20-year-old slide-guitar ace Derek Trucks wants to jam with B.B. King

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 2, 1999 By Steve Newton Teenage blues-rocker Kenny Wayne Shepherd has a great story about how he got inspired to take up guitar. It has something to do with him, as a little kid, watching Stevie Ray Vaughan perform from atop one of the Texas guitar legend’s amp … Continue reading 20-year-old slide-guitar ace Derek Trucks wants to jam with B.B. King

Michael Stipe can’t stop calling Being John Malkovich audacious

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 28, 1999 By Steve Newton NEW YORK—Michael Stipe is best-known as the singer for Athens, Georgia, guitar-rock greats R.E.M., the band he’s fronted since 1980. But he’s got another life as a film producer that only industry insiders and dedicated movie buffs are aware of. His mostly overlooked … Continue reading Michael Stipe can’t stop calling Being John Malkovich audacious

Jeff Beck’s astonishing Vancouver show crushes the myth that Clapton is God

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 23, 1999 By Steve Newton Apart from an arena show with Rod Stewart in the ’80s, it had been nearly 25 years since fans of Jeff Beck last saw him play here, so the anticipatory vibe that surged through the Queen E around 9 p.m. last Saturday (September … Continue reading Jeff Beck’s astonishing Vancouver show crushes the myth that Clapton is God

Kelly Joe Phelps earns raves from the Edge, Steve Earle, and Bill Frisell

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 16, 1999 By Steve Newton When singer-songwriter-guitarist Kelly Joe Phelps released his second album, Roll Away the Stone, in 1997, it didn’t take long for the accolades to come rolling in. Q magazine gave it four stars, Blues Revue hailed it as “the acoustic blues album of the … Continue reading Kelly Joe Phelps earns raves from the Edge, Steve Earle, and Bill Frisell

Mike Campbell is much more than just the guitarist for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 26, 1999 By Steve Newton Mike Campell is the curly-haired guitarist who has been knocking off tasty solos alongside Tom Petty for nearly three decades. In 1970, Campbell was two years out of high school and living in Gainesville, Florida, when the musical partnership that would shape his … Continue reading Mike Campbell is much more than just the guitarist for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Vancouver’s cotton-candy crowd goes gaga for Goo Goo

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 29, 1999 I didn’t realize the vast majority of Goo Goo Dolls fans were teenagers until I got to GM Place last Saturday (July 24) and discovered that the food concessions were pushing candy floss more aggressively than beer. I guess I should have known, considering how the … Continue reading Vancouver’s cotton-candy crowd goes gaga for Goo Goo

Growing up in Buffalo, the Goo Goo Dolls are almost Canadian

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 22, 1999 By Steve Newton “Kick him in the throat!” isn’t quite the phrase you expect to hear from a guy who’s just exchanged wedding vows, but that’s what my brother-in-law Cam was yelling scant hours after tying the knot on a beach in Powell River last month. … Continue reading Growing up in Buffalo, the Goo Goo Dolls are almost Canadian

Guitar legend Rick Derringer has soloed for everyone from Alice Cooper to Air Supply

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 22, 1999 By Steve Newton When most people hear the name Rick Derringer, they probably think of his ’70s hit “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo”, which typified the randy guitar-boogie of the free-love era. Others may remember him for “Hang On Sloopy”, the 1965 sing-along number Derringer did … Continue reading Guitar legend Rick Derringer has soloed for everyone from Alice Cooper to Air Supply

Robert Cray’s Rykodisc debut is a paean to sixties soul

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 8, 1999 By Steve Newton Robert Cray isn’t known for covering other people’s material, but on his latest CD, Take Your Shoes Off, he was happy to take on Willie Dixon’s “Tollin’ Bells”, as well as the 1964 Solomon Burke chestnut “Won’t You Give Him (One More Chance)”. … Continue reading Robert Cray’s Rykodisc debut is a paean to sixties soul

