That time Steve Stevens told me that he thought Sweet’s “Action” was a Queen song

By Steve Newton I was a pretty big Billy Idol fan back in the '80s, around the Rebel Yell period, but my attraction to his music had as much to do with his guitarist and cosongwriter as the sneering blonde rocker himself. I thought Steve Stevens was a wicked picker who had his own unique … Continue reading That time Steve Stevens told me that he thought Sweet’s “Action” was a Queen song

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1986

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 19, 1986 By Steve Newton Steve Earle Guitar Town Catchy country-rock with a down home feel that sounds fresh even after repeated listenings. Eurythmics Revenge Irresistible little rock gems that make you hum whether you want to or not. Brian Setzer The Knife Feels Like Justice Stray Cat … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1986

’80s rockers Europe and Billy Idol shill for Geico and Bank of America

By Steve Newton Da-da-da-daaa. Da-da-da-da-daaaa. The opening notes of Europe's huge 1986 hit "The Final Countdown" are ingrained in a lot of people's minds--I usually think of how Gob used it in his failed magic act for Arrested Development--and now Geico has copped it for its "It's What You Do" advertising campaign. In the 30-second … Continue reading ’80s rockers Europe and Billy Idol shill for Geico and Bank of America

Steve Stevens’ sparkly Les Pauls rule at Billy Idol’s Vancouver show

all awesome iPhone photos by the Newt By Steve Newton You've got to give Billy Idol credit. For a guy whose career peaked roughly three decades ago, he's hanging in there incredibly well. There's little flab on the 59-year-old's tanned bod, and his vocal cords are in fine shape too. Judging by his recent album, Kings … Continue reading Steve Stevens’ sparkly Les Pauls rule at Billy Idol’s Vancouver show

Steve Stevens on leaving Billy Idol and branching out with Atomic Playboys

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 6, 1989 By Steve Newton You might have seen the movie Fame--or the TV series that followed it--which traced the exploits of young students at Manhattan's renowned High School of the Performing Arts. With all the dancing in the streets that went on, you'd figure anyone enrolled in the … Continue reading Steve Stevens on leaving Billy Idol and branching out with Atomic Playboys

The Who brings Quadrophenia, the world’s greatest rock album, to Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 24, 1996 By Steve Newton If I had to choose one “desert island disc”—the all-time–favourite rock album to live out my days to while munching coconuts on some uncharted tropical atoll—it would have to be The Who’s Quadrophenia. Although its 1971 predecessor, Who’s Next, is generally regarded as … Continue reading The Who brings Quadrophenia, the world’s greatest rock album, to Vancouver

Billy Idol says he can get around the censorship on MTV because he’s “not black, for starters”

By Steve Newton On March 29, 1984, Billy Idol played the University of British Columbia's War Memorial Gym. The 28-year-old Brit was touring behind his second solo album, Rebel Yell, which boasted the hit singles "Eyes Without a Face", "Flesh for Fantasy", "Catch My Fall", and the title track. His videos were getting a shitload of … Continue reading Billy Idol says he can get around the censorship on MTV because he’s “not black, for starters”

That time Billy Idol told me “I don’t sign autographs! I’m no fucking star!”

By Steve Newton There's a bit of an interesting story behind this picture, another one taken by the awesome Bev Davies. I'd interviewed Billy Idol on the phone then gone to see him play UBC's War Memorial Gym on the Rebel Yell Tour. I was hanging out backstage with a gaggle of fans way more … Continue reading That time Billy Idol told me “I don’t sign autographs! I’m no fucking star!”