That time Golden Earring frontman Barry Hay told me about touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd and getting beaten up with Ronnie Van Zandt

By Steve Newton It's amazing what a person can find when they listen to old interviews they recorded on cassette back in 1984. Like that time I was chatting with Golden Earring vocalist and cosongwriter Barry Hay and asked him about touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd back in the seventies. Have a listen:   To hear … Continue reading That time Golden Earring frontman Barry Hay told me about touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd and getting beaten up with Ronnie Van Zandt

That time I asked J.J. Cale which covers of his songs he liked best and Clapton’s didn’t even come up

By Steve Newton When you think about the J.J. Cale songs that other artists have covered and made famous, Eric Clapton's versions of "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" usually make the cut. (Lynyrd Skynyrd's take on "Call Me the Breeze" and Santana's rendition of "The Sensitive Kind" also come to mind.) But when I did my … Continue reading That time I asked J.J. Cale which covers of his songs he liked best and Clapton’s didn’t even come up

That time Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell told me that Lynyrd Skynyrd’s success gave him hope

  mudcrutch photo by red slater By Steve Newton When I interviewed Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell back in the summer of 1999 we got to talking about his early days playing with Petty in the Gainesville, Florida band Mudcrutch. At one point Campbell told me about how that band would sometimes … Continue reading That time Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell told me that Lynyrd Skynyrd’s success gave him hope

That time J.J. Cale told me that, like Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd also helped his bank account

By Steve Newton Lynyrd Skynyrd's Second Helping was released the day after my 17th birthday, so the timing was right for it to become one of the major soundtracks to my rock-loving '70s existence. I didn't mind its smash-hit lead-off single, "Sweet Home Alabama", but I liked its rollicking closing track, "Call Me the Breeze", … Continue reading That time J.J. Cale told me that, like Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd also helped his bank account

Album Review: The Radiators, Zigzagging Through Ghostland (1989)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 18, 1989 By Steve Newton It's a real shame that the Radiators had to cancel a scheduled show at 86 Street a while back, because the New Orleans-based band is a real cooker, as Zigzagging Through Ghostland attests. The Radiators' funky southern soul is reminiscent of Little Feat, … Continue reading Album Review: The Radiators, Zigzagging Through Ghostland (1989)

That time Gary Rossington told me that Lynyrd Skynyrd would still be together, if not for the crash

By Steve Newton Back in 1986 I interviewed southern-rock legend Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd fame. At the time he had his own band called Rossington, which featured his wife Dale Krantz-Rossington on vocals. That group wasn't nearly as great as Skynyrd--or the Rossington Collins Band, for that matter--but it was still a real hoot … Continue reading That time Gary Rossington told me that Lynyrd Skynyrd would still be together, if not for the crash

That time I asked Gary Rossington about first meeting Dale Krantz and he let her answer that one

By Steve Newton I've been a huge Lynyrd Skynyrd fan ever since I first heard Pronounced, so it was a real kick to get to interview Gary Rossington back in 1986. (As dedicated Skynyrd fans know, that was also the year a drunk Allen Collins crashed his new Ford Thunderbird, paralyzing himself from the waist … Continue reading That time I asked Gary Rossington about first meeting Dale Krantz and he let her answer that one

Burt Reynolds’ death two weeks after Ed King’s gets me raving about “Saturday Night Special”

  By Steve Newton I never thought Lynyrd Skynyrd's third album, 1975's Nuthin' Fancy, was anywhere near as fine as its first two albums, but holy fvck did I love the opening track, "Saturday Night Special". It boasted a killer main riff by guitarist Ed King, and some seriously kick-ass, southern-fried solos by Gary Rossington. … Continue reading Burt Reynolds’ death two weeks after Ed King’s gets me raving about “Saturday Night Special”

Album review: Molly Hatchet, No Guts…No Glory (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 4, 1983 By Steve Newton Easily the best hard-rock album I've heard yet this year, Molly Hatchet's No Guts...No Glory even outdoes their earlier blockbusters Flirtin' With Disaster and Beatin' the Odds. Growling vocalist Danny Joe Brown is back in the Hatchet lineup after fronting his own band for … Continue reading Album review: Molly Hatchet, No Guts…No Glory (1983)