Magic Sam gave Magic Slim his nickname, told him to get his own style

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 1, 1999 By Steve Newton There are few blues guitarists around today who can match the fire and passion of Buddy Guy, but Morris “Magic Slim” Holt is right up there with the best of them. As can be heard on Magic Slim & the Teardrops’ latest CD, … Continue reading Magic Sam gave Magic Slim his nickname, told him to get his own style

R.L. Burnside keeps his fridge chained shut and his blues cool as hell

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 24, 1999 BY STEVE NEWTON On the back cover of his latest CD, Come On In, Mississippi bluesman R.L. Burnside is pictured standing in his modest kitchen, strumming a Stratocaster and gazing toward his fridge—which is chained shut. Since Burnside has been known to distill his own moonshine, … Continue reading R.L. Burnside keeps his fridge chained shut and his blues cool as hell

Eddy Clearwater took Magic lessons on Chicago’s West Side

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 24, 1999 Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater chose a good guy to hang with when he moved to Chicago’s West Side in 1950. As a budding, 15-year-old bluesman, Clearwater became close friends with Magic Sam, the legendary West Side guitarist who died of a heart attack at the age … Continue reading Eddy Clearwater took Magic lessons on Chicago’s West Side

Sonny Rhodes’ journey to the lap-steel guitar started with a one-stringed Stella

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 17, 1999 Ya gotta like interviewing those old blues guys, ’cause they’ve seen some things and have a few tales to tell. Often all it takes to get them going is an innocent little query like: “So, when did you pick up your first guitar?” Most players worth … Continue reading Sonny Rhodes’ journey to the lap-steel guitar started with a one-stringed Stella

Flamenco guitarist Ottmar Liebert was entranced by Santana’s “Samba Pa Ti” as a kid

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 10, 1999 By Steve Newton When Ottmar Liebert calls the Georgia Straight from his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, it sounds as if the popular flamenco guitarist is living in a bird sanctuary. There’s a constant chirping in the background, the likes of which I haven’t heard … Continue reading Flamenco guitarist Ottmar Liebert was entranced by Santana’s “Samba Pa Ti” as a kid

Perfecting the lost art of the backstage meet ‘n’ greet at John Mellencamp in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 20, 1999 By Steve Newton I like John Mellencamp, but my sister Julie and cousin Cory are crazy about him, so I did some serious scroungin’ and wangled three backstage passes to meet the Indiana rocker before he went on-stage at GM Place last Saturday (May 15). Now, … Continue reading Perfecting the lost art of the backstage meet ‘n’ greet at John Mellencamp in Vancouver

John Mellencamp cuts back on smokes, ramps up songwriting after heart attack

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 13, 1999 By Steve Newton John Mellencamp had the biggest-selling album of 1982 with American Fool, which boasted such huge radio hits as “Hurts So Good” and “Jack and Diane”. I interviewed him in advance of a show at the PNE Forum that year, and at the time … Continue reading John Mellencamp cuts back on smokes, ramps up songwriting after heart attack

Richard Buckner’s “barely earned” B.A. helped him drop his “Jewelbomb” gem

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 6, 1999 “Jewelbomb”, the fourth track on Richard Buckner’s Since CD, was one of my favourite tunes last year. It’s a finely crafted gem that beautifully combines Buckner’s resonant voice, exquisite wordplay, and knack for catchy hooks. In other words, it has hit single written all over it. … Continue reading Richard Buckner’s “barely earned” B.A. helped him drop his “Jewelbomb” gem

Heroin overdose leads to the return of the Cadillac Tramps’ tattooed thugs

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 6, 1999 By Steve Newton Five years ago, Orange County’s Cadillac Tramps released It’s Allright, an album chock-full of hyper, street-level punk rock that never quit. The album made my top 10 of ’94, but shortly afterward the group disbanded, vocalist Gabby Gaborno forming the X-Members and guitarist–main … Continue reading Heroin overdose leads to the return of the Cadillac Tramps’ tattooed thugs

Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister says his secret to staying alive is not dyin’

photo by Bev Davies ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 6, 1999 By Steve Newton I’ve seen some funny things at rock concerts over the years, but one of the funniest goes way back to 1981, when the original Motörhead opened for Ozzy Osbourne at the acoustically absurd Kerrisdale Arena. Lemmy Kilmister and the … Continue reading Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister says his secret to staying alive is not dyin’

Smokin’ Joe Kubek thanks Jimmie Vaughan for turning him on to barbecued bologna

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 8, 1999 I knew a Smokin’ Joe once. He was a driftin’ country musician who moved into the duplex next door to my party pad on a dead-end street by the railroad tracks in Chilliwack. His name was just Joe at first, but I named him Smokin’ ’cause … Continue reading Smokin’ Joe Kubek thanks Jimmie Vaughan for turning him on to barbecued bologna

Tal Bachman follows his famous father up the charts with “She’s So High”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 29, 1999 Like many Canadian music fans whose rock mentality was shaped in the ’70s, I have distinct recollections of Bachman Turner Overdrive’s heyday, when the rollicking strains of “Let It Ride” and “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” ruled the airwaves. There’s one particularly vivid memory of riding … Continue reading Tal Bachman follows his famous father up the charts with “She’s So High”

Tom Cochrane writes about things that are real and count on xray sierra

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 18, 1999 By Steve Newton When I was 12 years old, my beloved teenage brother drowned in a slough near our home, and ever since that day I’ve felt a connection to rock music that breaches the tenuous barrier between life and death. The first few times I … Continue reading Tom Cochrane writes about things that are real and count on xray sierra

Gordon Downie thanks Bruce Allen for making the Tragically Hip famous

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 18, 1999 By Steve Newton I’ve always been mightily impressed by the Tragically Hip’s live presentation. It didn’t matter which venue I’d see them in—whether it was the wee Railway Club or sprawling T-Bird Stadium, the classic Commodore or scenic Seabird Island—I always went away fully, completely satisfied. … Continue reading Gordon Downie thanks Bruce Allen for making the Tragically Hip famous

Falcons guitarist Mike Beddoes says the Jaguar is the most Fender of all the Fenders

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 11, 1999 Vancouver instro-rockers the Falcons recently had their independent CD, Queen of Diamonds, chosen as best album of 1998 by the U.K.’s influential surf-music magazine Pipeline. As lead guitarist and main songwriter Mike Beddoes explains, that’s a far better reaction than he got the first time he … Continue reading Falcons guitarist Mike Beddoes says the Jaguar is the most Fender of all the Fenders

Hole’s Eric Erlandson gets pissy if you mistake Billy Corgan’s guitar for his

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 25, 1999 By Steve Newton When Eric Erlandson cofounded Hole with Courtney Love in L.A. 10 years ago, the two rockers had one simple aim in mind. As Erlandson explains on the phone from his L.A. home, they just wanted to be a “big, huge rock band”—but only … Continue reading Hole’s Eric Erlandson gets pissy if you mistake Billy Corgan’s guitar for his

Martin Bryant’s rampage inspired Jeff Lang’s gun-control plea on Cedar Grove

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 25, 1999 Two years ago I was offered a free trip to Toronto to interview Aerosmith, who were tirelessly promoting their then-new CD Nine Lives. Since I’d never been to T.O., I put on my Media Slut From Hell cap and agreed to spend some of Sony Music’s … Continue reading Martin Bryant’s rampage inspired Jeff Lang’s gun-control plea on Cedar Grove

David Gogo preps for the Big 3-O with acoustic and electric discs

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 28, 1999 When the Georgia Straight phoned David Gogo two years ago to chat about his then-new live album, Dine Under the Stars, he answered the call with “Davey Wayne Gogo here,” a slight swipe at Kenny Wayne Shepherd, the Stevie Ray Vaughan–inspired upstart of the day. This … Continue reading David Gogo preps for the Big 3-O with acoustic and electric discs