History of Iron Maiden Part 1 - Early Days


Uploaded by mpachecoh on 30.10.2012

Transcript:
(crowd chants) Maiden! Maiden!
Scream for me, Dortmund!
- (wild cheering) - Go!
The Dortmund show, of course,
had the metal '80s heavy hitters all in the same building.
You take my life and I'll take yours too
So when you're waiting for the next attack
You'd better stand there's no turning back
The bugle sounds...
We were supposedly the headline act and there was, you know,
Ozzy Osbourne and the Scorpions and Def Leppard and Priest
and Michael Schenker and I don't know who else.
It was just an amazing, amazing bill.
They had one stage this end and one this end
so they could rotate and get the bands off,
and the audience would just turn around, you know.
One minute you were at the very front and the next at the very back.
That was quite amazing cos we were all in the hotel,
the Scorpions, Def Leppard, all these bands,
we were all partying, we had a great time, you know.
That's all I remember about that gig.
There was the night that Ozzy came up,
and we were hatching a plot to steal a taxi
and drive it across fields.
Run to the hills
Run for your lives
When you headline with all these other great bands before you,
you've really gotta be on top-notch form.
And the gig just went fantastic.
I remember, we played really, really well.
We just played so well under pressure.
It was... it was scary, really.
Run for your lives
Come on!
- (cheering) - Thank you! Good night!
I wanted to start with drums, to be honest with you,
but I just didn't have room for a drum kit.
I just thought, ''There's no way I can sort all that out.''
The next best thing was to play along with the drums
as part of the rhythm section, so I chose the bass.
Within ten months of starting to play,
I did me first ever gig
at the Cart & Horses in Maryland Point, Stratford,
a stone's throw from where I lived.
We used to go there all the time and see other bands.
So it was a big thing for us to play there.
It wasn't a baptism of fire,
but you were playing in a place you saw other bands,
so it was quite a big thing.
It was so nerve-racking.
I remember starting to play the intro to one of the songs, the bass intro,
and I messed it up so much, the singer thought I was tuning up,
so he didn't come in on time.
And then the rest of the band came in and he sort of realised.
It was unbelievable.
We got away with it cos nobody knew the song.
It was our own material.
We had another song which was written by the guitarist
called Heat Crazed Vole.
I thought that was an absolutely fantastic title.
In our first band, Gypsy's Kiss, we did only five gigs,
three at the Cart & Horses and two at the Bridge House.
Then we split up through musical differences.
I went for an audition with a band called Smiler.
It was all very professional, they had all the gear set up.
That's when I first met Steve,
he was the bass player for this band called Smiler.
It was more or less like a traditional boogie band.
I was writing, getting all these ideas,
and I was getting excited about the ideas I was coming up with.
I don't know where they were coming from. It was crazy.
I'd walk home from the Bridge House
and Transylvania just came out.
I thought, ''I've gotta get home and put it on tape.''
We played a song called Innocent In Exile,
which was one of Steve's.
I think it was the only one that Mick and Tony would do
because the rest of 'em they found a little complicated.
They liked some of my stuff, but it was a lot of time changes,
I was trying to get my progressive influences in there,
and they were more into, you know, straight R&B stuff.
It started to cause a bit of a problem.
I thought the only way Iíd really be able to carry on writing...
I was writing more and more.
I thought Iíd have to leave and form my own band.
He went off to form Iron Maiden and I went and got a job.
Yeah, the very first line-up for Maiden was Paul Day on vocals,
Dave Sullivan on guitar, Terry Rance on guitar,
Ron ''Rebel'' Matthews, we used to call him Ron Rebel, and myself.
Steve and l, we were of the same mind,
we both had a burning ambition to really want to do it.
Not for fame or money, just as a lifestyle.
That's what we wanted to do as our job.
Iíd never met anybody like that before.
Because we were in Steve's nan's house,
I used to plug into an old Revox reel to reel.
lf you turn them up enough,
they distort and give you a really heavy sound.
Steve used to have his bass which wasn't plugged in
and that's how we got it together.
Right from day one, Steve had this influence and vision
of what type of music he would like it to go.
What we wanted was a Wishbone Ash style with a twin lead.
We didn't have name to start with.
We didn't bother when rehearsing until we found a good name.
It was like, ''That's the one.''
We were playing at the Cart & Horses
and the pot man in the picture come over and said,
''You've got a phone call.''
It was some other band saying they had a name.
So we just told 'em to piss off.
But we was worried. We went out and registered the name.
The first gig, there was eight people.
On the second gig, there was 28. On the third gig, there was 48.
It went on from there.
This place was packed. There were people queuing down the road.
We did put ads in the papers quite often.
We put more ads once we started getting more established.
We was able to spend the money on putting an ad in,
but early on it was just word of mouth.
After several months, there'd be 50 people
looking out of the back door actually trying to get in.
They were playing floor-level.
It was like right on top of the band. It was intense.
We walked into the show and it was really loud
because unlike a lot of bands they'd brought their own PA.
We bought a mixing desk off a Cockney Rebel.
We did a gig in the Queen Elizabeth in North Chingford.
It's a restaurant now.
We turned up with the gear.
The manager said, ''That lot will blow the roof off.''
These days we sound commercial compared with other bands,
but at the time we were very heavy.
We was doing Innocent Exiles, Wrathchild, Iron Maiden,
they were sort of the early songs which we worked together on.
We put on a bit of a show to try and impress people.
I made a bubble machine and a smoke machine out of this old kettle,
a dry-ice machine and all this.
We got 1 5 quid, the dry ice used to come to a tenner.
There was no money in it.
Within two or three weeks
of playing a couple of gigs here and there,
we started getting a hardcore following.
The regular followers were just waiting for them to come back
so they could have another night watching Maiden.
Then they'd bring their mates and more mates.
We also did a talent competition
we went into in a theatre in Hornchurch.
I think there was six or seven acts.
We done two numbers, we came second,
it was given to a little boy who played the acoustic guitar.
I think he got the sympathy vote.
Our first singer, Paul Day, he was a really nice bloke,
he had a good voice, but he didn't have the stage presence.
Unfortunately, in the end we had to sack him,
which I found very sad. Iíd never done that before.
I thought it was absolutely awful.
We got another singer called Denny Wilcock,
who didn't have a great voice,
but he had a really, really good stage presence.
He used to do this little trick
with blood capsules and a sword and all the blood would gush out.
Denny used to do this thing with the sword
and this girl fainted.
