newton Canadian rock legend Randy Bachman has accomplished a helluva lot in his musical career. For one thing, how many musicians can say that they’ve reached the top in two different bands? Before Bachman-Turner Overdrive was ruling the airwaves in the mid-seventies, he’d already hit the big time with the Guess Who, whose … Continue reading That time Randy Bachman told me what it felt like when the Guess Who’s “American Woman” hit number one

That time 24-year-old Grace Potter told me that she wasn’t too young to appreciate the Allman Brothers

By Steve Newton The first time I ever saw Grace Potter perform live I was blown away. Her band the Nocturnals opened for Gov’t Mule in Vancouver, and she joined the Mule on a killer version of “Honky Tonk Women”, displaying a whole lotta soul. A couple months later, in January of 2008, I interviewed … Continue reading That time 24-year-old Grace Potter told me that she wasn’t too young to appreciate the Allman Brothers

That time Zakk Wylde told me that he’d always be Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist

By Steve Newton If Randy Rhoads hadn’t died in that tragic plane crash in 1982, do you think he’d still be playing with Ozzy Osbourne? I kinda doubt it. He was so fiercely talented that I bet he would have left heavy-metal in the dust and moved on to creating adventurous, technically mind-boggling instrumental music … Continue reading That time Zakk Wylde told me that he’d always be Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist

That time Chris Cornell told me about the beauty of what it is that he gets to do

By Steve Newton Back in December of 2008 I did my one and only interview with Chris Cornell. At the time he was touring behind his solo album, Carry On, which I thought had some great songs. I was asking him about some of the lyrics from my fave track on the album, “Killing Birds”, … Continue reading That time Chris Cornell told me about the beauty of what it is that he gets to do

That time I asked Yngwie Malmsteen if he’d ever been tempted to “cheat” on the Strat

By Steve Newton Yngwie Malmsteen is synonymous with the Fender Stratocaster. Since the get-go he’s proclaimed the superiority of Leo Fender’s classy creation. He’s even gone so far as to compare the competition to “bad copies” and “furniture”. So when I interviewed him back in 2014 I asked him if he’d ever been tempted to … Continue reading That time I asked Yngwie Malmsteen if he’d ever been tempted to “cheat” on the Strat

That time Buddy Guy told me that he was a bluesman from his heart, as if I didn’t know

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Buddy Guy five times, because I freakin’ love Buddy Guy. The second time we chatted was in March of 1993, three weeks after the release of his Feels Like Rain album, which featured guest appearances by Bonnie Raitt, John Mayall, and Paul Rodgers. Rodgers performed on a version of the … Continue reading That time Buddy Guy told me that he was a bluesman from his heart, as if I didn’t know

That time Mick Mars told me that I might have to listen harder to hear the sex and violence on the Crue’s Theatre of Pain

By Steve Newton Back in November of 1985 I interviewed Motley Crue’s Mick Mars at a Vancouver hotel before the band performed on its Theatre of Pain tour. If anybody can remember that far back they may recall that that was the same month that the RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) agreed to put … Continue reading That time Mick Mars told me that I might have to listen harder to hear the sex and violence on the Crue’s Theatre of Pain

That time the Ventures’ Don Wilson and I shared our fondness for John Fogerty

By Steve Newton John Fogerty proudly inducted the Ventures into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, but I learned of his affection for the instro-rock legends years before that. When I interviewed original Ventures rhythm-guitarist Don Wilson back in 1997 I asked him if he’d had a lot of people tell him … Continue reading That time the Ventures’ Don Wilson and I shared our fondness for John Fogerty

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 I made Gordie Johnson’s day by telling him that Bruce Fairbairn admired his production work

By Steve Newton It’s fun to pass on compliments sometimes. Like when I was interviewing Big Sugar frontman Gordie Johnson back in October of 1998. A couple weeks earlier I’d interviewed famed Vancouver producer-to-the-stars Bruce Fairbairn, who’d mentioned that he was impressed by the production on Big Sugar’s latest album, Heated. When I told Johnson … Continue reading That time I made Gordie Johnson’s day by telling him that Bruce Fairbairn admired his production work

That time I told Tony Iommi that “Supernaut” was my fave Black Sabbath riff, and he said that it was Zappa’s too

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Tony Iommi, the Riffmaster General, twice: the first time was back in ’84 when the Ian Gillan-fronted Black Sabbath was touring behind the Born Again album, and the last time was in 2007 when he was back with Ronnie James Dio in the Heaven and Hell format. As the second … Continue reading That time I told Tony Iommi that “Supernaut” was my fave Black Sabbath riff, and he said that it was Zappa’s too

That time Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Warren Haynes six times, because he’s one of my favourite musicians of all time. I can’t get enough of his voice, his guitar, and his songs. And even if they aren’t his actual songs I’m crazy about ’em. Like when Gov’t Mule recorded the traditional gospel-blues tune “John the Revelator” … Continue reading That time Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

By Steve Newton I interviewed British guitar legend Albert Lee back in July of 1986, when he was touring with the Everly Brothers as their musical director. After chatting with Albert about how he first got involved with the Everlys, I asked him how it was different touring with them than with Eric Clapton, whose … Continue reading That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Jason Bonham back in 1989, I asked him what it was like growing up with a father who was world-famous for being the drummer in Led Zeppelin. Turns out it wasn’t that big of a deal to him. Have a listen: To hear the full … Continue reading That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”