Eagles singer-guitarist Glenn Frey dies at 67

By Steve Newton It's been a rough few weeks for music fans with the deaths of Lemmy Kilmister and David Bowie, and things aren't getting any better. Legendary country-rock band the Eagles released a statement today announcing the death of founding member Glenn Frey. “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the … Continue reading Eagles singer-guitarist Glenn Frey dies at 67

Mott the Hoople drummer Dale “Buffin” Griffin dies from Alzheimers at 67

By Steve Newton The drummer from one of my fave bands of the '70s has passed away. Dale "Buffin" Griffin, a founding member of Mott the Hoople, died peacefully in his sleep last night. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2009. Griffin played on all the Mott the Hoople albums, including 1972's breakthrough All the … Continue reading Mott the Hoople drummer Dale “Buffin” Griffin dies from Alzheimers at 67

Bass-guitar legend Chris Squire of Yes dead at 67

By Steve Newton Sad news for music fans today. Chris Squire, bassist for British prog-rock legends Yes, passed away in Phoenix, Arizona, last night. He had been suffering from a rare form of leukemia. He was 67. Squire had formed Yes with singer Jon Anderson in 1968, and it didn't take long for the band … Continue reading Bass-guitar legend Chris Squire of Yes dead at 67

R.I.P. B.B. King: the nicest bluesman I ever met

By Steve Newton As you've most likely heard by now, B.B. King, the beloved "King of the Blues", passed away last night at the age of 89. He was receiving hospice care at his home in Las Vegas, where the longtime diabetic was recovering from dehydration. You can read all about the great man's numerous … Continue reading R.I.P. B.B. King: the nicest bluesman I ever met

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

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

Remembering the Commodore’s Drew Burns: Best. Promoter. Ever.

By now most everyone who follows the Vancouver music scene has heard the sad news about the passing of local concert-biz legend Drew Burns. The longtime proprietor of the Commodore Ballroom died on Saturday, leaving scores of friends and fans feeling down--until memories of him got them up again. The last time I saw Drew was backstage … Continue reading Remembering the Commodore’s Drew Burns: Best. Promoter. Ever.

News of Angel City singer Doc Neeson’s death gets the Newt sadly typing

Just noticed an e-mail from fellow Vancouver rock writer "Big Al" MacInnis relaying the sad news that Doc Neeson, the singer from Angel City--or the Angels, as they were called in their native Australia--passed away today at the age of 67. Man, I used to love Angel City tunes like "Marseilles", "Shadow Boxer", and especially "Take … Continue reading News of Angel City singer Doc Neeson’s death gets the Newt sadly typing

Metal legend Ronnie James Dio dead at 67

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 16, 2010 Heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio, best known for his work with Rainbow and Black Sabbath, passed away today at the age of 67. He had been battling stomach cancer. His wife Wendy posted the following message on his web site. "Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed … Continue reading Metal legend Ronnie James Dio dead at 67

Irish guitar hero Gary Moore found dead in a Spanish hotel room

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 6, 2011 The guitar world is in mourning today as the news of Gary Moore's death travels around the globe. The Irish musician—best known for his work with Thin Lizzy and his solo career as a hard rocker-turned-bluesman—passed away early this morning in his room at the luxury Kempinski Resort … Continue reading Irish guitar hero Gary Moore found dead in a Spanish hotel room

Randy Rhoads’ bizarre death incomprehensible to a little kid

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 28, 2011 I was at the supermarket with my nine-year-old son Danny a couple of days ago, and we were hanging around in the magazine section, scanning for headlines on the latest video-game titles (“Whoa! Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2! Cool!”) when we came upon the latest issue of Guitar World magazine, … Continue reading Randy Rhoads’ bizarre death incomprehensible to a little kid

“Frankenstein” drummer Chuck Ruff from the Edgar Winter Group dies

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 18, 2011 Chuck Ruff--the guy with the coolest name ever who also played drums with the Edgar Winter Group during its mid-'70s heyday--passed away in San Francisco last Friday (October 14) after a long illness. He was 60 years old. Ruff is best known for his shit-hot drumming on the … Continue reading “Frankenstein” drummer Chuck Ruff from the Edgar Winter Group dies

