That time 24-year-old Jon Bon Jovi raved to me about recording in Vancouver just before Slippery When Wet exploded on the charts

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Jon Bon Jovi in July of 1986, when his band was heading to Vancouver for a date opening for Judas Priest. Little did anybody know that one month later, when Bon Jovi released its made-in-Vancouver album Slippery When Wet, it would rocket to worldwide fame and … Continue reading That time 24-year-old Jon Bon Jovi raved to me about recording in Vancouver just before Slippery When Wet exploded on the charts

Album review: Aerosmith, Pump (1989)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 6, 1989 By Steve Newton Some bands grow old gracefully, mellowing with age, but not Aerosmith. On Pump, the follow-up to the band's 1987 comeback album Permanent Vacation, the bad boys from Boston are as rude 'n' rowdy as ever. And nobody does it better. Pump kicks off … Continue reading Album review: Aerosmith, Pump (1989)

That time I asked famed producer Bruce Fairbairn what he thought of famed producer Bob Rock

By Steve Newton Back in December of 1991 I wrote a Georgia Straight cover story on Vancouver producer Bob Rock, best known for his work with Metallica, and one of the Big Three of Vancouver hard-rock producers (along with fellow Little Mountain Sound-men Bruce Fairbairn and Mike Fraser). While putting the story together I gave … Continue reading That time I asked famed producer Bruce Fairbairn what he thought of famed producer Bob Rock

Album review: Aerosmith, Permanent Vacation (1987)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 18, 1987 By Steve Newton "If you grew up in the '70s you liked Aerosmith." That's what Peter Buck of R.E.M. wrote in the liner notes to his band's version of Aerosmith's "Toys in the Attic," and Buck knows of which he speaks. With albums like Get Your … Continue reading Album review: Aerosmith, Permanent Vacation (1987)

Album review: Bon Jovi, New Jersey (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 21, 1988 By Steve Newton There are hundreds of hard rock bands out there that are just as good as Bon Jovi. Unfortunately for them, they don't have Bon Jovi's talent for coming up with tunes that are both radio-friendly and capable of hooking into the mass consciousness … Continue reading Album review: Bon Jovi, New Jersey (1988)

Album review: Krokus, The Blitz (1984)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 14, 1984 By Steve Newton Metal maniacs could do a lot worse than pick up the latest vinyl from Swiss headbangers Krokus. Recorded at Vancouver' s Little Mountain Sound and engineered by Payola$ guitarist Bob Rock, The Blitz captures better than any of their previous LPs the raw fire … Continue reading Album review: Krokus, The Blitz (1984)

Joe Perry says that Aerosmith is playing “wicked tight” after its Permanent Vacation

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 15, 1988 By Steve Newton "If you grew up in the '70s you liked Aerosmith." That's what R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck wrote in the liner notes to his group's version of Aerosmith's "Toys in the Attic" on the Dead Letter Office album. And he knew what he was talking … Continue reading Joe Perry says that Aerosmith is playing “wicked tight” after its Permanent Vacation

Rock and Hyde gets a boost from ex-Kick Axe picker “Hitman” Harvey

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 25, 1987 By Steve Newton Since the U.S. release of Rock and Hyde's Under the Volcano nine months ago, the album has sold more copies stateside than all of the duo's previous work put together. That's a fair accomplishment given that Bob Rock and Paul Hyde released four albums … Continue reading Rock and Hyde gets a boost from ex-Kick Axe picker “Hitman” Harvey

Wicked Whitesnake blows corny Crue off the stage in Vancouver

chris cameron photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 23, 1987 By Steve Newton A healthy-sized crowd of 12,000 packed the Pacific Coliseum last Friday (October 16) for a Motley Crue concert, but for a lot of people the main attraction was Whitesnake, the group that has lately taken over from Bon Jovi as the most … Continue reading Wicked Whitesnake blows corny Crue off the stage in Vancouver

Album review: AC/DC, The Razors Edge (1990)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 11, 1990 By Steve Newton Has AC/DC ever put out a bad record? I doubt it. But their efforts haven’t all been great, either. The band’s latest, the Vancouver-made (and grammatically incorrect) The Razors Edge falls somewhere between the band’s strongest (Powerage, Back in Black) and weakest … Continue reading Album review: AC/DC, The Razors Edge (1990)

Album review: Queensrÿche, Empire (1990)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 4, 1990 By Steve Newton It looks like studio giant Little Mountain Sound might be getting a wee bit of local competition as far as attracting the world’s best bands to this city is concerned. Vancouver Studios was the locale that Seattle hard-rockers Queensryche chose to record their … Continue reading Album review: Queensrÿche, Empire (1990)

Jon Bon Jovi talks strippers, scenery, and hype as Slippery When Wet tops the charts

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 26, 1987 By Steve Newton Talk about moving up in the world! It was a little more than a year ago that New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi played the now-defunct Embassy on Davie. They were in town recording their Slippery When Wet album, and they wanted to see … Continue reading Jon Bon Jovi talks strippers, scenery, and hype as Slippery When Wet tops the charts

Nazareth’s Dan McCafferty reveals the story behind “Vancouver Shakedown”

By Steve Newton Thirty years ago tonight--on November 23, 1984--Nazareth played Vancouver's historic Commodore Ballroom, touring behind its new album The Catch. In advance of the show I interviewed frontman Dan McCafferty and--among other things--got the scoop on the story behind the group's curious single, "Vancouver Shakedown". Here's a slightly condensed version of the piece that … Continue reading Nazareth’s Dan McCafferty reveals the story behind “Vancouver Shakedown”

When Aerosmith broke up with Bruce Fairbairn and hit the musical skids

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 16, 1997 By Steve Newton Sony Music had a lot at stake earlier this year when Aerosmith released Nine Lives, its first album for the label. The company had coughed up a reported US$30 million to sign the ageing band, far from chump change in anyone’s books. Then … Continue reading When Aerosmith broke up with Bruce Fairbairn and hit the musical skids

Ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes on Blue Murder, Bob Rock, and the Little Mountain sound

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 16, 1989 By Steve Newton By now, most every rock fan in Vancouver must be aware that many of North America's best-selling bands--Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and the Cult to name a few--have been making their latest chart-topping records right here in town. Little Mountain Sound on West 7th … Continue reading Ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes on Blue Murder, Bob Rock, and the Little Mountain sound

One band ain’t enough for Limblifter and Age of Electric’s Ryan Dahle

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 4, 1996 Most rockers would be happy being in one major-label recording band, touring around the country and heading into the studio when the time is right to make another album. But after spending seven years in Age of Electric, and getting signed to MCA Records in Canada … Continue reading One band ain’t enough for Limblifter and Age of Electric’s Ryan Dahle

Colin James took some funky pills for his new Bad Habits

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 31, 1995 Some guys have it tough, and then there’s Colin James. When it came time to record his fourth album, the local blues-rocker didn’t hole up in any ice-encased northern studio. James ended up down in the Bahamas, poor guy. But it wasn’t like he went there … Continue reading Colin James took some funky pills for his new Bad Habits

Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton says some drugs “just go damn well with music”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 20, 1994 By Steve Newton When Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton calls from Newport Beach during an afternoon stop on the band’s whirlwind Get a Grip tour, I presume he’ll be playing somewhere in California that night. Wrong-o, Steve-o. He’s doing a gig in Vegas instead. You can do … Continue reading Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton says some drugs “just go damn well with music”

Hammerbox rides the second wave of the Seattle rock explosion with Numb

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 15, 1993 By Steve Newton The moment I got my hands on the the new Hammerbox release, Numb, I became an instant fan. Later on, I would actually play the music—a brash blend of ’90s alternative guitar-rock and frenzied ’70s punk—and become even more of a devotee, but … Continue reading Hammerbox rides the second wave of the Seattle rock explosion with Numb

Chrissy Steele hits the perfect volume level for Brian “Too Loud” MacLeod

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 5, 1991 By Steve Newton If you’re a hard-rock kinda person, sometimes it really pays to hang out at Club Soda, along with the folks from Aerosmith and the Scorpions. For local rocker Chrissy Steele, that’s where she first met former Headpins guitarist Brian “Too Loud” MacLeod, who … Continue reading Chrissy Steele hits the perfect volume level for Brian “Too Loud” MacLeod

Mike Fraser: Langley’s master of the hard-rock mix in 1998

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 28, 1998 Yesterday I went all nutty and posted the 1998 Georgia Straight cover story I did on famed Vancouver rock producer Bruce Fairbairn. That got me thinkin' that maybe I should post the cover story I did earlier that same year on Fairbairn's former protege, Mike Fraser. … Continue reading Mike Fraser: Langley’s master of the hard-rock mix in 1998

Bruce Fairbairn: legendary Vancouver rock producer tells all in 1998

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 12, 1998 By Steve Newton It’s been a very long time since Kiss performed at a nightclub in Vancouver. Twenty-four years, actually, since Gene Simmons nearly set the Commodore Ballroom’s red velvet curtains ablaze with his fire-breathing antics. But there they were again two months back, the four … Continue reading Bruce Fairbairn: legendary Vancouver rock producer tells all in 1998