Covering Xtro II for Fangoria offshoot Gorezone and interviewing a director who’d rather be playing piano

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN GOREZONE #16, WINTER 1990 By Steve Newton Four years ago, Vancouver’s Expo '86 opened its doors to visitors from far and wide, who came to take in the World’s Fair and revel in its fancy displays on the theme of transportation. But lately the old Expo site has seen visitations of a … Continue reading Covering Xtro II for Fangoria offshoot Gorezone and interviewing a director who’d rather be playing piano

Album review: Roger Waters, The Wall Live in Berlin (1990)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 20, 1990 By Steve Newton With such a hodgepodge of guest artists—acts as varied as Sinead O’Connor and the Scorpions, Bryan Adams and James Galway—it seemed quite likely that Roger Waters’s new live recording of The Wall would turn out as a disjointed, hit-and-miss project. But despite the … Continue reading Album review: Roger Waters, The Wall Live in Berlin (1990)

Album review: Yngwie Malmsteen, Eclipse (1990)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 23, 1990 By Steve Newton When Swedish guitar whiz Yngwie Malmsteen burst onto the hard-rock scene in ’84 with the Rising Force album, he took a lot of people by surprise—and it wasn't just his funny name (pronounced "Ing-vay") that did it. Malmsteen was a classically influenced speed-demon, … Continue reading Album review: Yngwie Malmsteen, Eclipse (1990)

Album review: Bruce Dickinson, Tattooed Millionaire (1990)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 16, 1990 By Steve Newton Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson cut his teeth on ’70s bands like Bad Company and Mott the Hoople, and on his first solo album, the steel-throated vocalist gets a chance to loosen the thrashier chains of Maiden and indulge in some of the … Continue reading Album review: Bruce Dickinson, Tattooed Millionaire (1990)

Album review: Heart, Brigade (1990)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 16, 1990 By Steve Newton I've been an off-and-on admirer of the Wilson sisters for many years now—heck, they used to play teen dances when I was a kid in Chilliwack, and I loved ’em. I loved ’em a lot more than I do now, that's for sure. … Continue reading Album review: Heart, Brigade (1990)

Album review: the Beat Farmers, Loud and Plowed and…Live!! (1990)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 9, 1990 By Steve Newton San Diego's prime providers of rude ’n’ rowdy rock ’n’ roll have finally done it. After years of putting on shows—a lot of them right here in Vancouver—that were so wild they verged on the criminal, the Beat Farmers have released a live … Continue reading Album review: the Beat Farmers, Loud and Plowed and…Live!! (1990)

Album review: Johnny Crash, Neighbourhood Threat (1990)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 19, 1990 By Steve Newton Just last month the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band (or one of ’em, anyway) was locked away in Vancouver's Little Mountain Sound with producer Bruce Fairbairn, putting the finishing touches on its next album. No, I’m not talking about the Stones here. … Continue reading Album review: Johnny Crash, Neighbourhood Threat (1990)

That time I tried telling Albert King that Elmore James was his biggest influence

By Steve Newton When I look back over my 39-year career in music journalism, there are some folks that I'm really, really glad I got to talk to. Like Albert King. Of the three big Kings--sorry B.B. and Freddie--I think I appreciate Albert the most. There was something about the way he could wring deep, … Continue reading That time I tried telling Albert King that Elmore James was his biggest influence

The Blue Aeroplanes find confidence with Swagger, Michael Stipe forces Morrissey to watch

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 28, 1990 By Steve Newton If you scan the liner notes to the Blue Aeroplanes’ new album Swagger, the guitar/bass/drum credits look pretty normal for a pop group from Bristol, England. Then you spot an unusual name at the bottom of the band line-up—Wojtek Dmochowski. And you see … Continue reading The Blue Aeroplanes find confidence with Swagger, Michael Stipe forces Morrissey to watch

Motley Crue plays Vancouver at the height of its popularity on the Dr. Feelgood tour

