Attending Kits High in 1993 to study the wicked ways of The Substitute

  By Steve Newton If somebody asked you what Mark Wahlberg's first film was, I bet you wouldn't know it's The Substitute. I doubt many folks have seen The Substitute. Heck, I haven't even seen it--and I spent hours on a Vancouver set doing interviews for a Fangoria story when it was shot here back in 1993. It was a … Continue reading Attending Kits High in 1993 to study the wicked ways of The Substitute

David Wilcox’s whimsical boogie doesn’t warrant a 63-song box set

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 9, 1993 By Steve Newton In the early ’80s David Wilcox flew onto the Canadian music scene with Out of the Woods, a debut album that was chock-full of snappy, whimsically rocking tunes that couldn’t help but infect you with their primal, blues-driven energy. Catchy tracks such as … Continue reading David Wilcox’s whimsical boogie doesn’t warrant a 63-song box set

The Return of the Manticore box set is for devoted ELP fans only

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 9, 1993 By Steve Newton As a high schooler back in ’73, I blindly purchased a copy of Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Brain Salad Surgery, which was highly unusual for me, since the band didn’t even have a rockin’ lead guitarist and I didn’t even do drugs. Yet … Continue reading The Return of the Manticore box set is for devoted ELP fans only

Message in a Box delivers all the great tracks the Police laid down before Sting went off by himself to be boring

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 9, 1993 By Steve Newton Now here’s one band that deserves to have its recorded output compiled in one nifty boxed set. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like the Police, the pioneering Anglo-American rock trio whose adventurous melding of pop styles and sheer musical talent made its … Continue reading Message in a Box delivers all the great tracks the Police laid down before Sting went off by himself to be boring

Ashes to Diamonds box set shines with unreleased Tom Cochrane gems

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 9, 1993 By Steve Newton This three-CD box set is a real bonus for Tom Cochrane fans who enjoyed his recent hits, “Big League” and “Life Is a Highway”, but who still believe his best musical moments occurred with his former band, Red Rider. The majority of the … Continue reading Ashes to Diamonds box set shines with unreleased Tom Cochrane gems

Aussie guitar wizard Tommy Emmanuel on playing with Chet Atkins and looking after Lenny Breau

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 5, 1994 By Steve Newton When I was in my early 20s, I made what for me was a major investment. I bought a near-new, shiny black Fender Stratocaster. The fact that I couldn't even play guitar at the time didn't matter; I figured anything that cool-looking had … Continue reading Aussie guitar wizard Tommy Emmanuel on playing with Chet Atkins and looking after Lenny Breau

Headstones debut with kick-ass Dylan cover while workin’ for MCA

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 20, 1994 By Steve Newton Some hard-rock bands just don’t do justice to the tunes they cover. Great White had a huge hit with its 1989 rendition of Ian Hunter’s classic “Once Bitten Twice Shy”, but the revamped version sucked, for lack of a better word. The mighty … Continue reading Headstones debut with kick-ass Dylan cover while workin’ for MCA

Terrible sadness over an abortion led to All’s regretful “Birthday I.O.U.”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 25, 1993 By Steve Newton We’ve all heard stories about small-town folk who pull up roots and travel to Tinseltown in search of fame and fortune. Well, the members of Yankee rock band All put a new twist on that fabled routine. After years of plugging away as … Continue reading Terrible sadness over an abortion led to All’s regretful “Birthday I.O.U.”

Down Under slide-guitarist Dave Hole sports an over-the-top style

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 18, 1993 By Steve Newton As a musically inclined teenager living in Perth, Australia, during the 1960s, Dave Hole didn’t get the opportunity to hear much music by the great American bluesmen of the time. One fateful day, however, a member of his teenaged cover band got his … Continue reading Down Under slide-guitarist Dave Hole sports an over-the-top style

Steve Vai takes Devin Townsend on in a guitar duel but doesn’t let the home team win

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 7, 1993 By Steve Newton Vancouver vocalist Devin Townsend caused a minor uproar (and prompted a few letters to the editor) when he was interviewed in the Straight a few weeks back. Some folks didn’t appreciate the 21-year-old’s caustic view of the music industry or his offhand remarks … Continue reading Steve Vai takes Devin Townsend on in a guitar duel but doesn’t let the home team win

Robert Plant says young girls still whimper as he walks past

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 30, 1993 By Steve Newton Robert Plant is one of the best-known rock stars in the world. He’s certainly one of the best-known rock stars I’ve ever had the opportunity to chat with. So when he calls from New York and I ask him how he’s doing, the … Continue reading Robert Plant says young girls still whimper as he walks past

Anthrax singer John Bush looks back on Armored Saint with no regrets

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 2, 1993 By Steve Newton The metal world got quite a shock when it was announced last year that original Anthrax vocalist Joey Belladonna was leaving the band after 11 successful years. It got even more of a jolt when former Armored Saint vocalist John Bush jumped in … Continue reading Anthrax singer John Bush looks back on Armored Saint with no regrets

Guitar star Wild ‘T’ displays the spirit of a true blues-rock showman

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 2, 1993 David Bowie has a pretty good eye for guitarists. Whether it’s Mick Ronson, Earl Slick, Robert Fripp, Peter Frampton, or Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bowie tends to pick players whose talent and style put them a healthy cut above the rest. When Bowie saw the video for … Continue reading Guitar star Wild ‘T’ displays the spirit of a true blues-rock showman

Galactic Cowboys create melodic prog-metal with a Beatlesque vibe

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 26, 1993 By Steve Newton I heard someone say once that they do things differently down in Texas, and after chatting with Galactic Cowboys vocalist Ben Huggins, I believe it. Take, for example, the photos that accompany the Houston-based band’s latest release, Space in Your Face. While more … Continue reading Galactic Cowboys create melodic prog-metal with a Beatlesque vibe

