That time AC/DC’s Malcolm Young told me that he just “tinkles” on lead guitar: “You can’t outdo Angus”

By Steve Newton When I interviewed AC/DC's Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson back in 1983 I asked Malcolm if he ever had a hankering to step out and play a lead-guitar solo once in a while. As expected, his response was along the lines of, "Why bother when you've got a guy like Angus around?" … Continue reading That time AC/DC’s Malcolm Young told me that he just “tinkles” on lead guitar: “You can’t outdo Angus”

That time back in ’84 when Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi told me: “If I go deaf, I go deaf”

By Steve Newton Sometimes when I interviewed heavy-metal bands in the '80s I'd play the devil's advocate and ask silly questions like "What do you say to people who think you're too loud?". Or if they were really heavy--like Black Sabbath--I'd ask them if they were worried about damaging their hearing with their music. I … Continue reading That time back in ’84 when Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi told me: “If I go deaf, I go deaf”

Rudy Sarzo recalls the buzz of Quiet Riot opening Heavy Metal Day at the US Festival in ’83

By Steve Newton As I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago, I got to interview hard rock/metal bass god Rudy Sarzo in Vancouver back in August of 1983. That was less than three months after Sarzo's band, Quiet Riot, had opened Heavy Metal Day at the US Festival, one of the biggest outdoor … Continue reading Rudy Sarzo recalls the buzz of Quiet Riot opening Heavy Metal Day at the US Festival in ’83

Stray Cats Live at Rockpalast finds the rockabilly revivalists at their ballsy best

By Steve Newton Maybe, like me, you were lucky enough to catch the Stray Cats when they played the Commodore back in '82. Or perhaps you saw them when they were on that bill at GM Place in 2007 with the Pretenders and ZZ Top. But if you're one of those sad sacks who've never seen the Stray … Continue reading Stray Cats Live at Rockpalast finds the rockabilly revivalists at their ballsy best

Krokus warms up with Tom Allom and finds blood and guts on Headhunter

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 17, 1983 By Steve Newton Swiss rockers Krokus recently released a new album of scorching heavy metal, Headhunter, and they play Vancouver sometime this summer. I spoke to the group's vocalist Marc Storace recently, and gained a few insights into the new LP and the Swiss music scene … Continue reading Krokus warms up with Tom Allom and finds blood and guts on Headhunter

Don’t call Vancouver’s Skywalk jazz or fusion, it’s just “a music band”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 8, 1983 By Steve Newton "When it comes to Skywalk," says the group's drummer and veteran session player Kat Hendrikse, "the word jazz is inappropriate. It's got a lot of jazz influences, but basically it's a modern concept. It's modern music in that it's very composition-oriented as opposed … Continue reading Don’t call Vancouver’s Skywalk jazz or fusion, it’s just “a music band”

Prairie Prince on “She’s a Beauty” and what sets the Tubes apart from the rest of the bands

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 5, 1983 By Steve Newton The Tubes will be opening for Peter Gabriel and David Bowie at this Tuesday's big concert in The Dome. I reached the band's drummer Prairie Prince over the phone in Toronto recently and asked him about their new album, current stage show, and … Continue reading Prairie Prince on “She’s a Beauty” and what sets the Tubes apart from the rest of the bands

Rudy Sarzo on Randy Rhoads, life after Ozzy, and the return of Quiet Riot

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 5, 1983 By Steve Newton Formed in 1975 by Kevin DuBrow and the late Randy Rhoads (who died in a plane crash last year while a member of the Ozzy Osbourne band), Quiet Riot were one of the leading Los Angeles rock bands during the late seventies. Boasting … Continue reading Rudy Sarzo on Randy Rhoads, life after Ozzy, and the return of Quiet Riot

Red Rider releases Neruda, Tom Cochrane rails against “trendy bullshit”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 15, 1983 By Steve Newton Red Rider plays the Commodore Ballroom Tuesday, April 19. I spoke to the group's lead vocalist and songwriter Tom Cochrane over the phone from Toronto last Monday. I understand your group had a bus accident in the Rocky Mountains not long ago. Well … Continue reading Red Rider releases Neruda, Tom Cochrane rails against “trendy bullshit”

Kick Axe feels that if you can make metal work in Vancouver, you can make it work anywhere

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 15, 1983 By Steve Newton "If people can look at a band, "say Kick Axe guitarist Larry Gillstrom, "and see that everybody's coming from the same direction and are together on it, then I think they can relate to it a lot better. At least that's what we noticed … Continue reading Kick Axe feels that if you can make metal work in Vancouver, you can make it work anywhere

Streetheart’s prairie-rock dreams “Comin’ True” on Dancing With Danger

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 18, 1983 By Steve Newton Touring to promote their latest album Dancing with Danger, prairie-rockers Streetheart will headline this Monday's (February 21) triple-threat rock showcase at the Pacific Coliseum. Kilowatt and Vancouver's own Headpins will also perform at the event. Last year Streetheart earned a Canadian platinum award … Continue reading Streetheart’s prairie-rock dreams “Comin’ True” on Dancing With Danger

