Blue Oyster Cult’s “Reaper” writer says death is on everybody’s mind

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 10, 2000 By Steve Newton Ever wonder why classic-rock stations often play the hell out of a ’70s band’s old hits, but won’t even touch its current material, no matter how strong it is? I have. I’m especially curious about why local FM station CFMI Rock 101 totally … Continue reading Blue Oyster Cult’s “Reaper” writer says death is on everybody’s mind

Robert Cray’s Rykodisc debut is a paean to sixties soul

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 8, 1999 By Steve Newton Robert Cray isn’t known for covering other people’s material, but on his latest CD, Take Your Shoes Off, he was happy to take on Willie Dixon’s “Tollin’ Bells”, as well as the 1964 Solomon Burke chestnut “Won’t You Give Him (One More Chance)”. … Continue reading Robert Cray’s Rykodisc debut is a paean to sixties soul

Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister says his secret to staying alive is not dyin’

photo by Bev Davies ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 6, 1999 By Steve Newton I’ve seen some funny things at rock concerts over the years, but one of the funniest goes way back to 1981, when the original Motörhead opened for Ozzy Osbourne at the acoustically absurd Kerrisdale Arena. Lemmy Kilmister and the … Continue reading Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister says his secret to staying alive is not dyin’

Talking Ry Cooder, Ronnie Montrose, and the Allmans with Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 12, 1998 By Steve Newton Bluesman Luther Allison, folk-pop troubadour Jeff Buckley, fingerstyle-guitar innovator Michael Hedges, and jazz drummer Tony Williams might seem unlikely heroes for a southern-rock band, but they’re who Gov’t Mule’s new CD, Dose, is dedicated to. Between the time the band started recording Dose … Continue reading Talking Ry Cooder, Ronnie Montrose, and the Allmans with Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes

Gordie Johnson draws inspiration from Eddie Kramer and kudos from Bruce Fairbairn for Big Sugar’s Heated

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 12, 1998 By Steve Newton During a recent interview with famed local rock producer Bruce Fairbairn, I asked him if he’d heard any current albums that had blown him away, production-wise. It only took him a couple of seconds to come up with Heated, the latest CD from … Continue reading Gordie Johnson draws inspiration from Eddie Kramer and kudos from Bruce Fairbairn for Big Sugar’s Heated

Dave Mustaine calls out today’s trendy jackasses on Megadeth’s Cryptic Writings

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 26, 1998 By Steve Newton When the conference-call operator connects me with Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, I’m expecting to be hooked up with the guy in America’s centre of loud music, Los Angeles. But it turns out the snarling metal man has settled down with his family—which includes … Continue reading Dave Mustaine calls out today’s trendy jackasses on Megadeth’s Cryptic Writings

Steve Earle says his midlife crisis took place when he was about 24

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 5, 1998 By Steve Newton It’s pretty common for a recording artist to tout his latest work as his best ever. I’ve yet to hear one say, “Well, this new record’s okay, but it’s nothing like the one I did five years ago.” Sometimes you can tell whether … Continue reading Steve Earle says his midlife crisis took place when he was about 24

Molson Canadian screws the Newt over with a Blind Date from hell

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 4, 1997 I was really expecting something special from the latest entry in Molson Breweries’ series of exclusive promotional concerts, in which contest winners get to see a big-name rock band play a club, unaware of which group they’ll see until the show starts. Vancouver’s first Blind Date, … Continue reading Molson Canadian screws the Newt over with a Blind Date from hell

Matthew Sweet still searching for that elusive SNL appearance

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 17, 1997 By Steve Newton When Matthew Sweet calls in the afternoon from a Manhattan hotel room, he’s just hours away from taping an appearance on Late Show with David Letterman. That night, through the wonder of TV, Sweet’s new single, “Where You Get Love”, will be transmitted … Continue reading Matthew Sweet still searching for that elusive SNL appearance

Wallflowers guitarist more influenced by Ace Frehley than Jakob Dylan’s dad

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 20, 1997 Most guitarists for hire would jump at the opportunity to join a band featuring Bob Dylan’s son as singer-songwriter; name recognition alone would give that group an instant edge in the competitive rock ’n’ roll game. When Jakob Dylan was on the lookout for a new … Continue reading Wallflowers guitarist more influenced by Ace Frehley than Jakob Dylan’s dad

That time the Screaming Trees played Vancouver with Josh Homme on rhythm guitar

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 20, 1997 Last Sunday night (March 16) I had three pretty good reasons for not wanting to drag my butt off a comfy couch and head downtown in the rain to review a rock show at the Rage. First off, I was tuckered out after the previous night’s … Continue reading That time the Screaming Trees played Vancouver with Josh Homme on rhythm guitar

Foghat cymbal crashes require no caffeine buzz on Odds’ new Nest

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 13, 1997 By Steve Newton What better place to interview Odds singer-guitarist Craig Northey than at the Roxy Cabaret on Granville? Not only do they have beer there, but it’s also the old haunt of Dawn Patrol, the Odds’ alter ego house band, which played there from 1988 … Continue reading Foghat cymbal crashes require no caffeine buzz on Odds’ new Nest

Steve Earle on jail, addiction, execution, and other lighthearted topics

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 8, 1996 By Steve Newton So I’m sitting there by my phone, sipping a coldie and patiently waiting for Steve Earle to call. His manager has set up the “phoner” himself and guaranteed me that Earle will call from Dallas after his Lollapalooza gig. I’m raring to find … Continue reading Steve Earle on jail, addiction, execution, and other lighthearted topics