It was like, ''Blimey!'' It had that much effect.
There was one gig when Dennis Wilcock didn't turn up
and we still carried on anyway.
lf the truth be known, it wasn't quite what I was looking for
so I tended to steer away
and drifted apart rather than closer to the band.
I think there was consensus of opinion
that we needed to change the sound,
which was when Dave Murray came into the situation.
I went for an audition with Dennis Wilcock
and I left him my telephone number.
And he gave me a call and said he'd just joined Iron Maiden
and they were looking for a guitar player.
Dave watched some of our gigs
and it was suggested that he join us and we become a six-piece,
which is what they are at the moment.
So maybe it's actually turned out now
how it was planned to in the first place.
We was only a pub band. It was '76, punk had exploded.
You know, rock was still wanted, but it was going down, basically.
Steve, that wouldn't have bothered him,
he wanted to push the band.
Dave and Terry were asked to push it full time.
And at that time, having a new wife and a mortgage each
and only playing pubs, they declined.
So... Steve's often said to me, ''Why did you leave?''
And I said, ''Dave and Terry went and I thought that was the end.''
He says to this day, ''You could have stayed,
you could have still been with us.''
But I get to see a lot of gigs and I love every minute of it.
I think Steve is still exactly the same guy he was in '75.
He's a very straight guy,
he'll always tell you if you're doing something not right.
Years ago there were a few people who didn't like that very much.
He's still a very straight bloke.
He was from day one focused.
I just really knew I wanted to be focused and dedicated
and just do everything that you possibly can to make it happen.
We sort of feel almost part of the family of Iron Maiden now,
which is a lovely feeling, actually.
We still go back to the gigs now and we're still all great friends.
We have a good time and...
The music's as powerful now as it was in the early days,
but it's obviously a lot more refined.
And, obviously, there's a few more people watching.
They had this mobile home in the middle of a cow field
out in the country in Hertfordshire or somewhere.
So I drove out there with my gear in the back of the car
and we carried everything across avoiding all the cow shit and stuff
and set all the gear up in the back of this mobile home.
Steve showed me a couple of riffs.
Back then they had Wrathchild and a few other songs,
and, you know, we jammed a little bit.
I mean, you know, unbelievable.
He'd only been playing five years and I thought,
''How does someone get that good in five years? Itís outrageous!''
And immediately the chemistry and the vibe felt great.
Some of these songs were stretching myself as a guitar player,
I was playing stuff I hadn't played before.
We were doing this stuff and Steve said, ''Do you want to join?''
It was immediate, I didn't have to think twice about it.
Some of the ads we used to put in the...
I was embarrassed sometimes.
''Kings of the East End.''
There was one I really remember. Dennis came up with the line,
''We shake, shock and rock, we make the rest look average stock.''
I thought it was really corny, but all that stuff really worked.
I suppose people thought, ''Who the hell are these cocky gits?''
Then they'd come down
and I think they were pleasantly surprised, most people.
We found Bob Sawyer, who was in the band for a while,
he was a good guitar player, good on stage and everything.
A big American car pulled up and there was Dennis driving,
Steve Harris and Dave Murray in it,
and Dennis wound the window down, ''Oi! How you doing?''
''In a band are you?'' ''Not really.'' ''Iíll give you a call.''
And this motor took off like a speedboat.
Two days later, I'm in the band.
(metal music)
Dennis was, I dunno, a very forthright character.
Great big blond barnet.
He used to swing the mic, he had all the front.
He weren't a great singer, but he could manipulate everybody.
He came to us with the reputation that every band he's ever been in,
he's always broken it up.
And Maiden was no exception and he broke it all up.
I got ejected on Dennis's orders.
He chucked me out because I was too flash.
He chucked Dave Murray out because he didn't like Dave's girlfriend.
There was some problem with Davey
and Dennis said, ''We should get rid of him.''
I was like, '' We can't, he's so good.''
He was like, ''He's gotta go or Iím off.''
I thought, ''I can't go through looking for another singer.''
Stupidly, I gave in.
He eventually managed to sack everybody,
including me, Bob Sawyer, Dave Murray, we was all sacked.
Terry Wapram was in the band. A very good guitar player.
I did the audition with Ronny and one or two gigs,
and then Ronny came out as well.
We tried various drummers and ended up with Thundersticks.
Barry, as he doesn't really want to be known.
He was a great drummer, but at one gig he was all over the show.
He did this drum solo that just got worse and worse.
In the middle, he stopped playing and went,
''Listen, all you... so-and-so's,
stop talking and listen to the maestro.''
I thought, ''Christ Almighty! He's gotta get better now.''
And he just got worse. He'd dropped something.
And I don't mean his stick.
We realised that one guitar wouldn't be enough
as they were doing harmonies,
so at that point and for the only time, as history says,
they brought in a keyboard player, Tony Moore.
They tried out with Tony Moore the keyboard player for a few times.
It just wasn't Maiden.
In the end, it was just Steve and Denny.
There was no band. Pathetic.
One night, he just decided to leave on the night of a gig.
He turned up late and said, ''Iím out. I've had enough.''
I thought I might as well take a few months
to try and find good people, you know.
That's when I got Doug Sampson in.
I had actually first played with him in Smiler.
I knew he was a good drummer and a good bloke.
He was out of a job. I just said, ''You wanna come in with this?''
He was mad up for it.
I knew he was damn serious.
So was I at the time, so it made quite a good companionship.
They wanted Dave Murray back in.
I said I didn't want to play with a second guitar
cos Iíd always played alone, so obviously I was out.
All these things get in the way and you can't let 'em.
When I played with Steve, I was about 24 and he was about 21 .
I thought I knew a bit more than him,
so we'd be bickering about the songs,
but obviously in hindsight, I know who got it right. (laughs)
Yeah, David rejoined the band when we only had me and Doug Sampson.
Everyone else had been fired or had left
or couldn't turn up cos they had a difficult girlfriend,
or whatever reason.
There was just three of us, that was Dave, Steve and myself.
We had no van, no lorry, nothing. (laughs)
Basically, just an idea.
But once we had the line-up of me, Doug Sampson and Davey,
that was a really strong nucleus and we really wanted to go ahead.
That's when we got Paul Di'Anno.
We were looking for a singer.
This chap said, ''My mate's a singer and he's bloody good.''
We said, ''Bring him to an audition tomorrow.''
I saw Paul in the distance. He said, ''That's the bloke.''
''He's brilliant. Iíll bring him along.''