Album review: .38 Special, Special Forces (1982)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 4, 1982 By Steve Newton Last year's Wild Eyed Southern Boys was a tough act to follow, but southern rockers .38 Special have come back strong with another album chock-full of heavy boogie numbers. Special Forces contains only two songs that aren't dominated by the slick, bluesy guitar … Continue reading Album review: .38 Special, Special Forces (1982)

Album review: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Endangered Species (1994)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 13, 1994 By Steve Newton It’ll be 17 years this month since Lynyrd Skynyrd’s chartered plane went down in the Mississippi woods, killing—among others—vocalist Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines. Ten years after the crash, the group’s survivors decided to honour the music of the lost rockers … Continue reading Album review: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Endangered Species (1994)

That time I asked Dickey Betts if the Allman Brothers were the originators of “southern rock”

By Steve Newton I've been a big fan of "southern rock" since I first heard the Allman Brothers Band's version of "One Way Out" on the Eat a Peach album back in high school. Some of my other fave bands in the seventies were Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Outlaws, Molly Hatchet, and Blackfoot. So when I … Continue reading That time I asked Dickey Betts if the Allman Brothers were the originators of “southern rock”

That time I asked Dickey Betts what song Duane Allman and the Skynyrd boys might be playing in heaven

By Steve Newton If you think I got into journalism at the age of 23--first at my hometown's Chilliwack Progress and then, for the last 34 years, at Vancouver's Georgia Straight--mainly so I could interview guitar heroes like Dickey Betts, you're damn rights. I've loved Dickey ever since I heard him and Duane on Eat a … Continue reading That time I asked Dickey Betts what song Duane Allman and the Skynyrd boys might be playing in heaven

Gary Rossington and Dale Krantz-Rossington on leaving Rossington Collins, having kids, and “Workin’ for Atlantic” in ’86

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 31, 1986 By Steve Newton Just before Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane went down on October 20, 1977, the now legendary  southern rock band released an album ironically titled Street Survivors. That crash took the lives of lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and singer/guitarist Steve Gaines, and grounded the band's … Continue reading Gary Rossington and Dale Krantz-Rossington on leaving Rossington Collins, having kids, and “Workin’ for Atlantic” in ’86

American Stars ‘n Bars: Lynyrd Skynyrd and the lure of the Confederate flag

By Steve Newton The Rebel flag. The Southern Cross. Stars and Bars. Whatever you call it, the battle flag of America's former Confederate states has been getting a lot of attention lately—most of it in the wake of last June's mass shooting of black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina. Nine parishioners were killed by 21-year-old … Continue reading American Stars ‘n Bars: Lynyrd Skynyrd and the lure of the Confederate flag

Lynyrd Skynyrd founding member Bob Burns dies in car crash at 64

By Steve Newton Sad news for Southern-rock fans--and Lynyrd Skynyrd freaks, in particular. Original Skynyrd drummer Bob Burns--who played drums on the band's first two albums--died last night after a single-car accident near Catersville, Georgia, when his car went off the road and hit a tree. Hardcore fans of the tragedy-prone band know too well that … Continue reading Lynyrd Skynyrd founding member Bob Burns dies in car crash at 64

Drive-By Truckers tone down the Skynyrdisms on Decoration Day

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 7, 2003 By Steve Newton Two years ago the Drive-By Truckers took the music world by surprise with Southern Rock Opera, a sprawling, two-CD concept album about ’70s rock and southern U.S. culture that focused on the legend of doomed Dixie rock act Lynyrd Skynyrd. The independent release … Continue reading Drive-By Truckers tone down the Skynyrdisms on Decoration Day

Patterson Hood on the Drive-By Truckers’ Southern Rock Opera and the true meaning of Skynyrd

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 30, 2003 By Steve Newton It doesn’t seem likely in today’s musical climate that any band would record a 90-minute concept album about 1970s rock and southern U.S. culture, focusing on the legend of doomed Dixie rock act Lynyrd Skynyrd. It’s even more unlikely that such a CD … Continue reading Patterson Hood on the Drive-By Truckers’ Southern Rock Opera and the true meaning of Skynyrd

