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)

I just did the Toddcast Podcast, with a little help from Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ronnie James Dio, Gregg Allman, and Bruce Fairbairn

By Steve Newton I can't believe I opened for Corey Hart today! Okay, it wasn't like I warmed up the audience for the "Sunglasses at Night" guy on his Back from the '80s Seeking Cash Tour or anything. But I did make my first-ever guest appearance on a podcast, so that's pretty cool. Todd Hancock--the … Continue reading I just did the Toddcast Podcast, with a little help from Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ronnie James Dio, Gregg Allman, and Bruce Fairbairn

AC/DC-in-Vancouver news-breaker talks recording rumours, the Warehouse connection, and the magic of Malcolm Young

By Steve Newton I've interviewed hundreds of rock musicians over the past 35 years, but I've only been interviewed myself a few times--most of those discussions taking place earlier this year when local Tragically Hip fans like Jody Vance and Drex wanted to know about the book I'd just written about Gord Downie. But I was on … Continue reading AC/DC-in-Vancouver news-breaker talks recording rumours, the Warehouse connection, and the magic of Malcolm Young

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: Blue Öyster Cult, Imaginos (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 9, 1988 By Steve Newton Few rock 'n' roll bands can fuse raunchy guitars and menacing vocals and still come up with really beautiful music. But New York's Blue Öyster Cult has done that on more than a dozen albums since 1972. The latest boasts the same hard-hitting, … Continue reading Album review: Blue Öyster Cult, Imaginos (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: Van Halen, Balance (1995)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 2, 1995 By Steve Newton Eddie Van Halen is surely one of the best guitarists in rock, but I’m getting sick of only being able to hear him within the confining and predictable framework of his current band’s (mostly) run-of-the-mill tunes. The band’s last few albums have contained … Continue reading Album review: Van Halen, Balance (1995)

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)

Album review: AC/DC, The Razors Edge (1990)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 11, 1990 By Steve Newton Has AC/DC ever put out a bad record? I doubt it. But their efforts haven’t all been great, either. The band’s latest, the Vancouver-made (and grammatically incorrect) The Razors Edge falls somewhere between the band’s strongest (Powerage, Back in Black) and weakest … Continue reading Album review: AC/DC, The Razors Edge (1990)

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

That time 25-year-old Jon Bon Jovi asked me to say hi to his idol Little Steven, so I did

By Steve Newton Ever since I decided that's life's too short not to spend countless hours poring over ancient tapes of interviews I did with famous rock stars, I've uncovered some pretty interesting excerpts. Interesting to me, anyway. Like that time back on June 18, 1987, when I did a phone interview with Jon Bon … Continue reading That time 25-year-old Jon Bon Jovi asked me to say hi to his idol Little Steven, so I did

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.”

AC/DC fans unimpressed with Axl Rose hiring suggest Angry Anderson, Marc Storace, and the guy from Airbourne

By Steve Newton Yesterday I posted a blog claiming that AC/DC had "f***ed up" by making Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose their singer instead of Aussie rock legend (and legendary screamer) Jimmy Barnes, of Cold Chisel fame. My blog got a lot of comments. Some folks thought I was right on, and that Barnes … Continue reading AC/DC fans unimpressed with Axl Rose hiring suggest Angry Anderson, Marc Storace, and the guy from Airbourne

Aerosmith plays Vancouver on the Pump tour, Bruce Fairbairn blows his horn

kevin statham photo By Steve Newton On March 17, 1990, Aerosmith played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. At the time the band was still putting out pretty decent albums; six months earlier it had released Pump, which boasted rockin' numbers like "Monkey on My Back", "Young Lust", and "The Other Side". This was before it … Continue reading Aerosmith plays Vancouver on the Pump tour, Bruce Fairbairn blows his horn

Blue Oyster Cult’s Buck Dharma likes making people strain to hear

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 24, 2002 By Steve Newton As a metal-crazed teen in the ’70s, I was obsessed with Long Island hard-rockers Blue Oyster Cult. I used to blow all my lawn-mowing money on their albums and play them at ear-busting volume for hours on end, even though I had trouble … Continue reading Blue Oyster Cult’s Buck Dharma likes making people strain to hear

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

Dave Wyndorf says “clever Weezer-type music” caused him to rock out on Powertrip

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 12, 1998 By Steve Newton Dave Wyndorf likes the company of Zombies. As the songwriter-vocalist-guitarist for New Jersey hard-rockers Monster Magnet, he spent many nights on tour with White Zombie; now that that group has split up, he’s spending many nights on tour with Rob Zombie. But a … Continue reading Dave Wyndorf says “clever Weezer-type music” caused him to rock out on Powertrip

Gordie Johnson draws inspiration from Eddie Kramer and kudos from Bruce Fairbairn for Big Sugar’s Heated

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 12, 1998 By Steve Newton During a recent interview with famed local rock producer Bruce Fairbairn, I asked him if he’d heard any current albums that had blown him away, production-wise. It only took him a couple of seconds to come up with Heated, the latest CD from … Continue reading Gordie Johnson draws inspiration from Eddie Kramer and kudos from Bruce Fairbairn for Big Sugar’s Heated

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

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

Ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes on Blue Murder, Bob Rock, and the Little Mountain sound

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 16, 1989 By Steve Newton By now, most every rock fan in Vancouver must be aware that many of North America's best-selling bands--Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and the Cult to name a few--have been making their latest chart-topping records right here in town. Little Mountain Sound on West 7th … Continue reading Ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes on Blue Murder, Bob Rock, and the Little Mountain sound

Alex Van Halen dishes “a little dirt” on who the original VH vocalist could have been

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 7, 1995 By Steve Newton Sometimes it seems as if there are two kinds of people in the world: David Lee Roth folks and Sammy Hagar folks. Dave folks are kind of a wild bunch—they prefer their music with a raw edge, full of primitive, howling vocals and … Continue reading Alex Van Halen dishes “a little dirt” on who the original VH vocalist could have been

Steve Dawson and Jesse Zubot put the soul in the Spirit Merchants

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 15, 1994 Seems like every year of late I’ve come across one particular release from a local band that’s been head-and-shoulders above the other Vancouver discs sent my way. Last year, it was Two Trains’ Too Many Faces; the year before that, She Stole My Beer’s Sparks Against … Continue reading Steve Dawson and Jesse Zubot put the soul in the Spirit Merchants