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.

Back in October of ’92, a mindblowing array of the world’s top recording artists performed at New York’s Madison Square Garden for Bob Dylan’s 30th anniversary concert celebration. Tomorrow (March 4), a deluxe edition of the concert is being released on CD, DVD and Blu-ray.

I watched the Blu-ray over the weekend, and, man, there’s some mighty tasty stuff on there.

Universal Music Canada has just announced that Canadian prog-metal band Rush will reissue its self-titled 1974 debut album on vinyl to mark its 40-year recording career.

Here's the promotional bumph:

Twenty-five years ago today—on March 2, 1989Tom Cochrane and Red Rider played the Orpheum with guests the Northern Pikes, a band from Saskatoon that I liked almost as much as the headliner.

Red Rider was touring behind its latest album, Victory Day, which featured the singles “Good Times”, “Big League”, and the title track. This was two years before Cochrane would hit solid freakin’ gold with his most famous song, “Life is a Highway”, but Victory Day did quite well, going double-platinum in Canada.

Here’s my review of the show from the following week's Straight.

When I was covering the Vancouver horror scene as a correspondent for Fangoria back in the '80s and '90s, I would normally make an effort to see the projects I'd previewed when they were finally released in theatres or on the tube.

But it wasn't always fun. In fact it was often quite painful, especially when it came time to sit through big-screen dreck like Watchers or Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan.

Twenty-five years ago today—on February 26, 1989—Jeff Healey kicked off a three-night stand at the Commodore, touring in support of his debut album, See the Light. In advance of the gig I chatted on the phone with the fast-rising blues-rocker, who would sadly die of cancer in 2008—though not before proving himself one of the most gifted guitarists of all time.

Here’s the story that ran in that week’s issue of the Straight

Less than two weeks ago, Universal Music Canada announced that it would be releasing a remastered 40th-anniversary edition of Bachman-Turner Overdrive's best-selling album, Not Fragile, on March 18.

Twenty-five years ago tomorrow–on February 24, 1989–Cheap Trick played the Pacific Coliseum on a bill with Eddie Money, so, obviously, I went.

Even with Eddie Money on the bill.

Here’s my review from the following week’s issue of the Straight. Check it out while you’re waiting for the hockey game to start maybe.


Back in the late ’70s, one of this scribbler’s favourite pastimes was throwing Cheap Trick’s In Color album on the turntable and cranking ‘er up. The band’s thoroughly rockin’ power-pop was just the right brain lube between heavy bouts of exam cramming.

At the Coliseum last Friday it was great to see that the band’s beautiful noise still exists.

Last year’s top prize for old-school guitar freaks was undoubtedly Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective, the seven-disc box set issued on the Rounder label. And now it looks like the biggest “oh-god-I-gotta-have-it!” item in the same category will be True to the Blues: The Johnny Winter Story, which arrives via Sony’s Legacy Recordings this Tuesday (February 25).

The four-disc package–which includes 56 tracks spanning 27 albums–hits the streets two days after Winter celebrates his 70th birthday with a show at the B.B King Blues Club & Grill in New York.

Thirty years ago today--on February 21, 1984--the Pretenders played a sold out show at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The band was touring behind one of its best albums ever, Learning to Crawl, which included such snazzy numbers as "Back on the Chain Gang", "My City Was Gone", and "Middle of the Road".

The day of the show I had an in-person interview with a couple of band members--neither of which was Chrissie Hynde, unfortunately. But I still remember getting a kick out of chatting with drummer Martin Chambers and guitarist Robbie McIntosh.

Here's the story that ran a couple of weeks later in the Straight, which featured a great cover utilizing an image from the show by local rock photographer Bev Davies.