Iron Maiden was the world’s best metal band in Vancouver last night

all photos by Jeff Sutherland By Steve Newton Your first concert is a big deal--or that's what my nephew Jeff says, anyway. Thirty-five years ago I took him to his very first rock show, at the Pacific Coliseum. It was Iron Maiden on the Powerslave tour. He was 14. It ruled. Last night (Sept. 3) … Continue reading Iron Maiden was the world’s best metal band in Vancouver last night

Album review: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Live at Carnegie Hall (1997)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 21, 1997 By Steve Newton If there was ever any doubt that Stevie Ray Vaughan was a guitarist with skill and soul on a par with any rock legend living or dead, this live CD—recorded at New York’s Carnegie Hall on October 4, 1984, the day after … Continue reading Album review: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Live at Carnegie Hall (1997)

Annie Lennox struts her stuff as Eurythmics prove themselves pop masters in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 1, 1986 By Steve Newton The Eurythmics show on Monday (July 28) opened with a big white zipper slowly parting a silver/grey curtain stretched across the Expo Theatre stage. It closed with singer Annie Lennox shedding her white shirt and traipsing around in a lacy red bra, slying … Continue reading Annie Lennox struts her stuff as Eurythmics prove themselves pop masters in Vancouver

The one-hit wonders behind “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” got Lemmy in their video for a bottle of vodka

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 11, 1986 By Steve Newton When Britain's Boys Don't Cry open for Platinum Blonde at Expo Theatre this Monday and Tuesday (July 14 and 15), it's a sure thing that their current hit "I Wanna Be a Cowboy" will be a highlight of the set. A funky rocker … Continue reading The one-hit wonders behind “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” got Lemmy in their video for a bottle of vodka

That time Tony Iommi told me about the guys from Black Sabbath blowing up singer Ian Gillan’s boat

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1984 I called Tony Iommi up for a chat at his home in Birmingham, England. I was pretty psyched, since Sabbath albums like Paranoid, Volume 4, and Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath had meant a lot to me as a metal-loving teenager in the '70s, growing up in the wilds of … Continue reading That time Tony Iommi told me about the guys from Black Sabbath blowing up singer Ian Gillan’s boat

Why couldn’t my name have been foil-stamped on a Maiden album instead of Roger Hodgson?

By Steve Newton Gather 'round kiddies and let ole Grandpa Newt tell tales of the long-ago days when the music industry was awash with cash, and promo reps didn't know what do with it all. Back in 1984 some brainiac at A&M Records came up with the idea of putting the names of rock critics the … Continue reading Why couldn’t my name have been foil-stamped on a Maiden album instead of Roger Hodgson?

Iron Maiden plays Vancouver on the Powerslave tour, Dave Murray talks to the Newt

By Steve Newton On December 9, 1984, Iron Maiden played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver--with Twisted Sister opening up! Not only that, but the Georgia Straight newspaper put my interview with the British metal legends on the front page, featuring a totally rockin' live photo by famed Vancouver photographer Bev Davies. I hadn't been so proud … Continue reading Iron Maiden plays Vancouver on the Powerslave tour, Dave Murray talks to the Newt

Nazareth’s Dan McCafferty reveals the story behind “Vancouver Shakedown”

By Steve Newton Thirty years ago tonight--on November 23, 1984--Nazareth played Vancouver's historic Commodore Ballroom, touring behind its new album The Catch. In advance of the show I interviewed frontman Dan McCafferty and--among other things--got the scoop on the story behind the group's curious single, "Vancouver Shakedown". Here's a slightly condensed version of the piece that … Continue reading Nazareth’s Dan McCafferty reveals the story behind “Vancouver Shakedown”

Michael Jackson moonwalks into Vancouver on the Jacksons’ Victory Tour of 1984

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 23, 1984 By Steve Newton The biggest show in the history of pop music came to Vancouver last week (November 16), in the form of the Jacksons' Victory Tour. It was a dazzling display of lights and lasers, mechanized staging and slick choreography, available to anyone who wanted … Continue reading Michael Jackson moonwalks into Vancouver on the Jacksons’ Victory Tour of 1984

