Album review: Joe Perry, Have Guitar, Will Travel (2009)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 7, 2010 By Steve Newton A minute-and-a-half into “We’ve Got a Long Way to Go”, the opening track on Joe Perry’s new solo album, Have Guitar, Will Travel, the rock legend from Boston reminds you just what it was about his playing that hooked you in the first … Continue reading Album review: Joe Perry, Have Guitar, Will Travel (2009)

Album review: Aerosmith, Pump (1989)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 6, 1989 By Steve Newton Some bands grow old gracefully, mellowing with age, but not Aerosmith. On Pump, the follow-up to the band's 1987 comeback album Permanent Vacation, the bad boys from Boston are as rude 'n' rowdy as ever. And nobody does it better. Pump kicks off … Continue reading Album review: Aerosmith, Pump (1989)

Album review: Aerosmith, Permanent Vacation (1987)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 18, 1987 By Steve Newton "If you grew up in the '70s you liked Aerosmith." That's what Peter Buck of R.E.M. wrote in the liner notes to his band's version of Aerosmith's "Toys in the Attic," and Buck knows of which he speaks. With albums like Get Your … Continue reading Album review: Aerosmith, Permanent Vacation (1987)

The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

By Steve Newton Remember how you'd set the needle down on the opening track of a new rock album and the first tune would just blow you the funk away? Me too. "(Ain't Nothin' But a) House Party" (Bloodshot, J. Geils Band, 1973) "All the Way From Memphis" (Mott, Mott the Hoople, 1973) "Already Gone" … Continue reading The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

Album review: R.E.M., Dead Letter Office (1987)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 26, 1987 By Steve Newton For R.E.M. fans who can't wait for the follow-up to last year's Life's Rich Pageant LP, there is now a unique compilation of b-sides and studio out-takes to keep them going. And what's most surprising is that, on a whole, Dead Letter Office is … Continue reading Album review: R.E.M., Dead Letter Office (1987)

Album review: Various Artists, Metal For Lunch (1986)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 6, 1986 By Steve Newton Metal For Lunch is the follow-up to last year's Metal For Breakfast album, a collection of previously released tracks from som great (and not so great) hard rock bands. On this one, the top tunes come via Aerosmith ("Back in the Saddle"), Judas Priest ("Love … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, Metal For Lunch (1986)

Album review: Aerosmith, Honkin’ on Bobo (2004)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 8, 2004 By Steve Newton The concept behind Honkin’ on Bobo—of Boston hard-rock legends Aerosmith recording an all-blues album—is enough to get any fan of ’70s guitar-boogie in a lather. (And if it doesn’t, the CD booklet’s close-up shot of some babe’s sexy midriff with a harmonica stuffed … Continue reading Album review: Aerosmith, Honkin’ on Bobo (2004)

Album review: Yardbirds, Birdland (2003)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 8, 2003 By Steve Newton You might think, since the current version of the Yardbirds includes only two founding members of the pioneering ’60s Brit-rock act—rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja and drummer Jim McCarty—that the latest installment is just trying to cash in on the group’s famous name. One … Continue reading Album review: Yardbirds, Birdland (2003)

Album review: Aerosmith, Get a Grip (1993)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 6, 1993 By Steve Newton When I first heard Aerosmith’s “comeback” releases—1987’s Permanent Vacation and 1989’s Pump—I thought they were mighty fine. In the intervening years, however, I found myself playing those discs less and less, tending instead to dig around in my vinyl collection for earlier … Continue reading Album review: Aerosmith, Get a Grip (1993)

Alice Cooper talks heavy metal, sleazy horror, and getting back in the game with Constrictor

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 7, 1986 By Steve Newton Alice Cooper's early '70s rock anthems captured my imagination as a teenager, and have stayed with me ever since. Not only was his image so horrifically new and different, what with the ghoulish makeup, wild costumes, and weird props--but his songs … Continue reading Alice Cooper talks heavy metal, sleazy horror, and getting back in the game with Constrictor

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1993

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 23, 1993 By Steve Newton Popular music hit an all-time low this year with the outbreak of something called gangsta rap, an ugly, expletive-laden noise that degrades women and glorifies real-life crime and violence. We can only hope this latest strain of the rap virus will help bring … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1993

Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” chosen as the top heavy-metal song of all time

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 4, 2003 By Steve Newton Toronto-based music writer Martin Popoff is Canada’s top expert on heavy metal. Senior editor of metal mag Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles and author of The Collector’s Guide to Heavy Metal, the Trail, B.C.–raised Popoff certainly knows his stuff when it comes to … Continue reading Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” chosen as the top heavy-metal song of all time

Patterson Hood on the Drive-By Truckers’ Southern Rock Opera and the true meaning of Skynyrd

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 30, 2003 By Steve Newton It doesn’t seem likely in today’s musical climate that any band would record a 90-minute concept album about 1970s rock and southern U.S. culture, focusing on the legend of doomed Dixie rock act Lynyrd Skynyrd. It’s even more unlikely that such a CD … Continue reading Patterson Hood on the Drive-By Truckers’ Southern Rock Opera and the true meaning of Skynyrd

Patriots vs. Seahawks = Aerosmith vs. Nirvana, Cars vs. Pearl Jam, J. Geils vs. Soundgarden

By Steve Newton Today I just realized that the New England Patriots--who play some big football game with fancy TV commercials tomorrow--are from the greater Boston area. I didn't know that. In my blissful ignorance of American geography--which may be unconscious payback for the Yanks' legendary cluelessness about all things Canada--I always thought New England was a … Continue reading Patriots vs. Seahawks = Aerosmith vs. Nirvana, Cars vs. Pearl Jam, J. Geils vs. Soundgarden

Mike Fraser helps AC/DC get back on top, sets his sights on Sabbath

The first time he ever saw AC/DC, Mike Fraser had no idea what band he was seeing. He'd gone to an Aerosmith show at the Pacific Coliseum back in '78 and showed up early enough to catch the warmup act. "Usually you kinda miss the opening band," recalls Fraser from his home in Langley, "but … Continue reading Mike Fraser helps AC/DC get back on top, sets his sights on Sabbath

Interviewing Jeff Beck, the world’s greatest living rock guitarist

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 15, 2001 By Steve Newton Like most teenage guitar-rock freaks in the ’70s, I was big on Aerosmith. I made every effort to see them if they got within driving range of Chilliwack; I even hauled my skinny hick ass out to Seattle when they played the cavernous … Continue reading Interviewing Jeff Beck, the world’s greatest living rock guitarist

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

“Hi, this is Matthew Good, and you’re listening to…what are those call letters again?”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 23, 1997 Inside the False Creek offices of A&M Records, a scrawny young guy is struggling to record a promotional sound bite over the phone for a Prince George radio station. “Hi, this is Matthew Good, and you’re listening to…what are those call letters again?” After a couple … Continue reading “Hi, this is Matthew Good, and you’re listening to…what are those call letters again?”