Vancouver has not been kind to Dean Koontz.

First you had his awesome 1987 suspense novel, Watchers, being turned into a godawful Corey Haim vehicle up here in 1988.

Then seven years later you had his fine 1982 supernatural thriller, Hideaway, becoming the type of B.C.-shot trainwreck he tried to sue to get his name off of.

Southern-rock fans saddened by word that the Allman Brothers will perform their final concerts this year should brighten at the news that an historic deluxe-edition boxed set is on its way.

Yesterday the band announced on its website that a six-disc package titled The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings will be released by Universal Music on July 29, and will include 15 previously unreleased Fillmore East performances. The box set will feature a hardcover book and liner notes by “Allmanologist” John Lynskey.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m crazy about Warren Haynes, guitarist-vocalist-songwriter for Gov’t Mule and the Allman Brothers Band. Everything he touches musically is magic to me, and I write about it whenever I can.

I've long posited that the Who's Quadrophenia is the greatest rock album of all time.

The 1973 double-disc captured the British rock quartet at its creative peak, firing on all cylinders, and—thanks to Pete Townsend's songwriting skills—told a thoroughly engrossing tale of a young man's struggle for identity amid the Mods vs. Rockers turmoil of 1960s England.

Fans of the world's greatest rock album got a special treat back in 2011 when it was released as a deluxe-edition boxed set, complete with previously unheard demos, a hardcover book, and various other goodies.

Last night I received an e-mail from fellow Vancouver rock writer “Big Al” MacInnis relaying the sad news that Doc Neeson, the singer from Angel City–or the Angels, as they were called in their native Australia–had passed away at the age of 67.

Man, I used to love Angel City tunes like “Marseilles”, “Shadow Boxer”, and especially “Take a Long Line.”

News of Neeson’s passing had me digging around downstairs in my boxes of old Georgia Straights, ’cause I knew I’d interviewed him back when the band put out its Two Minute Warning album.

Lo and behold, here’s my copy of the March 22, 1985 issue, with the story I was lookin’ for.

A quarter-century ago today–on May 31, 1989–American metal masters Metallica played the Pacific Coliseum. The band was touring behind …And Justice for All, its first album since the death in ’86 of bassist Cliff Burton, who was replaced by Jason Newsted.

The Vancouver concert took place four months after the release of the breakthrough single “One”, the band’s first Top 40 hit, which would win a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. 

Twenty-five years ago tomorrow—on Wednesday, May 31, 1989—the Cult opened for Metallica at the Pacific Coliseum.

A month earlier the band had released its fourth album, Sonic Temple, which wasn't no Electric, but did boast one of my fave tunes that year—"Fire Woman".

Twenty-five years ago tomorrow—on Wednesday, May 31, 1989—Metallica played the Pacific Coliseum on a bill with the Cult.

This was just three months after the band had its expected Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance stolen away by Jethro Tull—whose Crest of a Knave album somehow beat out Metallica's mighty ...And Justice for All—and metal fans were still in shock.

News out of the Billy Idol camp is that the platinum-blonde rocker from the '80s will release his autobiography, Dancing With Myself, on October 7.

Idol announced the upcoming memoir on his website with the following message to fans:


One of the most enjoyable set visits I did during my 13-year tenure with Fangoria was for Needful Things, the adaptation of Stephen King’s 1991 novel. In December of ’92 I journeyed out to North Vancouver and got the scoop on the movie, with much help from the delightful duo of Canadian comedian-actress Valri Bromfield and New Yorker Amanda Plummer–who would blow me away two years later with her role in Pulp Fiction.

I would also like to thank Max von Sydow, the original Exorcist, for the interview he gave me at the time.