Ear of Newt and The Tapes Archive present Ronnie James Dio: The Sacred Heart Interview, 1985

By Steve Newton A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog telling of a new partnership between me, the Newt in Ear of Newt, and The Tapes Archive, a U.S.-based podcast that focuses on releasing previously unpublished interviews with rock legends. That blog included a link to a YouTube video The Tapes Archive's Alan … Continue reading Ear of Newt and The Tapes Archive present Ronnie James Dio: The Sacred Heart Interview, 1985

That time Ronnie James Dio told me that he loved classical music, and that Bach was a real rock ‘n’ roller

By Steve Newton I interviewed Ronnie James Dio back in December of 1985 while he was touring behind his Sacred Heart album, with Yngwie Malmsteen opening up. At one point in the interview I mentioned how Ronnie had started out as a trumpet player when he was five, which led to him confessing his deep love … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me that he loved classical music, and that Bach was a real rock ‘n’ roller

Joe Satriani compares the musical styles and backgrounds of recent G3 tourmates John Petrucci, Uli Jon Roth, and Phil Collen

By Steve Newton I interviewed Joe Satriani a couple of weeks ago, in advance of his show in Vancouver this Friday (June 1) at the Commodore Ballroom. I've seen Satch a bunch of times--including on various G3 Tours with the likes of Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Steve Vai--so I wanted to ask him about … Continue reading Joe Satriani compares the musical styles and backgrounds of recent G3 tourmates John Petrucci, Uli Jon Roth, and Phil Collen

Album review: Tony MacAlpine, Edge of Insanity (1987)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 20, 1987 By Steve Newton Tony MacAlpine is the recent discovery of talent promoter and Guitar Player magazine columnist Mike Varney, and what a find he is. On Edge of Insanity, MacAlpine performs 11 songs that feature him on guitar--with no vocals to get in the way--and he comes up … Continue reading Album review: Tony MacAlpine, Edge of Insanity (1987)

Album review: Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Marching Out (1985)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 8, 1985 By Steve Newton Swedish guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen has been heralded as the rock guitarist of the eighties, a successor to Eddie Van Halen and the late Randy Rhoads. And there's no doubt that Yngwie is several cuts above the typical metal guitarist. But blinding speed and technical dazzle … Continue reading Album review: Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Marching Out (1985)

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: Various Artists, Dragon Attack: A Tribute to Queen (1997)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 5, 1997 By Steve Newton The folks behind previous Jeff Beck, Ace Frehley, and Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute CDs deliver a fourth laudatory project, which pays its respects to the estimable Queen catalogue while allowing an all-star lineup of hard-rock guitarists to get their fret-hopping jollies. The list … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, Dragon Attack: A Tribute to Queen (1997)

Album review: Yngwie Malmsteen, Eclipse (1990)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 23, 1990 By Steve Newton When Swedish guitar whiz Yngwie Malmsteen burst onto the hard-rock scene in ’84 with the Rising Force album, he took a lot of people by surprise—and it wasn't just his funny name (pronounced "Ing-vay") that did it. Malmsteen was a classically influenced speed-demon, … Continue reading Album review: Yngwie Malmsteen, Eclipse (1990)

That time Ronnie James Dio told me what he really thought of Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen as guitarists

By Steve Newton Back in 1985 I did my only interview with Ronnie James Dio, who was headed to Vancouver on the Sacred Heart Tour, with Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force opening up. At one point in the conversation the legendary heavy-metal crooner compared the guitar-playing abilities of his former bandmate Ritchie Blackmore to those of … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me what he really thought of Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen as guitarists

Tosin Abasi recalls Generation Axe: “I was privy to stories that fans would kill to hear”

By Steve Newton A coupla days ago I called guitar hero Tosin Abasi up at his home in L.A. to chat about the upcoming album by his prog-metal trio, Animals as Leaders, which plays Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom on November 16. The first time I'd ever seen Abasi in the flesh was back in April when … Continue reading Tosin Abasi recalls Generation Axe: “I was privy to stories that fans would kill to hear”

Graham Bonnet was bandmates with Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, and Yngwie Malmsteen, but called Gary Moore his hero

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Graham Bonnet back in 1984 he was fronting a hard-rock/metal band called Alcatrazz that featured an unknown guitarist named Yngwie Malmsteen, who would not stay unknown for long. Two years earlier Bonnet had been a member of the Michael Schenker Group, which also boasted an amazing guitar player, a guy … Continue reading Graham Bonnet was bandmates with Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, and Yngwie Malmsteen, but called Gary Moore his hero

That time Graham Bonnet told me about unknown Alcatrazz guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen: “He’s one day gonna be a star”

By Steve Newton Back in the '80s one of my jobs at the Georgia Straight newspaper in Vancouver was to cover the hard-rock/heavy metal beat. Soon after getting hired as a proofreader/typesetter in '82 I was doing articles on Priest, Scorps, Maiden, and Ozzy, which--to my utter delight--often ended up as the cover story. Metal was … Continue reading That time Graham Bonnet told me about unknown Alcatrazz guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen: “He’s one day gonna be a star”

Outraged guitar freak defends Yngwie Malmsteen and rips the s*** out of my Generation Axe review

By Steve Newton Some guy named Fretfire did not totally agree with my review of the Generation Axe show in Vancouver the other night. Here’s his comment: Pathetic, Steve. I thought you were cooler than this, especially since you recently posted the interview: “Uli Jon Roth calls Yngwie Malmsteen “one of the alltime greats”, but says he’s … Continue reading Outraged guitar freak defends Yngwie Malmsteen and rips the s*** out of my Generation Axe review