That time I asked famed producer Bruce Fairbairn what he thought of famed producer Bob Rock

By Steve Newton Back in December of 1991 I wrote a Georgia Straight cover story on Vancouver producer Bob Rock, best known for his work with Metallica, and one of the Big Three of Vancouver hard-rock producers (along with fellow Little Mountain Sound-men Bruce Fairbairn and Mike Fraser). While putting the story together I gave … Continue reading That time I asked famed producer Bruce Fairbairn what he thought of famed producer Bob Rock

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)

Colin James lives up to the hype at the second of five straight sold-out Commodore shows

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 18, 1988  By Steve Newton The first time yours truly met Colin James was at the Commodore a couple of years ago. I forget who was playing, but I was hanging out in front of the bar with fellow rock scribbler John "Wacky" Mackie, a member of the … Continue reading Colin James lives up to the hype at the second of five straight sold-out Commodore shows

AC/DC in Vancouver: Mike Fraser spotted with Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd, maybe calling Cliff Williams on his phone?

photo courtesy Glenn Slavens and Crystal Lambert (cgrocker18@gmail.com) By Steve Newton Hardcore AC/DC fans and photographic rumour-spreaders Glenn Slavens and Crystal Lambert are at it again. The dynamic Vancouver duo--he has the camera, she has the pad--have shared another photo with Ear of Newt that furthers the idea that everybody's fave hard-rock band is working … Continue reading AC/DC in Vancouver: Mike Fraser spotted with Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd, maybe calling Cliff Williams on his phone?

Album review: Bon Jovi, New Jersey (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 21, 1988 By Steve Newton There are hundreds of hard rock bands out there that are just as good as Bon Jovi. Unfortunately for them, they don't have Bon Jovi's talent for coming up with tunes that are both radio-friendly and capable of hooking into the mass consciousness … Continue reading Album review: Bon Jovi, New Jersey (1988)

Album review: Krokus, The Blitz (1984)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 14, 1984 By Steve Newton Metal maniacs could do a lot worse than pick up the latest vinyl from Swiss headbangers Krokus. Recorded at Vancouver' s Little Mountain Sound and engineered by Payola$ guitarist Bob Rock, The Blitz captures better than any of their previous LPs the raw fire … Continue reading Album review: Krokus, The Blitz (1984)

Joe Perry says that Aerosmith is playing “wicked tight” after its Permanent Vacation

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 15, 1988 By Steve Newton "If you grew up in the '70s you liked Aerosmith." That's what R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck wrote in the liner notes to his group's version of Aerosmith's "Toys in the Attic" on the Dead Letter Office album. And he knew what he was talking … Continue reading Joe Perry says that Aerosmith is playing “wicked tight” after its Permanent Vacation

Album review: Metallica, Load (1996)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 27, 1996 By Steve Newton Load is probably the most highly anticipated heavy-metal album ever. Not only is it Metallica’s first studio recording in five years, but it’s the follow-up to the breakthrough self-titled disc that brought metal to the mainstream via the resounding radio hit “Enter … Continue reading Album review: Metallica, Load (1996)

From Bon Jovi in a stadium to Killer Dwarfs in a club: it’s just another night in Vancouver circa 1987

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 10, 1987 By Steve Newton Jon Bon Jovi had a novel way to describe the horrendous sound in B.C. Place last Thursday (July 2). "I've fallen in love in Vancouver more times than there's echo comin' out of these speakers," said the 25-year-old sex symbol, sounding more than … Continue reading From Bon Jovi in a stadium to Killer Dwarfs in a club: it’s just another night in Vancouver circa 1987

Jon Bon Jovi talks strippers, scenery, and hype as Slippery When Wet tops the charts

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 26, 1987 By Steve Newton Talk about moving up in the world! It was a little more than a year ago that New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi played the now-defunct Embassy on Davie. They were in town recording their Slippery When Wet album, and they wanted to see … Continue reading Jon Bon Jovi talks strippers, scenery, and hype as Slippery When Wet tops the charts

Disgruntled Cult fans pelt Commodore door with donations at surprise Food Bank benefit

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 27, 1994 By Steve Newton For a while it looked like a minor riot might break out on the Granville Mall last Sunday night, even with our cup-fumbling Canuckleheads out of action. But only a few disgruntled Cult fans among the estimated 2,000 to 3,000 turned away from … Continue reading Disgruntled Cult fans pelt Commodore door with donations at surprise Food Bank benefit

Jon Bon Jovi in 1986: “As long as there’s a plug, we’ll plug it in.”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 11, 1986 By Steve Newton When New York rockers Bon Jovi flew into Vancouver to record their third album, it didn't take long for them to become attached to the place. "The first night we got there we were into the Embassy and the Metro," says singer Jon … Continue reading Jon Bon Jovi in 1986: “As long as there’s a plug, we’ll plug it in.”

Jim Foster gets his “Steely Dan opportunity” at Mushroom Studios in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 4, 1986 By Steve Newton Until the release of the album Power Lines, Jim Foster had not been heard from for many years. It makes one wonder whether the Alberta-raised singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist is on somewhat of a comeback. "Well gosh," says Foster. "How can you make a comeback when … Continue reading Jim Foster gets his “Steely Dan opportunity” at Mushroom Studios in Vancouver

Mötley Crüe spring up like leather-clad trap-door spiders to wow Vancouver on the Dr. Feelgood tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 14, 1990 By Steve Newton As far as musical integrity and depth go, Mötley Crüe is not in the same hard-rock league as bands like Aerosmith, Van Halen, or Scorpions. But when it comes to putting on a rowdy, consistently exciting show, these four L.A. dudes do have … Continue reading Mötley Crüe spring up like leather-clad trap-door spiders to wow Vancouver on the Dr. Feelgood tour

Bob Rock says Metallica “never have and never will sell out”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 25, 2002 By Steve Newton What could possibly cause any sane person to willingly abandon the balmy paradise of Hawaii for the frigid climes of Vancouver in January? Well, if you’re record producer Bob Rock, your last name is reason enough. Good old riff-riddled rock is what draws … Continue reading Bob Rock says Metallica “never have and never will sell out”

Static in Stereo sets the controls for the heart of the seventies

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 5, 2001 By Steve Newton A silver Keith Richards–style skull ring catches the glare of the dressing-room lights as Todd Kerns wraps his fist around a can of Coke. The blue and red dragon etched on his right bicep, a ringer for Ozzy Osbourne’s chest tattoo, quivers slightly as … Continue reading Static in Stereo sets the controls for the heart of the seventies

Bob Rock brings his golden ears and guitars to Paul Hyde’s Living Off the Radar

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 16, 2000 Former Vancouverite Bob Rock is one of the most in-demand rock producers in the world today. The man who helped platinum acts like Metallica, Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, and the Cult move mountains of CDs now lives and works on the Hawaiian island of Maui, where … Continue reading Bob Rock brings his golden ears and guitars to Paul Hyde’s Living Off the Radar

Ian Lloyd, the “Brother Louie” guy, says he proud of his claim to fame

By Steve Newton Thirty years ago today—on October 27, 1984—Ian Lloyd played the old Georgia Street party palace known as Outlaws. He was performing with his new band, Fast Forward, and doing tunes from their first (and only) album, Living in Fiction. But more importantly, Lloyd was the funky-voiced guy who sang that awesome 1973 tune … Continue reading Ian Lloyd, the “Brother Louie” guy, says he proud of his claim to fame