By Steve Newton A quarter-century ago today—on June 9, 1990—Motley Crue played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. That was the exact same night Janet Jackson played B.C. Place Stadium. I chose the lesser of two evils—or so I thought at the time. Back then the Crue was at the very peak of its success, touring … Continue reading Motley Crue plays Vancouver at the height of its popularity on the Dr. Feelgood tour

Squeeze carries on undeterred after Jools Holland opts for his “Mr. Showbiz caper”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 25, 1990 By Steve Newton The liner notes to Squeeze's new live album, A Round and a Bout, contain a precise itinerary of the 892 concerts that the band has performed around the world since forming in '74. There are early shows at the Camden Girls School and … Continue reading Squeeze carries on undeterred after Jools Holland opts for his “Mr. Showbiz caper”

Tommy Aldridge talks Black Oak Arkansas, Whitesnake, Ozzy, and the brilliance of Randy Rhoads

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 10, 1990 By Steve Newton After several years in the rock critic biz, it's easy for a writer to pick up the ONNTD syndrome. That's an affliction that occurs when you request an interview with a big-name band and the record company won't let you talk to the … Continue reading Tommy Aldridge talks Black Oak Arkansas, Whitesnake, Ozzy, and the brilliance of Randy Rhoads

The B-52s make a triumphant return to Vancouver in the wake of Cosmic Thing

photo by Kevin Statham ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 26, 1990 By Steve Newton Why, on why, did the B-52's have to get booked into the Orpheum? As one of the prime providers of bouncy, shake-your-booty pop-rock, the band would have been so much better in a place where it's okay to move … Continue reading The B-52s make a triumphant return to Vancouver in the wake of Cosmic Thing

Alice Cooper’s youthful band breathes fire into the shock-rock’s king’s classics in Vancouver

photo by Kevin Statham ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 26, 1990 By Steve Newton If Alice Cooper's concert at the Coliseum last Thursday (January 18) were a horror movie--and in a way it nearly was--it might have been called the The Return of Alice, Part 10: The New Blood. On his latest tour, … Continue reading Alice Cooper’s youthful band breathes fire into the shock-rock’s king’s classics in Vancouver

Art Bergmann plays Sexual Roulette on behalf of downtrodden rockers everywhere

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 20, 1990 By Steve Newton It's a sunny Friday afternoon on Granville Island. Art Bergmann and I are negotiating our way through armies of cars—parked and mobile—in search of a suitable spot to have a chat. "I don't have any money," confides Bergmann as we head over to … Continue reading Art Bergmann plays Sexual Roulette on behalf of downtrodden rockers everywhere

The Cramps borrow Loverboy’s barricade to keep crazed Vancouver fans at bay

chris cameron photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 20, 1990 By Steve Newton What do squeaky-clean teen idols Loverboy and the crude 'n' demented Cramps have in common? Sweet-bugger-all, you say? Pretty close, but the Cramps did borrow Loverboy's barricade to use in front of the Commodore stage last Thursday (April 12). With … Continue reading The Cramps borrow Loverboy’s barricade to keep crazed Vancouver fans at bay

The Cramps’ Poison Ivy says that what passes for rock ‘n’ roll isn’t

By Steve Newton On April 12, 1990--the Cramps played the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. Oh man, what a show that was. R.I.P. Lux Interior. In advance of the gig I was fortunate enough to interview Cramps guitarist Poison Ivy--aka Ivy Rorschach--and that was a trip as well. Here's the story that appeared in the Georgia Straight … Continue reading The Cramps’ Poison Ivy says that what passes for rock ‘n’ roll isn’t

Laid-back legend J.J. Cale tells me “there’s no hurry”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 1990 By Steve Newton Eric Clapton has a lot of admirers, most of them appreciative of the fine music the British guitarist has delivered over the years. But J.J. Cale has another reason for feeling indebted to Clapton, and you spell it with a dollar sign. If Clapton … Continue reading Laid-back legend J.J. Cale tells me “there’s no hurry”

