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

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The Gord Downie Tapes, 1992: analyzing the wild cover art of Fully Completely

By Steve Newton This last 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 … Continue reading The Gord Downie Tapes, 1992: analyzing the wild cover art of Fully Completely

The Gord Downie Tapes, 1992: wishing he was a Thin Lizzy freak

By Steve Newton This sixth entry in "The Gord Downie Tapes" sees me still plundering the conversation I had with the Tragically Hip frontman 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 … Continue reading The Gord Downie Tapes, 1992: wishing he was a Thin Lizzy freak

The Gord Downie Tapes, 1992: the story behind “50 Mission Cap”

By Steve Newton On this glorious Canada Day weekend I can't think of a better choice for the fifth entry in my "Gord Downie Tapes" series than a snippet of my '92 interview with him in the wake of the Fully Completely album release. As you may already know, that's the best Hip album ever, partly … Continue reading The Gord Downie Tapes, 1992: the story behind “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

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DECEMBER 23, 1992 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 guess so. “All right, … 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

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. At … 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

Blue Rodeo doesn’t recommend taking acid at the Commodore in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 8, 1992 By Steve Newton There’s nothing like timing it just right, so that when you walk into a concert venue the band’s just going on stage. But sometimes that I-don’t-feel-like-waitin' approach backfires, and you end up missing a few tunes by the group you’re all geared up … Continue reading Blue Rodeo doesn’t recommend taking acid at the Commodore in Vancouver

The Ramones stay fast and furious on Mondo Bizarro

ORIGINALLY POSTED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 1, 1992 By Steve Newton The Ramones have come a long way since their ear-bustin’ brand of music first helped kick-start the late-’70s punk-rock craze. The band is still delivering the same barrage of noise—three-minute, three-chord tunes played fast and furious, with humorous lyrics and wacky titles like … Continue reading The Ramones stay fast and furious on Mondo Bizarro

Robert Cray and Colin James can’t match Jeff Healey in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 10, 1992 The PNE isn’t normally the type of place you’d go to save money, but Vancouver blues-rock fans who paid just $7.50 (plus fair admission) to see guitar heroes Robert Cray, Jeff Healey, and Colin James last Thursday (September 3) got themselves a heckuva good deal. They … Continue reading Robert Cray and Colin James can’t match Jeff Healey in Vancouver

Emerson, Lake and Palmer pine for the days of vinyl and art-led music

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 27, 1992 By Steve Newton MONTREAL—The only band I liked in the ’70s that didn’t have a rockin’ electric guitarist was Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Over the years, I’ve wondered what it was that attracted me to the British progressive band’s unique keyboards/bass/drums format and made me happy … Continue reading Emerson, Lake and Palmer pine for the days of vinyl and art-led music

Now that he’s in Guns N’ Roses Dizzy Reed can buy drinks for all his freennz

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 13, 1992 By Steve Newton Some hard-rock bands like to boast about not using keyboards; they take pride in sticking with the trusty old guitar-bass-drums ideal. Guns N’ Roses might have been such a band in its early days, but when it came time to record its ground-breaking … Continue reading Now that he’s in Guns N’ Roses Dizzy Reed can buy drinks for all his freennz

Fourth Estate guitar wizard Dave Beegle is nuts about Max Webster

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 6, 1992 By Steve Newton Once in a blue moon, I’ll come across an album by a band that I’d never heard of before and be blown right away. Such was the case when local promoter Brock Armstrong turned me on to Fourth Estate, an instrumental rock band … Continue reading Fourth Estate guitar wizard Dave Beegle is nuts about Max Webster

Kim Mitchell hits 40 and just keeps getting wet with life

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 6, 1992 By Steve Newton Used to be that whenever you saw Kim Mitchell’s name on an album’s liner notes the name of his lyricist, Pye Dubois, would be right there beside it. But Dubois’ moniker is nowhere to be found on Mitchell’s latest release, Aural Fixations. Seems … Continue reading Kim Mitchell hits 40 and just keeps getting wet with life

Dickey Betts figures the Allman Brothers transcend generations

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 23, 1992 By Steve Newton Every long-time Allman Brothers fan has a favourite tune by the influential Southern rock band. Some folks tend towards the bluesy slide-guitar riff of “One Way Out”, some go hog-wild when they hear the cascading guitar intro to the band’s biggest hit, “Ramblin’ … Continue reading Dickey Betts figures the Allman Brothers transcend generations

Doyle Bramhall II’s dad wants his Lightnin’ Hopkins guitar back

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 16, 1992 By Steve Newton Anyone fortunate enough to have seen the late Stevie Ray Vaughan play knows the gifted Texas blues-rocker had that special something of which guitar legends are made. But good as he was, Vaughan would never have been able to soar to the heights … Continue reading Doyle Bramhall II’s dad wants his Lightnin’ Hopkins guitar back