That time Tommy Aldridge told me that Randy Rhoads was the most talented guitarist he ever played with

By Steve Newton Drum legend Tommy Aldridge has played with some of the greatest rock guitarists of all time: Gary Moore, Steve Vai, Randy Rhoads, Pat Travers, Tony MacAlpine, Scott Gorham, John Sykes. Heck, even his first band of note, Black Oak Arkansas, featured some pretty heavy-duty pickers. When I interviewed Aldridge back in 2001 … Continue reading That time Tommy Aldridge told me that Randy Rhoads was the most talented guitarist he ever played with

Album review: Gary Moore, Wild Frontier (1987)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 8, 1987 By Steve Newton "What are your favourite bands?" I get asked that a lot, and it's a tough question. For someone who listens to a lot of different records, favourite bands come and go. But for me, probably the most endearing rock group is Thin Lizzy. And it's not just because … Continue reading Album review: Gary Moore, Wild Frontier (1987)

That time Motörhead’s “Fast” Eddie Clarke told me he just wanted to be a member of a really hot band

By Steve Newton The heavy-metal world is still in mourning after yesterday's news that former Motörhead and Fastway guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke has passed away from pneumonia at the age of 67. Clarke was part of the "classic" Motörhead lineup, with also included singer-bassist Lemmy Kilmister and drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor--both of whom died in … Continue reading That time Motörhead’s “Fast” Eddie Clarke told me he just wanted to be a member of a really hot band

Album review: Thin Lizzy, Life (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 13, 1984 By Steve Newton While not as well-produced as their first live LP Live and Dangerous, Thin Lizzy's new double album does hold some interesting surprises for fans of boisterous hard rock. Featuring guest appearances by legendary axemen Gary Moore, Eric Bell, and Brian Robertson, Life is culled from various … Continue reading Album review: Thin Lizzy, Life (1983)

Rock producer Chris Tsangarides, known for his work with Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, and the Tragically Hip, dead at 61

By Steve Newton Sad news to report today. Chris Tsangarides--who produced such albums as Thin Lizzy's Thunder and Lightning, Gary Moore's Back on the Streets, and the Tragically Hip's Fully Completely--died of heart failure today after battling pneumonia. He was only 61. Tsangarides, who specialized in hard rock, had also worked on albums by Black … Continue reading Rock producer Chris Tsangarides, known for his work with Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, and the Tragically Hip, dead at 61

Album review: Thin Lizzy, Thunder and Lightning (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 29, 1983 By Steve Newton One of the biggest disappointments in hard rock this year is the news that Thin Lizzy--after 14 years and many fine, albeit underrated albums--is calling it quits. Ever since 1974's magical Vagabonds of the Western World, Phil Lynott and Co. have been churning … Continue reading Album review: Thin Lizzy, Thunder and Lightning (1983)

Album review: Gary Moore, Corridors of Power (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 22, 1983 By Steve Newton Gary Moore is an astounding rock guitarist, capable of wrenching the most scintillating and unique licks imaginable from six strings. His brief stints with Colosseum II and Thin Lizzy showed him to be a versatile and technically superior player, and on Corridors of … Continue reading Album review: Gary Moore, Corridors of Power (1983)

Album review: Queen, Queen at the BBC (1995)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 23, 1995 By Steve Newton Recorded in February and December of 1973—half before and half after the release of Queen’s self-titled debut album—Queen at the BBC is an intriguing document of the Brit supergroup’s earliest material, which is certainly some of its best. (The band went downhill, … Continue reading Album review: Queen, Queen at the BBC (1995)

Album review: BBM, Around the Next Dream (1994)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 29, 1994 By Steve Newton Not many rock guitarists could step into Eric Clapton’s shoes—especially the sizeable ones he’s wearing right now, following the release of his stunning blues album, From the Cradle. But when Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker picked Gary Moore to become the M … Continue reading Album review: BBM, Around the Next Dream (1994)

