Album review: Ronnie Montrose, The Speed of Sound (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 5, 1988 By Steve Newton On his last album, Mean, guitar hero Ronnie Montrose rekindled the straightforward metal noise that sounded so fine on his early '70s albums with Sammy Hagar. On his new one, he's back on the instrumental rock path a la his 1978 release, Open … Continue reading Album review: Ronnie Montrose, The Speed of Sound (1988)

Album review: Van Halen, OU812 (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 8, 1988 By Steve Newton So this album is selling like hotcakes, eh? I hear they shipped a million copies, and are still running out at a lot of record stores. Well, I know that it's hard not to like a band that includes two stars like Eddie … Continue reading Album review: Van Halen, OU812 (1988)

Album review: Van Halen, 5150 (1986)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 11, 1986 By Steve Newton One of the most talked about lineup changes in rock these days involves Van Halen's switch from David Lee Roth to Sammy Hagar. "Nobody could replace Diamond Dave", said some, while others pointed to the fine work Hagar did with influential metal band … Continue reading Album review: Van Halen, 5150 (1986)

Album review: Van Halen, Van Halen 3 (1998)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 16, 1998 By Steve Newton Ever since Sammy Hagar replaced David Lee Roth as Van Halen’s frontman on 1986’s 5150, the band’s legions of followers have been split into the Sam and Dave camps. Roth proponents feel his macho bravado and hog-in-heat performing style suited the group’s … Continue reading Album review: Van Halen, Van Halen 3 (1998)

Album review: Alice Cooper, A Fistful of Alice (1997)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 21, 1997 By Steve Newton Strolling around the Mexican resort town of Cabo San Lucas last year, I stumbled across a bar called the Cabo Wabo Cantina, which had a sign in the parking lot proclaiming “Reserved for Sammy Hagar”. Realizing that this must be the watering hole … Continue reading Album review: Alice Cooper, A Fistful of Alice (1997)

Album review: Van Halen, Balance (1995)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 2, 1995 By Steve Newton Eddie Van Halen is surely one of the best guitarists in rock, but I’m getting sick of only being able to hear him within the confining and predictable framework of his current band’s (mostly) run-of-the-mill tunes. The band’s last few albums have contained … Continue reading Album review: Van Halen, Balance (1995)

Van Halen kicks Vancouver’s ass before new singer Sammy Hagar channels Hugh Hefner backstage

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 31, 1986 By Steve Newton Things started off pretty bad at Van Halen's B.C. Place concert last Thursday (October 23). But they got progressively better as the night wore on. And by the end of the show there were no complaints at all. The reason for the poor start was the … Continue reading Van Halen kicks Vancouver’s ass before new singer Sammy Hagar channels Hugh Hefner backstage

Chickenfoot guitarist Joe Satriani was into Humble Pie as a kid, missed out on Montrose

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 13, 2009 By Steve Newton Any self-respecting rock-guitar freak has at least a couple of Joe Satriani CDs in his or her collection. The Bay Area musician has been steadily churning out adventurous, technically boggling instrumental albums since blasting onto the six-string scene in 1986 with Not of This Earth. … Continue reading Chickenfoot guitarist Joe Satriani was into Humble Pie as a kid, missed out on Montrose

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

The Art of McCartney boasts ’70s rockers Heart, Steve Miller, Sammy Hagar, and the Coop

By Steve Newton Groundworks Marketing announced today that a new Paul McCartney tribute album will be released on November 17, and that it will feature some of my fave artists from the seventies, including Alice Cooper, Steve Miller, Heart, Bad Company's Paul Rodgers, Montrose's Sammy Hagar, the Who's Roger Daltrey, and Cheap Trick's Robin Zander and … Continue reading The Art of McCartney boasts ’70s rockers Heart, Steve Miller, Sammy Hagar, and the Coop

Alex Van Halen dishes “a little dirt” on who the original VH vocalist could have been

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 7, 1995 By Steve Newton Sometimes it seems as if there are two kinds of people in the world: David Lee Roth folks and Sammy Hagar folks. Dave folks are kind of a wild bunch—they prefer their music with a raw edge, full of primitive, howling vocals and … Continue reading Alex Van Halen dishes “a little dirt” on who the original VH vocalist could have been

Van Halen goes mild in Vancouver while Jimmy Page watches from the wings

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 21, 1991 By Steve Newton Twice during Van Halen’s show at B.C. Place last Wednesday (November 13), shaggy-maned vocalist Sammy Hagar apologized for having throat problems and not being able to sing up to par. The second time, he added, “But the band’s hot, and that’s all that … Continue reading Van Halen goes mild in Vancouver while Jimmy Page watches from the wings

Van Halen still brings the dynamite in both hands

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 28, 2004 MUCH HAS BEEN made of the Sam & Dave controversy in regard to American hard-rock legends Van Halen. There are those who scoff at the idea of the band existing without original vocalist David Lee Roth, while others feel that his replacement, Sammy Hagar, has done a bang-up job. … Continue reading Van Halen still brings the dynamite in both hands

After Van Halen’s Vancouver show the jury’s still out on whether Dave or Sammy rule

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 12, 2007 The vast majority of people at last week's (December 5) Van Halen show appeared to be males between the ages of 30 and 50, eager to reconnect with the unbridled guitar-rock noise that erupted straight outta Pasadena when David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen hooked up. I … Continue reading After Van Halen’s Vancouver show the jury’s still out on whether Dave or Sammy rule

Chickenfoot helps Vancouver forget all about Van Halen

photo by rebecca blissett ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 6, 2012 By Steve Newton Chickenfoot vs. Van Halen: now there's a rivalry for ya. There's never been much love lost between those bands' respective singers, Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth. Then there's the fact that Chickenfoot's bassist, Michael Anthony, lost his cherished spot in … Continue reading Chickenfoot helps Vancouver forget all about Van Halen

My first and last interview with guitar hero Ronnie Montrose

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 4, 2012 By Steve Newton It may seem kinda crazy to stay up all night transcribing a phone interview I did with Ronnie Montrose 14 years ago, but the news of his death yesterday hit me pretty hard. He was such a wonderful and underrated player that I feel it's … Continue reading My first and last interview with guitar hero Ronnie Montrose