Dear Iron Maiden: please play Vancouver on the Book of Souls World Tour –your old buddy, Newt

By Steve Newton The world's old-school headbangers got some great news the other day when British metal legends Iron Maiden announced that it would embark on a global tour in 2016 that is set to visit 35 countries in six continents. "Details of the precise schedule are currently being finalised," said the band on its website, … Continue reading Dear Iron Maiden: please play Vancouver on the Book of Souls World Tour –your old buddy, Newt

Maroon 5’s Adam Levine in 2003: loves spicy plum sauce, not the White Stripes

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 29, 2003 By Steve Newton L.A. soul-rock quintet Maroon 5 named its debut CD Songs About Jane because that’s exactly what the album contains: tunes about singer-lyricist and guitarist Adam Levine’s ex-girlfriend, first name Jane. As Levine explains from a Toronto Thai restaurant, the former flame actually became … Continue reading Maroon 5’s Adam Levine in 2003: loves spicy plum sauce, not the White Stripes

Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready on Ticketmaster, Neil Young, Nickelback, and the new Riot Act

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 29, 2003 By Steve Newton Pearl Jam is one of those hugely influential, multiplatinum rock acts that’s notorious for refusing to talk to the press, often for extended periods of time. So when PJ guitarist Mike McCready calls from the “lovely offices” of Vandenberg Public Relations in Seattle, … Continue reading Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready on Ticketmaster, Neil Young, Nickelback, and the new Riot Act

Geddy Lee on Neil Peart’s personal struggles, shaping his lyrics, and loving Rush

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 5, 2002 By Steve Newton Rush’s latest CD, Vapor Trails, may be its best recording ever, and since the Canuck prog-rock trio now has 17 studio releases to its credit, that’s saying something. But the album would never have been made if drummer-lyricist Neil Peart hadn’t had the … Continue reading Geddy Lee on Neil Peart’s personal struggles, shaping his lyrics, and loving Rush

Joe Walsh, the Eddie Shack of rock, flies highest at the Eagles’ Vancouver show

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 20, 2002 By Steve Newton Boy, I sure took a lotta flack from the hipsters in the Straight’s editorial department for wanting to review the Eagles concert last Wednesday (June 12) at GM Place. “Woo-hoo, ‘Hotel California’!” gibed Mike Usinger, high sheriff of all things musical, before inserting … Continue reading Joe Walsh, the Eddie Shack of rock, flies highest at the Eagles’ Vancouver show

If Clapton is God, then Doyle Bramhall II is the son of God

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 2, 2001 BY STEVE NEWTON “Clapton is God!” is a phrase that was bandied about early on in Eric Clapton’s fabled career, but there may be a new guitar-hero catchphrase on the horizon. How about “Bramhall is the Son of God!” And who the hell is Bramhall, … Continue reading If Clapton is God, then Doyle Bramhall II is the son of God

Bono dedicates new tune to old friend Michael Hutchence as U2 elevates Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 19, 2001 By Steve Newton Talk about a coincidence! Two hours before heading out to see U2 at GM Place last Friday (April 13), I was watching The Simpsons, the episode in which Homer runs for sanitary commissioner of Springfield because he doesn’t like taking out his own … Continue reading Bono dedicates new tune to old friend Michael Hutchence as U2 elevates Vancouver

Carlos Santana chides firecracker-blasting moron in Vancouver, says “This isn’t a heavy-metal concert!”

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 2, 2000 By Steve Newton Carlos Santana has been blowing folks away with his fiery, straight-from-the-soul fret work for more than 30 years now, but at GM Place on October 26, he never let his status as a guitar god override his main goal for … Continue reading Carlos Santana chides firecracker-blasting moron in Vancouver, says “This isn’t a heavy-metal concert!”