He dragged him along. Iím not sure Paul wanted to go.
He started singing and I thought, ''Bloody hell! This guy's good.''
He was, he was shit hot.
So you think you can own me
Well, you better just think again
Steve came round and said, ''You've got the job.''
I really weren't that bothered to be honest with you.
But I went round Steve's house a week or so later.
I listened to some of the stuff he'd done on the bass
and suddenly it just hit me.
Iím like, ''Blimey! Iíve gotta do this.''
And that was it, I was into metal, man. There you go.
He wasn't punky when he came to us.
It was only after a while when he realised it annoyed us
that he tried to go down that road even more. Typical Paul.
On stage, he was really going for it,
that kind of bluesy type of vocal.
Those first few albums he done with us were great.
Full of attitude and the kids loved him.
A different heavy metal front man.
He wasn't this tight- white-spandex-trousered screamer.
He was this gruff urchin, this rough-and-tumble guy.
It added this real interesting edge to Maiden's music.
He had the charm of a rough-hewn stable boy.
He did come across like that.
He was a lad, a yob, but up on stage he really focused the music.
It was me, I done it all, see. Better than Elvis. (laughs)
He never had the money to pay for his petrol contribution to the band.
I remember paying it for him once, so he still owes me four quid,
plus 27 years' worth of interest. (laughs)
We stayed a four piece for quite some time.
We were always on the lookout for another guitar player,
so some of the songs like Iron Maiden,
with the answering guitar, with a riff that the other guitar answers,
I had to do that on the bass.
It worked really well for a while.
Right early on, we had like a kabuki-type mask,
so after Dennis left the band,
we could still incorporate the blood capsules and stuff
through the mouth of this mask.
We had like a fish pump that pumped the blood out.
It used to go over the drummer's head.
I remember Doug complaining about it.
He had blond hair and he used to get it in his hair and over his head.
We'd change behind the bar into stage clothes, which was unheard of.
So when you got on the stage, you looked the business.
And, with attitude, it really went down well.
Each time we had more money to spend on props,
gig money and this and that,
we used to invest it in more lighting.
Then we stuck the kabuki mask on a board with Iron Maiden lettering.
It had white bulbs round.
It looked like a theatre dressing room, really.
They had the first Eddie the Head. No one else was doing that.
Samson had Thunderstick in a mask,
but Iron Maiden had a logo designed by Steve Harris
with this funny silver thing which spewed forth red smoke
at the end of the set when they did Iron Maiden.
The next one after that was smoke coming out of the mouth
when we played places like the Music Machine.
You play a bigger place, you need a bigger Eddie.
It went on from there.
For us to expand more musically,
we had to get in another guitar player,
to be able to just broaden the whole thing.
People were in the band for a week.
Paul Todd was a very good guitar player
and he was in the band for a week.
We even did publicity shots with him.
A week later, he didn't turn up for rehearsals.
''Oh! Not again!'' You know what I mean? ''Oh, no!''
I went over there and he's answered the door.
I goes, ''Why the fucking hell are you not at rehearsals?''
''Do you wanna be in this band or not?'' He's like, ''Er...''
His girlfriend's there, like.
I was just so annoyed, I said to him,
''Tell me now in front of her, do you wanna be in this band?''
''If you don't, say so and we'll get someone else.''
''If you do come to rehearsal
and we'll get on with it, as we mean to carry on.''
''I dunno.'' So I said, ''That's it, you're out.''
How can you deal with people like that?
We got Tony Parsons in.
He was in the band for a matter of a few months.
It gets a bit hazy, you know, all these years ago.
There were certainly some characters. Mad Mac always used to bring his dog.
Lovely Scottish guy, mad as an hatter.
He was such a great player.
We thought, ''Brilliant! This is what we want! A bit of fire.''
He was jumping all over the place.
We were like, ''Bloody hell! What's he on?''
We done a few gigs and he just froze on stage.
We thought he was depressed, we didn't know what to think.
We gave him quite a few gigs because we liked him to sort it out,
but he never did. It just went downhill from there.
It was very odd. So that was the end of him.
It was... What a shame! What a waste!
There was a lot of gigging around the UK in that time.
Bought a three-ton truck
which we called the Green Goddess, because it was green.
We converted the back half of it.
We had a tail lift on it for the gear.
The front part converted into a place for us to sleep,
like bunk beds at the back.
You'd wake up in the morning covered in a layer of frost.
The Goddess would take me to the gig,
Iíd go on stage, come off, get on the Goddess.
I don't know where we went.
We was still working normal jobs and stuff during the week.
Then we'd do gigs all over the place.
I remember one, we went up to play in Aberdeen one night,
we drove up on the Friday,
stayed overnight in Berwick-upon-Tweed,
and played a gig the next night at Ruffles in Aberdeen,
and drove right back across country
and played Blackpool, the Norbreck Castle, on the Sunday night.
And then back home and back to work the following morning.
We was doing that quite a lot.
They were short, sharp and you got your money's worth.
It was wacky, loud, and it was bloody horrible. It was great.
We went to Spaceward Studios up in Cambridge.
We recorded The Soundhouse Tapes, which was Paul, myself, Steve, Doug.
We stayed there for a couple of days putting down four tracks.
The only way we could afford it was to go on New Year's Eve.
No one else wanted to do it then.
We wanted to take the two-inch tape home with us
so we could embellish it and add more to The Soundhouse Tapes,
but we couldn't afford to buy the tape.
It was only 50 quid, but we'd used all our money.
We couldn't afford a hotel, we was gonna kip in the van,
but because it was so cold, we was in this pub
and Paul pulled this bird, a young nurse,
and she invited us all back to kip on her floor.
She only had a bedsit, but we was very grateful.
We just kipped on the floor.
The next week, we went back to buy the tape
and the buggers had gone over it.
So all we had was the quarter-inch tape.
And that's what we actually ending up releasing The Soundhouse as.
What were left were these songs that have stood the test of time.
They're great songs and it was our first recording experience.
That's when we started hawking the stuff about.
We went to The Soundhouse over Kingsbury Circle.
That's when we first met Neal Kay.
This bloke called Steve Harris came into The Bandwagon
and he came up and said, ''Hello, we've just recorded this demo,
would you give it a listen and maybe a play?''
Iím mortified by my reply, so embarrassing,
so very sorry, Steve, I said, ''You and half the world, mate.''
''You'll have to wait.'' At the end of the night,
I pocket the tape with the other intake of the night and I go home.
