Edgar Winter and Leon Russell knock ’em down and drag ’em out in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1988 By Steve Newton I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I heard that Edgar Winter and Leon Russell were going to share the same stage, but I did know that I should definitely be there. I was aware that Winter was something of a wildman--prone … Continue reading Edgar Winter and Leon Russell knock ’em down and drag ’em out in Vancouver

That time Gord Downie raved to me about Tragically Hip tourmates Change of Heart and the Odds

By Steve Newton One thing I figured out about Gord Downie during the five interviews I did with him between 1989 and 1995 was that he really, really likes musicians. Especially musicians who play in bands. He was always quick to rave about the new groups he'd heard lately, or maybe the ones the Tragically … Continue reading That time Gord Downie raved to me about Tragically Hip tourmates Change of Heart and the Odds

Annie Lennox struts her stuff as Eurythmics prove themselves pop masters in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 1, 1986 By Steve Newton The Eurythmics show on Monday (July 28) opened with a big white zipper slowly parting a silver/grey curtain stretched across the Expo Theatre stage. It closed with singer Annie Lennox shedding her white shirt and traipsing around in a lacy red bra, slying … Continue reading Annie Lennox struts her stuff as Eurythmics prove themselves pop masters in Vancouver

The Go-Go’s bring the sunny sounds of Vacation to Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 27, 1982 By Steve Newton In contrast to the denim and T-shirt crowd [for Blue Oyster Cult] at the Coliseum Sunday, miniskirts and Hawaiian patterns were the popular thing the night before (August 21) when the Go-Go's brought their catchy brand of fun-time music up from the California … Continue reading The Go-Go’s bring the sunny sounds of Vacation to Vancouver

Billy Gibbons gets ornery in Vancouver on ZZ Top’s Afterburner Tour

mila geran photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 20, 1985 By Steve Newton Shortly before his death, somebody asked Jimi Hendrix if he knew of any up-and-coming guitarists to watch out for. One of the players Hendrix mentioned was Billy Gibbons. Sixteen years later, Gibbons is living up to Jimi's expectations. At the … Continue reading Billy Gibbons gets ornery in Vancouver on ZZ Top’s Afterburner Tour

The Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl rides the rock throne to glory at a hellraising show in Vancouver

all crappy iPhone photos by the Newt By Steve Newton Nobody really expects a millionaire rock star to, after breaking his leg falling off a stage, design a special chair--or "rock throne", if  you will--that allows him to get around like royalty on stage. Is it a burning need to rock out that compels a fellow … Continue reading The Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl rides the rock throne to glory at a hellraising show in Vancouver

The Blue Aeroplanes find confidence with Swagger, Michael Stipe forces Morrissey to watch

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 28, 1990 By Steve Newton If you scan the liner notes to the Blue Aeroplanes’ new album Swagger, the guitar/bass/drum credits look pretty normal for a pop group from Bristol, England. Then you spot an unusual name at the bottom of the band line-up—Wojtek Dmochowski. And you see … Continue reading The Blue Aeroplanes find confidence with Swagger, Michael Stipe forces Morrissey to watch

The Alvin brothers blast the roof off in Vancouver at a roots-rock hoedown for the ages

all crappy iPhone photos by the newt By Steve Newton "I was teaching math when I first heard the Sex Pistols,"  Phil Alvin told me back in 1983, "and then I said, 'Allright, good. I can play again.' So I quit teaching." Thank god Alvin caught wind of Johnny Rotten and his band of miscreants, … Continue reading The Alvin brothers blast the roof off in Vancouver at a roots-rock hoedown for the ages

Dave Alvin’s “dead” brother Phil returns for another rootsy splash in the river of life

By Steve Newton Three years ago, American roots-rock great Dave Alvin had the fright of his life. His older brother Phil—with whom he’d shared many a van, hotel room, and stage over the years in the Blasters—damn near passed away while on tour in Spain. In fact, he was technically toast. “He couldn’t breathe on-stage,” … Continue reading Dave Alvin’s “dead” brother Phil returns for another rootsy splash in the river of life