Texas blues great and Stevie Ray Vaughan collaborator Doyle Bramhall dies

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 13, 2011 I just learned via a tweet from guitar great Joe Bonamassa that one of the true heroes of the Texas blues scene, Doyle Bramhall, passed away today at his home in Alpine, Texas. Initial reports say that Bramhall--the father of Eric Clapton guitarist Doyle Bramhall II--died as a result of … Continue reading Texas blues great and Stevie Ray Vaughan collaborator Doyle Bramhall dies

Blues guitar great Hubert Sumlin passes away at age 80

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 4, 2011 By Steve Newton I just learned via a tweet from Hot Tuna guitarist Jorma Kaukonen that blues guitar great Hubert Sumlin passed away this morning, succumbing to heart failure at a New Jersey hospital at the age of 80. It's a huge loss for the music world, as … Continue reading Blues guitar great Hubert Sumlin passes away at age 80

My first and last interview with Ray Manzarek of the Doors

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 21, 2013 By Steve Newton If you're a fan of old rock music you've probably already heard that Ray Manzarek, keyboardist for legendary American band the Doors, died yesterday from cancer at the age of 74. I wasn't a hardcore Doors freak, but I did enjoy a lot of their … Continue reading My first and last interview with Ray Manzarek of the Doors

Big Jim Sullivan ponders the “forbidden zones” of the guitar

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 10, 2012 I wasn't very familiar with the name Big Jim Sullivan until I started hearing it early last month, after the English session guitarist died on October 2 of complications from heart disease and diabetes at the age of 71. The name started popping up in the rock press, … Continue reading Big Jim Sullivan ponders the “forbidden zones” of the guitar

Bob Welch, former member of Fleetwood Mac and Paris, dead at 66

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 7, 2012 One of my fave rockers from the '70s, Bob Welch, died today. His body was discovered by his wife at their home in Nashville, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. A suicide note was found, according to Nashville police. I first tuned in to Welch's music … Continue reading Bob Welch, former member of Fleetwood Mac and Paris, dead at 66

Bass-guitar legend Donald “Duck” Dunn dies in his sleep after a gig in Tokyo

Sad news for fans of blues, soul, and R&B music. Bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn, whose bottom end fuelled such classic tracks as Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign" and Otis Redding's "Respect", passed away in his sleep early this morning after a gig at the Blue Note nightclub in Tokyo. He was 70 years … Continue reading Bass-guitar legend Donald “Duck” Dunn dies in his sleep after a gig in Tokyo

Rock-guitar legend Ronnie Montrose dies at the age of 64

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 4, 2012 I was shocked to find out, just minutes ago, that one of my top guitar heroes from the '70s, Ronnie Montrose, died yesterday (March 3). He passed away after a five-year battle with prostate cancer. (As I--and most everybody else--learned later, Montrose actually died from a self-inflicted gunshot … Continue reading Rock-guitar legend Ronnie Montrose dies at the age of 64

Chicago bluesman Morris Holt, aka “Magic Slim”, dies at 75

   ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 21, 2013 The blues world lost one of its elder statesmen yesterday when Morris Holt--aka "Magic Slim"--passed away at the age of 75 at a hospital in Philadelphia. He had been under medical care since late last month, when breathing problems caused him to suspend a tour with his … Continue reading Chicago bluesman Morris Holt, aka “Magic Slim”, dies at 75

Seventies guitar hero Alvin Lee of Ten Years After fame dies at 68

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 6, 2013 It's a sad day for fans of British blues-rock, as guitar hero Alvin Lee--best known for his work with Ten Years After--has died. The following message was posted on his website today: With great sadness we have to announce that Alvin unexpectedly passed away early this morning after … Continue reading Seventies guitar hero Alvin Lee of Ten Years After fame dies at 68

Former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr dies at 56

  ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 13, 2013 It's a gloomy day for metal fans, as former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr--who has been suffering from Multiple Sclerosis for many years--died in his sleep last night. Burr joined Iron Maiden in 1979, after a stint in Samson, which also featured Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson on … Continue reading Former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr dies at 56