It wasn't the first I played. I dismissed a couple.
Suddenly I put this cassette on
and I thought, ''Shit! This is really happening!''
''Who the hell are these guys? Man, I was so rude to this bloke!''
''He's got it, he's just got it.''
That's when one of the songs, Prowler, went to No.1 in his chart.
You've got Rush and Whitesnake and people like that behind us.
We were thinking, ''What's going on here?''
Me and Paul went down there one night. No one knew us.
We went and stood and waited to see what happens when it come on.
When they played Prowler the place went berserk.
There were people up throwing serious shapes
with the air guitar and all this business.
We were going, ''What's going on? There's a real thing happening.''
We're thinking, ''Blimey!''
''They're throwing shapes to our song!''
It was amazing.
Steve and the boys were invited to The Soundhouse
to play live for the audience and they delivered beautifully.
We did a gig down there, it was absolutely jam-packed.
Sold out. It was just amazing.
They took the place by storm. You knew you'd been Maidened.
The first time I saw them was at the Music Machine in May, 1 979,
which was the birth of the new wave of British heavy metal.
They were on a bill with Samson and Angel Witch,
the crËme de la crËme of the London scene.
Maiden blew me away.
They were so focused, so professional and so energetic and they had songs.
They stood apart from the others, both of whom were very good.
They kicked your head in, but there were also complicated pieces
which made people think, ''Oh, my God!''
There was no other band like it.
There was a time when somebody came down from a record label
and said, ''You sound kind of punky but your hair's too long.''
''lf you shave your hair off and dye it purple, we'll sign you.''
We just said, ''No.''
Out of the winter came a war horse of steel
I got this tape because my friend had told Steve
that his friend knew about the music business.
I thought it was very good,
with Prowler and Iron Maiden which became The Soundhouse Tapes.
So I called Steve Harris.
I fixed up a couple of gigs
at The Windsor Castle on Harrow Road and The Swan in Hammersmith.
The Windsor Castle I went up to and it looked great.
The band had a small PA, a backdrop, it looked pretty professional.
The only trouble is they weren't playing.
The pub manager wanted us to go on stage early, I think.
We weren't having it cos there was no one there.
The landlord said they'd never play North London again.
Steve told him to fuck off.
''Iíll see you never play in North London again!''
This was all going on in the men's toilets.
Iíve threatened to punch him out,
told him to poke his gig up his arse. So we didn't play.
I met him, Davey, Paul and Doug Sampson, it was a four-piece then,
liked them and we chatted.
The Swan, Hammersmith, was three days later.
He didn't see us that night either cos Paul got arrested.
''Bit of a laugh this, innit? Is this really happening?''
Paul, for some reason related to work, had a knife in his pocket,
and had the knife out on the pavement of Hammersmith roundabout.
The cops took him away.
I said to Steve, ''Do you know the songs?''
He said, ''I wrote them.''
I said, ''Can you sing?'' ''No.'' I said, ''Can you try?''
He said, ''Yes.'' So first time I saw the band,
was Steve and Dave with Doug with Steve singing.
He was right, he couldn't sing. (laughs)
I think Steve sung a couple of songs
and we extended some of the instrumental passages and stuff.
The second time he's come down to see us and we ain't got a singer
and there's all this chaos. We thought he wouldn't be interested.
But he loved it because of that, I think.
There was something about it,
the way Dave and Steve looked the audience in the eye.
On stage to this day, it's still the same.
Rod was blown away by the attitude and everything.
It still went down well.
Then Paul came back in for the last half an hour.
I thought it was awesome.
Although it wasn't fashionable, I didn't care about fashion anyway.
We had a closer look at it and started working with them.
I remember him saying, ''Up till now this band's been a hobby,
but from now on it's very serious.'' You know.
I wanted to be sure that I liked them enough
to live with them for the next ten years.
It became not ten but 25 and counting.
Rod was a manager who already knew the business,
was shrewd, sharp and he knew he had something there.
I was into the music. I knew enough.
I also didn't know too much.
Iím not sure we could have done it without him,
because he was so passionate and believed in the band
and that really helped us believe in ourselves
and kept us driven and motivated.
I went to meet 'em in Newcastle
and went to see them play in the Mecca in Newcastle.
I turned up in a suit straight from working as an accountant
and was confronted by this doorman who said I was at the wrong venue.
lf I remember rightly,
Rod just introduced me as his long-term partner
and that was it.
They didn't take that the wrong way?
I think they'd seen enough of his other activities
to know there was no question about his sexuality.
Once we'd played The Soundhouse and Rod had seen the reaction we had,
he said, ''You've really gotta release this and start selling it at gigs.''
Just to create the buzz and everything.
We released only 5,000.
Rod put it out to the press it was 1 5,000 to look good,
but it was only five.
The first interview I did with them was in the bowels of a pub.
Down-to-earth, honest-to-goodness rockers,
plain and simple.
That was their first mainstream music-press interview,
which I guess must have been in Sounds mid- to late-1 979.
British rock was alive again.
It was a fantastic time to be in the music press.
We were getting some press like Sounds,
we started building up the London gigs,
eventually leading to doing the Marquee in mid-October in '79.
It was like being in a sweating shoe box with headphones on.
Iíd never seen anything like it.
I wanna show you all my wares
It was just like jammed, jam-packed. A total sweat box.
See the blood begin to flow as it falls upon the floor
It was quite a shock, cos we'd been on the road
and I just didn't realise just how big it was getting.
Oh, well, wherever Wherever you are
Iron Maiden is gonna get you
No matter how far
We met and said, ''We're gonna do this and that.''
''We'll do the Marquee then get the record deal.'' As you do.
I was looking for a rock band.
There was another band at the time that we were looking at,
and that's another part of the story called Def Leppard.
Because of the budgets that we had,...
if we were going to do the job right, we could really only do one.
We decided to put our money on Maiden.
Iíd like to think we were right.
EMI's A&R guy, John Darnley,
got his boss down The Bandwagon a week later.
Darnley was into Maiden big time.
He was our resident rock guy.
He was creaming himself over Maiden.
He said, ''You've not seen anything like it
till you've been to a Maiden gig.'' And it's true.
Brian Shepperd came up to The Wagon that night.
It was packed full.
They turned up late and they couldn't get in.
They could get in the back but couldn't see anything.
All you can see is the back end,
the arse end of hundreds of kids doing this. (laughs)
Iím just looking. The sweat was coming off the wall.
It was electrifying.
That sells it before we've played a note.
