Album review: Velvet Revolver, Contraband (2004)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 24, 2004 By Steve Newton Every time I see that oft-shown video from last year's Guns N' Roses riot of a Vancouver cop smashing an innocent guy's teeth out, I can't believe it. It's not that I can't picture our boys in blue pulling those types of stunts … Continue reading Album review: Velvet Revolver, Contraband (2004)

Newt’s Top 10 Albums of 2018

By Steve Newton This year I picked some instrumental rock, some hard rock, some southern rock, and some Beatles, but the underlying thread running through most of this stuff is the blues. You just can't beat the blues. Joe Satriani What Happens Next Bay Area guitar wizard hooks up once again with Langley producer Mike Fraser … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 Albums of 2018

Roadie-biker Bean recalls the bottle-in-the-nuts craziness of an early “Guns N’ Fucking Roses” gig

By Steve Newton Last week I posted a blog about the Iron Maiden/Guns N' Roses gig I went to in Vancouver 30 years ago, on May 30, 1988. That was fun to write, but the best thing about it is that it inspired a friend of a friend, Andy Bean David, to contact me with … Continue reading Roadie-biker Bean recalls the bottle-in-the-nuts craziness of an early “Guns N’ Fucking Roses” gig

Backstage with Slash and Bruce Dickinson as Guns N’ Roses open for Iron Maiden in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1988 By Steve Newton The politics of rockin' can be tough on new bands just getting used to the tour circuit. Take for example Guns N' Roses, who are on the road in support of their first album, and opening for Iron Maiden, who've toured the world … Continue reading Backstage with Slash and Bruce Dickinson as Guns N’ Roses open for Iron Maiden in Vancouver

Todd Kerns promises the most classic of Canadian classic-rock at Toque’s Juno Fest shindig

By Steve Newton Whenever Todd Kerns hits Vancouver--whether it's playing bass with Slash or fronting the Age of Electric--I try to get out and cheer him on. Dude's hugely talented and nice as hell. I stand by my claim that he's "the most rockin' Canadian bass player of the 21st century." Kerns won't be handling … Continue reading Todd Kerns promises the most classic of Canadian classic-rock at Toque’s Juno Fest shindig

Album review: Yardbirds, Birdland (2003)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 8, 2003 By Steve Newton You might think, since the current version of the Yardbirds includes only two founding members of the pioneering ’60s Brit-rock act—rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja and drummer Jim McCarty—that the latest installment is just trying to cash in on the group’s famous name. One … Continue reading Album review: Yardbirds, Birdland (2003)

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: Slash’s Snakepit, It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (1995)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 16, 1995 By Steve Newton Those Guns N’ Roses guys sure know how to have their cake and gobble it too. When nothing’s happening with big old moneymaker GN’R they just get a few rockin’ pals together, head into the studio with a few dozen crates of … Continue reading Album review: Slash’s Snakepit, It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (1995)

Album review: Alice Cooper, Hey Stoopid (1991)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 28, 1991 By Steve Newton “Hey, hey, hey, hey...hey stoopid!” Why do I keep singing that line to myself when people are within hearing distance? Shouldn’t a 30-something guy like myself have grown out of such juvenile practices? No friggin’ way. Alice Cooper is still my hero, even … Continue reading Album review: Alice Cooper, Hey Stoopid (1991)

Album review: Guns N’ Roses, Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II (1991)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 19, 1991 By Steve Newton It’s hard to believe that just three years ago Guns N’ Roses couldn’t get a rise out of a Vancouver crowd. The band opened for Iron Maiden at the Coliseum on May 30, 1988, and was so ticked off at the lame reaction … Continue reading Album review: Guns N’ Roses, Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II (1991)

The Age of Electric kicks off Canadian tour with killer Vancouver gig

jeff sutherland photos By Steve Newton Everybody's favourite Canadian guitar-rock band from the '90s--well, mine anyway--kicked off its 15-date Canadian tour with a show at the Commodore last night. Last April all four original members of the Age of Electric--singer-guitarists Todd Kerns and Ryan Dahle, bassist John Kerns, and drummer-vocalist Kurt Dahle--reunited for their first … Continue reading The Age of Electric kicks off Canadian tour with killer Vancouver gig

The Age of Electric reunites in a blaze of guitar-rock glory and brotherly love

adrian o'brien photo By Steve Newton Let's face it: straight-up, melodic, guitar-driven rock 'n' roll has been taking a shit-kicking of late. In the age of evil EDM and the dreaded DJ it's hard to find a guitar-bass-drums combo that'll knock you out with a show that's electrifying from beginning to end. It happened at the … Continue reading The Age of Electric reunites in a blaze of guitar-rock glory and brotherly love

Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan needn’t fear a Tonya Harding from Slash bassist Todd Kerns

By Steve Newton I was interviewing Todd Kerns a couple weeks ago in advance of the Age of Electric show at the Commodore tonight (April 30), and had an evil thought. Since Kerns is well known as the bassist for Slash, just how far would he go to steal the coveted bass gig in Guns N' Roses … Continue reading Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan needn’t fear a Tonya Harding from Slash bassist Todd Kerns

Todd Kerns feels like the Age of Electric are on a mission from god

By Steve Newton Some rock bands from decades past really push it when it comes to authenticity. Often you’ll see a group that’s touring under its old moniker with only one or two original members. Or maybe there’ll just be one—who also happens to be the drummer. (I’m talkin’ to you, Foghat!) It’s a rarity … Continue reading Todd Kerns feels like the Age of Electric are on a mission from god

Outraged guitar freak defends Yngwie Malmsteen and rips the s*** out of my Generation Axe review

By Steve Newton Some guy named Fretfire did not totally agree with my review of the Generation Axe show in Vancouver the other night. Here’s his comment: Pathetic, Steve. I thought you were cooler than this, especially since you recently posted the interview: “Uli Jon Roth calls Yngwie Malmsteen “one of the alltime greats”, but says he’s … Continue reading Outraged guitar freak defends Yngwie Malmsteen and rips the s*** out of my Generation Axe review

Newt’s hopes of a second shot at Slash’s JD stash fade with Guns N’ Roses tour news

By Steve Newton "Rock and roll's a loser's game," Ian Hunter once sang, and today I get what he was talkin' about in that line from "The Ballad of Mott the Hoople". A few hours ago Guns N' Roses announced 21 cities on its forthcoming summer tour, but my town--Vancouver--wasn't on the list. So I … Continue reading Newt’s hopes of a second shot at Slash’s JD stash fade with Guns N’ Roses tour news

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2014

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 10, 2014 By Steve Newton One of the biggest music stories of 2014 concerned the trials and tribulations of AC/DC, which had one original member retire due to dementia and another facing criminal charges. The return of Pink Floyd after two decades also made a few headlines—or garnered a ton … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2014

Guitar heroes help the Yardbirds fly again with Birdland

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 3, 2003 By Steve Newton When the Yardbirds were recording their new Birdland CD for the guitar-oriented Favored Nations label, they made sure to feature company prez Steve Vai on the remake of their 1966 hit, “Shapes of Things”. The quintet also encouraged such six-string stalwarts as Jeff … Continue reading Guitar heroes help the Yardbirds fly again with Birdland