American roots-rock great Dave Alvin fights ageism in the media

By Steve Newton American roots-rock greats Dave and Phil Alvin are booked to play the Electric Owl on June 30, so a couple of days ago I called Dave up at his home in L.A. to get the scoop on what he's been up to lately and help promote the show a bit. During the course … Continue reading American roots-rock great Dave Alvin fights ageism in the media

UZEB may be “the Van Halen of jazz”, but they sure don’t get paid the same

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 7, 1985 By Steve Newton Last year's Vancouver appearance by Quebec jazz/fusion quartet UZEB was one of my picks for the Top Ten concerts of 1984--right up there with Scorpions and R.E.M. Now the group is returning to the Commodore Ballroom for two nights, next Friday and Saturday … Continue reading UZEB may be “the Van Halen of jazz”, but they sure don’t get paid the same

Robert Plant kicks off his 1985 World Tour with a ’50s-style sock hop in Vancouver

bev davies photo By Steve Newton On June 10, 1985, Robert Plant played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. That was four days after NRBQ played the Town Pump, and for some reason I gave their club show slightly more coverage in my Night Shift column than Plant's arena show. I guess NRBQ was just better! Anyway, here's my … Continue reading Robert Plant kicks off his 1985 World Tour with a ’50s-style sock hop in Vancouver

Motley Crue plays Vancouver at the height of its popularity on the Dr. Feelgood tour

By Steve Newton A quarter-century ago today—on June 9, 1990—Motley Crue played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. That was the exact same night Janet Jackson played B.C. Place Stadium. I chose the lesser of two evils—or so I thought at the time. Back then the Crue was at the very peak of its success, touring … Continue reading Motley Crue plays Vancouver at the height of its popularity on the Dr. Feelgood tour

Whitesnake brings the power of Deep Purple to Vancouver

kevin statham photo By Steve Newton I never got to see David Coverdale sing “Burn” with Deep Purple–I wasn’t old enough to travel down to the Ontario Motor Speedway to see them coheadline California Jam with Emerson, Lake & Palmer back in ’74–so it was pretty cool to see him do it with Whitesnake at … Continue reading Whitesnake brings the power of Deep Purple to Vancouver

Jesse Cook collects three “amazing” takes from Tommy Emmanuel’s creativity tap for “Tommy and Me”

By Steve Newton Last week I scored a copy of the new CD from Canadian nuevo-flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook, One World, and before even cracking it open I got a nice surprise. The track listing on the back cover revealed the inclusion of one featuring Tommy Emmanuel, the Australian fingerstyle guitarist who just four days earlier … Continue reading Jesse Cook collects three “amazing” takes from Tommy Emmanuel’s creativity tap for “Tommy and Me”

Fist takes Thunder in Rock (and keyboards!) on tour with Motorhead and Krokus

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 4, 1982 By Steve Newton Fist, a band made of up four Ottawa natives, is the Canadian entry in the international heavy metal 'package' tour that played Kerrisdale Arena last Friday (May 28) and is now in its third week of a gruelling road trip schedule. Along with … Continue reading Fist takes Thunder in Rock (and keyboards!) on tour with Motorhead and Krokus

Iron Maiden’s Clive Burr on Martin Birch, Ruddles, and The Number of the Beast

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 9, 1982 By Steve Newton Iron Maiden is quickly becoming one of Britain's most popular metal bands. Last year the band sold well over a million albums with their second release, Killers, cracking the top ten in the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and Belgium. Their latest album, … Continue reading Iron Maiden’s Clive Burr on Martin Birch, Ruddles, and The Number of the Beast

