That time Tommy Aldridge told me that he “wasn’t a fan” of Brian Downey’s drum parts with Thin Lizzy

By Steve Newton As far as seeing concerts goes, I've been very lucky to have been situated in Vancouver since the early '80s. It's a major stopping point for bands touring North America--just a quick scoot across the border from Seattle--and being a music writer meant most of the shows were free. Only a few … Continue reading That time Tommy Aldridge told me that he “wasn’t a fan” of Brian Downey’s drum parts with Thin Lizzy

That time 18-year-old Derek Trucks told me that Jimi Hendrix was beyond comparison to anybody

By Steve Newton The vast majority of stories posted on Ear of Newt are taken from my 38 years (and counting!) as a freelance writer for the Georgia Straight newspaper in Vancouver, but every now and again I've landed articles in other publications. Back in 1998 an interview I did with 18-year-old slide-guitar wunderkind Derek Trucks … Continue reading That time 18-year-old Derek Trucks told me that Jimi Hendrix was beyond comparison to anybody

Ventures guitarist Don Wilson on the origin and influence of “Walk, Don’t Run”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 13, 1997 By Steve Newton When Ventures cofounder Bob Bogle walked onto a Seattle used-car lot one afternoon in 1959, he wasn’t expecting to form the nucleus of what would become the world’s top-selling instrumental-rock band—he was just looking for some new wheels. Fortunately, he ran into aspiring … Continue reading Ventures guitarist Don Wilson on the origin and influence of “Walk, Don’t Run”

Pete Droge’s Pearl Jam connection led him to Find a Door

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 12, 1996 When you think Seattle rock, you picture plaid shirts, baggy shorts, vein-bulging vocals, and propulsive guitar noise comin’ at you in heavily amplified blasts. You don’t necessarily envision a guy like Pete Droge, whose rootsy, laid-back style has more in common with Tom Petty’s breezy, melodic … Continue reading Pete Droge’s Pearl Jam connection led him to Find a Door

Beatles freak Jon Auer says the Posies want to emulate the Fab Four

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 25, 1996 It’s just after 11 p.m. when Jon Auer from the Posies rings up, but he’s still just scraping the sleep dust from his eyes, and the familiar clink of ice cubes is evidence that potent liquid refreshment is speeding the transition to wakefulness. It’s actually late … Continue reading Beatles freak Jon Auer says the Posies want to emulate the Fab Four

Hammerbox rides the second wave of the Seattle rock explosion with Numb

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 15, 1993 By Steve Newton The moment I got my hands on the the new Hammerbox release, Numb, I became an instant fan. Later on, I would actually play the music—a brash blend of ’90s alternative guitar-rock and frenzied ’70s punk—and become even more of a devotee, but … Continue reading Hammerbox rides the second wave of the Seattle rock explosion with Numb

Seattle’s Sister Psychic goes against the grain of grunge

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 31, 1992 By Steve Newton From the heady, hook-filled pop-grunge soaring off Sister Psychic’s debut CD, Fuel, you’d think the members of the Seattle power trio had been together for years, honing their skills with their chosen instruments until the time was right to unleash that sound on … Continue reading Seattle’s Sister Psychic goes against the grain of grunge

Stone Gossard says Pearl Jam’s hard work is all paying off

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 19, 1991 By Steve Newton When a rock writer does a lot of “phoners”—media slang for telephone interviews—with bands that are coming to town, once in a while wires get crossed. This scribbler was planning to speak to Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder last week, but guitarist Stone … Continue reading Stone Gossard says Pearl Jam’s hard work is all paying off

Seattle’s Tad brings plodding wall-of-sound grunge stylings to Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 14, 1991 By Steve Newton Maybe you’ve noticed the Tad posters plastered along the Granville Mall and other choice free-advertising locations the last week or two. Those eye-catching items feature a photo of a huge mountain-man biker type, brandishing a chain-saw that’s so big it doesn’t even fit … Continue reading Seattle’s Tad brings plodding wall-of-sound grunge stylings to Vancouver

The Screaming Trees help ignite Seattle’s “explosion of vinyl” with major-label debut

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 7, 1991 By Steve Newton Getting signed to a major label is usually the first big goal of a rock band—that’s what all the monetary investment and tireless rehearsals are for. And some bands luck out, snagging a record contract in no time and going on their merry … Continue reading The Screaming Trees help ignite Seattle’s “explosion of vinyl” with major-label debut

Taking a booze schmooze to Seattle to see the Scorps on the Love at First Sting Tour

By Steve Newton Wow. What a difference three decades makes. Thirty years ago today--on March 21, 1984--I was taking advantage of what we used to call a "schmooze", in the parlance of the times. Record albums were selling like hotcakes back then, and in its quest to move more mountains of vinyl the local branch … Continue reading Taking a booze schmooze to Seattle to see the Scorps on the Love at First Sting Tour

Horror review: House of the Dead

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 16, 2003 One night a few years back, I was hanging with a few friends on Granville Mall, killing time before a concert, when we decided to saunter into a nearby arcade. After blowing a few bucks on the extreme road-race games, I found myself drawn to the … Continue reading Horror review: House of the Dead

Chris Cornell accepts that he’s part of rock’s status quo

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 5, 2008 By Steve Newton It's been 17 years since the grunge revolution blasted full-throttle out of Seattle, but Chris Cornell remembers it well. As the front man for Soundgarden, Cornell was a chief architect of the genre, which formed as a backlash to the stagnating commercial rock of the … Continue reading Chris Cornell accepts that he’s part of rock’s status quo