Jim Byrnes on the Vancouver blues scene in ’85 and his idol Magic Sam

By Steve Newton On May 6, 1985, Vancouver blues legend Jim Byrnes was in the midst of a week-long stint at a nightclub in the West End. That's no big whoop as far as Vancouver music history goes, but considering how much Byrnes has contributed to the city's blues scene since then, I figured it … Continue reading Jim Byrnes on the Vancouver blues scene in ’85 and his idol Magic Sam

My first Metallica interview, back when they were too heavy for me

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 15, 1985 By Steve Newton Metallica are the type of band that puts the "heavy" in heavy metal. Actually, drummer Lars Ulrich--who called the Straight from L.A. last week--prefers to call his band's music "speed metal" or "thrash metal". Their sound crew are known as "The Sonic Decapitation … Continue reading My first Metallica interview, back when they were too heavy for me

Iron Maiden plays Vancouver on the Powerslave tour, Dave Murray talks to the Newt

By Steve Newton On December 9, 1984, Iron Maiden played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver--with Twisted Sister opening up! Not only that, but the Georgia Straight newspaper put my interview with the British metal legends on the front page, featuring a totally rockin' live photo by famed Vancouver photographer Bev Davies. I hadn't been so proud … Continue reading Iron Maiden plays Vancouver on the Powerslave tour, Dave Murray talks to the Newt

Nazareth’s Dan McCafferty reveals the story behind “Vancouver Shakedown”

By Steve Newton Thirty years ago tonight--on November 23, 1984--Nazareth played Vancouver's historic Commodore Ballroom, touring behind its new album The Catch. In advance of the show I interviewed frontman Dan McCafferty and--among other things--got the scoop on the story behind the group's curious single, "Vancouver Shakedown". Here's a slightly condensed version of the piece that … Continue reading Nazareth’s Dan McCafferty reveals the story behind “Vancouver Shakedown”

Michael Jackson moonwalks into Vancouver on the Jacksons’ Victory Tour of 1984

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 23, 1984 By Steve Newton The biggest show in the history of pop music came to Vancouver last week (November 16), in the form of the Jacksons' Victory Tour. It was a dazzling display of lights and lasers, mechanized staging and slick choreography, available to anyone who wanted … Continue reading Michael Jackson moonwalks into Vancouver on the Jacksons’ Victory Tour of 1984

Golden Earring’s Barry Hay recalls getting beaten up with Ronnie Van Zant

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 20, 1984 By Steve Newton Help I'm steppin' into the twilight zone/The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned/My beacon's been moved under moon and star/Where am I to go now that I've gone too far/Soon you will come to know, when the bullet hits the bone … Continue reading Golden Earring’s Barry Hay recalls getting beaten up with Ronnie Van Zant

Taking a booze schmooze to Seattle to see the Scorps on the Love at First Sting Tour

By Steve Newton Wow. What a difference three decades makes. Thirty years ago today--on March 21, 1984--I was taking advantage of what we used to call a "schmooze", in the parlance of the times. Record albums were selling like hotcakes back then, and in its quest to move more mountains of vinyl the local branch … Continue reading Taking a booze schmooze to Seattle to see the Scorps on the Love at First Sting Tour

Kradle strives to put Vancouver on the melodic-metal map in 1984

Thirty years ago tomorrow--on March 5, 1984--local glam-metal band Kradle played Burnaby's James Cowan Theatre with Black Knight. At the time I was the guy with the Judas Priest cap at the Georgia Straight who was covering the metal scene, and I was mightily impressed by these young lads from the suburbs of Vancouver. Looking … Continue reading Kradle strives to put Vancouver on the melodic-metal map in 1984

Where were you in ’82? Rockin’ with Blue Öyster Cult & Aldo Nova too?

By Steve Newton On August 22, 1982, I was at the Pacific Coliseum watching my hard-rock heroes from the States, Blue Öyster Cult, kick butt on a bill with Canadian one-hit-wonder Aldo Nova. How do I remember the precise date of that ancient gig, you ask? Well, it's not like I still have the ticket … Continue reading Where were you in ’82? Rockin’ with Blue Öyster Cult & Aldo Nova too?

Blue Oyster Cult: “The world’s biggest underground band” (in 1982)

By Steve Newton One of the first interviews I ever did with a rock band I was totally nuts about happened way back in August of 1982. The mighty Blue Öyster Cult was playing Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum--with Aldo Nova opening up!--and the weekly paper I was still new at, the Georgia Straight, wanted me to … Continue reading Blue Oyster Cult: “The world’s biggest underground band” (in 1982)