That time I called Johnny Ramone up in Rio and he said the Ramones were huge down there

By Steve Newton Back in September of 1992 I did my second interview with punk-rock guitar legend Johnny Ramone. (Here's my first one, from 1983.) At the time the Ramones were touring South America, promoting their brand new album Mondo Bizarro. Johnny took my call at his hotel in Rio, just as he was about … Continue reading That time I called Johnny Ramone up in Rio and he said the Ramones were huge down there

That time I asked Gord Downie about the cool cover art on the Tragically Hip’s Fully Completely

By Steve Newton This audio excerpt from my 1992 interview with Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie concerns the intriguing album-cover art for Fully Completely, which the band released less than a month before our little chat. At the time I was still trying to make sense of the weird kind of collage that would become … Continue reading That time I asked Gord Downie about the cool cover art on the Tragically Hip’s Fully Completely

That time Gord Downie told me about recording Fully Completely with producer Chris Tsangarides

By Steve Newton I did my second interview with Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie in November of '92, shortly after the release of the unforgettable Fully Completely album. It was the only Hip album to be produced by Chris Tsangarides, the same guy who helmed Thin Lizzy's final albums, Renegade and Thunder and Lightning. In this … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me about recording Fully Completely with producer Chris Tsangarides

That time Gord Downie told me about Bill Barilko and the story behind the Tragically Hip’s “50 Mission Cap”

By Steve Newton I did my second interview with the Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie in November of 1992, one month after the release of the Fully Completely album. As you may already know, that's the best Hip album ever, partly because of the uber-Canadian song "50 Mission Cap", which mentions a hockey card and … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me about Bill Barilko and the story behind the Tragically Hip’s “50 Mission Cap”

Meeting the men behind Freddy Krueger inside Wes Craven’s Nightmare Cafe

During my 13 years as a correspondent for Fangoria magazine I enthusiastically covered the horror beat in Vancouver, visiting the sets of such destined-to-be-awful films as Halloween: Resurrection and Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. But it wasn't just big-screen projects that I wrote about. If there was a horror-related TV series (Poltergeist: The … Continue reading Meeting the men behind Freddy Krueger inside Wes Craven’s Nightmare Cafe

Oculus director to adapt Stephen King’s kinky psych-horror Gerald’s Game

Word out of the Cannes Film Festival is that Oculus director Mike Flanagan will helm an adaptation of Stephen King's 1992 novel, Gerald's Game, about a woman who fights to survive after a bondage game with her husband goes horribly wrong. Gerald's Game was the followup to King's 1991 behemoth, Needful Things, which--at 690 pages--was nearly … Continue reading Oculus director to adapt Stephen King’s kinky psych-horror Gerald’s Game

Horrific hijinx on the Vancouver set of Stephen King’s Needful Things

By Steve Newton One of the most enjoyable set visits I did during my 13-year tenure with Fangoria was for Needful Things, the adaptation of Stephen King's 1991 novel. In December of '92 I journeyed out to North Vancouver and got the scoop on the movie, with much help from the delightful duo of Canadian comedian-actress … Continue reading Horrific hijinx on the Vancouver set of Stephen King’s Needful Things

Blind Melon’s Shannon Hoon defines success as making it last

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 23, 1992 By Steve Newton When he was a headline-making member of the infamous Sex Pistols, John Lydon went to extremes to make sure people either loved or hated his grating, nihilistic Johnny Rotten persona. And, according to Blind Melon vocalist Shannon Hoon, Lydon hasn’t given up his … Continue reading Blind Melon’s Shannon Hoon defines success as making it last

Layne Staley says “No booze for yooz” as Alice in Chains goes all-ages in Vancouver

@shotbykevin ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DECEMBER 23, 1992 By Steve Newton What does it mean when a venue loses its liquor licence and a concert is changed from an all-you-can-drink show to an “all-ages” event? Does it mean that anyone who goes can act like a 16-year-old and get away with it? I … Continue reading Layne Staley says “No booze for yooz” as Alice in Chains goes all-ages in Vancouver

