Bass-guitar legend Chris Squire of Yes dead at 67

By Steve Newton Sad news for music fans today. Chris Squire, bassist for British prog-rock legends Yes, passed away in Phoenix, Arizona, last night. He had been suffering from a rare form of leukemia. He was 67. Squire had formed Yes with singer Jon Anderson in 1968, and it didn't take long for the band … Continue reading Bass-guitar legend Chris Squire of Yes dead at 67

Lynyrd Skynyrd founding member Bob Burns dies in car crash at 64

By Steve Newton Sad news for Southern-rock fans--and Lynyrd Skynyrd freaks, in particular. Original Skynyrd drummer Bob Burns--who played drums on the band's first two albums--died last night after a single-car accident near Catersville, Georgia, when his car went off the road and hit a tree. Hardcore fans of the tragedy-prone band know too well that … Continue reading Lynyrd Skynyrd founding member Bob Burns dies in car crash at 64

“It’s rough all over the world,” says R.L. Burnside, “even down in Mississippi some.”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 18, 2001 BY STEVE NEWTON R.L. Burnside is one of the most popular blues artists around today, but up until five years ago he was barely known outside of his native northern Mississippi hill country. After being featured in the 1991 documentary film Deep Blues, and releasing the … Continue reading “It’s rough all over the world,” says R.L. Burnside, “even down in Mississippi some.”

Blue Oyster Cult’s “Reaper” writer says death is on everybody’s mind

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 10, 2000 By Steve Newton Ever wonder why classic-rock stations often play the hell out of a ’70s band’s old hits, but won’t even touch its current material, no matter how strong it is? I have. I’m especially curious about why local FM station CFMI Rock 101 totally … Continue reading Blue Oyster Cult’s “Reaper” writer says death is on everybody’s mind

H.R. Giger rocked my world with the Alien monster and the Brain Salad Surgery cover

I was shocked and saddened to hear that revered Swiss artist H.R. Giger passed away yesterday at the age of 74, apparently after a fall. I got my first look at his work in 1973 when, as a teenager perusing new albums at a record store, I came across Brain Salad Surgery, the latest release by British prog-rockers Emerson, Lake … Continue reading H.R. Giger rocked my world with the Alien monster and the Brain Salad Surgery cover

xtra large guitarist inspired by Keith Moon, Andy Kaufman, and pimento loaf

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 4, 1993 By Steve Newton Before potential listeners can get to the music on the new xtra large CD, NOWiEATthem, they have to get past one freaky cover illustration. Fashioned by acclaimed American artist Mark Ryden (who did Michael Jackson’s Dangerous cover), it portrays two women being wed … Continue reading xtra large guitarist inspired by Keith Moon, Andy Kaufman, and pimento loaf

“Transmaniacon MC” an apt soundtrack for the mayhem of Altamont

The infamous concert at Altamont Speedway in northern California, which took place December 6, 1969, is often viewed as "the anti-Woodstock", its violence signalling the end of the peace-and-love era. A YouTube video that blends footage of the event from the 1970 Rolling Stones documentary Gimme Shelter with the 1972 Blue Oyster Cult song "Transmaniacon MC" makes … Continue reading “Transmaniacon MC” an apt soundtrack for the mayhem of Altamont

Horror review: Final Destination 2

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 30, 2003 In his 1981 treatise on horror, Danse Macabre, Stephen King wrote: “I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I … Continue reading Horror review: Final Destination 2

Remembering Thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott on the anniversary of his death

It was 28 years ago today that Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, suffering from a kidney and liver infection, died of heart failure and pneumonia at a hospital in England. Years of drug and alcohol abuse had taken their toll, and he was taken away from all who loved him—and his exhilirating brand of guitar-heavy … Continue reading Remembering Thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott on the anniversary of his death

Jackass star dies in fiery Pennsylvania car crash

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 20, 2011 Ryan Dunn, one of the stars of MTV’s reality-TV show Jackass and its subsequent feature-length films, died early this morning when the car he was driving crashed in the woods near his home in the West Goshem Township of Pennsylvania. A passenger in Dunn’s vehicle, yet to be identified, also … Continue reading Jackass star dies in fiery Pennsylvania car crash