That time I asked Tommy Aldridge to name 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 I asked Tommy Aldridge to name 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

Gary Moore freaks rejoice: the Irish guitar hero’s fiery talent will burn on live CD

The rock-guitar world lost one of its most amazing artists in February of 2011 when Gary Moore passed away while on holiday in Spain, but now comes word that a concert recording of Moore from 2007 will be released this fall. Eagle Rock Entertainment--the company that's given us such primo Moore discs as the Blues for … Continue reading Gary Moore freaks rejoice: the Irish guitar hero’s fiery talent will burn on live CD

Bluesman Bill Perry lays it down fast and raw on Love Scars debut

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 17, 1996 I remember when I was about 13 years old and my guitar teacher had his students put on a recital in some big old rented hall. If I recall correctly, the highlight of my performance involved some nervous noodling on an unspectacular rendition of everybody’s all-time … Continue reading Bluesman Bill Perry lays it down fast and raw on Love Scars debut

My one and only interview with legendary bluesman Albert King

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 30, 1990 By Steve Newton The influence of the blues on British supergroups is well documented. The Stones, Zeppelin, Cream—they all lapped up the seminal works of people like Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Howlin’ Wolf. Across the sea in Ireland, a young guitarist named Gary Moore also … Continue reading My one and only interview with legendary bluesman Albert King

Essentially John Mayall sees the British bluesman with a cavalcade of guitar heroes

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 13, 2006 By Steve Newton The lineup of guitar slingers on this five-CD package is enough to make any blues-rock devotee start foaming at the mouth: Peter Green, Eric Clapton, Gary Moore, Mick Taylor, Billy Gibbons, Otis Rush, Steve Miller, Walter Trout, Jeff Healey, Steve Cropper, and Jonny Lang. Such … Continue reading Essentially John Mayall sees the British bluesman with a cavalcade of guitar heroes

The Strat Pack DVD is a guitar freak’s dream come true

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 24, 2005 By Steve Newton Last year, in celebration of the Fender Stratocaster's 50th anniversary, an impressive array of electric guitarists got together at London's Wembley Arena to see what kind of joyful noise they could all make with Leo Fender's masterpiece of metal, plastic, and wood. The result is … Continue reading The Strat Pack DVD is a guitar freak’s dream come true

Gary Moore plays Hendrix on upcoming Blues for Jimi Blu-ray

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 26, 2012 By Steve Newton The music world was shocked last year when, on February 6, word spread that Irish guitar legend Gary Moore had suddenly passed away while holidaying at a luxury resort in Spain. For some, it was bad news on a par with the tragic death of Jimi Hendrix, … Continue reading Gary Moore plays Hendrix on upcoming Blues for Jimi Blu-ray

Gary Moore’s Essential Montreux is a five-disc feast of fret-burning action

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 2, 2009 By Steve Newton Got someone on your Christmas list who’s a huge fan of wailing rock guitar? Then look no further than Eagle Rock's five-disc feast of fret-burning action by Irish guitar hero Gary Moore. So what if it contains no less than four live versions of Otis Rush’s … Continue reading Gary Moore’s Essential Montreux is a five-disc feast of fret-burning action

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1978

I'll always remember 1978 as the year I saw Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, when they were touring behind You're Gonna Get It. I'll also remember it for that time Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham took me backstage when the band opened for Styx at the Coliseum. Unfortunately, I'll … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1978

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