The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

By Steve Newton Remember how you'd set the needle down on the opening track of a new rock album and the first tune would just blow you the funk away? Me too. "(Ain't Nothin' But a) House Party" (Bloodshot, J. Geils Band, 1973) "All the Way From Memphis" (Mott, Mott the Hoople, 1973) "Already Gone" … Continue reading The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

Album review: Queen, Queen at the BBC (1995)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 23, 1995 By Steve Newton Recorded in February and December of 1973—half before and half after the release of Queen’s self-titled debut album—Queen at the BBC is an intriguing document of the Brit supergroup’s earliest material, which is certainly some of its best. (The band went downhill, … Continue reading Album review: Queen, Queen at the BBC (1995)

Queen guitarist Brian May doesn’t have much interest in doing “virtuoso stuff”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 25, 1993 By Steve Newton Ever since Wayne’s World came out, I’ve been considering legal action against writer/star Mike Myers. You know that scene where Wayne and Garth are driving around with their buddies in a purple Pinto, singing along and banging their heads to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”? … Continue reading Queen guitarist Brian May doesn’t have much interest in doing “virtuoso stuff”

Queen box set out today captures the legendary rockers live in ’75

By Steve Newton Queen freaks who couldn't quite afford the massive Queen Studio Collection that was released a couple of months ago should know that the legendary British rockers are issuing another box set today (December 18), one that is aimed at fans who adored the band in its mid-'70s, long-hair-on-Mercury heyday. A Night at the Odeon captures … Continue reading Queen box set out today captures the legendary rockers live in ’75

The Darkness guitarist Dan Hawkins loves Jimmy Page’s wrong notes and Joe Perry’s swagger

the Hawkins brothers pull off their best Robertson/Gorham impression By Steve Newton Fans of rowdy, old-school, Les Paul–driven guitar rock have a band worth worshipping in British noisemakers the Darkness. The Marshall-powered six-string team of 40-year-old Justin Hawkins and his two-years-younger brother, Dan, really do tear up the frets, both on-stage and on record—as evidenced … Continue reading The Darkness guitarist Dan Hawkins loves Jimmy Page’s wrong notes and Joe Perry’s swagger

The ultimate Queen fan and vinyl freak just creamed his or her jeans

By Steve Newton There's been some pretty freakin' sweet deluxe-edition vinyl box sets released in the last little while, especially if you're a '70s-rock fanatic. That John Lennon package from last April--with all his solo albums on LP--was a real treat for Lennon aficianados. And the Roxy Music collection that came out the month before that was a godsend … Continue reading The ultimate Queen fan and vinyl freak just creamed his or her jeans

Ear of Newt’s top five Vancouver concerts of 2014

  DBT photo by the Newt For me, it's always a good year for concerts when the Drive-By Truckers can be included in the year-end wrap-up, and their performance at the Vogue Theatre on April 22 was one of the two best gigs I attended in 2014. It helped that the Alabama/Georgia-based band was touring behind one … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s top five Vancouver concerts of 2014

There’s plenty of room to keep your weed in the Queen box if you toss the two duds

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 17, 1998 By Steve Newton Don’t let the oversized imitation-velvet box fool you—this cheaply designed collection is nothing more than a digitally remastered reissue of the band’s first eight studio albums. Unlike in most boxed sets, there’s nothing previously unreleased here, nothing rare, nothing live. Instead of paying … Continue reading There’s plenty of room to keep your weed in the Queen box if you toss the two duds

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1975

Ah, 1975. The year I graduated high school. Talk about dazed and confused. Albums listed alphabetically by title, including three choice tracks from each one to help you remember how wicked they really were. Against the Grain: Rory Gallagher ("Bought and Sold", "Out on the Western Plain", "Lost at Sea") America's Choice: Hot Tuna ("Sleep … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1975

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1974

Last year I put together a list of my 30 fave albums from 1973, which was a particularly awesome year since it included the release of what I've always felt was the world's greatest rock album, the Who's Quadrophenia. Now that you've all had a good chance to go out and purchase each and every one … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1974

Remembering Thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott on the anniversary of his death

It was 28 years ago today that Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, suffering from a kidney and liver infection, died of heart failure and pneumonia at a hospital in England. Years of drug and alcohol abuse had taken their toll, and he was taken away from all who loved him—and his exhilirating brand of guitar-heavy … Continue reading Remembering Thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott on the anniversary of his death

Guitar great Steve Hackett from Genesis calls the Newt from New York

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 5, 1993 By Steve Newton Whatever happened to Steve Hackett? Good question. Considering how visible all four of his former bandmates in Genesis have been, Hackett has been conspicuously absent from the music scene. Or at least it seems that way here in North America. But in actual … Continue reading Guitar great Steve Hackett from Genesis calls the Newt from New York

Roger Taylor says Queen hooked up with Paul Rodgers by accident

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 6, 2006 By Steve Newton Chilliwack was the perfect place for a rock-crazed teenager to grow up during the '70s. Not only could you crank "Free Bird" at full blast without fear of recrimination, but the big-city destination of Hastings and Renfrew was only an hour away. Whether it was … Continue reading Roger Taylor says Queen hooked up with Paul Rodgers by accident

Queen and Paul Rodgers rock Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 20, 2006 What an awesome heavy-metal band Queen used to be. What, you didn't know Queen used to be an awesome heavy-metal band? Maybe it's not common knowledge. It guess it helps if you were a hard rock-crazed, Circus-reading teen back in '73 when the British quartet's self-titled debut LP … Continue reading Queen and Paul Rodgers rock Vancouver

The Blasters’ Phil Alvin on the roots of rock, the Sex Pistols, and Queen

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 10, 2013 By Steve Newton Thirty years ago today--on March 10, 1983--the Blasters played the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. Maybe you were there? The group--then composed of singer-guitarist Phil Alvin, his younger brother Dave Alvin on lead guitar, pianist Gene Taylor, bassist John Bazz, and drummer Bill Bateman--was in its … Continue reading The Blasters’ Phil Alvin on the roots of rock, the Sex Pistols, and Queen