Twenty years ago today—on October 29, 1994—Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke (the one who wasn't Slash) played the Town Pump. At the time the future of GN'R was very much up in the air, but Clarke was rockin' away with his debut solo album, Pawnshop Guitars, which featured all the then-current Guns members. 

I interviewed him on the phone before the Vancouver gig, and here's the story that ran in the Straight to help promote the show and the new album. 

Halloween is fast approaching, and everyone who’s coughed up their 8 bucks a month for Netflix is no doubt scanning the Horror section to see what’s available.

Decent scary movies are hard to find, so here’s a quick rundown of 10 now streaming on Netflix Canada that I’d recommend.

They’re listed in order of how freakin’ awesome they are:

1) The Cabin in the Woods (2012) “It’s the best horror flick ever made in Vancouver.” (At least it was until Horns came around.)

Thirty years ago today—on October 26, 1984—Ian Lloyd played the old Georgia Street party palace known as Outlaws. He was performing with his new band, Fast Forward, and doing tunes from their first (and only) album, Living in Fiction.

But more importantly, Lloyd was the funky-voiced guy who sang that awesome 1973 tune "Brother Louie". You may have heard it more recently as the theme for Louie CK's TV show, Louie.

It's the only song I can think of that has a lead guitar vs. strings battle.

I interviewed Lloyd at a local hotel way back when in advance of the Outlaws gig. For all you dozens of hardcore Ian Lloyd fans out there, here's the story as it appeared in the Oct. 26-Nov. 2 issue of the Straight

Twenty-five years ago last Tuesday—on October 21, 1989—the Tragically Hip played the second of two shows at the 86 Street Music Hall, touring behind its then-new album, Up to Here. That's the one with "Blow at High Dough", "New Orleans is Sinking", and "38 Years Old". You know that one.

I don't remember the show—although I'm sure I went, seeing as they were one of my fave bands back then. But I do recall interviewing Hip vocalist Gordon Downie, who was 25 years old at the time. It was the first article I did on the Hip, though far from the last.

Here's the story that ran in the Straight the week before the gig. 

For all those diehard Black Sabbath fans who saw the band in concert last year and went, "Man, that was wicked, but how cool would it have been with Bill Ward!", there is still hope.

According to Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, the British metal legends intend to record one final album and embark on one final tour. And this time, instead of just featuring himself, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, and hired drummers Brad Wilk (on record) and and Tommy Clufetos (on tour), the lineup could possibly include original skin-basher Ward.

Twenty years ago tomorrow--on October 24, 1994--Aerosmith played the Pacific Coliseum. The legendary hard-rock band from Boston was touring behind its Vancouver-made Get a Grip album, which--while it wasn't no Get Your Wings or Rocks--became its best-selling disc worldwide, moving over 20-million units to date.

Here's the best tune from that album. It's the only one written by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry themselves, without the "song doctors" they relied on back then to score hits. (I'm talkin' to you, Jim Vallance!)

Stand on it Joe!

Twenty-five years ago today--on October 15, 1989--a 37-year-old Kim Mitchell played the Orpheum Theatre, touring behind his third solo album, Rockland.

In advance of the show I interviewed him on the phone from his Toronto home, and we talked a bit about the new album, which was gettting a buzz at the time from the raucous single "Rock N Roll Duty".

But mostly we talked about Max Webster. Man, I loved that band.

What took you so long to get Rockland out? It's been three years since Shakin' Like a Human Being.

Thirty years ago today—on October 13, 1984—British pop-rock/new-wave group the Fixx played the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The previous year the band had had a million-selling album called Reach the Beach, which you may recall for the hit single "One Thing Leads to Another".

In advance of the show I interviewed frontman Cy Curnin and we chatted about the band's origins, video censorship, Tina Turner, and other stuff. Since the turkey's in the oven and I've got nothing else to do for the next four hours, I'm gonna retype the brunt of the story for all those hardcore fans just jonesing for their 30-year-old Fixx fix.

Here's the story that ran in the Oct. 12-19 issue of the Straight

Twenty-five years ago last night—on October 11, 1989—Steve Stevens played Club Soda. Since I was a big fan of his wild guitar playing with Billy Idol on the Rebel Yell album I interviewed him in advance of the gig.

Here's the story that ran in the Oct. 6-13 issue of the Straight

You might have seen the movie Fame—or the TV series that followed it—which traced the exploits of young students at Manhattan's renowned High School of the Performing Arts. With all the dancing in the streets that went on, you'd figure anyone enrolled in the institution was having the time of his or her life.

Guitarist Steve Stevens was accepted into that school, but he was far from the model student. In act, he couldn't stand his teachers.

Yesterday AC/DC released the song titles for its highly anticipated new album, and by all accounts the Aussie blues-metal legends will continue to rock. It's right there in the titles: "Rock the House", "Rock the Blues Away", "Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder", and the title track, "Rock or Bust".

It appears that the nasty rumour about the boys going all soft and wimpy with the loss of rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young is nothing but a load of crap.

I knew it.

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