They think, ''Christ! What's happening here?''
Sheppy was so impressed with the noise the crowd made,
he said to Rod, ''I can't see them,
but the crowd love 'em. I think we'll have 'em.''
An atmosphere that was nothing but positive, electrifying,
and it just felt great, you know.
You realised you were at something a little bit special.
''That's it, you better get this Mr Smallwood fella in.''
The thing about the Maiden deal
which made it peculiar to any other deal that Iíve ever done
was that it was a three-album firm commitment.
Rod's thing was, ''Iím not stitching you up
for three firm albums because I can,
because there's 1 9 record companies lined up out here.''
''I need to know we've got that continuity
if we're all gonna go down this line.''
Totally understood that and agreed with it.
Metal bands take a lot of money to keep going,
so we weren't kidding ourselves,
but Rod's... he's got an infectious enthusiasm.
When you sat with this guy in the office,
he could excite you just by listening to his vision,
this is where he wanted to be, this is the way he wanted to go,
this is the way they wanted to do the album,
this who they wanted to work with. It all made sense.
So why screw with it, you know?
They understood the band knew what they wanted to do,
could do it and weren't going to listen anyway.
Iíve gotta think about this. There were so many changes.
It was Paul, Davey, meself and Doug Sampson at the time,
but pretty much straight after that that was when Doug left.
We were coming off stage, I was soaking wet,
I was sleeping in a freezing-cold lorry, the Green Goddess,
and I was living on a diet of junk food, alcohol and cigarettes,
which was never gonna be a recipe for good health,
and it just told on me.
Doug just couldn't handle the touring.
He just wasn't physically strong enough.
He said, ''I don't think I can cut it.''
So he was honest, you know.
They had a very heavy schedule coming up,
and they couldn't wait for me to recuperate.
Well, Dennis joined round about the time...
just before the first album.
We were still looking for this elusive second guitar player.
The idea was that I was gonna come into the band
as twin guitars and backing vocals.
They explained that they didn't have a drummer.
I saw Clive and said, ''Iíve joined Maiden,
they're looking for a drummer, do you want a go?''
I got the call from Maiden
to come down, you know, and replace their old drummer.
He came down for an audition and played Transylvania and a few others.
(laughs)
I hadn't even learnt them, I just played along with them.
Personality-wise and drumming-wise everyone seemed to hit it off.
I just fitted in with them, just clicked.
They decided to go with Clive,
so that made the five of us the line-up for the first album.
Four years doing the pub circuit and clubs,
working day jobs at the time, then we would go off and do these gigs,
drive 200 miles, go to work the next morning,
so signing with a label meant you could pack in your day job.
When we did go pro, we was earning less money than in the day jobs.
Rod was tight with the purse strings as he always is.
We were on 30 quid a week.
Sticking with every man that you find
Don't you know what they're after
Charlotte, you've got your legs in the air
Don't you hear all the laughter?
- Charlotte the Harlot - Show me your legs
- Charlotte the Harlot - Take me to bed
- Charlotte the Harlot - Let me see blood
- Charlotte the Harlot - Let me see love
When the first album came out
it received rave reviews, deservedly so.
It captured the energy and imagination of the band.
In later years, and even not very much later,
just a few months later, there was a muttering from the band
that they didn't really like the production.
The songs on it are strong.
In a way, it was a best of of the four years before that.
But I was never really happy with the production.
Beethoven could have done better, and he was deaf for how long?
I always felt that the guitars weren't heavy enough.
Do you know, I honestly can't remember how we came up with Will.
He did sod all on that album.
He just sat at the end of the desk with his feet up,
reading whatever paper or magazine, puffing, wongering away.
We come in all excited, our first album, you know,
''What did you think of that take, Will?''
''I think you could do better.'' Then he'd go back to his paper.
I went over the top with Phantom of the Opera's vocal harmonies.
Rod didn't like that. He thought it sounded too much like Queen.
It lost a bit of the rawness of Maiden,
so we took a lot of the vocals out.
It could have been a great album, Some probably people think it is.
But to my mind it never was, you know. Itís a shame.
The first album is not just an all-time classic,
many fans believe it's the best thing they've done.
People still prefer that raunchy, old-fashioned way of recording.
So they must have been doing something right.
Most people think it's a good sound, so what do I know?
Steve's a very shy person and Dave's pretty shy.
They weren't sort of... (roars), you know. They're pretty quiet.
Even Paul, who makes out to be loud and obnoxious, isn't at all.
He's a sweetheart really.
Sorry to ruin your image, Paul, but he's a very nice bloke.
He has his moments, like everyone does,
but there was no, you know, lunatic central figure,
and I just thought we needed one.
Derek Riggs turned up with a load of science-fiction book covers,
which were completely not what we wanted,
but there was a picture that was the first sleeve, it was Eddie.
Oh ,well, wherever Wherever you are
The idea of Eddie.
(laughs)
It came from an idea for a punk album,
which... I worked out from a head
which I saw stuck on a Vietnamese tank,
supposedly an American's head.
But Iím suspicious, I think it was a ploy
by the American government to gain sympathy.
Oh, well, wherever Wherever you are
I loved it. It looked great. It was punky with the hair sticking up.
I think it suited Maiden perfectly.
A heavy metal rock band with that punky-looking thing on the front,
it was perfect.
Yeah!
That was gonna be the guy who roared for us
and allowed the band to take a back seat to an extent.
They were delighted. They're not into being rock stars.
They didn't put make-up on like Kiss or masks like Slipknot.
They had Eddie instead.
Most people will use an image or a theme for an album
or maybe two albums and then move on.
The great thing about Maiden is they have moved on,
but they've always kept that constant which was Eddie.
Eddie became our conceptual continuity.
The first single, Running Free, he was at the back of the alley
with his face darkened so you couldn't see who it was.
When the first album came out it all made sense,
and it went on from there.
Rod's big scam
was to have Eddie the head become this figure on stage.
And every night, he'd come on with a machete and wander around.
People loved it.
I did it in the early days.
When Adrian became tour manager, we made him do Eddie.
Then when Tony Wigens was tour manager,
Tony would always turn up with cords on,
because he knew damn well Iíd never let Eddie appear in cords.
(laughs)
Women in uniform
In the hospital bed scene
the cameraman was trying to really get down into it,
He's sitting on me. Iím laying in bed.
The idea is the nurses pull the sheet back and I sit up real fast.
I cracked the bridge of my nose on the camera.
