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

U2 pays homage to Michael Hutchence and the Commodore in 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 U2 pays homage to Michael Hutchence and the Commodore in Vancouver

Carlos Santana chides firecracker-blasting moron in Vancouver

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 2, 2000 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 the night. Santana … Continue reading Carlos Santana chides firecracker-blasting moron in Vancouver

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 rile up Vancouver after Dave Grohl gets his nipple pinched

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 1, 2000 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 when Flea wasn’t laying … Continue reading Chili Peppers rile up Vancouver 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

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 fully, completely satisfied. … Continue reading Gordon Downie thanks Bruce Allen for making the Tragically Hip famous

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

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 13, 1998 “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 of the 44-date B.B. … 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

ZZ Top snoozes through its Rhythmeen tour stop in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 5, 1997 Strolling over the Georgia Viaduct en route to GM Place last Sunday (June 1), I gazed down at the arena’s parking lot to see what kind of fancy tour buses ZZ Top is travelling in these days. I expected to see an outline of Texas on … Continue reading ZZ Top snoozes through its Rhythmeen tour stop in Vancouver

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

Rush refuses to give John Rutsey his due on Test for Echo tour in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 22, 1997 By Steve Newton Although they’ve sold more than 35 million records and been a major force on the hard-rock world for 23 years, it appears as though Rush’s status as an arena-packing concert draw—at least in Vancouver—has slipped a few notches. There were scads of empty … Continue reading Rush refuses to give John Rutsey his due on Test for Echo tour in Vancouver

Geddy Lee on the music of the ’70s, the Order of Canada, and the full-time job of Rush

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 15, 1997 By Steve Newton Although I’m usually too lazy to bother fiddling with LPs these days, those old black beauties sure do come in handy when I’m preparing to interview a band that’s been around as long as Rush. Shuffling through my prized rows of plastic-enclosed 12-inchers, … Continue reading Geddy Lee on the music of the ’70s, the Order of Canada, and the full-time job of Rush

Vancouverites eat up Hootie & the Blowfish’s overbaked passion

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 28, 1996 Hootie & the Blowfish are one of those freaks of nature that show up on the evolutionary ladder of pop music every once in a while, a band that sells huge amounts of its debut recording, yet, by most critical accounts, is totally undeserving of its … Continue reading Vancouverites eat up Hootie & the Blowfish’s overbaked passion

The Who brings Quadrophenia, the world’s greatest rock album, to Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 24, 1996 By Steve Newton If I had to choose one “desert island disc”—the all-time–favourite rock album to live out my days to while munching coconuts on some uncharted tropical atoll—it would have to be The Who’s Quadrophenia. Although its 1971 predecessor, Who’s Next, is generally regarded as … Continue reading The Who brings Quadrophenia, the world’s greatest rock album, to Vancouver

That wild ’70s weekend when Kiss brought the glam and the Pistols brought the punk

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 5, 1996 The Rocket really nailed it. The Seattle music paper’s latest cover sports hilarious caricatures of Kiss’s Gene Simmons and the Sex Pistols’ Johnny “Rotten” Lydon, under the headline “Geezers of Rock”. A prune-faced Lydon is depicted with bloodshot eyes, slobbering all over himself, wearing a button that … Continue reading That wild ’70s weekend when Kiss brought the glam and the Pistols brought the punk

A cringe-inducing Ozzy cashes in on the genius of riff-master Tony Iommi in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 1, 1996 When Ozzy Osbourne called off his June GM Place show after two-and-a-half songs, the excuse given for his voice lapsing into a pathetic-sounding croak was first described by the concert promoter as a “vocal seizure”, and then by his record label as an “allergic attack”. But … Continue reading A cringe-inducing Ozzy cashes in on the genius of riff-master Tony Iommi in Vancouver

That time Ozzy Osbourne had to pack it in after three songs in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 13, 1996 Heavy-metal maven Ozzy Osbourne has overcome plenty of adversity during his more than 25 years in the hard-rock biz—from life-threatening bouts with booze and drugs to the airplane-crash death of guitarist Randy Rhoads—but he wasn’t able to prevail over the asthma attack that forced him to … Continue reading That time Ozzy Osbourne had to pack it in after three songs in Vancouver