Rob Zombie’s kid brother Spidey One is Powerman 5000’s superhero

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 27, 2000 Powerman 5000’s current record-company bio opens with a quote from vocalist Spider One, in which he explains that “being in a band is as close as I could get to being a superhero.” Now, I’ve seen a lot of bands, but never any that were capable—U2’s … Continue reading Rob Zombie’s kid brother Spidey One is Powerman 5000’s superhero

Chili Peppers bring heat to Vancouver with pogoing Flea after Dave Grohl gets his nipple pinched

@shotbykevin ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 1, 2000 By Steve Newton Nobody rocks like Flea. As soon as the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ hyperkinetic bassist stepped on the GM Place stage last Sunday (May 28), he started churning out monstrous hard-funk licks, and he didn’t slow down until the gig was over. And … Continue reading Chili Peppers bring heat to Vancouver with pogoing Flea after Dave Grohl gets his nipple pinched

Tina Turner brings raw passion and grace to Vancouver

@shotbykevin ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 18, 2000 By Steve Newton You always know pretty well what to expect at a Tina Turner concert. First off, there’s the legendary lady herself, whom you can rely on to perform with raw passion and grace. It’s in her blood, which apparently hasn’t thinned that much … Continue reading Tina Turner brings raw passion and grace to Vancouver

Mike Campbell’s instro-rock medley steals the show from Tom Petty in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 9, 1999 By Steve Newton I’ve seen Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform in Vancouver four times now. The first time—one of the most memorable concert experiences of my life—was at the Commodore Ballroom in ’78, just after the release of the band’s sophomore album, You’re Gonna Get … Continue reading Mike Campbell’s instro-rock medley steals the show from Tom Petty in Vancouver

Vancouver’s cotton-candy crowd goes gaga for Goo Goo

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 29, 1999 I didn’t realize the vast majority of Goo Goo Dolls fans were teenagers until I got to GM Place last Saturday (July 24) and discovered that the food concessions were pushing candy floss more aggressively than beer. I guess I should have known, considering how the … Continue reading Vancouver’s cotton-candy crowd goes gaga for Goo Goo

Perfecting the lost art of the backstage meet ‘n’ greet at John Mellencamp in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 20, 1999 By Steve Newton I like John Mellencamp, but my sister Julie and cousin Cory are crazy about him, so I did some serious scroungin’ and wangled three backstage passes to meet the Indiana rocker before he went on-stage at GM Place last Saturday (May 15). Now, … Continue reading Perfecting the lost art of the backstage meet ‘n’ greet at John Mellencamp in Vancouver

Gordon Downie thanks Bruce Allen for making the Tragically Hip famous in Vancouver

mike chernoff photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 18, 1999 By Steve Newton I’ve always been mightily impressed by the Tragically Hip’s live presentation. It didn’t matter which venue I’d see them in—whether it was the wee Railway Club or sprawling T-Bird Stadium, the classic Commodore or scenic Seabird Island—I always went away … Continue reading Gordon Downie thanks Bruce Allen for making the Tragically Hip famous in Vancouver

Big-hearted blues god B.B. King offers guitar picks and hugs backstage in Vancouver

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 13, 1998 By Steve Newton “Come on in!” urged B.B. King to the gaggle of well-wishers and autograph hounds gathered outside his dressing room in the bowels of GM Place. It was 12:30 a.m., about 45 minutes after King had finished his set on the first night … Continue reading Big-hearted blues god B.B. King offers guitar picks and hugs backstage in Vancouver

An inspired Yes makes up for a flaccid Alan Parsons Project in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 23, 1998 By Steve Newton There are some bands I used to like in the ’70s that make me embarrassed by that fact in the ’90s. Back in high school, I figured Uriah Heep was the cat’s ass, but now, it’s like, “What was I thinking!” And I … Continue reading An inspired Yes makes up for a flaccid Alan Parsons Project in Vancouver

Mick Fleetwood recalls the “powerful vibe” of Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 9, 1997 By Steve Newton Like some 25 million other folks, I own a copy of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. I purchased my vinyl version when it was released in 1977, and when I pulled it out the other day to see if I was ready to turn it … Continue reading Mick Fleetwood recalls the “powerful vibe” of Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac