On the Vancouver set of Peter Benchley’s Creature with a shark that can walk

By Steve Newton Back in 1997 I did a set-visit piece for Fangoria on the local filming of Peter Benchley's Creature, a TV-movie based on theJaws author's 1994 novel, White Shark.  The sea-beast in question was not content just taking out swimmers in the ocean; it actually walked on land too. Yeah, sounded pretty hokey to me too—even with the … Continue reading On the Vancouver set of Peter Benchley’s Creature with a shark that can walk

Analyzing psycho-killer Edgler Vess’s spider-eating ways on the B.C. set of Dean Koontz’s Intensity

By Steve Newton Back in '97 I got assigned by Fangoria magazine to cover the filming of a FOX-TV miniseries called Intensity. Normally I wouldn't give a rat's ass about a FOX-TV miniseries, but this one was based on a novel I really loved by Dean Koontz, so I was in. Here's a shortened version of the story … Continue reading Analyzing psycho-killer Edgler Vess’s spider-eating ways on the B.C. set of Dean Koontz’s Intensity

Silverchair fanatics will lap up the Aussie grunge-rockers’ Freak Box

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 11, 1997 By Steve Newton You’ve gotta think pretty highly of yourself to issue a five-disc box set when you’ve only got two albums to your name, but that’s what teenage Aussie grunge-rockers Silverchair have done with this limited-edition import, The Freak Box. Even more bizarre, though, is … Continue reading Silverchair fanatics will lap up the Aussie grunge-rockers’ Freak Box

The Doors box set documents the band in all its unrefined glory

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 11, 1997 By Steve Newton This four-disc package of Doors material, spanning the years 1965 to ’71, favours previously unreleased live tracks and demo recordings over studio-polished hits, and documents the band in all its eccentric, unrefined, and—with tunes that pass the 18-minute mark—excessive glory. Its mix of … Continue reading The Doors box set documents the band in all its unrefined glory

Bonfire box a godsend for fans of AC/DC’s ear-bustin’ boogie blues

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 11, 1997 By Steve Newton My reviewer’s copy of the long-overdue AC/DC box set was labelled with a warning that it was not for sale and “must be returned on demand of recording company”. Yeah, right—I’d like to see Warner Brothers just try to get this prized package … Continue reading Bonfire box a godsend for fans of AC/DC’s ear-bustin’ boogie blues

Guitar great Steve Cropper helps helm Joe Louis Walker’s Great Guitars

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 20, 1997 Any bozo can pick up a guitar and trace out a simple pentatonic blues scale. I should know, I’ve been tracing out blues scales like a bozo for years. But while the most basic techniques of blues guitar are accessible to the beginner, it’s not nearly … Continue reading Guitar great Steve Cropper helps helm Joe Louis Walker’s Great Guitars

Carnivals and bar fights inspire Junkhouse’s Fuzz

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 20, 1997 On the Saturday afternoon when Junkhouse leader Tom Wilson calls from his Hamilton home, he’s still buzzing from a wild gig the previous night in Quebec City. It was the band’s first experience with the concert-in-the-round format, and it left the singer-songwriter-guitarist somewhat numbed. “It was … Continue reading Carnivals and bar fights inspire Junkhouse’s Fuzz

Spine-tingling guitar solos light up Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first-ever Vancouver show

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 4, 1997 By Steve Newton Those ’70s-rock fans sure are a devoted bunch. Even if one of their fave old bands hasn’t produced a hit in two decades, they’ll stick with it and flock to its concerts to hold Bic lighters on high and relive the halcyon days … Continue reading Spine-tingling guitar solos light up Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first-ever Vancouver show

For Paul Rodgers, everything stems from playing live

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 28, 1997 By Steve Newton Back in the late ’60s, British blues-rock crooner Paul Rodgers wrapped his gravel ’n’ honey vocals around a simple, bludgeoning Paul Kossoff guitar riff and rock history was made. Twenty-seven years after its release, Free’s “All Right Now” has joined an elite club … Continue reading For Paul Rodgers, everything stems from playing live

Ventures guitarist Don Wilson on the origin and influence of “Walk, Don’t Run”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 13, 1997 By Steve Newton When Ventures cofounder Bob Bogle walked onto a Seattle used-car lot one afternoon in 1959, he wasn’t expecting to form the nucleus of what would become the world’s top-selling instrumental-rock band—he was just looking for some new wheels. Fortunately, he ran into aspiring … Continue reading Ventures guitarist Don Wilson on the origin and influence of “Walk, Don’t Run”

Robben Ford scoops up Keith Richards’ rhythm section for Tiger Walk

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 13, 1997 By Steve Newton When the time came for California guitar great Robben Ford to record his latest CD, Tiger Walk, he had a pretty good idea which rhythm section he wanted backing him up. He’d heard it on a Keith Richards album. “I’m not really a … Continue reading Robben Ford scoops up Keith Richards’ rhythm section for Tiger Walk

That time at Aerosmith in Vancouver when Joey Kramer’s hallowed drumstick got snatched away

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 30, 1997 At the climax of Aerosmith’s two-hour-plus concert at the Coliseum last Saturday (October 25), muscular skin-basher Joey Kramer emerged from behind his rotating drum kit, trotted to the front of the stage, and jubilantly hurled one of his drumsticks into the roaring, near-capacity crowd. Seeing as … Continue reading That time at Aerosmith in Vancouver when Joey Kramer’s hallowed drumstick got snatched away

Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson talks ’70s concept albums but can’t comment on Quadrophenia