Album review: Big Country, The Buffalo Skinners (1993)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 17, 1993 By Steve Newton Having heard very little of Big Country since the mid-’80s, I’d pretty well written the band off as a one-hit-wonder for its early smash single, “In a Big Country”. But, surprisingly, the band’s latest disc is a superb recording, and one that’s … Continue reading Album review: Big Country, The Buffalo Skinners (1993)

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1990

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 1990 By Steve Newton A good portion of my album picks for the year turned out to be from ageing rock veterans. Maybe 1990 wasn’t a great year for new artists—or maybe I just missed ’em—but the tunes that really got me going were by artists I’ve followed … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1990

Rolling Stone can piss right off: here’s the 100 Greatest Guitarists (that I’ve interviewed) and 50 that I haven’t (yet)

By Steve Newton Google “100 greatest guitarists” these days and what shows up at the top is a total joke. It’s the high ‘n’ mighty Rolling Stone‘s list of the so-called finest, posted from 2015. And man does it suck. But what do you expect from the same bozos who oversee the Rock and Roll … Continue reading Rolling Stone can piss right off: here’s the 100 Greatest Guitarists (that I’ve interviewed) and 50 that I haven’t (yet)

That time Albert King tried telling me that he wrote “As the Years Go Passing By”

By Steve Newton As a blues fan I've been extremely lucky to have interviewed some of the genre's greatest talents, including B.B. King, Albert Collins, Roy Buchanan, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Buddy Guy. But I was particularly thrilled when I got to chat with Albert King, back in 1990, two years before "The Velvet Bulldozer" … Continue reading That time Albert King tried telling me that he wrote “As the Years Go Passing By”

Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Warren Zevon, Rick Derringer, Albert Collins, Ronnie Montrose, Gary Moore, and Jethro Tull

By Steve Newton So the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame did it again. Today the poorly-named musical dumping ground in Cleveland inducted six acts into its fold, including folkie Joan Baez and rapper Tupac Shakur. Sure, they're both great at what they do, but are they rock 'n' roll? Kinda doubt it. The other … Continue reading Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Warren Zevon, Rick Derringer, Albert Collins, Ronnie Montrose, Gary Moore, and Jethro Tull

Graham Bonnet was bandmates with Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, and Yngwie Malmsteen, but called Gary Moore his hero

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Graham Bonnet back in 1984 he was fronting a hard-rock/metal band called Alcatrazz that featured an unknown guitarist named Yngwie Malmsteen, who would not stay unknown for long. Two years earlier Bonnet had been a member of the Michael Schenker Group, which also boasted an amazing guitar player, a guy … Continue reading Graham Bonnet was bandmates with Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, and Yngwie Malmsteen, but called Gary Moore his hero

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1983

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 13, 1984 By Steve Newton Stevie Ray Vaughan Texas Flood  “Texas Flood is by far my most played album these days. It’s one of those rare albums where every song is a winner…if your’re a fanatic of electric blues guitar, you’ve got to have this record.” Gary Moore Corridors … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1983

Backstage with Scott Gorham (and Gary Moore) on Thin Lizzy’s Bad Reputation Tour in 1978

By Steve Newton See that Thin Lizzy mirror pin I'm holding? That's not just any old Thin Lizzy mirror pin. That's the one Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham gave me backstage at Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum on October 12, 1978. That was an unforgettable moment for me. Lemme tell ya about it. At the time I … Continue reading Backstage with Scott Gorham (and Gary Moore) on Thin Lizzy’s Bad Reputation Tour in 1978

Some dude who followed me on Twitter plays a pretty mean goldtop

So I was checking out my Twitter account on the commute home last night and I noticed that my number of followers had blasted up from 1435 to an impressive fourteen-hundred and thirty-six. My new follower was a guy named Niro Knox, who looked like a pretty rockin' dude. So I took a gander at some of his … Continue reading Some dude who followed me on Twitter plays a pretty mean goldtop