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.

It looks like there’s a bit of a feud brewing between a couple of seventies-rock heavyweights.

While doing interviews to promote the upcoming release of expanded Led Zeppelin reissuesRobert Plant held fast to his opinion that the band should not reunite simply to make a shipload more money.

Word out of the Cannes Film Festival is that Oculus director Mike Flanagan will helm an adaptation of Stephen King’s 1992 novel, Gerald’s Game, about a woman who fights to survive after a bondage game with her husband goes horribly wrong.

On May 23, 1992, Metallica played the Pacific Coliseum. The gig was significant not just because it was F***ING METALLICA!, but because the band was touring behind its self-titled album, aka The Black Album, the one it made with Vancouver's Bob Rock the year before.

That disc has sold 30 million copies worldwide, 16,000,000 in the U.S. alone.

Those Yanks love their metal.

As if the news about Brian Setzer's upcoming rockabilly CD weren't enough to keep guitar freaks satiated today, now comes word from Sony Music that its Legacy Recordings imprint will release Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live At The Isle of Wight on Blu-ray on June 17.

In August of 1970 the legendary guitarman performed in front of an estimated crowd of 600,000, 18 days before he chocked on his own vomit and died while intoxicated with barbiturates.