Gene Simmons says Kiss putting makeup on for money is akin to wearing diapers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 10, 1992 By Steve Newton The job of interviewing Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons is not an easy one, seeing as there are so many things a ’70s rock fan wants to ask the millionaire God of Thunder. You want to glean his views on the price of riches and … Continue reading Gene Simmons says Kiss putting makeup on for money is akin to wearing diapers

Screaming Trees find themselves suddenly cool with Sweet Oblivion

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 10, 1992 By Steve Newton A little while back, the Screaming Trees were musical guests on Late Night with David Letterman. Dressed in grubby alternative garb, the band raunched it up with its latest single, “Nearly Lost You”, and everything was fine. But Letterman, noting the wide girths … Continue reading Screaming Trees find themselves suddenly cool with Sweet Oblivion

Gordon Downie goes Fully Completely Canadian on new Tragically Hip album

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 26, 1992 By Steve Newton If there were a CRTC regulation that based Canadian content on actual lyrics as opposed to the citizenship of a song’s composer, the Tragically Hip would be the darlings of CanCon advocates across the country. On their new album, Fully Completely, the Hipsters … Continue reading Gordon Downie goes Fully Completely Canadian on new Tragically Hip album

Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson believes metal is a powerful force in the ’90s

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 26, 1992 By Steve Newton More than any other metal tune in 1992, Megadeth’s “Symphony of Destruction” was the one that made this jaded, riff-ravaged semi-headbanger sit up and take notice. Driven by a brutally direct, ’70s-style guitar riff, the sharp-edged cut was a welcome respite from the … Continue reading Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson believes metal is a powerful force in the ’90s

Weed-loving Black Crowes bring their pro-pot stance to Vancouver

@shotbykevin ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 5, 1992 By Steve Newton About an hour into the Black Crowes’ sold-out Queen Elizabeth Theatre show last Wednesday (October 28), the Atlanta blues-rock sextet rolled out a brand-new tune for its exuberant fans, most of whom had been standing up the whole time, cheering like mad. … Continue reading Weed-loving Black Crowes bring their pro-pot stance to Vancouver

Guitar wizard Joe Satriani is totally cool being The Extremist

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 29, 1992 By Steve Newton Joe Satriani doesn’t do anything halfway. Whether writing, recording, or playing live, the New York-born, San Francisco-based guitar wizard always strives for musical perfection. If there were a rock ’n’ roll army, Satriani would surely be all that he could be. “One of … Continue reading Guitar wizard Joe Satriani is totally cool being The Extremist

Trouble guitarist Rick Wartell steals riffs from Chicago blues bands

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 29, 1992 By Steve Newton The Windy City is not generally regarded as a rock ’n’ roll hotbed. The U.S.A.’s third-largest metropolis seems much better known for Bulls, Bears, and Blackhawks than big-selling boogie bands. “It’s not exactly a boom town for music,” admits Trouble guitarist/songwriter Rick Wartell. … Continue reading Trouble guitarist Rick Wartell steals riffs from Chicago blues bands

Jethro Tull’s acoustic side gets showcased on A Little Light Music

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCTOBER 22, 1992 By Steve Newton “So how’d it go last night?” That’s a question I’ll often start an interview with, to loosen things up when I know a musician has played a gig the night before. Usually, I get a response along the lines of, “Really good, actually,” … Continue reading Jethro Tull’s acoustic side gets showcased on A Little Light Music

Three times ain’t the charm as Def Leppard brings the sap to Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 8, 1992 Last Saturday (October 3) I saw British rockers Def Leppard for the third—and probably last—time. I’d actually enjoyed their exhilarating brand of “happy metal” on the 1984 Pyromania tour with Uriah Heep, and on the 1988 Hysteria tour with Tesla. This time around they didn’t have … Continue reading Three times ain’t the charm as Def Leppard brings the sap to Vancouver