I didn't know as I had the mask on for another hour.
I took it off and blood was streaming down my face.
It does change you wearing that thing,
you start to get like, you know, invincible.
''Iím Eddie, don't fuck with me!'' (laughs)
Who said heavy metal music was dead?
They come from West Ham, their name is Iron Maiden,
and they're doing something live in the studio.
Itís called Running Free.
This is a real band as opposed to a lot of things on TV
and they're not gonna mime.
The last band to do it was The Who about ten years before.
We just wanted to shake things up a bit.
Just sixteen, a pickup truck
Out of money, out of luck
The other band in the studio were going, ''What is going on?''
It looked real. Nobody had seen anything real on Top of the Pops
for so long it, had been forgotten.
Iím running free
Iím running free, yeah
Iím running free
Running
( applause)
Unchain the colours before my eyes
Maiden were headlining in the UK. They'd established themselves.
What they had to do now was go to Europe, go to America, tour, tour.
They knew that in terms of trying to break Maiden to an audience,
the Kiss tour would do very nicely, thank you.
It was a big decision, it was a lot of money.
I called Martin Haxby and said,
''Rod wants all this money, what do you think?''
And Martin in a very dry Yorkshire accent said,
''We've got nothing else to spend it on, so go for it.''
We did and the rest is history.
When we toured Europe with Kiss, there was a huge following for us.
We'd go out like headliners.
We had two nights at the Paris Hippodrome. It holds 1 0,000.
The first night Kiss's manager came in and said semi-joking,
''You can headline tomorrow night.''
Kiss were and still are a hell of a band.
They were very astute as well,
seeing Maiden's popularity building up,
and taking them out on the road with them into Europe,
it was a great combination.
When I saw them with Kiss,
I thought this band would go as far or beyond Kiss,
because there was something there.
It wasn't a massive marketing campaign.
It was word of mouth and great artwork.
Loads and loads of kids with Maiden stuff on.
You're thinking, ''Jesus! They have got a big following.''
We weren't there to support Kiss as the underdogs,
we were there to prove a point.
We went down a storm with tens of thousands of people.
Kiss were a delight to tour with. The whole tour was an eye-opener.
Seeing the scale of things,
the way Kiss are part of this huge production,
and everything they had going for them,
it was like, ''Wow! This is an eye opener.''
''This is the theatrical side of it.'' You've got the music side.
Maybe the theatrics could take on more of a thing in Maiden.
So the Kiss tour it was fantastic.
It was a hard schedule as well, but it was very successful.
Both bands got on really well.
It was a cool thing. A real cool thing.
At the end of the Kiss tour, Steve had a chat with me
and said he didn't think it was working out.
He was trying to write, which is fine,
but he was trying to pull us into 1 0cc kind of stuff,
or something along those lines,
and it really was not where any of us wanted to go. Not just me.
It was really obvious that's not what we're about
and not where we want to be, and it became a problem.
We weren't convinced of Dennis's commitment to the band or the music.
Rod was a little bit concerned that I listened to stuff by George Benson.
He was concerned that I listened to stuff by The Eagles.
Itís a shame. Dennis is a nice bloke, great guitar player.
Just one of those things. It really was musical differences in that case.
OK, thank you. We shook hands and that was it.
Iíve known Davey since we were kids, really, since we were 1 5 years old.
Started playing with Davey in bands very early on.
Actually bought my first guitar off Dave. Cost me a fiver.
I think I sold him an electric guitar,
a Woolworth's Top 20, way back when.
I think I sold it for a bit more.
I painted it silver and sold it to someone else.
We did a couple of gigs in a local town hall
for a Mars Bar and a can of Coke in front of three people and a dog.
Dave went off, branched out a bit. He played with different people.
I kept the band going, which became Urchin.
We actually did gigs with Maiden.
We used to do the air-force bases,
which was great money, we liked it. We used to get free Budweiser.
It was like touring the States but you only had to go up the motorway.
He was so committed with Urchin, though.
We had respect for that,
he wanted to go off and do his thing and try and make that successful.
We wanted Adrian in the first place, but he was too tied up with Urchin.
So when Dennis went, we managed to get a decision out of Adrian.
Iíd just been round the West End, hawking a tape around,
trying to get people to listen to it.
I was walking along, feeling pretty dejected, actually.
I happened to bump into Steve and Dave.
They said, ''What you doing?'' ''Not much. Things are on the skids.''
They said, ''We might be looking for someone. You interested?''
I said, ''Well, yeah. I might be.''
You haunt me, you taunt me, you torture me back at your lair
A good friend.
A great player, he's a great songwriter,
and basically he'd fit in to Maiden perfectly.
Temperament-wise, he wasn't the sort of guy that would battle with Davey.
The solos trading off, back-to-back solos and whatnot, became...
You can count on it all the time.
Really big difference. Professional outfit.
Competing with the bigger guys.
I remember going down to Brixton,
we were rehearsing for a tour, and walking into the theatre.
The gear was set up, a lighting rig, and just wall-to-wall Marshalls.
When I joined Maiden, I walked in with an AC30,
a little amp, about this big. I went, ''Plug in that, mate.'' Great.
All we wanted was a complementary pair of guitarists
to play melodically like Wishbone Ash
and throw a few shapes on stage. You think it's not too much to ask.
50 people later or something...
That's an exaggeration, but you think, ''God. What's going on?''
Iron Maiden has always been very innovative.
From Eddie through to their live performances,
to everything they are about musically,
innovation has been their hallmark.
The video is one example. Nobody else thought of it.
EMI went out first to make a long-form video
with Iron Maiden. Itís great.
Mother was a queen, my dad Iíve never seen, I was never meant to be
And now I spend my time looking all around...
At the Rainbow, of all places, it was just like way to go!
I used to go and see bands at the Rainbow when I was a kid,
so to play there was amazing.
I wish I hadn't worn that waistcoat, though!
I know we were nervous. It was early days of filming stuff.
It puts pressure on our playing.
It gives you that nervous edge, and makes you play better, I think.
This is a song called, you said it, Killers!
The version of Killers I sing that night
I made up in the dressing room before going on.
We have found you
And now there is no place to run
You push numbers
Cos we have the power of one...
They had it musically, and it sounded great.
I was... ''We'll play it instrumental.''
I scribbled a few bits out.
Itís completely different to the album.
The first album is almost too easy.
You've spent your life writing the material.
Second album, you've got a couple of months,
get in the studio and suddenly you're under pressure.
