That time Jennifer Batten told me that she thought Jeff Beck was the greatest guitarist who ever lived

By Steve Newton Jennifer Batten is an astounding guitar player, as anyone who's seen her perform with Michael Jackson or, later on, Jeff Beck will attest. I interviewed Batten in 2002, a year after seeing her play with Beck at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver on his You Had It Coming tour. Before that show … Continue reading That time Jennifer Batten told me that she thought Jeff Beck was the greatest guitarist who ever lived

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)

Pandora’s Box conjures vivid memories of Aerosmith in the seventies

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC .12, 1991 By Steve Newton This scribbler’s teenage memories are filled with happy thoughts of Aerosmith, the best thing from Boston since Bobby Orr. There’s the time me and some pals hijacked somebody’s dad’s car and travelled down to Seattle’s Kingdome to join 60,000 other maniacs for a … Continue reading Pandora’s Box conjures vivid memories of Aerosmith in the seventies

That time Tal Wilkenfeld told me about her switching from guitar to bass

By Steve Newton Anyone who's aware of the monstrous talent of Tal Wilkenfeld only knows her for her skills on the bass guitar, which she's used to showcase her abilities with the likes of Jeff Beck, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and scores of other famous players. But when she first came over to the States from … Continue reading That time Tal Wilkenfeld told me about her switching from guitar to bass

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 Roy Buchanan told me that Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour was just a bluesman at heart

By Steve Newton I've been getting quite a few hits lately for a blog I posted about Danny Gatton, which included an audio excerpt from the interview I did with the underrated guitar genius back in 1993. So I figured maybe it was time to treat that particular group of Ear of Newt readers--the ones … Continue reading That time Roy Buchanan told me that Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour was just a bluesman at heart

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2016

By Steve Newton Please, God, don’t let any more of my rock heroes die this year. Jeff Beck Loud Hailer The world’s greatest living rock guitarist isn’t resting on his laurels at the age of 72. With Loud Hailer—another term for “megaphone”—Beck delivers a fresh-sounding blast of intense, politically minded rock. His fretwork has never … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2016

That time Jeff Beck told me that Grammys mean nothing to him–especially when he loses to Santana!

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Jeck Beck back in January of 2001, just before the release of his You Had It Coming album, I asked the world's greatest living rock guitarist if the 2000 Grammy nomination for a track from his previous album, Who Else!, meant anything to him. In typically modest Beck style he … Continue reading That time Jeff Beck told me that Grammys mean nothing to him–especially when he loses to Santana!

Tal Wilkenfeld on life’s defining points, like auditioning for Jeff Beck in an altered state

By Steve Newton Tal Wilkenfeld has accomplished an awful lot since emigrating to the U.S. from Australia in 2002 as a teen. She’s performed with jazz greats Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter, and at the age of 20 recorded her 2007 debut album, the all-instrumental Transformation, which she composed, produced, arranged, and played … Continue reading Tal Wilkenfeld on life’s defining points, like auditioning for Jeff Beck in an altered state

That time I asked bass goddess Tal Wilkenfeld how she got so goddamn good

By Steve Newton Sometimes when I listen to a musician perform I wonder to myself, "How did they get so goddamn good?" And sometimes--if I meet said musician in my capacity as a music writer--I'll just flat out ask them how they got so goddamn good. I did it with guitarist Guthrie Govan in 2015, and … Continue reading That time I asked bass goddess Tal Wilkenfeld how she got so goddamn good

That time Mick Fleetwood told me that Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page

By Steve Newton Legendary drummer Mick Fleetwood called me up a couple days ago to plug his upcoming gig at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, and I made sure to ask him all about his long-ago bandmate Peter Green. Fleetwood's current outfit, the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, is performing several Green-penned songs from the early … Continue reading That time Mick Fleetwood told me that Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page

Roy Buchanan on being asked to join the Stones, his fave guitarists, and Jeff Beck’s dedication to him

By Steve Newton On January 26, 1986, I did my first interview with guitar legend Roy Buchanan. He was coming to Vancouver for a show at the Town Pump, so I called him up at his hotel in Salt Lake City and got the scoop. In this particular excerpt we talked about him being asked … Continue reading Roy Buchanan on being asked to join the Stones, his fave guitarists, and Jeff Beck’s dedication to him

Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 3: The Vacationers enjoy “doing a couple of Jeff Beck tunes”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, APRIL 8, 1981 By Steve Newton (In the third of a series of stories on local bands, The Progress presents a profile of The Vacationers. Next: Loose Change.) The Vacationers, specialists in hard driving rock and roll, are a Chilliwack group composed of Mike Evans on lead guitar and … Continue reading Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 3: The Vacationers enjoy “doing a couple of Jeff Beck tunes”

Uli Jon Roth makes Vancouver debut, local guitar geeks eat it up

By Steve Newton Masterful rock guitarist Uli Jon Roth made his Vancouver debut last night (March 19), and for local fret freaks, it was well worth the wait. Scrape Records and the Invisible Orange brought Uli Jon Roth's Ultimate Guitar Experience to Venue, and the German axeman displayed his stunning virtuosity on a bill that also … Continue reading Uli Jon Roth makes Vancouver debut, local guitar geeks eat it up

That time Uli Jon Roth told me that he’d most like to jam with David Gilmour, Ritchie Blackmore, and Jeff Beck

By Steve Newton Back in 2016 I interviewed Uli Jon Roth for the first time ever, and made sure to ask him one of the more burning questions guitar-freaks might have for the legendary picker. I knew he'd played with some of the world's greatest guitarists over the years--heck, at the time he was touring … Continue reading That time Uli Jon Roth told me that he’d most like to jam with David Gilmour, Ritchie Blackmore, and Jeff Beck

