Remembering Gord Downie through the Hip’s last gig

By Steve Newton The following is an excerpt from my beer-table book, Gord Downie, published February 2018 by Sterling Books, New York. The tour's final show at Kingston's Rogers K-Rock Centre was the one everyone was talking about. It was broadcast live on the tube by the CBC, with no commercial breaks, and watched by … Continue reading Remembering Gord Downie through the Hip’s last gig

Album review: The Tragically Hip, Phantom Power (1998)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 20, 1998 By Steve Newton I took my wife, Dawn, to see the Tragically Hip at Thunderbird Stadium last summer when she was seven months pregnant with our first child, Tess Georgia. They say a body is susceptible to sonic vibrations in utero, and I’d have to … Continue reading Album review: The Tragically Hip, Phantom Power (1998)

Album review: The Tragically Hip, Trouble at the Henhouse (1996)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 9, 1996 By Steve Newton With this, its sixth album, the Tragically Hip appears to be taking the moody musical route favoured when it chose “Grace, Too” as the leadoff single from its previous CD, Day for Night. That tune revealed a more subtle, shadowy side to … Continue reading Album review: The Tragically Hip, Trouble at the Henhouse (1996)

That time Gord Downie told me that the 15 minutes after a Tragically Hip show are his favourite time of the day

By Steve Newton If you're a dedicated Tragically Hip fan you've no doubt seen their final concert, which took place in the band's Kingston hometown on August 20, 2016, and was broadcast live on CBC-TV. It was an historic gig, bursting with emotion, and for me the finest moment came during one of the several … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me that the 15 minutes after a Tragically Hip show are his favourite time of the day

That time Gord Downie told me about the music scene in Kingston and being influenced by the Yardbirds and Stones

By Steve Newton Back in 2016, when the awful news about Gord Downie's incurable brain cancer came out, I started posting excerpts from the first interview I did with him in 1989. The first one had him talking about a couple of the tunes on the Hip's then-new album, Up to Here, and the second one … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me about the music scene in Kingston and being influenced by the Yardbirds and Stones

25-year-old Gordon Downie talks “38 Years Old” on the Tragically Hip’s Up to Here tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 1989 By Steve Newton What's the most important element in a new band as far as making it in rock goes? Some might say financial backing, although when you look at groups like Kiss or the Sex Pistols it's pretty clear that image and/or hype are as effective … Continue reading 25-year-old Gordon Downie talks “38 Years Old” on the Tragically Hip’s Up to Here tour

A killer album is the best revenge for the Headstones’ Hugh Dillon

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 20, 2000 By Steve Newton Technical difficulties have been gnawing away at me lately. First, the automatic garage door at our house doesn’t feel like opening; next thing our freaky cat, Toonces, sets off the burglar alarm we just got. Now, 20 minutes into an interview with Headstones … Continue reading A killer album is the best revenge for the Headstones’ Hugh Dillon

The Doughboys’ John Kastner is sick of hearing about the Hip

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 19, 1996 When Doughboys singer-guitarist John Kastner rings up and informs me that he’s calling from Kingston, Ontario, I casually comment, “Oh, the home of the Tragically Hip.” I suppose I could have said, “Hey, nice penitentiary they’ve got there.” That might have gone over a little better. … Continue reading The Doughboys’ John Kastner is sick of hearing about the Hip

UFO sightings and mining disasters fuel Weeping Tile’s Cold Snap

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 9, 1995 By Steve Newton Only six years ago, Kingston, Ontario, was a place best-known for its contrasting institutions of promise and penance (Queens University, Kingston Penitentiary), but the Tragically Hip’s breakthrough Up to Here album put a quick stop to that. The Hip’s burgeoning popularity has put … Continue reading UFO sightings and mining disasters fuel Weeping Tile’s Cold Snap

Headstones debut with kick-ass Dylan cover while workin’ for MCA

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 20, 1994 By Steve Newton Some hard-rock bands just don’t do justice to the tunes they cover. Great White had a huge hit with its 1989 rendition of Ian Hunter’s classic “Once Bitten Twice Shy”, but the revamped version sucked, for lack of a better word. The mighty … Continue reading Headstones debut with kick-ass Dylan cover while workin’ for MCA