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

Def Leppard’s Rick Savage on new guitarist Phil Collen, producer Mutt Lange, and the stunning success of Pyromania

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 18, 1983 By Steve Newton While it is true that Def Leppard's lyrical messages most often deal with the time-worn teenage pastimes of partying and getting it on, it's not so much what they're saying as how they're saying it--with all the conviction and drive young hands can … Continue reading Def Leppard’s Rick Savage on new guitarist Phil Collen, producer Mutt Lange, and the stunning success of Pyromania

.38 Special’s Donnie Van Zant on the origins of southern rock and the drive of Jacksonville bands

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 2, 1982 By Steve Newton .38 Special's July 5 gig at the Kerrisdale Arena has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales, and according to lead singer Donnie Van Zant "it's a real shame". The show would have been the band's second Vancouver appearance. Their latest album, Special … Continue reading .38 Special’s Donnie Van Zant on the origins of southern rock and the drive of Jacksonville bands

Stevie Ray Vaughan’s soul shines on Texas Flood Legacy Edition

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 28, 2013 By Steve Newton I consider myself extremely lucky when it comes to Stevie Ray Vaughan. He's one of my all-time fave guitarists--right up there with Rory Gallagher and Jeff Beck--and I was fortunate enough to see him play live several times before his tragic death on August 27, 1990, at the age … Continue reading Stevie Ray Vaughan’s soul shines on Texas Flood Legacy Edition

Blue Oyster Cult and Aldo Nova play Vancouver, I get stuck with Nova

By Steve Newton On December 27, 1983, Blue Oyster Cult and Aldo Nova played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. (That gig is not to be confused with the one they played at the same venue in August of '82) I was pretty psyched about seeing B.O.C. Nova not so much. I must admit that I … Continue reading Blue Oyster Cult and Aldo Nova play Vancouver, I get stuck with Nova

Guitar phenom Allan Holdsworth says he’s not impressed by flash

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 11, 1983 By Steve Newton Eddie Van Halen calls him "fantastic". Gary Moore says "he's frightening. He's definitely dangerous and getting better all the time." Carlos Santana gives him "more credit than anyone for just pure expression in soloing." Journey's Neil Schon says: "If you play guitar and … Continue reading Guitar phenom Allan Holdsworth says he’s not impressed by flash

Bruce Dickinson says it would be unthinkable to do an Iron Maiden album without Martin Birch

By Steve Newton On Wednesday, June 29, 1983, Iron Maiden played Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum on a bill with Saxon (who had that wicked tune, "Dallas 1 PM") and Fastway (who had "Fast" Eddie Clarke from Motorhead and Pete Way from UFO). Maybe you were there? Maiden was touring behind its month-old album, Piece of Mind, which boasted one of its … Continue reading Bruce Dickinson says it would be unthinkable to do an Iron Maiden album without Martin Birch

Johnny Ramone says being in the Ramones “beats working”

By Steve Newton Whether you remember or not, May of 1983 was a great month for historic rock concerts in Vancouver. On May 9 Roxy Music played the Pacific Coliseum, performing tunes from its final studio album, Avalon. Then on the 25th a little band from Ireland named U2 played the Queen E., blasting out political … Continue reading Johnny Ramone says being in the Ramones “beats working”

The Blasters’ Phil Alvin on the roots of rock, the Sex Pistols, and Queen

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 10, 2013 By Steve Newton Thirty years ago today--on March 10, 1983--the Blasters played the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. Maybe you were there? The group--then composed of singer-guitarist Phil Alvin, his younger brother Dave Alvin on lead guitar, pianist Gene Taylor, bassist John Bazz, and drummer Bill Bateman--was in its … Continue reading The Blasters’ Phil Alvin on the roots of rock, the Sex Pistols, and Queen

Nicolette Larson talks Neil Young, Eddie Van Halen, and roommate Linda Ronstadt

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 24, 2013 By Steve Newton On February 22, 1983, Nicolette Larson played Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom. It wasn't a major concert event by any means, but it was definitely a potential night out for Larson fans who'd been following her career since '78, when her debut album Nicolette spawned a hit version of … Continue reading Nicolette Larson talks Neil Young, Eddie Van Halen, and roommate Linda Ronstadt

Pat Travers in 1983: “I’m a good enough guitarist. We don’t need another one.”

By Steve Newton On January 21, 1983, Canadian rock-guitar hero Pat Travers played Vancouver, opening for a Joe Perry-less Aerosmith at the Pacific Coliseum. Ear of Newt was there, of course. There was no way I was gonna miss two of my fave acts from the '70s. Besides, it was a Friday night. I don't remember … Continue reading Pat Travers in 1983: “I’m a good enough guitarist. We don’t need another one.”

Tom Hamilton talks Aerosmith without Joe Perry and the new Rock in a Hard Place

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 21, 1983 By Steve Newton "Yeah, we're loud alright," says Tom Hamilton, bassist for American supergroup Aerosmith. "We're definitely not any quieter than we used to be--we're just better sounding." Aerosmith has never been known for quietness or subtlety. Theirs is not the kind of music for … Continue reading Tom Hamilton talks Aerosmith without Joe Perry and the new Rock in a Hard Place