Ian Lloyd, the “Brother Louie” guy, says he proud of his claim to fame

By Steve Newton Thirty years ago today—on October 27, 1984—Ian Lloyd played the old Georgia Street party palace known as Outlaws. He was performing with his new band, Fast Forward, and doing tunes from their first (and only) album, Living in Fiction. But more importantly, Lloyd was the funky-voiced guy who sang that awesome 1973 tune … Continue reading Ian Lloyd, the “Brother Louie” guy, says he proud of his claim to fame

Kiss releases Animalize, Eric Carr says he’s still a fox

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 28, 1984 By Steve Newton It was a snowy and cold January afternoon in 1975 when several high school friends and I headed off to the second Vancouver appearance of an up-and-coming rock band named KISS. Almost all of us had our well-worn copy of the group's first … Continue reading Kiss releases Animalize, Eric Carr says he’s still a fox

Nena of “99 Luftballoons” fame says she tries her best

Thirty years ago today--on May 18, 1984--24-year-old Nena Kerner called me from Berlin to promote her band Nena, which was flying high at the time on the strength of the anti-nuclear protest song "99 Luftballoons". The song was such a hit that soon after they released an English version, "99 Red Balloons", as well. I … Continue reading Nena of “99 Luftballoons” fame says she tries her best

Tony Carey rips into Rainbow after “A Fine, Fine Day”, just before “The First Day of Summer”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 1, 1984 By Steve Newton The memories of his days in Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow are not joyous ones for Tony Carey. The singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist was a member of the band for three years, and performed on the Rainbow Rising and Live on Stage albums before leaving in disgust in … Continue reading Tony Carey rips into Rainbow after “A Fine, Fine Day”, just before “The First Day of Summer”

David Gilmour from Pink Floyd tells me “we don’t do drug songs”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 22, 1984 By Steve Newton "Well that's artistic licence," remarked guitarist/vocalist David Gilmour. Over the phone from Toronto, Gilmour expanded on the motive behind "Murder", a song from his new LP About Face which contains the line, "By your own admission, you raised up the knife." "If I'd … Continue reading David Gilmour from Pink Floyd tells me “we don’t do drug songs”

Judas Priest’s Rob Halford calls heavy-metal “a young musical force” in 1984

By Steve Newton On May 14, 1984, Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford called me up from a gig in Portland, Oregon, to chat about his band's new album, Defenders of the Faith. At the time Priest was riding high in the metal world, their last two albums--1981's Point of Entry and '82's Screaming for Vengeance--having both … Continue reading Judas Priest’s Rob Halford calls heavy-metal “a young musical force” in 1984

Golden Earring’s Barry Hay recalls getting beaten up with Ronnie Van Zant

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 20, 1984 By Steve Newton Help I'm steppin' into the twilight zone/The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned/My beacon's been moved under moon and star/Where am I to go now that I've gone too far/Soon you will come to know, when the bullet hits the bone … Continue reading Golden Earring’s Barry Hay recalls getting beaten up with Ronnie Van Zant

Billy Idol says he can get around the censorship on MTV because he’s “not black, for starters”

By Steve Newton On March 29, 1984, Billy Idol played the University of British Columbia's War Memorial Gym. The 28-year-old Brit was touring behind his second solo album, Rebel Yell, which boasted the hit singles "Eyes Without a Face", "Flesh for Fantasy", "Catch My Fall", and the title track. His videos were getting a shitload of … Continue reading Billy Idol says he can get around the censorship on MTV because he’s “not black, for starters”

Ozzy Osbourne promises me no bat-biting in Vancouver, “just a rock and roll show”

