That time John Sykes told me how he got Tony Franklin and Carmine Appice to commit to Blue Murder

By Steve Newton If you've been reading my blogs for any length of time you must know that Thin Lizzy is one of my all-time favourite bands. I just love anything to do with them. John Sykes had something to do with Thin Lizzy--like playing on their final studio album, and their last live one … Continue reading That time John Sykes told me how he got Tony Franklin and Carmine Appice to commit to Blue Murder

God bless Snowy White’s guitar licks on his live version of Peter Green’s “Slabo Day”

By Steve Newton I first heard Snowy White when he became the coguitarist in one of my favourite all-time bands, Thin Lizzy. He shared the six-string duties with Scott Gorham on the early-'80s albums Chinatown and Renegade, which weren't my fave Lizzy discs. And I'd actually preferred the guitar-work of previous Lizzy pickers Gary Moore, … Continue reading God bless Snowy White’s guitar licks on his live version of Peter Green’s “Slabo Day”

God bless Scott Gorham’s guitar solo on Thin Lizzy’s “Romeo and the Lonely Girl”

By Steve Newton I freakin' love guitar solos, where some talented artist carefully chooses the perfect notes and uses vibrato and tremolo and all that other technical shit to come up with something that'll stick with me for decades and be there whenever I want to retrieve it, replay it in my head, and holler: … Continue reading God bless Scott Gorham’s guitar solo on Thin Lizzy’s “Romeo and the Lonely Girl”

Rock Hall hits rock bottom, inducts Whitney Houston instead of Thin Lizzy

By Steve Newton Just when you think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame might not necessarily be a total waste of space, they go and screw up big-time again. And this time it's a real doozy. Today the Rock Hall announced the inductees for its class of 2020, and guess what? They had a … Continue reading Rock Hall hits rock bottom, inducts Whitney Houston instead of Thin Lizzy

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

Album review: Concrete Blonde, Free (1989)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 9, 1989 By Steve Newton "God Is a Bullet" is one of the best singles of the year so far. A raging tirade against the mindless use and dire consequences of firearms, the tune just guns along, propelled by guitarist James Mankey's freewheeling harmonics and Johnette Napolitano's seething, … Continue reading Album review: Concrete Blonde, Free (1989)

The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

By Steve Newton Remember how you'd set the needle down on the opening track of a new rock album and the first tune would just blow you the funk away? Me too. "(Ain't Nothin' But a) House Party" (Bloodshot, J. Geils Band, 1973) "All the Way From Memphis" (Mott, Mott the Hoople, 1973) "Already Gone" … Continue reading The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

Album review: Gary Moore, Wild Frontier (1987)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 8, 1987 By Steve Newton "What are your favourite bands?" I get asked that a lot, and it's a tough question. For someone who listens to a lot of different records, favourite bands come and go. But for me, probably the most endearing rock group is Thin Lizzy. And it's not just because … Continue reading Album review: Gary Moore, Wild Frontier (1987)

That time Motörhead’s “Fast” Eddie Clarke told me he just wanted to be a member of a really hot band

By Steve Newton The heavy-metal world is still in mourning after yesterday's news that former Motörhead and Fastway guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke has passed away from pneumonia at the age of 67. Clarke was part of the "classic" Motörhead lineup, with also included singer-bassist Lemmy Kilmister and drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor--both of whom died in … Continue reading That time Motörhead’s “Fast” Eddie Clarke told me he just wanted to be a member of a really hot band

Album review: Thin Lizzy, Life (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 13, 1984 By Steve Newton While not as well-produced as their first live LP Live and Dangerous, Thin Lizzy's new double album does hold some interesting surprises for fans of boisterous hard rock. Featuring guest appearances by legendary axemen Gary Moore, Eric Bell, and Brian Robertson, Life is culled from various … Continue reading Album review: Thin Lizzy, Life (1983)

Rock producer Chris Tsangarides, known for his work with Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, and the Tragically Hip, dead at 61

By Steve Newton Sad news to report today. Chris Tsangarides--who produced such albums as Thin Lizzy's Thunder and Lightning, Gary Moore's Back on the Streets, and the Tragically Hip's Fully Completely--died of heart failure today after battling pneumonia. He was only 61. Tsangarides, who specialized in hard rock, had also worked on albums by Black … Continue reading Rock producer Chris Tsangarides, known for his work with Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, and the Tragically Hip, dead at 61

Album review: Thin Lizzy, Thunder and Lightning (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 29, 1983 By Steve Newton One of the biggest disappointments in hard rock this year is the news that Thin Lizzy--after 14 years and many fine, albeit underrated albums--is calling it quits. Ever since 1974's magical Vagabonds of the Western World, Phil Lynott and Co. have been churning … Continue reading Album review: Thin Lizzy, Thunder and Lightning (1983)

Motörhead’s Stone Deaf Forever! box set brings the ear-busting goods

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 18, 2003 By Steve Newton So I was hangin’ out in the vicinity of the Straight music editor’s desk—since that’s usually where the CDs go before being parcelled out to the various scrounging contributors—and along comes the shiny new expanded edition of the David Bowie boxed set, Sound … Continue reading Motörhead’s Stone Deaf Forever! box set brings the ear-busting goods

Album review: Gary Moore, Corridors of Power (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 22, 1983 By Steve Newton Gary Moore is an astounding rock guitarist, capable of wrenching the most scintillating and unique licks imaginable from six strings. His brief stints with Colosseum II and Thin Lizzy showed him to be a versatile and technically superior player, and on Corridors of … Continue reading Album review: Gary Moore, Corridors of Power (1983)