Roy Buchanan on turning down the Stones and being flattered by Beck

me 'n Roy backstage at the Pump, February 10, 1986 ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 7, 1986 By Steve Newton Not many guitarists can say they were invited to join the Rolling Stones. Not many can say they turned the offer down either. But Roy Buchanan--quite possibly the best white blues guitarist in … Continue reading Roy Buchanan on turning down the Stones and being flattered by Beck

Sonny Landreth ranks Johnny Winter with Clapton and Beck

By Steve Newton I called Louisiana slide guitar-ace Sonny Landreth up at his home in Lafayette yesterday and we chatted for a while, mainly about his latest album, Bound By the Blues, which he'll showcase tunes from in Vancouver on January 17. The album, his ninth studio release, is a paeon to the blues and his … Continue reading Sonny Landreth ranks Johnny Winter with Clapton and Beck

Motley Crue’s Mick Mars in 1985: “Without groupies, I probably wouldn’t have been a musician.”

mila geran photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 29, 1985 By Steve Newton Outside the hotel a huge tour bus sits, the dust on its sides inscribed with messages like "The Crue Rules", "I Love You Vince", and, strangely enough, "KISS". Inside the lobby, a gaggle of pubescent females are trying to weasel … Continue reading Motley Crue’s Mick Mars in 1985: “Without groupies, I probably wouldn’t have been a musician.”

Long John Baldry on Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, David Bowie–and Dale Martindale of Images in Vogue

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 13, 1985 By Steve Newton Long John Baldry is a giant among British blues-rockers--and that's not only because he stands 6 feet 7-1/2 inches tall. In his 26-year career the singer has played with stars such as Mick jagger, Rod Stewart, and Elton John, among many others, and … Continue reading Long John Baldry on Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, David Bowie–and Dale Martindale of Images in Vogue

Joe Satriani astounds the Newt yet again with the magical Shockwave Supernova

By Steve Newton (photo too) I've been a huge Joe Satriani fan since the first time I heard him, back in '87 or so, around the time of Surfing With the Alien. I interviewed him for the first time in January of 1990 before a show at the 86 Street Music Hall in Vancouver, and have tried to … Continue reading Joe Satriani astounds the Newt yet again with the magical Shockwave Supernova

Roger Waters to rerelease Jeff Beck-bolstered album Amused to Death

By Steve Newton Roger Waters fans—and Jeff Beck freaks—have reason to rejoice today, as Legacy Recordings has announced the reissue, in various remastered forms, of Waters' solo album Amused to Death. That was the 1992 disc that concerned itself with society's obsession with entertainment, in particular its addiction to TV. Obviously, folks' current preoccupation with screens of all … Continue reading Roger Waters to rerelease Jeff Beck-bolstered album Amused to Death

Steve Vai on cocky G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen and tormented “genius” Devin Townsend

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 9, 2003 By Steve Newton I was a tad taken aback when the press release came in announcing the lineup for Joe Satriani’s 2003 G3 Tour. It wasn’t a surprise to see long-time G3er (and former Satch student) Steve Vai’s name on the bill. But I didn’t expect … Continue reading Steve Vai on cocky G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen and tormented “genius” Devin Townsend

Terry Bozzio on auditioning for Thin Lizzy and wishing he could play with Zappa again

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 29, 2003 By Steve Newton Terry Bozzio is among the most revered drummers in rock, but these days you won’t catch him tearing up the kit in concert or laying down tracks in a studio. The 52-year-old skin basher is more apt to be leading a drum clinic, … Continue reading Terry Bozzio on auditioning for Thin Lizzy and wishing he could play with Zappa again

Joe Satriani explains how he overcame pain and suffering to fulfill his new Blue Dream

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 19, 1990 By Steve Newton Just as almost everyone can recall where they were when news broke of John F. Kennedy's assassination, a lot of rock fans can vividly remember that day in 1970 when the news of Jimi Hendrix's death came down. Joe Satriani was in high … Continue reading Joe Satriani explains how he overcame pain and suffering to fulfill his new Blue Dream

Jennifer Batten thinks Jeff Beck is “the greatest guitar player who ever lived”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 13, 2002 By Steve Newton Any guitar freaks lucky enough to have seen Jeff Beck at the Commodore last year will rave about his top-hatted blond accompanist, whose mastery of the guitar-synth almost stole the show from the British rock legend. The waiflike lady was Jennifer Batten, who … Continue reading Jennifer Batten thinks Jeff Beck is “the greatest guitar player who ever lived”

David Gogo gets tongue-tied around Jeff Beck, “the best guitarist in the world”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 26, 2001 One of the best perks of being a Media Slut From Hell—I mean, music journalist—is getting backstage to pose for photos with your fave rock gods. At my house, there’s a hallowed location on an office wall where I’ve hung a framed snapshot of me and … Continue reading David Gogo gets tongue-tied around Jeff Beck, “the best guitarist in the world”

Jeff Beck at the Commodore: the world’s greatest rock guitarist plays the world’s best bar

photo by kevin statham ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 22, 2001 Jeff Beck is my favourite rock guitarist of all time, so I didn’t think twice about doing the necessary grovelling to secure a couple of backstage passes for his sold-out show at the Commodore. Because my Beck-loving buddy Bones was celebrating a … Continue reading Jeff Beck at the Commodore: the world’s greatest rock guitarist plays the world’s best bar