The second album had the production. The songs, although good,
were probably, ''OK, we've got to do a second album quite quick,
get the songs together.''
That's Martin Birch's first involvement. Stunning producer.
When I had a chat with Steve, I asked him.
I said, ''Why didn't you ask me to do the first album?''
''I really would have liked to.''
He said, ''The reason we didn't ask
was we thought you'd be too famous to say yes.''
I was in awe of Martin. He had produced my favourite bands,
all the bands I was listening to,
from the Purple, Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac stuff.
Probably just as well.
They might have been a little in awe of me at the time.
It was like meeting my hero, basically.
lf I made a suggestion, they'd stand to attention and say,
''Yeah, OK, really good. We'll do that.''
But, I mean, I would never impose myself on them.
To me, Iíve got to bring the best out of them,
make them feel good and relaxed, so they play well.
He would get the best performance out of everybody in the studio.
It was a learning kind of, without wanting to use a clichÈ,
a learning kind of curve for both of us to get to know each other.
I think we did the best we possibly could at that time.
Tour, tour, tour, play, play, play was how to get the message across.
They were already picking up a very, very strong audience
in the early days, and so we decided that was it, work them hard.
They very quickly established themselves as a live act.
Audiences really took to them straightaway.
The whole Eddie concept and so on. You could see it.
We started working our way into the States.
We toured with a lot of bands, supported a lot bands,
from, like, Priest, Scorpions,
Rainbow, 38 Special.
We started off by just having an 1 8-foot Bobtail,
you know, truck, station wagons,
luggage thrown in the back, drive like mad.
That's how we started in North America.
lf you want to break America, you have to go and do 1 50 shows.
Coast to coast, do all the clubs, all the toilets, really work hard.
It was all about being there, performing, touring, mid-West,
pockets of support.
We were planting seeds at that part of their career,
planting seeds big time.
It was just amazing to be out in the States, on tour,
with this band,
our band.
We were exposed to, like, stadiums,
you know, 50,000 people.
It was incredible.
An eye-opener, really.
I was getting a little bit unhappy, at the time,
and that was the time to sort of, you know, sort of get away.
The more success we had,
the more he couldn't deal with it, or didn't want to.
I remember one particular gig in Germany.
He was saying, ''I don't want to be here,
I want to be home, I want to go home.''
Some nights he actually wouldn't want to go on stage.
He'd just be sitting on the side.
You're letting everyone else down as well as yourself. Fans, as well.
They'd have been the first ones to spot
if you're not giving it 1 ,000 percent.
To go on stage, burnt out, hung-over, ain't gonna work.
Paul couldn't last much longer the way he was treating himself.
He'd probably admit, it may have been the self-destruct button he pushed.
You know, I was taking drugs and drinking and that,
just to sort of... sort of numb the pain.
In the end it was a point where we thought,
''We can't carry on with him like this. It'll pull us all under.''
There could've been a chance there, but I didn't want the chance either.
Because I wouldn't be able to do it justice.
Iím just... Once my mind's made up,
Iím a stubborn git, Iíve got to do it.
Iíve never regretted it for a minute.
It was never, ''We want him in, he's got to go.''
It was, ''He's got to go, let's look round.''
It wasn't as an improvement, it was necessity.
Christ alive, Iíve been given an opportunity
which some people would give their eyeteeth to go for.
I think all Maiden realise that.
We've been blessed with fantastic opportunities. You can't knock it.
Itís live the dream.
We actually tried Terry Slesser.
He's a fantastic singer.
Some songs sounded brilliant
but other songs, more heavy, harder songs,
Iron Maiden, stuff like that, didn't really work.
Bruce was who we wanted, but he was with another band,
so it was a question of nicking him from another band.
I hadn't met Bruce but you get opinions on things.
I didn't like him. Bruce Bruce was a stupid name.
I thought the white thing he wore on stage looked really naff.
And Samson had messed about with Maiden before I got involved,
so I do bear grudges.
When Steve suggested I become the new singer of Maiden
he was, ''No, Iím not having him! He's from them!''
I went to Reading with Steve. We both drove down.
He said, ''We're going to check out this singer.''
So we went. I watched about half a number.
Within the first half of song, we both looked at each other
and went, ''That's it. Yeah.''
And that was... Then, obviously, Rod hooked him in.
I find Bruce and say, ''I need a word with you quietly.''
We wander to the area in the middle of the backstage marquees.
They all look inwards at this enormous flagpole
with a huge arc light on top and under the flagpole is me and him.
And because there's nobody around he's assuming that nobody's looking.
Everybody's looking, going, ''Look!''
He came in the office a few days later.
I think we said, ''Bloody daft name, Bruce Bruce. What's your real name?''
''Bruce Dickinson? We'll call you that. And you look like a roadie.''
''Here's 30 quid, go get a fucking leather jacket.''
Oh, well, wherever
Wherever you are
Iron maiden's gonna get you
No matter how far...
As soon as the recording started to come through
with Bruce on vocals, you could kind of see
that actually Maiden had taken a bit of a quantum leap.
They'd become slightly more mainstream.
They'd lost that real gruff edge,
but out of the two forks in the road,
you know, that was the route to take, really.
It was immediate. The band just went to a whole different level.
As far as touring would go, we could tour forever.
His voice would be there every night.
I think the biggest difference, noticeable difference,
is just the image of the band.
Maybe it was a bit more punky with Paul,
and with Bruce, maybe it became a bit more arty.
He knows what he's doing.
I never saw a performer control an audience just like that.
He knows they want him. He's got them in his hand.
It gave another dimension to what we could do, vocally.
Bruce had a much wider range as a singer,
so that opened things up more.
He was very definite about how he saw himself and how he saw the band.
He had the advantage of seeing it from outside a little bit.
You had, basically, a very passive band,
except for Steve,
who was right up the front in the middle.
When I watched them from the front,
I was, like, ''Don't like that, that's wrong, the singer should be there.''
So the first thing I did was move my monitors to the middle at the front.
Dunk. Which got in his way, cos he wanted to run to the catwalk
and my monitors were there, so he had them moved.
So I walked on and moved them back.
There was a bit of argy-bargy between him and Steve.
Steve likes the central monitors and so does Bruce.
Iíd be singing along, getting in to the groove,
and all of a sudden Iíd feel this thump,
and he'd be elbowing me out the way. I thought, ''Hang on a minute!''
So I had extra-long mic-stand legs put on my microphone stand.
(laughs)
I could sit there like that. And he'd suddenly go... ''Whoa!''