Rock Hall ignores Johnny Winter and Rory Gallagher yet again, proves its head is still lodged firmly up its ass

charles campbell photo By Steve Newton It's been 10 days since the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its nominees for induction in 2018, choosing a whopping 19 bands and artists this time around. They include, in alphabetical order: Bon Jovi, Kate Bush, the Cars, Depeche Mode, Dire Straits, Eurythmics, J. Geils Band, Judas Priest, LL Cool J, MC5, … Continue reading Rock Hall ignores Johnny Winter and Rory Gallagher yet again, proves its head is still lodged firmly up its ass

Album review: Queen, Queen at the BBC (1995)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 23, 1995 By Steve Newton Recorded in February and December of 1973—half before and half after the release of Queen’s self-titled debut album—Queen at the BBC is an intriguing document of the Brit supergroup’s earliest material, which is certainly some of its best. (The band went downhill, … Continue reading Album review: Queen, Queen at the BBC (1995)

Album review: Phantom Blue, Built to Perform (1994)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 28, 1994 By Steve Newton With their snug-fitting cut-offs, tight tops, and knee-high boots, the young women in Phantom Blue could easily be misconstrued as boy-toy metal-Madonnas first and serious rock musicians second, but from the sound of their questionably titled CD, Built to Perform, they have … Continue reading Album review: Phantom Blue, Built to Perform (1994)

Album review: Roger Waters, The Wall Live in Berlin (1990)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 20, 1990 By Steve Newton With such a hodgepodge of guest artists—acts as varied as Sinead O’Connor and the Scorpions, Bryan Adams and James Galway—it seemed quite likely that Roger Waters’s new live recording of The Wall would turn out as a disjointed, hit-and-miss project. But despite the … Continue reading Album review: Roger Waters, The Wall Live in Berlin (1990)

That time Circus Magazine’s editorial department sent me a rejection letter :(

By Steve Newton Thirty-six years ago today somebody at Circus Magazine sent me a rejection letter. They could have at least signed it. Back in the seventies I devoured Circus. It was a total fanzine, but it really covered the bands I was interested in. On any given issue you'd see capitalized band names like MOTT, … Continue reading That time Circus Magazine’s editorial department sent me a rejection letter 🙁

That time Gary Moore told me how he scored Peter Green’s ’59 Les Paul

By Steve Newton Gary Moore has been one of my fave guitarists ever since I heard him with Thin Lizzy back in the seventies. I then closely followed his hard-rock/metal solo career in the '80s, before he got the blues bigtime in 1990. I was fortunate enough to have interviewed the legendary picker once, back in … Continue reading That time Gary Moore told me how he scored Peter Green’s ’59 Les Paul

Rush | Time Stand Still is all about devotion

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 26, 2016 By Steve Newton I was a rock-crazed 17-year-old when the first Rush album came out in 1974, so of course I became an instant fan. And that was even before they latched on to the wildest drummer this side of Keith Moon. Paul Rudd was only four years … Continue reading Rush | Time Stand Still is all about devotion

That time Gord Downie told me about recording Fully Completely with producer Chris Tsangarides

By Steve Newton I did my second interview with Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie in November of '92, shortly after the release of the unforgettable Fully Completely album. It was the only Hip album to be produced by Chris Tsangarides, the same guy who helmed Thin Lizzy's final albums, Renegade and Thunder and Lightning. In this … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me about recording Fully Completely with producer Chris Tsangarides

Kris Schulz plays beautiful tune by Columbia River, beckons Phil Lynott’s thunderous soul

By Steve Newton Vancouver guitar ace Kris Schulz posted a clip on his Facebook page today in which he's playing a beautiful instrumental next to an equally gorgeous river. "Wild Mountain Thyme has always been a favorite of mine to play," says Schulz in the post, "and yesterday's setting alongside the banks of the Columbia river was … Continue reading Kris Schulz plays beautiful tune by Columbia River, beckons Phil Lynott’s thunderous soul

Queen box set out today captures the legendary rockers live in ’75

By Steve Newton Queen freaks who couldn't quite afford the massive Queen Studio Collection that was released a couple of months ago should know that the legendary British rockers are issuing another box set today (December 18), one that is aimed at fans who adored the band in its mid-'70s, long-hair-on-Mercury heyday. A Night at the Odeon captures … Continue reading Queen box set out today captures the legendary rockers live in ’75

Rock Hall finally inducts Deep Purple; could Rory, Link, Johnny, and Maiden be far behind?

By Steve Newton Well, those bozos down at the highly slaggable Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally came to their senses. Twenty-two years after it first became eligible for induction, legendary British hard-rockers Deep Purple finally gained admittance into the Cleveland institution's hallowed halls. I guess the powers-that-be finally broke down and played Machine Head … Continue reading Rock Hall finally inducts Deep Purple; could Rory, Link, Johnny, and Maiden be far behind?

The Darkness guitarist Dan Hawkins loves Jimmy Page’s wrong notes and Joe Perry’s swagger

the Hawkins brothers pull off their best Robertson/Gorham impression By Steve Newton Fans of rowdy, old-school, Les Paul–driven guitar rock have a band worth worshipping in British noisemakers the Darkness. The Marshall-powered six-string team of 40-year-old Justin Hawkins and his two-years-younger brother, Dan, really do tear up the frets, both on-stage and on record—as evidenced … Continue reading The Darkness guitarist Dan Hawkins loves Jimmy Page’s wrong notes and Joe Perry’s swagger

Fastway’s “Fast” Eddie Clarke on his days with Motorhead and not wanting to be a guitar hero

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 8, 1983 By Steve Newton Fastway, the new band put together by former Motorhead guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke and featuring original Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley, opened last Wednesday's Iron Maiden concert at the Pacific Coliseum. I spoke to "Fast" Eddie that afternoon and caught a few glimpses … Continue reading Fastway’s “Fast” Eddie Clarke on his days with Motorhead and not wanting to be a guitar hero