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

Yes guitarist Steve Howe says that the respect he has for classical musicians is above all others

By Steve Newton Interviewing amazing guitar players is one of my favourite things to do, and Yes guitarist Steve Howe has always been one of the best in my books. I've chatted with him three times, in 1998, 2001, and then just three months ago, before the latest version of Yes played Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth … Continue reading Yes guitarist Steve Howe says that the respect he has for classical musicians is above all others

Yes guitarist Steve Howe complains that he was never listed as a Telecaster player

By Steve Newton I've been fortunate enough to have interviewed legendary guitarist Steve Howe three times, in 1998, 2001, and just two weeks ago, in advance of a Yes show at the Queen E. Theatre in Vancouver. When I first interviewed Howe he was still touring with original Yes vocalist Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire. Today's Yes … Continue reading Yes guitarist Steve Howe complains that he was never listed as a Telecaster player

Yes guitarist Steve Howe on paying tribute to bass god Chris Squire at the Rock Hall

kevin kane photo By Steve Newton I called Steve Howe up at a Yes tour stop in San Diego in 2017 and had a nice chat with the British guitar wizard, who I've adored ever since first hearing him go to town on "Roundabout" back in the seventies. During our conversation I asked Steve about … Continue reading Yes guitarist Steve Howe on paying tribute to bass god Chris Squire at the Rock Hall

Opeth founder Mikael Åkerfeldt loves ’70s rock, says he was born in the wrong decade

randall vasquez photo By Steve Newton One run-through of its new album, Sorceress, is evidence enough that Swedish quintet Opeth was heavily influenced by ’70s prog rock. The disc was also recorded at the famed Rockfield Studios in Wales, where bands like Rush, Budgie, Hawkwind, and Queen laid down prog-heavy tracks back in the day. As … Continue reading Opeth founder Mikael Åkerfeldt loves ’70s rock, says he was born in the wrong decade

The Newt Commute #3: BTO’s “Second Hand” might be their best song ever

By Steve Newton It's been a while since I've posted a "Newt Commute" blog--the last time was back in November when I fell under the bluesy spell of Muddy Waters while making the heinous trek in to Vancouver from that other side of the Alex Fraser Bridge. But today I treated the Toyota's CD player to … Continue reading The Newt Commute #3: BTO’s “Second Hand” might be their best song ever

King Crimson freak suggests watching the band like it’s an orchestra

By Steve Newton I was a huge fan of prog-rock in the seventies, but for some reason I did not follow King Crimson much. About all I remember about them was the heavy riffs of "21st Century Schizoid Man". Guess I was too busy getting my prog-rock jollies from Yes, Tull, Floyd, Wishbone, and Genesis. … Continue reading King Crimson freak suggests watching the band like it’s an orchestra

Bass-guitar legend Chris Squire of Yes dead at 67

By Steve Newton Sad news for music fans today. Chris Squire, bassist for British prog-rock legends Yes, passed away in Phoenix, Arizona, last night. He had been suffering from a rare form of leukemia. He was 67. Squire had formed Yes with singer Jon Anderson in 1968, and it didn't take long for the band … Continue reading Bass-guitar legend Chris Squire of Yes dead at 67

Steve Stevens’ sparkly Les Pauls rule at Billy Idol’s Vancouver show

all awesome iPhone photos by the Newt By Steve Newton You've got to give Billy Idol credit. For a guy whose career peaked roughly three decades ago, he's hanging in there incredibly well. There's little flab on the 59-year-old's tanned bod, and his vocal cords are in fine shape too. Judging by his recent album, Kings … Continue reading Steve Stevens’ sparkly Les Pauls rule at Billy Idol’s Vancouver show

Yes guitarist Steve Howe says Chet Atkins was–and is–his number one

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 26, 2001 By Steve Newton When Yes guitarist Steve Howe calls the Straight office from Reno, Nevada, it’s not to brag about how well he’s been doing at the blackjack tables. Although he and his bandmates—vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, and drummer Alan White—have been holed up … Continue reading Yes guitarist Steve Howe says Chet Atkins was–and is–his number one

An inspired Yes makes up for a flaccid Alan Parsons Project in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 23, 1998 By Steve Newton There are some bands I used to like in the ’70s that make me embarrassed by that fact in the ’90s. Back in high school, I figured Uriah Heep was the cat’s ass, but now, it’s like, “What was I thinking!” And I … Continue reading An inspired Yes makes up for a flaccid Alan Parsons Project in Vancouver

Steve Howe says sheer determination keeps the core of Yes intact

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 6, 1998 By Steve Newton Guitar legend Steve Howe first hooked up with Yes vocalist Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire back in 1971, just in time to help steer the British prog-rock outfit to glory with best-selling albums such as Fragile and Close to the Edge. While … Continue reading Steve Howe says sheer determination keeps the core of Yes intact

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

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1971

All in all, 1971 wasn't one of the greatest years for rock in the seventies. But it was a pretty great one for Alice Cooper, Rory Gallagher, and Yes, who each had two albums on my Top 30. As before, I’ve listed the LPs alphabetically by title, and included three choice tracks from each disc … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1971