Rod Stewart has all the luck in Vancouver on the Out of Order tour

stevie salas rips it up with Rod ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 26, 1988 By Steve Newton The question was: can Rod Stewart still deliver after 20-some-odd years in the rock 'n' roll spotlight? And the answer is: the ladies sure seem to think so! After Saturday's (August 20) wingding at the PNE, … Continue reading Rod Stewart has all the luck in Vancouver on the Out of Order tour

Def Leppard makes a triumphant in-the-round return to Vancouver on the Hysteria tour

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 7, 1988 By Steve Newton Being a rock critic is not all fun and games. "Sure, Steve," you're probably saying, "all those free concerts and backstage brewskies must be real tough." Okay, so there are worse occupations, but like anything else it can get boring. … Continue reading Def Leppard makes a triumphant in-the-round return to Vancouver on the Hysteria tour

Backstage with Slash and Bruce Dickinson as Guns N’ Roses open for Maiden in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1988 By Steve Newton The politics of rockin' can be tough on new bands just getting used to the tour circuit. Take for example Guns N' Roses, who are on the road in support of their first album, and opening for Iron Maiden, who've toured the world … Continue reading Backstage with Slash and Bruce Dickinson as Guns N’ Roses open for Maiden in Vancouver

David Lee Roth shows off manly biceps, a giant surfboard, and Steve Vai on the Skyscraper Tour

@shotbykevin ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 27, 1988 By Steve Newton Whether you like David Lee Roth or not, there's one thing you've got to admit: the guy's a star. It's hard to take your eyes off him, and few did at the Pacific Coliseum last Saturday (May 21). Whether you're ogling his sexy … Continue reading David Lee Roth shows off manly biceps, a giant surfboard, and Steve Vai on the Skyscraper Tour

John Cougar Mellencamp sells seats, not principles, in Vancouver

chris cameron photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 25, 1988 By Steve Newton Some guys have it and some guys don't. A great band, that is. Springsteen had one when he played here in 1984. And the latest hero of the American heartland, John Cougar Mellencamp, had one at the sold-out Coliseum last Saturday (March 19). … Continue reading John Cougar Mellencamp sells seats, not principles, in Vancouver

Kiss on stage in 1988 is no match for Kiss Alive! in 1975

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 18, 1988 By Steve Newton One of the most memorable concerts of this scribbler's young life was seeing Kiss at the Commodore Ballroom just after the release of its second album, Hotter Than Hell. A bunch of my buddies and I had crammed into a rented van … Continue reading Kiss on stage in 1988 is no match for Kiss Alive! in 1975

Aerosmith is reborn as a killer live act on the Permanent Vacation tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 29, 1988 By Steve Newton Prior to Aerosmith's local appearance last week, I'd seen the Boston band in concert three times, including a show on the massive Rocks tour that saw them headlining over Jeff Beck at the Kingdome in Seattle. Each time before, they had performed more raggedly … Continue reading Aerosmith is reborn as a killer live act on the Permanent Vacation tour

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

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 … Continue reading Wicked Whitesnake blows corny Crue off the stage in Vancouver

Heart singer Ann Wilson’s passionate wails can still send a shiver up the spine in 1987

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 4, 1987 By Steve Newton Heart has come a long way from the days when they used to play high-school dances and small-town community halls across B.C. They drew 12,000 fans to the Pacific Coliseum last Friday (August 28), and the predominance of David Bowie and Huey … Continue reading Heart singer Ann Wilson’s passionate wails can still send a shiver up the spine in 1987

Billy Idol humps the stage and Steve Stevens’ guitars rage as the Whiplash Smile tour hits Vancouver

chris cameron photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 22, 1987 By Steve Newton When Billy Idol kept stalling and stalling the release of his latest LP, Whiplash Smile, there was some real danger that the man's popularity--which had reached great heights after the release of 1983's Rebel Yell--was beginning to run its course. When a … Continue reading Billy Idol humps the stage and Steve Stevens’ guitars rage as the Whiplash Smile tour hits Vancouver

Three months after Metallica bassist Cliff Burton’s death James Hetfield told me “You can’t give up”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 26, 1986 By Steve Newton "Beware the Merciless Onslaught" were the words that came to me when Metallica vocalist James Hetfield opened the door of his Hyatt Regency hotel room. That message was emblazoned on orange across Hetfield's black t-shirt. Straggly blonde hair hung across his rough face and thick sideburns, and … Continue reading Three months after Metallica bassist Cliff Burton’s death James Hetfield told me “You can’t give up”

Huey Lewis & the News can’t cut it as arena rockers in Vancouver

chris cameron photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 26, 1986 By Steve Newton Huey Lewis has a great rock and roll voice, he writes fairly catchy tunes, and his band--though nothing fancy--plays those songs well enough to get by. But when Huey Lewis & the News try to make it as a big arena-rock … Continue reading Huey Lewis & the News can’t cut it as arena rockers in Vancouver

Funked-up Newt gets down with Lionel Richie, gets back up again

chris cameron photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 19, 1986 By Steve Newton There are two kinds of songs that Lionel Richie can perform as well, if not better, than anyone else in the music world. One is the poignant, yearning love ballad, the type that can choke up even hardened ex-cons with … Continue reading Funked-up Newt gets down with Lionel Richie, gets back up again

David Lee Roth comes out of his shell in Vancouver on the Eat ‘Em and Smile tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 1986 By Steve Newton David Lee Roth's concert at the Pacific Coliseum last Sunday (December 7) should go down as one of the loudest gigs the old hockey rink has ever hosted. We're talking precautionary Kleenex in the ears, no less. Luckily, for those tough enough to handle … Continue reading David Lee Roth comes out of his shell in Vancouver on the Eat ‘Em and Smile tour

