That time Zakk Wylde told me that he’d always be Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist

By Steve Newton If Randy Rhoads hadn't died in that tragic plane crash in 1982, do you think he'd still be playing with Ozzy Osbourne? I kinda doubt it. He was so fiercely talented that I bet he would have left heavy-metal in the dust and moved on to creating adventurous, technically mind-boggling instrumental music … Continue reading That time Zakk Wylde told me that he’d always be Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist

That time Zakk Wylde told me what he really thought of Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, and Tony Iommi

By Steve Newton Whether you think Ozzy Osbourne is a genius or not, ya gotta admit that he's a mastermind when it comes to finding killer guitarists. Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, Zakk Wylde--those are some pretty smokin' pickers. When I interviewed 27-year-old Wylde back in 1994 I asked him what he thought … Continue reading That time Zakk Wylde told me what he really thought of Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, and Tony Iommi

That time I asked Jake E. Lee if there was much pressure taking over Randy Rhoads’ spot with Ozzy

By Steve Newton Way back in April of 1992 I interviewed Jake E. Lee in advance of a Vancouver show by his group Badlands, which was touring behind its second album, Voodoo Highway. At one point in the interview I started asking Jake about his time with Ozzy Osbourne, which led to me wondering if … Continue reading That time I asked Jake E. Lee if there was much pressure taking over Randy Rhoads’ spot with Ozzy

That time Tommy Aldridge told me that Randy Rhoads was the most talented guitarist he ever played with

By Steve Newton Drum legend Tommy Aldridge has played with some of the greatest rock guitarists of all time: Gary Moore, Steve Vai, Randy Rhoads, Pat Travers, Tony MacAlpine, Scott Gorham, John Sykes. Heck, even his first band of note, Black Oak Arkansas, featured some pretty heavy-duty pickers. When I interviewed Aldridge back in 2001 … Continue reading That time Tommy Aldridge told me that Randy Rhoads was the most talented guitarist he ever played with

That time Lemmy from Motörhead told me that Randy Rhoads became much better after he died

By Steve Newton I got to interview rock legend Lemmy Kilmister a couple of times, first in April of 1999 and then again in the following century, in May of 2002. During that '99 chat I mentioned how I'd first seen Motörhead back in 1983, when they opened for Ozzy Osbourne on the Blizzard of Oz tour … Continue reading That time Lemmy from Motörhead told me that Randy Rhoads became much better after he died

Album review: Ozzy Osbourne, No Rest for the Wicked (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 11, 1988 By Steve Newton All right? Chalk one up for the rockers in the battle between heavy metal and the Moral Majority. Trust good old Ozzy to take a two-fisted slug at Jimmy Swaggart's recent downfall: "Today I saw a Miracle Man, on TV cryin'/Such a hypocritical … Continue reading Album review: Ozzy Osbourne, No Rest for the Wicked (1988)

Album review: Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Marching Out (1985)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 8, 1985 By Steve Newton Swedish guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen has been heralded as the rock guitarist of the eighties, a successor to Eddie Van Halen and the late Randy Rhoads. And there's no doubt that Yngwie is several cuts above the typical metal guitarist. But blinding speed and technical dazzle … Continue reading Album review: Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Marching Out (1985)

Album review: Various Artists, Axe Masters–Legends of Rock Guitar

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 19, 1985 By Steve Newton Now this is more like it--heavy metal with class. But then any album that features the playing of metal martyr Randy Rhoads can't lose. Rhoads is included via Ozzy Osbourne's first solo hit "Crazy Train". And he's in good company. "Axe masters" K.K Downing … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, Axe Masters–Legends of Rock Guitar

Album review: Quiet Riot, Metal Health (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 25, 1983 By Steve Newton Dedicated to the memory of Randy Rhoads, the first album by his former band is one heavy chunk of vinyl. "Metal Health", "Slick Black Cadillac", and "Breathless" are all excellent, bang-your-head crotch rockers, but the album's most outstanding cuts are the bluesy "Don't Want to Let … Continue reading Album review: Quiet Riot, Metal Health (1983)