Alice Cooper’s youthful band breathes fire into the shock-rock’s king’s classics in Vancouver

photo by Kevin Statham ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 26, 1990 By Steve Newton If Alice Cooper's concert at the Coliseum last Thursday (January 18) were a horror movie--and in a way it nearly was--it might have been called the The Return of Alice, Part 10: The New Blood. On his latest tour, … Continue reading Alice Cooper’s youthful band breathes fire into the shock-rock’s king’s classics in Vancouver

Def Leppard’s Rick Savage on new guitarist Phil Collen, producer Mutt Lange, and the stunning success of Pyromania

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 18, 1983 By Steve Newton While it is true that Def Leppard's lyrical messages most often deal with the time-worn teenage pastimes of partying and getting it on, it's not so much what they're saying as how they're saying it--with all the conviction and drive young hands can … Continue reading Def Leppard’s Rick Savage on new guitarist Phil Collen, producer Mutt Lange, and the stunning success of Pyromania

Scorpions inflict deadliest sting yet as guitarist Matthias Jabs helps cause a Blackout

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 16, 1982 By Steve Newton It's a hard road, and often a long one, that leads to success in the world of heavy metal. With the exception of a few bands that luck out on their debut recordings because radio is good to them, most hard rockers fight … Continue reading Scorpions inflict deadliest sting yet as guitarist Matthias Jabs helps cause a Blackout

Anders Osborne says that, when it comes to songwriting, “there’s not much to it”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 27, 2003 By Steve Newton Anders Osborne is not the type of singer-songwriter who’s easily categorized. The Sweden-raised, Louisiana-based bard is described in the liner notes for his 1999 Living Room CD as “a guitar wizard whose multifaceted grooves and soulful vocals evolve the link between second-line funk, … Continue reading Anders Osborne says that, when it comes to songwriting, “there’s not much to it”

B-movies and true tragedies inspire Canadian guitar wizard Don Ross

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 13, 2003 By Steve Newton Acoustic-guitar wizard Don Ross isn’t much of a Lennon/McCartney kinda guy. As a Beatles-crazed youngster growing up in Ontario, Ross originally wanted to be Ringo Starr—if only because he always drummed on things. But when his sister brought home a guitar from boarding … Continue reading B-movies and true tragedies inspire Canadian guitar wizard Don Ross

B’z guitarist Tak Matsumoto speaks little English, lets his signature Les Paul to the talkin’

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 16, 2003 By Steve Newton Up until a few weeks ago, my knowledge of popular music in Japan was pretty slim. About all I knew for sure was that Cheap Trick used to cause a big stir over there in the ’70s when they played a place called … Continue reading B’z guitarist Tak Matsumoto speaks little English, lets his signature Les Paul to the talkin’

Sloan goes to town, ’70s guitar-rock style, on Action Pact

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 16, 2003 By Steve Newton When Sloan headed into an L.A. studio with producer Tom Rothrock earlier this year, diehard fans of the Halifax-bred power-pop quartet might have had cause for concern. The last two projects Rothrock had helmed at that point were Badly Drawn Boy’s Have You … Continue reading Sloan goes to town, ’70s guitar-rock style, on Action Pact

Steve Vai on cocky G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen and tormented “genius” Devin Townsend

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 9, 2003 By Steve Newton I was a tad taken aback when the press release came in announcing the lineup for Joe Satriani’s 2003 G3 Tour. It wasn’t a surprise to see long-time G3er (and former Satch student) Steve Vai’s name on the bill. But I didn’t expect … Continue reading Steve Vai on cocky G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen and tormented “genius” Devin Townsend

Fleetwood Mac brings one helluva drum sound to Vancouver

By Steve Newton Fleetwood Mac must really love Vancouver. The Anglo-American pop greats played Rogers Arena less than five months ago, on November 18, before returning for last night's gig at the same venue. Apparently the feeling is mutual, because hordes of Vancouverites were willing to drop $199 (plus service charges and fees) for the … Continue reading Fleetwood Mac brings one helluva drum sound to Vancouver