Alice Cooper fan offers eye-witness account of the Coop’s famous rib-busting wipeout in Vancouver

By Steve Newton Yesterday I posted my first-ever interview with shock-rock king Alice Cooper, which I'd conducted 30 years ago, after Cooper had released his Constrictor album. During our conversation the Coop mentioned the infamous onstage wipeout that occured during the opening song on his Welcome to My Nightmare Tour at Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum on June 23, … Continue reading Alice Cooper fan offers eye-witness account of the Coop’s famous rib-busting wipeout in Vancouver

That time Gord Downie raved to me about Tragically Hip tourmates Change of Heart and the Odds

By Steve Newton One thing I figured out about Gord Downie during the five interviews I did with him between 1989 and 1995 was that he really, really likes musicians. Especially musicians who play in bands. He was always quick to rave about the new groups he'd heard lately, or maybe the ones the Tragically … Continue reading That time Gord Downie raved to me about Tragically Hip tourmates Change of Heart and the Odds

Jon Bon Jovi in 1986: “As long as there’s a plug, we’ll plug it in.”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 11, 1986 By Steve Newton When New York rockers Bon Jovi flew into Vancouver to record their third album, it didn't take long for them to become attached to the place. "The first night we got there we were into the Embassy and the Metro," says singer Jon … Continue reading Jon Bon Jovi in 1986: “As long as there’s a plug, we’ll plug it in.”

John Cougar Mellencamp may be little but he’s no bastard in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 25, 1986 By Steve Newton He calls himself Little Bastard on his album productions credits, and after meeting John Cougar Mellencamp backstage before last week's (April 16) Coliseum show, I half understood why. He's not a bastard. On the contrary he seemed like a very nice fellow, all … Continue reading John Cougar Mellencamp may be little but he’s no bastard in Vancouver

The Go-Go’s bring the sunny sounds of Vacation to Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 27, 1982 By Steve Newton In contrast to the denim and T-shirt crowd [for Blue Oyster Cult] at the Coliseum Sunday, miniskirts and Hawaiian patterns were the popular thing the night before (August 21) when the Go-Go's brought their catchy brand of fun-time music up from the California … Continue reading The Go-Go’s bring the sunny sounds of Vacation to Vancouver

Billy Gibbons gets ornery in Vancouver on ZZ Top’s Afterburner Tour

mila geran photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 20, 1985 By Steve Newton Shortly before his death, somebody asked Jimi Hendrix if he knew of any up-and-coming guitarists to watch out for. One of the players Hendrix mentioned was Billy Gibbons. Sixteen years later, Gibbons is living up to Jimi's expectations. At the … Continue reading Billy Gibbons gets ornery in Vancouver on ZZ Top’s Afterburner Tour

Motley Crue plays Vancouver on the Theatre of Pain tour, Nikki Sixx cranks AC/DC backstage

mila geran photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 22, 1985 By Steve Newton "Excuse me women...I mean ladies," said Nikki Sixx as he pushed through the hordes of groupies backstage at the Coliseum last week (November 12). The Motley Crue bassist wasn't zeroing in on any one in particular--his aim was the group's … Continue reading Motley Crue plays Vancouver on the Theatre of Pain tour, Nikki Sixx cranks AC/DC backstage

Comeback queen Tina Turner gives Vancouver “a big kiss” on her Private Dancer tour

mila geran photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 4, 1985 By Steve Newton Tina Turner gave the crowd at the Coliseum last Saturday (September 28) "a big kiss" for supporting the "comeback" that culminated with her 1984 Private Dancer going six-times platinum in Canada. And she thanked them by playing--with the exception of … Continue reading Comeback queen Tina Turner gives Vancouver “a big kiss” on her Private Dancer tour

Mark Knopfler’s scintillating guitar steals the show as Dire Straits plays Vancouver on the Brothers in Arms tour

mila geran photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 27, 1985 By Steve Newton "Rock and roll Vancouver," announced Mark Knopfler half-way through Monday's (September 23) Dire Straits show at the Pacific Coliseum. And when his band swung into the twist-and-shout rocker "Walk of Life", the crowd did as they were told. A mass … Continue reading Mark Knopfler’s scintillating guitar steals the show as Dire Straits plays Vancouver on the Brothers in Arms tour

Dear Iron Maiden: please play Vancouver on the Book of Souls World Tour –your old buddy, Newt

By Steve Newton The world's old-school headbangers got some great news the other day when British metal legends Iron Maiden announced that it would embark on a global tour in 2016 that is set to visit 35 countries in six continents. "Details of the precise schedule are currently being finalised," said the band on its website, … Continue reading Dear Iron Maiden: please play Vancouver on the Book of Souls World Tour –your old buddy, Newt

Eric Clapton ends his 1985 North American tour in Vancouver, Duck Dunn proclaims “GODDAMN!”

mila geran photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 2, 1985 By Steve Newton "Here's one from 1967," said Eric Clapton at the Coliseum last Saturday (July 26). "I hope you recognize it." Then he launched into "White Room", a hit from his days with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker in the power trio … Continue reading Eric Clapton ends his 1985 North American tour in Vancouver, Duck Dunn proclaims “GODDAMN!”

Robert Plant kicks off his 1985 World Tour with a ’50s-style sock hop in Vancouver

bev davies photo By Steve Newton On June 10, 1985, Robert Plant played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. That was four days after NRBQ played the Town Pump, and for some reason I gave their club show slightly more coverage in my Night Shift column than Plant's arena show. I guess NRBQ was just better! Anyway, here's my … Continue reading Robert Plant kicks off his 1985 World Tour with a ’50s-style sock hop in Vancouver