I've done hundreds of interviews with famous rockers since I started writing for the Straight back in '82, most of them over the phone—in advance of a Vancouver tour date—some of them in person.

It's always been the paper's policy to turn down offers of email interviews—where you send in questions and the answers are sent back—because good journalism is based on the one-on-one conversation.

I tend to agree with that policy, but when I heard that one of my fave guitarists of all time—Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top—was only doing email interviews in advance of this Saturday's show in Vancouver, I decided to make an exception.

Not everyone has managed to see both Jason Vorhees and Michael Myers in bloodthirsty action—and lived to tell the tale. But as the Vancouver correspondent for the world’s best known horror magazine, Fangoria, I did.

I encountered Vorhees while covering the shooting of Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan in 1988. Though it was a hoot to cover from a horror freak’s standpoint, the movie actually sucked.

If you're a Led Zeppelin fan--and who isn't, apart from those indie geeks at Pitchfork?--you should mark June 3 on your calendar and start putting away some spendin' money.

That's when the mighty Zep will release super-deluxe boxed sets of its first three albums--1969's Led Zeppelin, 1969's Led Zeppelin II, and 1970's Led Zeppelin III.

Each boxed set will include the remastered album on CD, companion audio on CD, remastered album on 180-gram vinyl, companion audio on 180-gram vinyl, high-def audio download card of all content, hardbound book, and a high quality print of the original album cover.

Legendary blues-rocker Paul Rodgers finally got to meet the son of Paul Kossoff, the former guitarist in his old band Free.

In a tweet last week Rodgers mentioned that he had his first-ever encounter with Simon Kossoff in London, and included a photo of the two of them together.

"So much like his Dad," wrote Rodgers, who lost his close friend and ex-bandmate in 1976 when the elder Kossoff died from heroin-related heart problems on a flight from L.A. to New York.

Yesterday on its official YouTube channel, legendary rock band Deep Purple posted a video announcing the upcoming rerelease of its Made in Japan album in various formats, which include previously unseen footage on DVD, bonus material and mixes, memorabilia, and a hardback book.

Made in Japan was recorded in Osaka and Budokan between August 15 and 17, 1972, and boasted such classic Purple tracks as "Highway Star", "Space Truckin'", "Strange Kind of Woman", "Lazy", and the inimitable "Smoke On the Water".

There’s been some pretty sweet concert Blu-rays released in the last little while. Hugely impressive was last week’s Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration–Deluxe Editionfrom Legacy Recordings, the same folks who gave us recent killer boxed sets by Johnny Winter and Mike Bloomfield.

Just before she started getting recognized for her appearances in a string of videos for Aerosmith power-ballads, Alicia Silverstone made her feature film debut in the low-budget 1993 thriller The Crush. The film was shot in Vancouver, so naturally I did the set visit for Fangoria magazine.

I interviewed Silverstone, who had recently turned 16, on Halloween, 1992. This was nearly three whole years before a certain high-falutin' magazine put her on the cover.

Just saw one of my fave bands, the Drive-By Truckers, tearing it up on the Conan O'Brien Show. They went to town on a song called "Shit Shots Count", the opening track from their brand new album English Oceans.

The hard-rock/metal world is all a-buzz with today's news that the mighty Black Sabbath will release a CD boxed set containing the band's first eight albums—the ones it recorded before Ozzy Osbourne got the boot and was replaced by Ronnie James Dio in 1979.

That's all well and good. The more masterful Tony Iommi riffs circulating around the globe the better, in my books.

Thirty years ago today—on March 5, 1984—local glam-metal band Kradle played Burnaby’s James Cowan Theatre with Black Knight. At the time I was the guy with the Judas Priest cap at the Georgia Straight who was covering the metal scene, and I was mightily impressed by these young lads from the 'burbs.

Looking back, they reminded me of a less sleazy Motley Crue, but just didn’t get the break they needed to move up in the music biz. Before retyping this dusty article I did a bit of research on the ‘net and was saddened to learn that lead singer Tod Larkin had drowned in a “boating-related accident” in 1989.

Here’s the admittedly amateurish Local Musicians story I did on the band in the Straight's March 2, 1984 issue.

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