A little Zeppelin goes a long way at Robert Plant’s Vancouver concert

crappy iPhone photo by the Newt By Steve Newton When I interviewed Robert Plant back in 1993, the first thing he said on the phone from New York City was that he was "pissed off" that Black Sabbath wasn't getting back together. He was joking, though. It was more a comment on how frustrated he … Continue reading A little Zeppelin goes a long way at Robert Plant’s Vancouver concert

Jesse Cook collects three “amazing” takes from Tommy Emmanuel’s creativity tap for “Tommy and Me”

By Steve Newton Last week I scored a copy of the new CD from Canadian nuevo-flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook, One World, and before even cracking it open I got a nice surprise. The track listing on the back cover revealed the inclusion of one featuring Tommy Emmanuel, the Australian fingerstyle guitarist who just four days earlier … Continue reading Jesse Cook collects three “amazing” takes from Tommy Emmanuel’s creativity tap for “Tommy and Me”

Eddie Murphy plays Vancouver, so I party with his entourage till 5 a.m.

On May 11, 1985, Eddie Murphy played the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. This was exactly 12 days before he released "Party All the Time", which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is clearly one of the worst songs ever recorded. What bugs me most about this video--besides the music--is the shirt-button-challenged "rock" … Continue reading Eddie Murphy plays Vancouver, so I party with his entourage till 5 a.m.

Joe Bonamassa says “I’m not a full-time rock ‘n’ roll guy. I like blues.”

By Steve Newton For his latest album, American guitar hero Joe Bonamassa came up with one helluva great idea. Or at least his producer, Kevin Shirley, did. The plan was to record a one-off concert dedicated to the music of blues legends Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, and the resultant double disc—Muddy Wolf at Red … Continue reading Joe Bonamassa says “I’m not a full-time rock ‘n’ roll guy. I like blues.”

Steve Stevens’ sparkly Les Pauls rule at Billy Idol’s Vancouver show

all awesome iPhone photos by the Newt By Steve Newton You've got to give Billy Idol credit. For a guy whose career peaked roughly three decades ago, he's hanging in there incredibly well. There's little flab on the 59-year-old's tanned bod, and his vocal cords are in fine shape too. Judging by his recent album, Kings … Continue reading Steve Stevens’ sparkly Les Pauls rule at Billy Idol’s Vancouver show

Yes guitarist Steve Howe says Chet Atkins was–and is–his number one

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 26, 2001 By Steve Newton When Yes guitarist Steve Howe calls the Straight office from Reno, Nevada, it’s not to brag about how well he’s been doing at the blackjack tables. Although he and his bandmates—vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, and drummer Alan White—have been holed up … Continue reading Yes guitarist Steve Howe says Chet Atkins was–and is–his number one

Jeff Beck’s astonishing Vancouver show crushes the myth that Clapton is God

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 23, 1999 By Steve Newton Apart from an arena show with Rod Stewart in the ’80s, it had been nearly 25 years since fans of Jeff Beck last saw him play here, so the anticipatory vibe that surged through the Queen E around 9 p.m. last Saturday (September … Continue reading Jeff Beck’s astonishing Vancouver show crushes the myth that Clapton is God

Weed-loving Black Crowes bring their pro-pot stance to Vancouver

@shotbykevin ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 5, 1992 By Steve Newton About an hour into the Black Crowes’ sold-out Queen Elizabeth Theatre show last Wednesday (October 28), the Atlanta blues-rock sextet rolled out a brand-new tune for its exuberant fans, most of whom had been standing up the whole time, cheering like mad. … Continue reading Weed-loving Black Crowes bring their pro-pot stance to Vancouver

Guitar wizard Joe Satriani is totally cool being The Extremist

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 29, 1992 By Steve Newton Joe Satriani doesn’t do anything halfway. Whether writing, recording, or playing live, the New York-born, San Francisco-based guitar wizard always strives for musical perfection. If there were a rock ’n’ roll army, Satriani would surely be all that he could be. “One of … Continue reading Guitar wizard Joe Satriani is totally cool being The Extremist

30 Years Ago: the Pretenders learning to crawl in Vancouver

By Steve Newton Thirty years ago today--on February 21, 1984--the Pretenders played a sold out show at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The band was touring behind one of its best albums ever, Learning to Crawl, which included such snazzy numbers as "Back on the Chain Gang", "My City Was Gone", and "Middle of the Road". … Continue reading 30 Years Ago: the Pretenders learning to crawl in Vancouver

ZZ Top to play first-ever Vancouver theatre show this March

I've been lucky enough to have seen ZZ Top a number of times over the years, the first being at the Pacific Coliseum back in 1976 or so. I think it was on the Fandango tour, but I can't find any mention of that gig anywhere online. Anybody else see that show, before the big-beard period? Pretty … Continue reading ZZ Top to play first-ever Vancouver theatre show this March

Soundgarden brings killer riffs and a sound mix from hell to Vancouver

photo by rebecca blissett ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 10, 2013 By Steve Newton Vancouver's Soundgarden fans had real reason to rejoice in 2010 when the classic lineup of singer Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Ben Shepherd, and drummer Matt Cameron reunited after 12 years apart, and then announced a summer arena tour that … Continue reading Soundgarden brings killer riffs and a sound mix from hell to Vancouver