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

Generation Axe in Vancouver: 2.5 million notes and no wanking (except for Yngwie)

By Steve Newton Went to see the Generation Axe show in Vancouver last night--featuring Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abasi--and, as expected, there were a lotta notes. But the term "wanking" didn't come to mind that often, surprisingly--and usually only when flashmaster Malmsteen was practicing his scales at breakneck speed. … Continue reading Generation Axe in Vancouver: 2.5 million notes and no wanking (except for Yngwie)

That time Uli Jon Roth told me that Yngwie Malmsteen was “one of the alltime greats”, but that he wasn’t impressed by speed

By Steve Newton When Uli Jon Roth called me up in 2016 to promote his Ultimate Guitar Experience show in Vancouver, we ended up chatting about some of the other guitar tours he's been on, like the G3 European Tour back in 1998, when he shared the stage with Joe Satriani and Michael Schenker, who … Continue reading That time Uli Jon Roth told me that Yngwie Malmsteen was “one of the alltime greats”, but that he wasn’t impressed by speed

Dio brings medieval fantasy and better-than-Ozzy vocals to Vancouver, Yngwie just shows off

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 3, 1986 By Steve Newton Heavy metal veteran Ronnie James Dio played his own game of Dungeons & Dragons at the Pacific Coliseum last Saturday (December 28)--and 5,000 or so of his young fans came out winners. The show started when curtains surrounding the stage were pulled to … Continue reading Dio brings medieval fantasy and better-than-Ozzy vocals to Vancouver, Yngwie just shows off

Motley Crue’s Mick Mars in 1985: “Without groupies, I probably wouldn’t have been a musician.”

mila geran photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 29, 1985 By Steve Newton Outside the hotel a huge tour bus sits, the dust on its sides inscribed with messages like "The Crue Rules", "I Love You Vince", and, strangely enough, "KISS". Inside the lobby, a gaggle of pubescent females are trying to weasel … Continue reading Motley Crue’s Mick Mars in 1985: “Without groupies, I probably wouldn’t have been a musician.”

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

Malmsteen then and now: interviewing Yngwie in 1985 and 2014

By Steve Newton Swedish guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen turns 51 on Monday, two days after his appearance in Vancouver tomorrow (June 28) as part of the Guitar Gods show at the River Rock Show Theatre. He's caused quite a commotion in the hard-rock world in the last half-century or so. Why, just last week he … Continue reading Malmsteen then and now: interviewing Yngwie in 1985 and 2014

Yngwie Malmsteen puts Ritchie Blackmore rumours to rest, praises Nicolo Paganini and Uli Jon Roth

By Steve Newton Yngwie Malmsteen likes to wear all black on-stage and play fast as hell on a Fender Strat through a wall of cranked Marshall amps, so you might think that Ritchie Blackmore is his hero. “Okay, let’s correct that,” says Malmsteen when I mention that Wikipedia names the six-string legend from Deep Purple … Continue reading Yngwie Malmsteen puts Ritchie Blackmore rumours to rest, praises Nicolo Paganini and Uli Jon Roth

Yngwie Malmsteen calls Ibanez guitars “a bad copy” of the Strat and says Les Pauls are “furniture”

By Steve Newton Had a nice little chat with Swedish guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen the other day, in advance of his Guitar Gods show next Saturday (June 28) at the River Rock Show Theatre. I mentioned that the last time I saw him live was on the G3 Tour at Vancouver's Orpheum Theatre in 2003 or … Continue reading Yngwie Malmsteen calls Ibanez guitars “a bad copy” of the Strat and says Les Pauls are “furniture”

Hey guitar freaks: Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen is coming to Vancouver after all! Slash too!

Last month I did a blog about how a lot of amazing rock guitarists—Pat Travers, Jake E. Lee, Yngwie Malmsteen, Slash, et cetera—were playing Stateside gigs this year but weren't crossing the border to bring us Canucks a taste of their wild licks. Well, over the weekend Travers played a whiskey-snortin' gig at some place in … Continue reading Hey guitar freaks: Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen is coming to Vancouver after all! Slash too!

Stateside guitar frenzy: Pat Travers, Jeff Beck, Slash, Jake E. Lee & Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen!

For some reason a lotta old-school rock-guitar heroes don't play in Vancouver. They head on up for gigs in Washington State, but then turn around and cruise back down to keep on feeding those riff-starved Americans. Are the border guards at Canada Customs really that daunting? Take Pat Travers, for instance. He's half Canadian, but … Continue reading Stateside guitar frenzy: Pat Travers, Jeff Beck, Slash, Jake E. Lee & Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen!