Def Leppard makes a triumphant in-the-round return to Vancouver on the Hysteria tour

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 7, 1988 By Steve Newton Being a rock critic is not all fun and games. "Sure, Steve," you're probably saying, "all those free concerts and backstage brewskies must be real tough." Okay, so there are worse occupations, but like anything else it can get boring. … Continue reading Def Leppard makes a triumphant in-the-round return to Vancouver on the Hysteria tour

Saigon Kick’s Jason Bieler on recording fast, being about music, and taking tour managers by the neck

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 4, 1991 By Steve Newton Some bands spend months—even years—recording albums, poring over technicalities and making sure every little nibbly bit is in the perfect place. Then there are bands like Florida’s Saigon Kick, which knocked off its debut in 11 days flat. That’s movin’. “Everybody says that,” … Continue reading Saigon Kick’s Jason Bieler on recording fast, being about music, and taking tour managers by the neck

Joe Blanton’s raunchier side asserted itself on the Royal Court of China’s Geared & Primed

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 2, 1990 By Steve Newton When the Royal Court of China's debut album hit the record racks three years ago, it took a few people by surprise. By the daintiness of the band's name, possible buyers might be forgiven for taking it as yet another panty-waist British … Continue reading Joe Blanton’s raunchier side asserted itself on the Royal Court of China’s Geared & Primed

“Weird guy” Donald Trump gets dumped by Precious Metal after “Mr. Big Stuff” video debacle

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 21, 1991 By Steve Newton Even in the big-bucks world of pop metal, rock ’n’ roll and money don’t always mix. Just ask Precious Metal vocalist Leslie Knauer, whose band had a recent run-in with billionaire developer Donald Trump that—apart from generating lots of publicity—didn’t benefit either side. … Continue reading “Weird guy” Donald Trump gets dumped by Precious Metal after “Mr. Big Stuff” video debacle

NRBQ tars and feathers a Cabbage Patch Kid in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 14, 1985 By Steve Newton "Are you having a good time?" asked Terry Adams. And the capacity crowd at Club Soda--who obviously were--answered with a resounding 'Yes!". "Yes what?!" countered bassist Joey Spampinato. And that's the way it was last Thursday--with the New Rhythm & Blues Quartet (NRBQ) … Continue reading NRBQ tars and feathers a Cabbage Patch Kid in Vancouver

NRBQ likes to go by the way it feels at the time

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 7, 1985 By Steve Newton NRBQ stands for the New Rhythm & Blues Quartet, but NRBQ isn't a rhythm and blues band. A bit misleading, wouldn't you say? "It might be to some people, " says bassist Joey Spampinato, over the phone from somewhere in Maryland. "Actually, the … Continue reading NRBQ likes to go by the way it feels at the time

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

Bass god Billy Sheehan pooh-poohs Mr. Big’s supergroup status

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 8, 1989 By Steve Newton Seeing a destined-to-be-huge band in a small venue can make for one of the most memorable nights in any rock fan's existence. Kiss at the Commodore, Jeff Healey at the Yale, Living Colour at the Town Pump, Metallica at the New York Theatre--those … Continue reading Bass god Billy Sheehan pooh-poohs Mr. Big’s supergroup status

That time my buddy Stick ticked off Lars Ulrich in Vancouver by asking him to jam

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 22, 1997 By Steve Newton Back when the Starfish Room was still a headbanger’s haven known as Club Soda, a rock-crazed pal of mine named Stick bumped into Lars Ulrich there. The Metallica drummer was hangin’ out with his entourage after one of the band’s intense Vancouver gigs … Continue reading That time my buddy Stick ticked off Lars Ulrich in Vancouver by asking him to jam

