Peter Green’s masterful guitarwork lights up vinyl release of unearthed Fleetwood Mac live and demo tracks

By Steve Newton The blues-guitar world lost one of its finest practitioners last month when Peter Green passed away at the age of 73. But hardcore Greeny fans can take some solace in the fact that a new collection of previously unreleased recordings, Fleetwood Mac Before the Beginning Vol 2: Live & Demo Sessions 1970, … Continue reading Peter Green’s masterful guitarwork lights up vinyl release of unearthed Fleetwood Mac live and demo tracks

Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Rainbow, BTO, Steve Earle, Judas Priest, Little Feat, Todd Rundgren, and Mahogany Rush

By Steve Newton As you may aware, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame crapped the bed again yesterday, inducting the likes of Whitney Houston and Depeche Mode over nominees like Thin Lizzy, Soundgarden, Judas Priest, and the MC5. So today Newt's Rock Hall is gonna match their six additions, and add a seventh to … Continue reading Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Rainbow, BTO, Steve Earle, Judas Priest, Little Feat, Todd Rundgren, and Mahogany Rush

That time I told Rob Halford that “Freewheel Burning” was my fave tune on Judas Priest’s new album

By Steve Newton I've interviewed Rob Halford five times over the years, the first being way the funk back in 1984, when Judas Priest was headed to Vancouver on the Defenders of the Faith tour. At one point in the conversation I asked Rob which tune on the new album was his personal favourite, and … Continue reading That time I told Rob Halford that “Freewheel Burning” was my fave tune on Judas Priest’s new album

Album review: Judas Priest, Ram It Down (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 5, 1988 By Steve Newton Those of you who thought the Priest may have been mellowing out a little on its last record, Turbo--forget it. With the latest, the band's back to the freewheelin' raunch that made Defenders of the Faith such a dangerous chunk of vinyl. From … Continue reading Album review: Judas Priest, Ram It Down (1988)

Album review: Various Artists, Metal For Lunch (1986)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 6, 1986 By Steve Newton Metal For Lunch is the follow-up to last year's Metal For Breakfast album, a collection of previously released tracks from som great (and not so great) hard rock bands. On this one, the top tunes come via Aerosmith ("Back in the Saddle"), Judas Priest ("Love … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, Metal For Lunch (1986)

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

That time Circus Magazine’s editorial department sent me a rejection letter :(

By Steve Newton Thirty-six years ago today somebody at Circus Magazine sent me a rejection letter. They could have at least signed it. Back in the seventies I devoured Circus. It was a total fanzine, but it really covered the bands I was interested in. On any given issue you'd see capitalized band names like MOTT, … Continue reading That time Circus Magazine’s editorial department sent me a rejection letter 🙁

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1986

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 19, 1986 By Steve Newton Steve Earle Guitar Town Catchy country-rock with a down home feel that sounds fresh even after repeated listenings. Eurythmics Revenge Irresistible little rock gems that make you hum whether you want to or not. Brian Setzer The Knife Feels Like Justice Stray Cat … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1986

That time I asked Metallica’s 23-year-old James Hetfield who his fave metal bands were

By Steve Newton Back in 1986 I met James Hetfield in his hotel room in Vancouver, and we talked for a bit about heavy metal, the death of Cliff Burton, new bassist Jason Newsted, and Metallica's latest album, Master of Puppets. I'm not sure which day in '86 the interview happened, but it was sometime … Continue reading That time I asked Metallica’s 23-year-old James Hetfield who his fave metal bands were

Jon Bon Jovi in 1986: “As long as there’s a plug, we’ll plug it in.”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 11, 1986 By Steve Newton When New York rockers Bon Jovi flew into Vancouver to record their third album, it didn't take long for them to become attached to the place. "The first night we got there we were into the Embassy and the Metro," says singer Jon … Continue reading Jon Bon Jovi in 1986: “As long as there’s a plug, we’ll plug it in.”

Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 9: Thunderhead are “heavy metal all the way”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, JUNE 17, 1981 By Steve Newton (In the final story of a series on local bands that has profiled Joker, The Lakers, The Vacationers, Loose Change, Citizen's Band, The Postcards, Midnight Smoke and Homegrown, The Progress presents a look at Thunderhead.) Heavily metallic rock music has come a long way … Continue reading Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 9: Thunderhead are “heavy metal all the way”

33 years after the Screaming for Vengeance tour, Priest still sounds pretty rockin’ to the Newt

all crappy iPhone photos by the Newt By Steve Newton The first time I ever saw Judas Priest was at Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum on the Screaming for Vengeance tour in 1982. I remember the show well because a week or two before it I did one of my earliest heavy-metal interviews, with bass player Ian Hill. … Continue reading 33 years after the Screaming for Vengeance tour, Priest still sounds pretty rockin’ to the Newt

Judas Priest’s setlist bodes well for British Steel (and Birmingham metal) in Vancouver

By Steve Newton Tonight's the night for Lower Mainland metalheads! Well, tomorrow's the night too, I suppose. Tonight and tomorrow (October 27 and 28) legendary heavy-metal act Judas Priest plays Hard Rock Casino Vancouver for what will be its first-ever non-arena Vancouver shows with singer Rob Halford at the fore. So only about a thousand folks each … Continue reading Judas Priest’s setlist bodes well for British Steel (and Birmingham metal) in Vancouver

Judas Priest mixes it up on tour, Rob Halford says Richie Faulkner “saved” the band

By Steve Newton Judas Priest has been headlining arena concerts in Vancouver since the Screaming for Vengeance Tour back in 1982, but this time around things are different. Local headbangers will be able to see the British metal legends in the comparatively cozy confines of the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver for two shows next week. “We’ve been … Continue reading Judas Priest mixes it up on tour, Rob Halford says Richie Faulkner “saved” the band

Rob Halford says that Priest, Maiden, AC/DC, KISS, Metallica, and Slayer have all stood the test of time

By Steve Newton Back in 2015 I interviewed Rob Halford in advance of Judas Priest's doubleheader at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver. When I asked him if there were any newer metal bands that had blown him away lately the 64-year-old "metal god" went off on a bit of a tangent. "They're all over the place, … Continue reading Rob Halford says that Priest, Maiden, AC/DC, KISS, Metallica, and Slayer have all stood the test of time

Dan Hawkins ponders the brilliance of Iron Maiden and whether the Darkness is the last of its kind

By Steve Newton A couple of the famous rockers I've interviewed lately have been raving about the new Iron Maiden album, The Book of Souls. Judas Priest singer Rob Halford, for example, called it "a fantastic achievement" a couple of weeks ago. And the Darkness guitarist Dan Hawkins is mightily impressed as well--especially for a … Continue reading Dan Hawkins ponders the brilliance of Iron Maiden and whether the Darkness is the last of its kind

Rob Halford is “content” with Judas Priest’s two-guitar lineup–but he loves what Iron Maiden does with three

By Steve Newton I interviewed Rob Halford a couple of weeks ago in advance of Judas Priest's upcoming shows at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, and we had a pretty nice chat. We go way back, to that time he called me up to promote the Defenders of the Faith tour in '84. At one point we … Continue reading Rob Halford is “content” with Judas Priest’s two-guitar lineup–but he loves what Iron Maiden does with three

Judas Priest’s Rob Halford calls “Black Sabbath” the most evil song that’s ever been written

By Steve Newton I was interviewing Rob Halford yesterday in advance of Judas Priest's two shows at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver this month and, as old-school rockheads will do, we got to talkin' Sabbath. I'd known that Halford had sang with the metal legends three times--twice covering for Ronnie James Dio, and once for … Continue reading Judas Priest’s Rob Halford calls “Black Sabbath” the most evil song that’s ever been written