Triumph’s Rik Emmett on the merits of the power trio and his secret song for Randy Rhoads

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 11, 1983 By Steve Newton Triumph's Rik Emmett is a man of many moods on guitar. Though best known for supplying the driving rhythms and rapid-fire leads that are trademarks of his group's two-fisted sound, Emmett never hesitates delving into the subtle and contemplative realms of classical and jazz … Continue reading Triumph’s Rik Emmett on the merits of the power trio and his secret song for Randy Rhoads

That time Ozzy Osbourne told me that he wasn’t “a fucking warlock” trying to turn people into satanists

By Steve Newton I've interviewed Ozzy Osbourne a couple of times, but it's been over 30 years. The first time was in 1982--not long after the tragic death of guitar legend Randy Rhoads--and the second was in '84, when he was touring with Rhoads' replacement, Jake E. Lee, on the Bark at the Moon Tour. … Continue reading That time Ozzy Osbourne told me that he wasn’t “a fucking warlock” trying to turn people into satanists

Rudy Sarzo talks Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads while Quiet Riot storms the charts

By Steve Newton One day back in the summer of '83 I stopped by the Vancouver offices of CBS Records and did an interview with Rudy Sarzo, who was one of the top hard rock/metal bassists around at the time. Sarzo was in town promoting Metal Health, the new release from his band Quiet Riot, which … Continue reading Rudy Sarzo talks Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads while Quiet Riot storms the charts

Ronnie James Dio: the Lost Interview of 1985, an Ear of Newt exclusive

By Steve Newton On December 20, 1985, Ronnie James Dio called me up at home and we chatted for 20 minutes or so. How cool was that? The legendary heavy-metal artist was doing press promoting his Sacred Heart tour, which was scheduled to play Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum on December 28, with guest Yngwie Malmsteen. We talked … Continue reading Ronnie James Dio: the Lost Interview of 1985, an Ear of Newt exclusive

Tommy Aldridge talks Black Oak Arkansas, Whitesnake, Ozzy, and the brilliance of Randy Rhoads

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 10, 1990 By Steve Newton After several years in the rock critic biz, it's easy for a writer to pick up the ONNTD syndrome. That's an affliction that occurs when you request an interview with a big-name band and the record company won't let you talk to the … Continue reading Tommy Aldridge talks Black Oak Arkansas, Whitesnake, Ozzy, and the brilliance of Randy Rhoads

Rudy Sarzo on Randy Rhoads, life after Ozzy, and the return of Quiet Riot

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 5, 1983 By Steve Newton Formed in 1975 by Kevin DuBrow and the late Randy Rhoads (who died in a plane crash last year while a member of the Ozzy Osbourne band), Quiet Riot were one of the leading Los Angeles rock bands during the late seventies. Boasting … Continue reading Rudy Sarzo on Randy Rhoads, life after Ozzy, and the return of Quiet Riot

Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” chosen as the top heavy-metal song of all time

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 4, 2003 Toronto-based music writer Martin Popoff is Canada’s top expert on heavy metal. Senior editor of metal mag Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles and author of The Collector’s Guide to Heavy Metal, the Trail, B.C.–raised Popoff certainly knows his stuff when it comes to raunchy rock. The … Continue reading Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” chosen as the top heavy-metal song of all time

Patterson Hood on the Drive-By Truckers’ Southern Rock Opera and the true meaning of Skynyrd

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 30, 2003 By Steve Newton It doesn’t seem likely in today’s musical climate that any band would record a 90-minute concept album about 1970s rock and southern U.S. culture, focusing on the legend of doomed Dixie rock act Lynyrd Skynyrd. It’s even more unlikely that such a CD … Continue reading Patterson Hood on the Drive-By Truckers’ Southern Rock Opera and the true meaning of Skynyrd

