That time Zakk Wylde told me what he really thought of Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, and Tony Iommi

By Steve Newton Whether you think Ozzy Osbourne is a genius or not, ya gotta admit that he's a mastermind when it comes to finding killer guitarists. Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, Zakk Wylde--those are some pretty smokin' pickers. When I interviewed 27-year-old Wylde back in 1994 I asked him what he thought … Continue reading That time Zakk Wylde told me what he really thought of Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, and Tony Iommi

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: Black Sabbath, Past Lives (2002)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 10, 2002 By Steve Newton I like collecting guitar picks. Whenever I’m near the stage and some six-string legend tosses out one of those wee plastic nubs, I’ll do what it takes to nab it. My most highly prized catch is a plain orange Ronnie Montrose pick … Continue reading Album review: Black Sabbath, Past Lives (2002)

That time Tony Iommi told me about the guys from Black Sabbath blowing up singer Ian Gillan’s boat

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1984 I called Tony Iommi up for a chat at his home in Birmingham, England. I was pretty psyched, since Sabbath albums like Paranoid, Volume 4, and Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath had meant a lot to me as a metal-loving teenager in the '70s, growing up in the wilds of … Continue reading That time Tony Iommi told me about the guys from Black Sabbath blowing up singer Ian Gillan’s boat

Black Sabbath gets all Paranoid at final Vancouver gig

By Steve Newton Every Black Sabbath freak has his fave Sabbath album. I for one have long trumpeted the supreme awesomeness of 1975's Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath. Others point to the band's spooky self-titled debut of 1970 as its pinnacle achievement. But most of the Sabbath fans I've encountered tend to regard Paranoid--also released in 1970--as the heavy-metal … Continue reading Black Sabbath gets all Paranoid at final Vancouver gig

Black Sabbath may yet tour with its original lineup, hints Ozzy Osbourne

For all those diehard Black Sabbath fans who saw the band in concert last year and went, "Man, that was wicked, but how cool would it have been with Bill Ward!", there is still hope. According to Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, the British metal legends intend to record one final album and embark on one final tour. … Continue reading Black Sabbath may yet tour with its original lineup, hints Ozzy Osbourne

Pride & Glory’s Zakk Wylde says he’ll always be Ozzy’s guitar player

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 20, 1994 By Steve Newton Rock guitarists have a few things to worry about during a live performance—such as blowing an amp, breaking a string, or dropping a pick during a crucial guitar freak-out. Personal injury isn’t usually one of the main onstage concerns for today’s rock artists, … Continue reading Pride & Glory’s Zakk Wylde says he’ll always be Ozzy’s guitar player

Consider yourself warned about Sabbath’s Black Box

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 9, 2004 By Steve Newton Now here's the ultimate stocking stuffer for that die-hard metal freak on your Christmas list. It's gonna cost you a fair chunk of cash--I just saw the Black Box going for $124 at A&B Sound--but little Timmy will be gaining invaluable insights into the roots of heavy … Continue reading Consider yourself warned about Sabbath’s Black Box

Black Sabbath’s new box set isn’t quite as wicked as its Black Box

By Steve Newton The hard-rock/metal world is all a-buzz with today's news that the mighty Black Sabbath will release a CD boxed set containing the band's first eight albums—the ones it recorded before Ozzy Osbourne got the boot and was replaced by Ronnie James Dio in 1979. That's all well and good. The more masterful Tony Iommi riffs … Continue reading Black Sabbath’s new box set isn’t quite as wicked as its Black Box

Black Sabbath cancels Born Again show in Vancouver, Tony Iommi says “If I go deaf I go deaf”

By Steve Newton On January 19, 1984, Black Sabbath was scheduled to play the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. The British metal legends were touring behind their new album Born Again, their first and last one to feature Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan. Also in the lineup–though not on the album–was former Electric Light Orchestra drummer Bev Bevan. The show … Continue reading Black Sabbath cancels Born Again show in Vancouver, Tony Iommi says “If I go deaf I go deaf”

Black Sabbath’s Vancouver show ruled by monster riffs

photo by rebecca blissett ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 23, 2013 By Steve Newton Talk about a study in contrasts. Strolling past Science World on the way to see Black Sabbath last night, we happened upon quite an unusual sight. Hundreds of well-to-do-looking folk dressed all in white were converging on an area beside the … Continue reading Black Sabbath’s Vancouver show ruled by monster riffs

The Sabbath Time Machine

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 18, 2013 By Steve Newton Black Sabbath (without Bill Ward) isn't giving any interviews in advance of its show at Rogers Arena this Thursday (Aug. 22), but that's okay with me. It just gives me an excuse to crawl back into my '70s time machine and reminisce, home movie-style, about what … Continue reading The Sabbath Time Machine

Tony Iommi on Heaven and Hell and how Frank Zappa always loved his “Supernaut” riff

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 7, 2007 By Steve Newton It's somewhat ironic that Black Sabbath's 1978 album was titled Never Say Die, because that disc actually signalled the end of the group's original lineup. After eight albums with Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, the metal pioneers gave him the boot, replacing him with Ronnie James … Continue reading Tony Iommi on Heaven and Hell and how Frank Zappa always loved his “Supernaut” riff