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?”

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

When Aerosmith sold its soul to Sony and flew me to Toronto to watch

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 13, 1997 By Steve Newton TORONTO—For the past quarter-century or so, Aerosmith has been doing things in a big way, as befits a band with combined worldwide sales of more than 70 million LPs, tapes, and CDs. When the time came to promote its 12th studio release, Nine … Continue reading When Aerosmith sold its soul to Sony and flew me to Toronto to watch

Shitty sound in Vancouver puts a damper on AC/DC’s noise pollution

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 15, 1996 By Steve Newton I’ve been going to AC/DC concerts for almost 20 years now—which either gives me bragging rights or is a severe embarrassment, depending on your musical tastes. Actually, at the very first AC/DC gig I went to, I missed the group’s performance—it was opening … Continue reading Shitty sound in Vancouver puts a damper on AC/DC’s noise pollution

Aerosmith shows love for cancer kid and Tojo’s sushi at Vancouver gig

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 27, 1994 The most memorable moment of Aerosmith’s latest Vancouver concert didn’t occur when Steven Tyler came tearing out in multicoloured rags to kick-start the show with a screech at the beginning of “Eat the Rich”. Nor was it when bare-chested guitar god Joe Perry steamed across the … Continue reading Aerosmith shows love for cancer kid and Tojo’s sushi at Vancouver gig

Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton says some drugs “just go damn well with music”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 20, 1994 By Steve Newton When Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton calls from Newport Beach during an afternoon stop on the band’s whirlwind Get a Grip tour, I presume he’ll be playing somewhere in California that night. Wrong-o, Steve-o. He’s doing a gig in Vegas instead. You can do … Continue reading Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton says some drugs “just go damn well with music”

Pride & Glory’s Zakk Wylde says he’ll always be Ozzy’s guitar player

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 20, 1994 By Steve Newton Rock guitarists have a few things to worry about during a live performance—such as blowing an amp, breaking a string, or dropping a pick during a crucial guitar freak-out. Personal injury isn’t usually one of the main onstage concerns for today’s rock artists, … Continue reading Pride & Glory’s Zakk Wylde says he’ll always be Ozzy’s guitar player

Bon Jovi brings New Jersey to Vancouver, Aerosmith and Motley Crue crash the party

On May 11, 1989, Bon Jovi played Vancouver's B.C. Place Stadium. The quintet was touring behind its fourth album, the locally-made, Bruce Fairbairn-produced New Jersey, which spawned five singles and has sold more than seven-million copies in the U.S. alone. The concert was memorable by late-'80s standards, I suppose, because it included appearances by members of … Continue reading Bon Jovi brings New Jersey to Vancouver, Aerosmith and Motley Crue crash the party

Aerosmith kicks major butt in Vancouver on the Get a Trip Tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 19, 1993 By Steve Newton In last week’s Straight, former doper Joe Perry explained that music was his drug of choice now, that it was capable of giving him an instant attitude change whenever he needed it. Well, last Saturday (August 14) Perry and his mates showed yours … Continue reading Aerosmith kicks major butt in Vancouver on the Get a Trip Tour

Guitar ace Lance Reegan-Diehl gives thanks to Vancouver’s great musicians

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 8, 1993 A few months back, a home-made tape by a local musician named Lance Reegan-Diehl found its way onto my desk. I’d never heard of the guy before, but from the photo on the tape’s cover—of a smiling longhair in a studded leather jacket, dangling a custom-made … Continue reading Guitar ace Lance Reegan-Diehl gives thanks to Vancouver’s great musicians

Hey guitar freaks: Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen is coming to Vancouver after all! Slash too!

Last month I did a blog about how a lot of amazing rock guitarists—Pat Travers, Jake E. Lee, Yngwie Malmsteen, Slash, et cetera—were playing Stateside gigs this year but weren't crossing the border to bring us Canucks a taste of their wild licks. Well, over the weekend Travers played a whiskey-snortin' gig at some place in … Continue reading Hey guitar freaks: Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen is coming to Vancouver after all! Slash too!