Gene Odom’s Lynyrd Skynyrd book lacks literary grace and gory details

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 21, 2002 By Steve Newton On their latest CD, Southern Rock Opera, alt-country reprobates the Drive-By Truckers combine sociology, history, and musicology to deliver a concept album about southern rock, and the band they focus on to get their ideas across is Lynyrd Skynyrd. For the uninitiated, … Continue reading Gene Odom’s Lynyrd Skynyrd book lacks literary grace and gory details

Lynyrd Skynyrd heads to Vancouver for a “Friday Night Special”

Southern-rock heroes Lynyrd Skynyrd have just announced a show at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver. And it's on a Friday, which is pretty close to a "Saturday Night Special." As anyone who's followed the band from its early-'70s beginnings knows, Skynyrd's story is composed of the highest highs and lowest lows. The lowest was the … Continue reading Lynyrd Skynyrd heads to Vancouver for a “Friday Night Special”

Lynyrd Skynyrd freaks invade Riverside Studios on a Blair Witch-style scavenger hunt

Just came across this video from 1999 of a gaggle of diehard Lynyrd Skynyrd fans going nuts when they get inside the old abandoned Riverside Studios in Jacksonville, Florida, where the southern-rock legends used to rehearse and record, along with .38 Special. They all get pretty psyched when they come across a drawing on the … Continue reading Lynyrd Skynyrd freaks invade Riverside Studios on a Blair Witch-style scavenger hunt

Sax great Bobby Keys was much more than a sideman for the Stones

Bobby Keys passed away this morning at the age of 70 after battling cirrhosis. He was best known as the saxophonist for the Rolling Stones, having blasted out that unforgettable solo on "Brown Sugar". He also blew like crazy on such Stones gems as "Happy" (from Exile on Main Street) and "Live With Me" (from Let It … Continue reading Sax great Bobby Keys was much more than a sideman for the Stones

Mike Campbell is much more than just the guitarist for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 26, 1999 By Steve Newton Mike Campell is the curly-haired guitarist who has been knocking off tasty solos alongside Tom Petty for nearly three decades. In 1970, Campbell was two years out of high school and living in Gainesville, Florida, when the musical partnership that would shape his … Continue reading Mike Campbell is much more than just the guitarist for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

For Paul Rodgers, everything stems from playing live

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 28, 1997 By Steve Newton Back in the late ’60s, British blues-rock crooner Paul Rodgers wrapped his gravel ’n’ honey vocals around a simple, bludgeoning Paul Kossoff guitar riff and rock history was made. Twenty-seven years after its release, Free’s “All Right Now” has joined an elite club … Continue reading For Paul Rodgers, everything stems from playing live

Rickey Medlocke on reuniting with Skynyrd, the plane crash, and the rebel flag

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 21, 1997 By Steve Newton October 20, 1977, is a day branded by sadness for southern-rock fans. That’s when Lynyrd Skynyrd’s rented plane, short on fuel, crashed into a Mississippi swamp en route to a gig at Louisiana University. Vocalist Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines died … Continue reading Rickey Medlocke on reuniting with Skynyrd, the plane crash, and the rebel flag

20-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd has the guitar world by the balls

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 7, 1997 By Steve Newton Some guys have all the luck—and a fair whack of talent, too. Take Kenny Wayne Shepherd, for instance. He just turned 20, yet he’s one of the biggest names on the blues-rock scene, with a debut CD that has moved more than 750,000 … Continue reading 20-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd has the guitar world by the balls

Drive-By Truckers captured at its raw and raucous best on Live from Austin TX

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 12, 2009 By Steve Newton Drive-By Truckers fans had cause for concern when long-time guitarist-vocalist Jason Isbell—one of the group’s main songwriters, along with cofounding singer-guitarists Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley—decided to leave the southern rock–influenced alt-country band in 2007. But the group simply responded by recruiting guitarist and pedal-steel … Continue reading Drive-By Truckers captured at its raw and raucous best on Live from Austin TX