Album review: Great White, …Twice Shy (1989)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 23, 1989 By Steve Newton So Great White's last album was called Once Bitten, and its new one is ...Twice Shy. Is that any reason for the L.A. hard-rock band to slaughter Ian Hunter's 1975 classic "Once Bitten, Twice Shy"? The answer is an unequivocal no goddamn way! … Continue reading Album review: Great White, …Twice Shy (1989)

The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

By Steve Newton Remember how you'd set the needle down on the opening track of a new rock album and the first tune would just blow you the funk away? Me too. "(Ain't Nothin' But a) House Party" (Bloodshot, J. Geils Band, 1973) "All the Way From Memphis" (Mott, Mott the Hoople, 1973) "Already Gone" … Continue reading The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

Is Jim McCarty’s lead break on Bob Seger’s “Get Out of Denver” the second-greatest guitar solo of all time?

By Steve Newton Back in 2015 I wrote a fun blog in which I declared that Mick Ronson's guitar solo on Ian Hunter's "Once Bitten, Twice Shy was "the greatest guitar solo of all time". Now, I know as well as anybody that it's pointless to try and rank guitar solos--or guitar players, for that … Continue reading Is Jim McCarty’s lead break on Bob Seger’s “Get Out of Denver” the second-greatest guitar solo of all time?

That time Mick Ronson told me he was a rocker, as if I didn’t know

By Steve Newton I watched that documentary on Mick Ronson, Beside Bowie, the other day, and it inspired me to digitize another snippet off my first interview with Ronno, from 1988. You're welcome, fellow Ronson freaks! The conversation happened on September 9, '88, in advance of a show by the Hunter-Ronson Band at Vancouver's 86 … Continue reading That time Mick Ronson told me he was a rocker, as if I didn’t know

That time I called up Mick Ronson and asked what he’d been doin’ the last few years

By Steve Newton I've got a lotta guitar heroes, and as a rock journalist for 35 years now, I've managed to interview quite a few. One of my all-time faves has to be Mick Ronson. I've been crazy about him since I heard my first David Bowie album, Aladdin Sane, back in April of '73. … Continue reading That time I called up Mick Ronson and asked what he’d been doin’ the last few years

That time I asked Mick Ronson what he thought of Great White’s version of “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”

By Steve Newton I graduated from high school in 1975, and, holy crap, was that ever a great year for rock music! Lizzy's Fighting, Floyd's Wish You Were Here, Zep's Physical Graffiti, Neil's Zuma, Beck's Blow By Blow, Seger's Beautiful Loser--the list of killer albums went on and on. But none of them thrilled me more … Continue reading That time I asked Mick Ronson what he thought of Great White’s version of “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”

Mott the Hoople drummer Dale “Buffin” Griffin dies from Alzheimers at 67

By Steve Newton The drummer from one of my fave bands of the '70s has passed away. Dale "Buffin" Griffin, a founding member of Mott the Hoople, died peacefully in his sleep last night. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2009. Griffin played on all the Mott the Hoople albums, including 1972's breakthrough All the … Continue reading Mott the Hoople drummer Dale “Buffin” Griffin dies from Alzheimers at 67

The greatest guitar solo of all time: Mick Ronson on Ian Hunter’s “Once Bitten Twice Shy”

By Steve Newton I've heard a lotta amazing guitar solos in my life, but today I decided to just go ahead and pick the greatest one of all time. I'm goin' with Mick Ronson's 30-second blast on Ian Hunter's classic boogie number "Once Bitten Twice Shy". It's not because that's the best rock song of 1975--the year I graduated … Continue reading The greatest guitar solo of all time: Mick Ronson on Ian Hunter’s “Once Bitten Twice Shy”

Jaco Pastorius, the wickedest bass player of all time, is everywhere next month

By Steve Newton Fans of Jaco Pastorius, the wickedest bass player of all time, are in for some real treats next month. Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, announced today that it will release a collection of music titled JACO: Original Soundtrack on November 27, aka Record Store Day Black Friday 2015. Produced by … Continue reading Jaco Pastorius, the wickedest bass player of all time, is everywhere next month

Cold Chain revives the spirit of ’75 at the Chilliwack Senior High 40-year reunion

By Steve Newton Back in January I blogged about the "major concert news" that my old buddy's cover band, Cold Chain, was gonna play the 40-year reunion for my Chilliwack Senior High School class of 1975. At the time I put a request in for what was probably my fave tune that year, Ian Hunter's … Continue reading Cold Chain revives the spirit of ’75 at the Chilliwack Senior High 40-year reunion

Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson tour behind YUI Orta, so the Newt talks to Ronno

By Steve Newton On December 19, 1989, Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson played the 86 Street Music Hall in Vancouver. For me, it didn't get any better than that. I'd been a huge fan of Hunter ever since I first heard his old band, Mott the Hoople, and Ronson...well, if you liked David Bowie in … Continue reading Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson tour behind YUI Orta, so the Newt talks to Ronno

Mott the Hoople box set is definitely worth the extra dollars

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 24, 1998 By Steve Newton This long-awaited, three-disc Mott the Hoople box--All the Young Dudes: The Anthology-- is only available as a British import, but for die-hard fans of the distinctive and innovative glam-era band it’s definitely worth the extra dollars. As well as the group’s biggest hits … Continue reading Mott the Hoople box set is definitely worth the extra dollars

The Payola$’ Paul Hyde talks Alex Harvey, Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson

On February 18, 1984, the Payola$ played the PNE Gardens with opening act Darkroom. At the time the band--which also included guitarist Bob Rock, bassist Alex Boynton, drummer Chris Taylor, and keyboardist Christopher Livingston--was basking in the success of its latest album, Hammer on a Drum. That disc was produced with one of my alltime … Continue reading The Payola$’ Paul Hyde talks Alex Harvey, Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1979

Ah, 1979. According to my calculations, that was the last year of the '70s, which was the greatest decade for guitar-based rock music ever. I'd like to thank Fender, Gibson, Marshall, and everyone else who created the instruments of my enjoyment back then. A Million Vacations: Max Webster ("Paradise Skies", "A Million Vacations", "Let Go … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1979

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1975

Ah, 1975. The year I graduated high school. Talk about dazed and confused. Albums listed alphabetically by title, including three choice tracks from each one to help you remember how wicked they really were. Against the Grain: Rory Gallagher ("Bought and Sold", "Out on the Western Plain", "Lost at Sea") America's Choice: Hot Tuna ("Sleep … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1975

Rush finally chosen for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…NOT!

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 27, 2011 By Steve Newton Those dickwads down at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have done it again. The list of nominees for induction in 2012 was released today and--much to the chagrin of anyone with the slightest notion of what the term "Rock and Roll" stands for--Canuck … Continue reading Rush finally chosen for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…NOT!

Good times with Great White, before the fire

By Steve Newton I was never a big Great White fan--especially after they went platinum with their 1989 mockery of Ian Hunter's '70s classic, "Once Bitten, Twice Shy". But for some reason--no doubt work-related--I wound up going to a show at Club Soda and saying howdy to lead singer Jack Russell behind the bar while … Continue reading Good times with Great White, before the fire