Thirty years ago tomorrow–on April 21, 1984–Dutch rockers Golden Earring played a concert at UBC. The band was touring behind its N.E.W.S. album, and singer Barry Hay called me from L.A., where the band was touring with Florida rockers .38 Special.

There’s conflicting info about where at UBC the show actually took place. The March 27, ’84 issue of The Ubyssey had an ad for the show under the AMS Concerts banner saying it was at the War Memorial Gym, but in my story that ran in the April 20 issue of the Straight it mentions the UBC Sub Ballroom. I wonder if the show wasn’t selling that great and they moved it to the smaller venue.

There's been a lot of rumour and speculation flying around the music world in the last few days regarding the status of legendary Aussie earbusters AC/DC.

Some media outlets were actually reporting the band's demise, claiming that rhythm-guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young had suffered a stroke recently and would never be able to perform again.

Then today the band made this announcement on its website and Facebook page:

After forty years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health. Malcolm would like to thank the group’s diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support.

During his sold-out gig at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver last night, Steve Miller talked about how he moved to Chicago as a young man and learned all he could about the blues jamming with the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Buddy Guy.

That love of the blues came through loud and clear on his version of Bobby "Blue" Bland's "Further On Up the Road", although Miller himself wasn't the star of that show. His dancing-machine backup singer, Sonny Charles, took lead vocals on that number and made it clear that he was the one with the whole lotta soul in da house.

Any fan of the Drive-By Truckers is aware of how cool their merchandise is. A lot of it has to do with the southern-goth artistry of Wes Freed, whose work has long been a staple of the band's album covers, T-shirts, and posters.

I've got one proudly displayed in my home hallway, as a matter of fact.

But apart from offering some of the sweetest concert souvenirs on the planet, the Truckers also had one helluva guy selling those goodies to fans at shows. The group actually dedicated its new album, English Oceans—and the song "Grand Canyon" in particularto the memory of Craig Lieske, a longtime member of its touring family.

Twenty-five years ago today--on April 12, 1989--Steve Earle played the Pacific Coliseum, touring behind his new album Copperhead Road.

You bet your ass I was there. Here's my review.


Back in 2000, a Vancouver-shot horror flick called Final Destination was released that depicted young people, having escaped death in an exploding plane, being hunted down by a determined Grim Reaper and offed in various violent ways.

Twenty-five years ago today—on April 2, 1989—southern-rock legend Dickey Betts brought his new band to town for a show at the 86 Street Music Hall. One of the coolest things about that gig was that it was the Vancouver debut of 28-year-old guitarist Warren Haynes, who would go on to huge acclaim as the driving force behind American blues-rock/jam band Gov't Mule.

Back in 1997 I went on the set of the Vancouver-shot action-horror flick Deep Rising on assignment for Fangoria magazine. I chatted with director Stephen Sommers and actors Treat Williams and Famke Janssen. The movie wound up sucking but, hey, I'm pretty sure it wasn’t my fault.

Thirty years ago today–on March 29, 1984–Billy Idol played UBC’s War Memorial Gym. The 28-year-old Brit was touring behind his second solo album, Rebel Yell, which boasted the hit singles “Eyes Without a Face”, “Flesh for Fantasy”, “Catch My Fall”, and the title track. His videos were getting a shitload of play on MTV at the time.

I remember that UBC show because afterwards I went backstage and the spikey-haired dude greeted me with a bit of ‘tude. Hey, once a punk….

The week before his Vancouver show Idol called me on the phone and I did a full-page story on him for the Straight. Anyone remember full-page stories?

A couple of weeks ago the fine folks at Anchor Bay Entertainment sent me a DVD copy of their latest horror release, In Fear, a British film that saw only limited theatrical release in North America last year, and never even made it into Vancouver theatres.

The cover art shows a young woman sitting in a rainsoaked car, smearing the window with her bloodstained hand. Just above that subtly disturbing image are four quotes from various online sources, describing the movie as "chilling" and "a white-knuckle ride". "Genuinely instant classic," raved the Huffington Post, but I watched it last night anyway.