When you go backstage to meet your idol John Fogerty and your buddy Ferg hogs the photo

By Steve Newton Back in August of 1997 I went to see John Fogerty at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver. One of my favourite all-time rockers--wicked vocalist, brilliant songwriter, and killer guitarist--Fogerty was touring behind his Grammy-winning Blue Moon Swamp album, and I'd scored free front-row seats because I'd interviewed the man in advance of … Continue reading When you go backstage to meet your idol John Fogerty and your buddy Ferg hogs the photo

Midnight Oil proves itself a kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll band that counts on the Diesel and Dust tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 29, 1988 By Steve Newton At Midnight Oil's press conference the day of their April 22 show the band's drummer (and one of the major songwriters) Rob Hirst was asked about the group's preoccupation with political themes. Hirst acknowledged the political side of the band, but also pointed out … Continue reading Midnight Oil proves itself a kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll band that counts on the Diesel and Dust tour

My 50 fave Vancouver concerts of all time (so far)

By Steve Newton In celebration of the Georgia Straight turning 50 this year, I figured I'd offer a roundup of the 50 top Vancouver concerts I've reviewed while writing for the paper since 1982. Maybe you made it out to a couple yourself! Although I doubt you weaseled your way backstage at the Orpheum in '93 to … Continue reading My 50 fave Vancouver concerts of all time (so far)

That time Jethro Tull was so smokin’ I bought a hat just like Ian Anderson’s

By Steve Newton I don't go nuts buying t-shirts and hats at concerts because they're usually pricey as hell, but when the band puts on a smokin' show I sometimes break down and score myself a souvenir. If I recall correctly, Jethro Tull was pretty smokin' at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver on December 10, 1991, … Continue reading That time Jethro Tull was so smokin’ I bought a hat just like Ian Anderson’s

“We’re here for a reason, not here for a season,” says blues survivor Buddy Guy

By Steve Newton “I know I’m a survivor,” 56-year-old Buddy Guy told me back in 1993. “I mean we’re all only here for a time, you know—we’re here for a reason, not here for a season, man. All our days are comin’, so I’m just hopin’ I can keep our music goin’ on till some other … Continue reading “We’re here for a reason, not here for a season,” says blues survivor Buddy Guy

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

The B-52s make a triumphant return to Vancouver in the wake of Cosmic Thing

photo by Kevin Statham ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 26, 1990 By Steve Newton Why, on why, did the B-52's have to get booked into the Orpheum? As one of the prime providers of bouncy, shake-your-booty pop-rock, the band would have been so much better in a place where it's okay to move … Continue reading The B-52s make a triumphant return to Vancouver in the wake of Cosmic Thing

Steve Vai on cocky G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen and tormented “genius” Devin Townsend

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 9, 2003 By Steve Newton I was a tad taken aback when the press release came in announcing the lineup for Joe Satriani’s 2003 G3 Tour. It wasn’t a surprise to see long-time G3er (and former Satch student) Steve Vai’s name on the bill. But I didn’t expect … Continue reading Steve Vai on cocky G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen and tormented “genius” Devin Townsend

Jonny Lang’s dream came true a long time ago

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 23, 2003 By Steve Newton In the bio that came with Jonny Lang’s new CD, Long Time Coming, the singer-guitarist describes the album as “a journal of my life for the past two years”. Since one of the song titles is “Happiness and Misery”, you might assume that … Continue reading Jonny Lang’s dream came true a long time ago

There’s always hope for Van Halen as long as Diamond Dave can bang that high note

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 26, 2003 By Steve Newton Judging by the photo montage in the booklet of David Lee Roth’s new CD, Diamond Dave, it’s clear the former Van Halen howler hasn’t jettisoned the boisterously cheesy persona he cultivated during his early-’80s solo career, when flamboyant videos for “California Girls” and … Continue reading There’s always hope for Van Halen as long as Diamond Dave can bang that high note

B.B. King says that Eric Clapton was like his girlfriend on Riding With the King

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 31, 2002 By Steve Newton Trying to reach blues legend B.B. King at his Arkansas hotel takes some doing. Even when you have the phone number of the hotel, the room he’s in, and a predetermined time to call, you can’t argue with a busy signal. After … Continue reading B.B. King says that Eric Clapton was like his girlfriend on Riding With the King

North Mississippi Allstars ramp up the rock on 51 Phantom

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 18, 2001 By Steve Newton For last year’s debut CD, Shake Hands With Shorty, the North Mississippi Allstars thoroughly plumbed the catalogues of Mississippi hill-country blues icons Fred McDowell, R.L. Burnside, and Jr. Kimbrough. On their new disc, 51 Phantom, the band took a different tack, including only … Continue reading North Mississippi Allstars ramp up the rock on 51 Phantom

Black Crowes influenced by where music came from and where it could go

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 30, 2001 By Steve Newton The Black Crowes are one of the most popular retro-minded bands around, so when they hooked up with guitar legend Jimmy Page last year to tour the U.S. and record a live album, it was like a dream come true for many classic-rock … Continue reading Black Crowes influenced by where music came from and where it could go

Richard Pryor’s convictions cut deep on Joe Henry’s Scar

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 21, 2001 By Steve Newton Richard Pryor is my favourite comedian of all time. Back in the ’70s I used to buy all his records; later on I’d go see all his concert movies, or rent them on video. And I couldn’t put down his brutally honest biography, … Continue reading Richard Pryor’s convictions cut deep on Joe Henry’s Scar

Kim Mitchell ponders Max Webster’s past while on the Rockland tour

Twenty-five years ago today--on October 15, 1989--a 37-year-old Kim Mitchell played the Orpheum Theatre, touring behind his third solo album, Rockland. In advance of the show I interviewed him on the phone from his Toronto home, and we talked a bit about the new album, which was gettting a buzz at the time from the raucous … Continue reading Kim Mitchell ponders Max Webster’s past while on the Rockland tour

Chrissie Hynde targets meat-eaters and lumberjacks at Pretenders’ Vancouver show

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 24, 2000 It didn’t take animal-rights activist Chrissie Hynde long to start preaching at the Orpheum last Saturday (February 19). Just a couple of songs into the Pretenders’ nearly two-hour show, she gave a nice big “Fuck you!” to everyone who wears leather or fur, or eats meat. … Continue reading Chrissie Hynde targets meat-eaters and lumberjacks at Pretenders’ Vancouver show

Old Crow’s Ketch Secor likes listening to the Be Good Tanyas and whoever died last week

When I interview musicians I often ask what they've been listening to in their spare time, and sometimes it leads to an interesting response. When I called up Ketch Secor of the Old Crow Medicine Show last week to chat in advance of his band's appearance at the Orpheum Theatre this Sunday (September 28), the … Continue reading Old Crow’s Ketch Secor likes listening to the Be Good Tanyas and whoever died last week

Alice Cooper proves himself the undisputed King of Nasty Rock in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 16, 1999 By Steve Newton In a recent interview with the Straight, Alice Cooper claimed that the set list for his current tour “includes all of the hits”, but time constraints rarely allow a performer—especially one who’s been around for nearly 30 years—to live up to that claim. … Continue reading Alice Cooper proves himself the undisputed King of Nasty Rock in Vancouver

Robben Ford scoops up Keith Richards’ rhythm section for Tiger Walk

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 13, 1997 By Steve Newton When the time came for California guitar great Robben Ford to record his latest CD, Tiger Walk, he had a pretty good idea which rhythm section he wanted backing him up. He’d heard it on a Keith Richards album. “I’m not really a … Continue reading Robben Ford scoops up Keith Richards’ rhythm section for Tiger Walk

Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson talks ’70s concept albums but can’t comment on Quadrophenia

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 23, 1997 By Steve Newton Although I have no documented proof that I’m related to either Beavis or Butthead, I do harbour a couple of hazy teenage memories that keep me pondering that possibility. The one that has me most worried goes back to Chilliwack Senior Secondary School, … Continue reading Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson talks ’70s concept albums but can’t comment on Quadrophenia

John Fogerty reveals the full meaning of the mystical phrase yee-haw! in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 28, 1997 Most of the folks attending John Fogerty’s first Vancouver concert in 12 years last Friday (August 22) must have been aware that he had returned to playing some of his old Creedence Clearwater Revival hits, but nobody knew for sure how enthusiastically the 51-year-old rocker would … Continue reading John Fogerty reveals the full meaning of the mystical phrase yee-haw! in Vancouver

Counting Crows guitarist downplays the band’s Van Morrison vibe

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 27, 1997 Sometimes musicians on the lookout for a creative partner will just bump into the right person while browsing in music stores or hanging out in nightclubs. Other times they’ll follow the proven route of taking out want ads in papers like the one you’re holding. And … Continue reading Counting Crows guitarist downplays the band’s Van Morrison vibe

The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson lashes out at “Nazi-like” marijuana laws

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 19, 1996 By Steve Newton Lucky Black Crowes fans holding tickets to the band’s virtually sold-out show at the Orpheum on Wednesday (September 25) should consider themselves doubly fortunate, since it looked for a while as if Crowes concerts could become a thing of the past. Last year … Continue reading The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson lashes out at “Nazi-like” marijuana laws

Keith Richards’ other great band kicks out all the jams in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 21, 1993 By Steve Newton The Rolling Stones have owned the Granville Mall of late. A couple of months back Ronnie Wood played the Commodore; now Keith Richards has ripped things up a few doors down at the Orpheum. Maybe Mick Jagger will continue the trend and drop … Continue reading Keith Richards’ other great band kicks out all the jams in Vancouver

Jethro Tull’s acoustic side gets showcased on A Little Light Music

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCTOBER 22, 1992 By Steve Newton “So how’d it go last night?” That’s a question I’ll often start an interview with, to loosen things up when I know a musician has played a gig the night before. Usually, I get a response along the lines of, “Really good, actually,” … Continue reading Jethro Tull’s acoustic side gets showcased on A Little Light Music

Jethro Tull slays a sold-out crowd in Vancouver with help from “Michael Jackson’s dad”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 1991 By Steve Newton If there is one thing people have come to expect from a Jethro Tull concert, it’s a cleverly staged, highly theatrical show. If there are two things, they’d be the theatrics and the British rock pioneers’ enormous repertoire of classic tunes. And if … Continue reading Jethro Tull slays a sold-out crowd in Vancouver with help from “Michael Jackson’s dad”

Tom Cochrane dedicates “Big League” to Stan Smyl in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 7, 1991 Tom Cochrane wasn’t kidding when he told me a couple of weeks back that his new rhythm section worked like a high-performance engine. The former Streetheart team of drummer Matt Frenette and bassist Spider Sinneave was scary last Monday night (November 4), with Frenette being especially … Continue reading Tom Cochrane dedicates “Big League” to Stan Smyl in Vancouver