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 23, 1997 By Steve Newton Although I have no documented proof that I’m related to either Beavis or Butthead, I do harbour a couple of hazy teenage memories that keep me pondering that possibility. The one that has me most worried goes back to Chilliwack Senior Secondary School, … Continue reading Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson talks ’70s concept albums but can’t comment on Quadrophenia

When Aerosmith broke up with Bruce Fairbairn and hit the musical skids

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 16, 1997 By Steve Newton Sony Music had a lot at stake earlier this year when Aerosmith released Nine Lives, its first album for the label. The company had coughed up a reported US$30 million to sign the ageing band, far from chump change in anyone’s books. Then … Continue reading When Aerosmith broke up with Bruce Fairbairn and hit the musical skids

Pimped-out La-Z-Boys, shotguns, and crackheads colour S.C.O.T.S.’ Plastic Seat Sweat

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 9, 1997 By Steve Newton Some rock musicians search high and low for inspiration, while others just find it cruising around with a tow-truck driver high on crack. That’s what happened with “40 Miles to Vegas”, one of the wildest tracks on the new Southern Culture on the … Continue reading Pimped-out La-Z-Boys, shotguns, and crackheads colour S.C.O.T.S.’ Plastic Seat Sweat

The Refreshments fluked out scoring the King of the Hill theme

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 9, 1997 If there’s one thing that can lift my spirits on a sombre Sunday night, it’s the driving instrumental theme song of TV’s King of the Hill. I know there’s gonna be some hilarious redneck Texas humour comin’ up, and besides, it’s a damn fine tune—even if … Continue reading The Refreshments fluked out scoring the King of the Hill theme

Mick Fleetwood recalls the “powerful vibe” of Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 9, 1997 By Steve Newton Like some 25 million other folks, I own a copy of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. I purchased my vinyl version when it was released in 1977, and when I pulled it out the other day to see if I was ready to turn it … Continue reading Mick Fleetwood recalls the “powerful vibe” of Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac

Steve Vai on his long fingers, long feet, long arms, and…”you know”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 25, 1997 By Steve Newton On the cover of his Grammy-nominated Alien Love Secrets CD, Steve Vai strikes a pose while covered in metallic-blue body paint. He’s got his hands over his face and is peering out from between fingers that are so long, you’d think one of … Continue reading Steve Vai on his long fingers, long feet, long arms, and…”you know”

Joe Satriani reveals that he’s invited Clapton, Beck, and Page on G3 tours

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 25, 1997 By Steve Newton A concert by Bay Area guitar wizard Joe Satriani is usually all it takes to transport his followers to instrumental-rock heaven, but come Friday (September 26) at the Plaza of Nations, they’ll be getting way more twang for their buck. That’s when Satriani … Continue reading Joe Satriani reveals that he’s invited Clapton, Beck, and Page on G3 tours

NRBQ’s Terry Adams says music is always best when it’s surprising

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 4, 1997 By Steve Newton In decades past, strict-minded parents would try to keep impressionable youngsters away from rock ’n’ roll, believing it to lead to all manner of delinquency, not to mention swinging of the hips. But times have changed. Nowadays, beat-driven music is directed right at … Continue reading NRBQ’s Terry Adams says music is always best when it’s surprising

Molson Canadian screws the Newt over with a Blind Date from hell

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 4, 1997 I was really expecting something special from the latest entry in Molson Breweries’ series of exclusive promotional concerts, in which contest winners get to see a big-name rock band play a club, unaware of which group they’ll see until the show starts. Vancouver’s first Blind Date, … Continue reading Molson Canadian screws the Newt over with a Blind Date from hell

Sister Hazel’s meat-and-potatoes rock is alright by the Allman Brothers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 28, 1997 As bands sometimes do, Florida guitar-rockers Sister Hazel included snapshots from their youth in the booklet for their latest CD, …Somewhere More Familiar. There are photos of four little kids playing piano, violin, guitar (with a Neil Young headband!), and drums—and one of a smiling tyke … Continue reading Sister Hazel’s meat-and-potatoes rock is alright by the Allman Brothers

John Fogerty reveals the full meaning of the mystical phrase yee-haw! in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 28, 1997 By Steve Newton Most of the folks attending John Fogerty’s first Vancouver concert in 12 years last Friday (August 22) must have been aware that he had returned to playing some of his old Creedence Clearwater Revival hits, but nobody knew for sure how enthusiastically the … Continue reading John Fogerty reveals the full meaning of the mystical phrase yee-haw! in Vancouver

Rickey Medlocke on reuniting with Skynyrd, the plane crash, and the rebel flag

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 21, 1997 By Steve Newton October 20, 1977, is a day branded by sadness for southern-rock fans. That’s when Lynyrd Skynyrd’s rented plane, short on fuel, crashed into a Mississippi swamp en route to a gig at Louisiana University. Vocalist Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines died … Continue reading Rickey Medlocke on reuniting with Skynyrd, the plane crash, and the rebel flag

John Fogerty does things his own way on Blue Moon Swamp

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 21, 1997 By Steve Newton David Letterman has never been known to ask his musical guests to return the very next night after a Late Show appearance, but the gap-toothed TV talk-show host broke with tradition a couple of months back when he got John Fogerty to pull … Continue reading John Fogerty does things his own way on Blue Moon Swamp

20-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd has the guitar world by the balls

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 7, 1997 By Steve Newton Some guys have all the luck—and a fair whack of talent, too. Take Kenny Wayne Shepherd, for instance. He just turned 20, yet he’s one of the biggest names on the blues-rock scene, with a debut CD that has moved more than 750,000 … Continue reading 20-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd has the guitar world by the balls