Zakk Wylde draws from Shannon Hoon’s O.D. for his heavy Book of Shadows

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 5, 1996 By Steve Newton Most hard-rock fans know Zakk Wylde as the young musician who helped rejuvenate metal veteran Ozzy Osbourne’s career by cowriting the hit “No More Tears”, in the process taking the coveted guitarist’s spot previously held by the likes of Randy Rhoads and Jake … Continue reading Zakk Wylde draws from Shannon Hoon’s O.D. for his heavy Book of Shadows

Pride & Glory’s Zakk Wylde says he’ll always be Ozzy’s guitar player

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 20, 1994 By Steve Newton Rock guitarists have a few things to worry about during a live performance—such as blowing an amp, breaking a string, or dropping a pick during a crucial guitar freak-out. Personal injury isn’t usually one of the main onstage concerns for today’s rock artists, … Continue reading Pride & Glory’s Zakk Wylde says he’ll always be Ozzy’s guitar player

Badlands’ Jake E. Lee preferred Bartok until he heard Hendrix

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 16, 1992 By Steve Newton Few guitarists have had to deal with the kind of expectations put on Jake E. Lee when he took over Randy Rhoads’ guitar spot in the Ozzy Osbourne band. Rhoads’ tragic death in a 1982 plane crash stunned the rock world and didn’t … Continue reading Badlands’ Jake E. Lee preferred Bartok until he heard Hendrix

Ozzy Osbourne box the perfect primer for his post-Sabbath period

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 8, 2005 By Steve Newton Ozzy Osbourne could easily have gotten away with compiling a bunch of album tracks, tossing in a live concert DVD, and calling it the Prince of Darkness box set. But the pioneering bat-biter evidently wanted to give his hordes of fans something special. His idea … Continue reading Ozzy Osbourne box the perfect primer for his post-Sabbath period

Ozzy Osbourne live in ’82: midgets, executioners, and maybe a dead bat

Ozzy was so wasted that he didn't notice Sammy Hagar was his new guitarist ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 18, 1982 By Steve Newton As anyone at his June 10 Coliseum show could have figured out, subtlety is not Ozzy Osbourne's claim to fame. Whereas most acts open with the drawing of a … Continue reading Ozzy Osbourne live in ’82: midgets, executioners, and maybe a dead bat

Remembering SRV

It was on August 27, 1990, that a helicopter crashed into a ski hill in heavy fog at Wisconsin's Alpine Valley Resort, killing the pilot, three members of Eric Clapton's entourage, and guitar hero Stevie Ray Vaughan. Vaughan had just finished performing in front of 30,000 fans, jamming with Clapton, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, and … Continue reading Remembering SRV

The Sabbath Time Machine

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 18, 2013 By Steve Newton Black Sabbath (without Bill Ward) isn't giving any interviews in advance of its show at Rogers Arena this Thursday (Aug. 22), but that's okay with me. It just gives me an excuse to crawl back into my '70s time machine and reminisce, home movie-style, about what … Continue reading The Sabbath Time Machine

Dave Mustaine says Brad Gillis butchered Randy Rhoads’ solos with Ozzy

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 25, 2004 By Steve Newton Megadeth fans who favour the band's early work were no doubt pleased to see that original member Chris Poland rejoined fellow guitarist (and bandleader) Dave Mustaine for the group's latest CD, The System Has Failed. But anyone expecting to see Poland in the lineup when Megadeth … Continue reading Dave Mustaine says Brad Gillis butchered Randy Rhoads’ solos with Ozzy

Avenged Sevenfold alloys its punk with heavy metal

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 7, 2005 By Steve Newton "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man." Huntington Beach hard-rockers Avenged Sevenfold used that quote from Hunter S. Thompson to introduce their upcoming video-single, "Bat Country". Seems the rowdy noisemakers are huge fans of the late … Continue reading Avenged Sevenfold alloys its punk with heavy metal

Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie bring the metal to Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 24, 2007 Those Ozzy fans sure are a rowdy bunch. I saw one inebriated dude in an Iron Maiden T-shirt attempting to get a mosh pit started right in front of a merch table along the GM Place promenade. Just two or three of his buddies joined in the fracas, … Continue reading Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie bring the metal to Vancouver