Seeing bass god Jaco Pastorius changed Stu Hamm’s life

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 7, 1991 By Steve Newton There are rock heroes, and then there are rock heroes’ rock heroes. For virtuoso bassist Stuart Hamm, it was the cosmic abilities of the late Jaco Pastorius that made the most profound impression on him. He couldn’t sleep for two days after seeing … Continue reading Seeing bass god Jaco Pastorius changed Stu Hamm’s life

Circle of Soul brings a Motownish vibe backed by a wall of Marshalls

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 15, 1991 By Steve Newton From the groovy way guitarist/vocalists Joie Mastrokalos and Granville Cleveland mesh musically, you’d expect that the two players would have hit it off, buddy-wise, right from the start. But before they formed Circle of Soul, Mastrokalos once chased Cleveland around the Bay Area … Continue reading Circle of Soul brings a Motownish vibe backed by a wall of Marshalls

Poison’s vacuous array of tunes would be outrocked by Loggins & Messina

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 24, 1991 By Steve Newton There was good news and bad news going into last Saturday’s (January 19) Poison gig at the Coliseum. The good news was that the originally scheduled opening act—the cheesy and childish Warrant—was being replaced by the slightly more impressive Don Dokken Band. The … Continue reading Poison’s vacuous array of tunes would be outrocked by Loggins & Messina

Robert Plant holds his own with the Black Crowes in Vancouver

ken settle photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 27, 1990 By Steve Newton Robert Plant threw me for a loop at the Coliseum last Friday (September 21). From the lacklustre sound of his latest album, Manic Nirvana, I had the impression that the 42-year-old rock legend had drifted off into boring-old-fartsville, never to … Continue reading Robert Plant holds his own with the Black Crowes in Vancouver

Guitar hero Tony MacAlpine praises the phrasing of George Lynch

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 6, 1990 By Steve Newton It seems like every time you turn around, there’s a new hard-rock guitar wizard riffing out in your face. “Shredders” these guys are called—young hot-shots who’ve locked themselves in their rooms, practised 10 hours a day, and come out with the technical skills … Continue reading Guitar hero Tony MacAlpine praises the phrasing of George Lynch

The London Quireboys’ Vancouver show gives the Newt second thoughts

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 16, 1990 Rock critics are human too—they make mistakes. Like when I first saw the London Quireboys via their video for "7 O'clock". I figured they were just too much of a blatant Faces rip-off—right down to the guitarist's Ron Wood-type top hat. I even turned down the … Continue reading The London Quireboys’ Vancouver show gives the Newt second thoughts

The Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson never cared for southern rock

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 9, 1990 By Steve Newton Chris Robinson, of Atlanta, Georgia, was nine years old when southern-rock heroes Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded the historic live album One More from the Road at that city's Fox Theatre. Robinson was a little young for concerts at the time, but even if he'd … Continue reading The Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson never cared for southern rock

Scatterbrain helps keep thrash out of the trash

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 12, 1990 By Steve Newton I don’t go to a lot of thrash-metal gigs—the overall effect is just too monotonous and ugly-sounding for these ears weaned on the melodic hard-rock of the ’70s. But once in a while a band with a strong thrash element comes along which … Continue reading Scatterbrain helps keep thrash out of the trash

Cheap Trick plays AC/DC with Motley Crue in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 2, 1989 By Steve Newton Back in the late '70s, one of this scribbler's favourite pastimes was throwing Cheap Trick's In Color album on the turntable and cranking 'er up. The band's thoroughly rockin' power-pop was just the right brain lube between heavy bouts of exam cramming. At … Continue reading Cheap Trick plays AC/DC with Motley Crue in Vancouver

Long lost GWAR interview sheds light on the twisted gore-rockers’ methods of madness

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 12, 2010 By Steve Newton I've been interviewing rockers for the Georgia Straight pretty steady since '82, and very few of the music stories I've written for the paper have gone unpublished. But for some reason—either space limitations or a managing editor with his noise out of joint—this interview with GWAR frontman … Continue reading Long lost GWAR interview sheds light on the twisted gore-rockers’ methods of madness