Entering the lair of Pennywise the Clown on the set of Stephen King’s It

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN FANGORIA #98, Nov. 1990 By Steve Newton As anyone who's tackled Stephen King's It can tell you, the 1986 novel of a shape-shifting, child-chomping monster is not a quick read--that is, unless you happen to be Evelyn Wood's speadreading coach. Because it's such an enormous tome, it seems apt that the location where … Continue reading Entering the lair of Pennywise the Clown on the set of Stephen King’s It

Aerosmith plays Vancouver on the Pump tour, Bruce Fairbairn blows his horn

kevin statham photo By Steve Newton On March 17, 1990, Aerosmith played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. At the time the band was still putting out pretty decent albums; six months earlier it had released Pump, which boasted rockin' numbers like "Monkey on My Back", "Young Lust", and "The Other Side". This was before it … Continue reading Aerosmith plays Vancouver on the Pump tour, Bruce Fairbairn blows his horn

Nirvana plays the Town Pump in Vancouver (two days after the Beat Farmers)

Twenty-five years ago today—on March 12, 1990—Nirvana played Vancouver's Town Pump on a double-bill with fellow Seattle grunge-rockers Tad. Remember that amazing gig? I don't. For some strange reason I didn't go, although a year later I'd return to the fabled Gastown venue to review Tad, and then six months after that, the mighty Pearl Jam. I've been … Continue reading Nirvana plays the Town Pump in Vancouver (two days after the Beat Farmers)

Stratmaster Robin Trower talks Hendrix and blues, says “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 11, 1990 By Steve Newton You know how some recording artists make you think of old times, and help you crystallize visions from the past? Well, when I think of Robin Trower, I picture a mid-'70s high-schooler cruising the main drag of Chilliwack in a wood-grained Monaco station … Continue reading Stratmaster Robin Trower talks Hendrix and blues, says “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

Joe Satriani explains how he overcame pain and suffering to fulfill his new Blue Dream

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 19, 1990 By Steve Newton Just as almost everyone can recall where they were when news broke of John F. Kennedy's assassination, a lot of rock fans can vividly remember that day in 1970 when the news of Jimi Hendrix's death came down. Joe Satriani was in high … Continue reading Joe Satriani explains how he overcame pain and suffering to fulfill his new Blue Dream

Alice Cooper tours with Trash, talks songwriting, horror, and ’70s rock

me and the Coop. I've still got that '80s leather jacket if anybody wants to buy it. the arms come off so it turns into a funky vest. kevin statham photo By Steve Newton Twenty-five years ago today--on January 18, 1990--Alice Cooper played Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum, touring behind his 18th studio album, Trash. It featured guest appearances … Continue reading Alice Cooper tours with Trash, talks songwriting, horror, and ’70s rock

Led Zeppelin box gets you the best of Zep on tape or CD for one nominal price

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 3, 1991 By Steve Newton So you’re all upset because over the years you’ve invested $200 into your mint collection of Led Zeppelin LPs, only to turn around and find that vinyl is going the way of the dodo. Well, quit your bawling, ’cause now you can get … Continue reading Led Zeppelin box gets you the best of Zep on tape or CD for one nominal price

Rowdy metal fans bleed for Savatage at the Commodore in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 6, 1990 It was supposed to be a triple-bill of American recording acts, featuring Atlantic’s Savatage, Def American’s Trouble, and MCA’s Spread Eagle, and that combination could well have resulted in the year’s top metal triple-bill. But as bad luck would have it, Trouble and Spread Eagle pulled … Continue reading Rowdy metal fans bleed for Savatage at the Commodore in Vancouver

The Northern Pikes’ Bryan Potvin still plays air-guitar to the Tragically Hip

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 23, 1990 By Steve Newton “Never judge lovers by good-looking covers,” warned Phil Lynott on “Romeo and the Lonely Girl”, a track from Thin Lizzy’s classic ’76 album, Jailbreak. Bryan Potvin of the Northern Pikes didn’t heed Lynott’s advice and paid the price, as evidenced by “She Ain't … Continue reading The Northern Pikes’ Bryan Potvin still plays air-guitar to the Tragically Hip