Metal gods Judas Priest to play first Vancouver shows with Rob Halford outside of a hockey rink

By Steve Newton I've been going to see Judas Priest play concerts at Vancouver hockey rinks since the 1982 Screaming for Vengeance tour hit the Pacific Coliseum, and, quite frankly, I'm sick of it. The acoustics are never any good, and you can never get close enough to see the sweat dripping off Glenn Tipton's fretboard unless you … Continue reading Metal gods Judas Priest to play first Vancouver shows with Rob Halford outside of a hockey rink

Kick Axe feels that if you can make metal work in Vancouver, you can make it work anywhere

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 15, 1983 By Steve Newton "If people can look at a band, "say Kick Axe guitarist Larry Gillstrom, "and see that everybody's coming from the same direction and are together on it, then I think they can relate to it a lot better. At least that's what we noticed … Continue reading Kick Axe feels that if you can make metal work in Vancouver, you can make it work anywhere

Judas Priest rips off Iron Maiden on Redeemer of Souls (but just a little)

Judas Priest released its 17th studio album, Redeemer of Souls, today, and I've been giving it a listen. All in all, I've gotta say that the British metal legends deliver the goods on the 13-track CD--which includes an extra five tunes on a bonus disc if you're lucky enough to get Sony Music to send you the … Continue reading Judas Priest rips off Iron Maiden on Redeemer of Souls (but just a little)

Judas Priest’s Rob Halford calls heavy-metal “a young musical force” in 1984

By Steve Newton On May 14, 1984, Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford called me up from a gig in Portland, Oregon, to chat about his band's new album, Defenders of the Faith. At the time Priest was riding high in the metal world, their last two albums--1981's Point of Entry and '82's Screaming for Vengeance--having both … Continue reading Judas Priest’s Rob Halford calls heavy-metal “a young musical force” in 1984

Rob Halford forced to defend Judas Priest’s name against suicide lawsuit

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 25, 1990 By Steve Newton You don’t have to be a riff-hungry young metal-head to know who Judas Priest is these days—all you’ve got to do is read the papers. The British band received world-wide publicity recently during its trial in Reno, Nevada, which questioned whether subliminal messages … Continue reading Rob Halford forced to defend Judas Priest’s name against suicide lawsuit

This Is the Blues goes heavy on underrated guitar hero Peter Green

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 15, 2010 By Steve Newton Several years ago I was combing the CD stacks at Zulu Records—back when they were located on the other side of Fourth and a little further east—and came across the 1995 tribute album Rattlesnake Guitar: The Music of Peter Green. Man, what a find that … Continue reading This Is the Blues goes heavy on underrated guitar hero Peter Green

Judas Priest’s Metalogy box set comes wrapped in metal studs

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 9, 2004 By Steve Newton Back in '82 when I first started writing for the Straight, I instantly became the paper's on-call heavy-metal dude. Nobody else seemed to want the job--certainly not Alexander Varty, the main music critic at the time. So I happily took on the role, because it meant … Continue reading Judas Priest’s Metalogy box set comes wrapped in metal studs

Judas Priest debuts new hit single “Respecting the Law” on The Simpsons

Okay, so I lied. Judas Priest did not debut its new hit single "Respecting the Law" on The Simpsons last night. But it did rock the World's Best Animated Show with a 17-second parody of its 1980 hit single "Breaking the Law". The episode was about Internet piracy, and Rob Halford and the boys set up on the deck … Continue reading Judas Priest debuts new hit single “Respecting the Law” on The Simpsons

Dimebag death spurred Anthrax back into action

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 8, 2005 By Steve Newton In the mid-'80s, Anthrax was one of the most popular thrash-metal bands around. Vocalist Joey Belladonna, guitarists Scott Ian and Danny Spitz, bassist Frank Bello, and drummer Charlie Benante won the hearts of headbangers far and wide with ear-busting albums like Spreading the Disease and … Continue reading Dimebag death spurred Anthrax back into action