3-D cover art enhances Voivod’s otherwordly themes on The Outer Limits

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 26, 1993 By Steve Newton I remember, back in the mid-’70s, picking up a secondhand copy of Grand Funk’s Shinin’ On. It wasn’t a very good album—I think it included the band’s hit remake of “Locomotion”, which I still can’t stand—but it had a 3-D cover, and when … Continue reading 3-D cover art enhances Voivod’s otherwordly themes on The Outer Limits

That time I pissed George Thorogood right off. “Is that funny?”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 19, 1993 By Steve Newton George Thorogood’s latest single, “Get a Haircut”, doesn’t sound like a song you would travel 10,000 miles to discover in an Australian pub. It’s a typical 12-bar blues, with unsophisticated, anti-establishment lyrics most songwriters could come up with in their sleep. Thorogood couldn’t … Continue reading That time I pissed George Thorogood right off. “Is that funny?”

Urge Overkill are nuts about Neil Diamond and All My Children

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 19, 1993 By Steve Newton Urge Overkill and my mom have quite a lot in common. My mom doesn’t travel around the country wearing cool outfits and wigging out to hook-laden rock tunes. But I’ll tell ya one thing—she sure loves watching All My Children on the tube. … Continue reading Urge Overkill are nuts about Neil Diamond and All My Children

Midnight Oil’s “tree-hugging a**hole” kicks ass for Clayoquot Sound at the Hip’s Another Roadside Attraction

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 22, 1993 By Steve Newton It didn’t take long for Midnight Oil singer/environmental activist Peter Garrett to bring up the contentious issue of logging in Clayoquot Sound during Saturday’s (July 17) Another Roadside Attraction rock festival at Seabird Island in Agassiz. Right after the band’s introductory tune, the … Continue reading Midnight Oil’s “tree-hugging a**hole” kicks ass for Clayoquot Sound at the Hip’s Another Roadside Attraction

Foxfest ends on a weak note with a Leppard past its prime

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 8, 1993 By Steve Newton Seabird Island isn’t really an island, and that’s a good thing, because judging by the massive line-ups of cars on the highway heading to the Agassiz site, the wait for ferries would have been brutal. Seabird is actually a great big grassy field … Continue reading Foxfest ends on a weak note with a Leppard past its prime

Ugly Kid Joe’s smash hit spawned by tinkering on the piano

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 1, 1993 By Steve Newton When you consider that Ugly Kid Joe’s career skyrocketed on the strength of just one song, the humorous little ditty “Everything About You”, it makes you wonder if that tune might have been a well-calculated shot at the big time—if maybe a bunch … Continue reading Ugly Kid Joe’s smash hit spawned by tinkering on the piano

Bash & Pop’s Tommy Stinson stole plenty from Paul Westerberg

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 17, 1993 By Steve Newton When I first heard the title of the debut Bash & Pop release, Friday Night Is Killing Me, I figured it was something I could relate to a bit, since I’d had a few rough Friday nights in my own lifetime—not to mention … Continue reading Bash & Pop’s Tommy Stinson stole plenty from Paul Westerberg

Classy, driven Tina Turner shows her blues prowess in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 17, 1993 Before heading over to the Coliseum for Tina Turner’s show last Thursday (June 10), I popped in to the grand opening of the new Mongolie Grill near Robson and Thurlow. The place was jam-packed with hungry schmoozers lining up for free food and booze, and I … Continue reading Classy, driven Tina Turner shows her blues prowess in Vancouver

Blues Saraceno’s amp-blowing reminded Jack Bruce of something Hendrix would do

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1993 By Steve Newton As a kid growing up in the wee burgh of Middletown, Conn., Blues Saraceno had it kinda rough. He wanted to play guitar, but he couldn’t find anyone his age to jam with. “That was the absolute worst,” Saraceno says on the line … Continue reading Blues Saraceno’s amp-blowing reminded Jack Bruce of something Hendrix would do

Issues with Bob Rock and Sharon Osbourne leave the Quireboys Bitter Sweet & Twisted

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 27, 1993 After Bob Rock hit the big time by producing Motley Crue’s No. 1 album, Dr. Feelgood—and then accomplished the incredible feat of making former thrash-masters Metallica a mainstream rock-radio fave—it seemed the Vancouver producer could do no wrong. And although Rock’s reputation as a producer with … Continue reading Issues with Bob Rock and Sharon Osbourne leave the Quireboys Bitter Sweet & Twisted

Paul Rodgers proves that he’s the world’s best guy at going “Whoa-yeaah!” in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 20, 1993 By Steve Newton The first time I saw Paul Rodgers perform live was back in the ’70s, when Bad Company played the Pacific Coliseum on the Running with the Pack tour. I didn’t see him again until last Friday (May 14), but lemme tell ya—the guy … Continue reading Paul Rodgers proves that he’s the world’s best guy at going “Whoa-yeaah!” in Vancouver

Jeff Healey defends the bluesiness of new album Feel This

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 13, 1993 By Steve Newton Usually when I picture the Jeff Healey Band in concert, I visualize Healey seated at centre stage, his guitar on his lap, surrounded only by a couple of guys with curly black hair (drummer Tom Stephen and bassist Joe Rockman). But when the … Continue reading Jeff Healey defends the bluesiness of new album Feel This

Jack Semple’s Guitar Warz win delivered confidence and a hook

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 29, 1993 By Steve Newton One day about a year ago, I bumped into a guitar-playing acquaintance who was visiting the Georgia Straight office to put a free musician’s ad in the paper. He started raving about this “wicked” guitarist he’d seen the night before at Jake O’Grady’s, … Continue reading Jack Semple’s Guitar Warz win delivered confidence and a hook