By Steve Newton Thirty years ago tomorrow--on March 23, 1984--Ozzy Osbourne played Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum on a bill with guests Motley Crue and Waysted. The Ozzman was touring behind his third solo album, Bark at the Moon, which introduced primo guitarist Jake E. Lee to the hard-rock world. (By the way, Lee's current band, Red … Continue reading Ozzy Osbourne promises me no bat-biting in Vancouver, “just a rock and roll show”

Taking a booze schmooze to Seattle to see the Scorps on the Love at First Sting Tour

By Steve Newton Wow. What a difference three decades makes. Thirty years ago today--on March 21, 1984--I was taking advantage of what we used to call a "schmooze", in the parlance of the times. Record albums were selling like hotcakes back then, and in its quest to move more mountains of vinyl the local branch … Continue reading Taking a booze schmooze to Seattle to see the Scorps on the Love at First Sting Tour

Kradle strives to put Vancouver on the melodic-metal map in 1984

Thirty years ago tomorrow--on March 5, 1984--local glam-metal band Kradle played Burnaby's James Cowan Theatre with Black Knight. At the time I was the guy with the Judas Priest cap at the Georgia Straight who was covering the metal scene, and I was mightily impressed by these young lads from the suburbs of Vancouver. Looking … Continue reading Kradle strives to put Vancouver on the melodic-metal map in 1984

30 Years Ago: the Pretenders learning to crawl in Vancouver

By Steve Newton Thirty years ago today--on February 21, 1984--the Pretenders played a sold out show at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The band was touring behind one of its best albums ever, Learning to Crawl, which included such snazzy numbers as "Back on the Chain Gang", "My City Was Gone", and "Middle of the Road". … Continue reading 30 Years Ago: the Pretenders learning to crawl in Vancouver

The Payola$’ Paul Hyde talks Alex Harvey, Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson

On February 18, 1984, the Payola$ played the PNE Gardens with opening act Darkroom. At the time the band--which also included guitarist Bob Rock, bassist Alex Boynton, drummer Chris Taylor, and keyboardist Christopher Livingston--was basking in the success of its latest album, Hammer on a Drum. That disc was produced with one of my alltime … Continue reading The Payola$’ Paul Hyde talks Alex Harvey, Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson

B.B. King plays North Vancouver in 1984, Newt gets the scoop

By Steve Newton On January 21, 1984, B.B. King was in the midst of a two-week stand at the Plazazz Showroom in North Vancouver, and I got the thrill of my blues-loving life when I sat down with him in his hotel room and asked him a bunch of questions. Some of them were pretty … Continue reading B.B. King plays North Vancouver in 1984, Newt gets the scoop

Black Sabbath cancels Born Again show in Vancouver, Tony Iommi says “If I go deaf I go deaf”

By Steve Newton On January 19, 1984, Black Sabbath was scheduled to play the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. The British metal legends were touring behind their new album Born Again, their first and last one to feature Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan. Also in the lineup–though not on the album–was former Electric Light Orchestra drummer Bev Bevan. The show … Continue reading Black Sabbath cancels Born Again show in Vancouver, Tony Iommi says “If I go deaf I go deaf”

Mike Rutherford looks at his watch and says Genesis will probably make it through tonight’s show

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 6, 1984 By Steve Newton British supergroup Genesis--lead vocalist-drummer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks, and guitarist-bassist Mike Rutherford--will be appearing at the Pacific Coliseum this Monday, January 9. They will be joined in concert by touring members Daryl Stuermer on guitar and Chester Thompson on drums.  I spoke … Continue reading Mike Rutherford looks at his watch and says Genesis will probably make it through tonight’s show

B.B. King: The nicest bluesman I ever met

By Steve Newton I've interviewed a lot of incredible bluesmen over the years, including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King, Albert Collins, and Roy Buchanan. But far and away the nicest was B.B. King. Famed Vancouver punk-rock photographer Bev Davies snapped this shot of me 'n' B.B. in his hotel room at the Plazazz Showroom in … Continue reading B.B. King: The nicest bluesman I ever met