He'd start tripping up over them, you know.
Run to the hills
Run for your life
After the second album, all the material of those few years,
plus other bits and pieces we wrote, from '80 onwards,
had been used up. That's when the pressure starts,
when you've then got to write songs in a certain period.
You know, Iíd started to write more. I think there was a lot more ideas.
And we could tell. I thought it was going to be something special.
I remember going round to Steve's place.
I think he still lived with his gran or something,
and he played me the idea for Number of the Beast.
I thought, ''That's amazing. Really different, the beat and that.''
The songs. Bruce. The whole thing, it seemed to lift.
It seemed to go to another level.
I thought, ''This ain't going to work.''
Then I heard Number of the Beast, and thought, ''Oh, God.''
And I still do it today.
Bruce Dickinson is the best Maiden vocalist ever.
Paul was a great singer too, you know,
but Bruce had a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
We were working very well with Martin at that point.
I remember when we did the opening, Number of the Beast,
I got Bruce to sing it over and over and over, cos I knew what I wanted.
Martin would always drag out a little bit more,
to the point where, sometimes, you know, bits of furniture
went flying across the studio, things like that, out of frustration.
Itís just like, OK, cool. No big deal.
lf we get the performance, that's what matters.
I drove him crazy. He ended up throwing chairs around the studio,
screaming, yelling, went home with a blinding headache,
threatening never to sing again.
But I think now, when he listens to it,
he realises, ''Yeah, he was right.''
I enjoy making records with Martin.
They're not always comfortable but they're always bloody good.
You make an album or a song or anything, you don't think,
''We've made a classic song there.''
You don't think that. You just don't think like that, not at all, no.
You think you've made a strong album,
''We're proud and confident of this.'' You think like that.
Yeah, I have a great time listening to it,
thinking, ''Yeah, that was you. That was you, kiddo.''
Run for your life...
I had the same feeling on Number of the Beast
as when we did the Deep Purple album, Machine Head.
It was the same kind of atmosphere, same feeling going on.
Something really good is happening and it's exciting to do.
And I think that comes through on the album.
As far as Iím concerned, it still is the album.
Let him who hath understanding reckon the number of the beast,
for it is a human number.
What we asked Derek to do was... It was a juxtaposition.
Who's really the baddie, Eddie or the devil?
So you have the devil with Eddie as a puppet,
but Eddie has the devil as a puppet.
And Derek did a fantastic job. You know, pretty classic artwork.
Can I believe
Due to go on a TV show, the presenter looked at the album cover,
and we saw, we watched in the wings as she recoiled in horror
and they chucked us out. People would react.
We all still have a little smile about it.
We had so much flak for a while,
especially in America about it. Itís just ridiculous really.
You can't accuse people of being devil worshippers
and stuff like this, not in reality. Itís show business.
When the Americans say anything like that,
you just think to yourself, ''Oh, hold on.''
It gave us loads of publicity.
And the kids that bought our records were like,
''Cool, the religious right burn their records. Let's buy half a dozen.''
Am I Satanist?
No.
666
The number of the beast
Sacrifice is going on tonight
Number of the Beast was, I believe,
the most important album they ever made. It was the turning point.
Number of the Beast was definitely a big turning point in America.
I actually persuaded Rod Smallwood to get dressed up as Eddie
and walk around our Capitol office.
He did don the Eddie outfit
and walked around the building as Eddie. But it worked.
It got everybody going again about
here was another Iron Maiden album and it was coming through.
I was push-starting the tour bus in Winterthur
in Switzerland,
because the coach driver had flattened the battery.
We got a telegram on Sunday morning, saying, ''Your album is number one.''
And we went, ''Fantastic.''
Everybody, all hands on deck.
We were pushing a 30-seat coach to jump-start it.
We just got this great news and then...
But that's the thing, isn't it? The humbler, the leveller.
So the band went from £60 a week to £1 00 a week
when the album had been number one for two weeks.
You didn't need more. You know, you're touring.
Money wasn't the issue.
They were more concerned if they couldn't tour,
or couldn't get the right equipment or the right tools
to do the best job for the fans.
The stage performances were no expense spared,
but the band themselves lived extremely modestly on the road.
We cut every corner, between us.
We put the money into touring, in the band.
I remember it as plain as day
Although it happened in the dark of night
I was strolling through the streets of Paris...
We'd done a couple of world tours
and we wanted to put out a whole entire show and everything.
Problem was, the lighting wasn't right, this and that.
When we looked back at the footage, it was just...
It just wasn't good enough to put out.
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Never gonna find me
Murders in the Rue Morgue
We did multiple nights at Hammersmith.
At that time that was like, that was like prestige, big prestige.
Better than a couple of nights at Wembley Arena.
Not a great sounding room, but Hammersmith Odeon was a cool place.
Children of the damned
The schedules were pretty, pretty hefty.
I remember on Number of the Beast
we did the Coliseum in El Paso,
flew to England, did Reading Festival,
and the next show was Long Beach, California, within days.
It was pretty... heavy going.
We almost sat, late '81 , particularly,
and laid out a plan for '82, '83, '84
that was phenomenally ambitious and quite expensive.
But we laid out the plans so we knew in advance
what we would need and what we'd use.
Rod would know what the band were doing
1 2, 1 5, 1 8 months ahead.
''This is when this album's going to be delivered, here's the artwork.''
They had it all incredibly planned out.
He could tell me when they're going to write the record,
when they'd record it,
and pretty much to the day when it would be released.
I had to make a plan and stick to it.
lf Elvis Presley was going to release his album on the same day as us,
Iíd go, ''Fuck Elvis, I won't change for anybody.''
You could call him a maniac, or be nice and call him a driver.
He used to drive all his projects relentlessly.
We were looking ahead, what we were going to do,
what sort of tour, how long it would be.
And they just kept getting bigger and bigger.
So we'd make sure we had the crew,
and the crew got bigger and bigger, more and more trucks.
Larger venues was a big, big change,
because we were carrying our own sound system.
I stuck my neck out, and we went out
and the band bought a huge Turbosound TMS3 rig,
but within a season it was already half as much as we needed.
The band was growing so quickly.
We started playing big arenas, which need a larger-than-life show.
lf you're at the back of those places, you're not going to see.
You'd see five little dots. You have to put a show on.
The then lighting designer had seen the, erm...
I think it was the English National Opera company or something.
But he'd seen these giants at some festival, opera festival,
where he was looking at the production.
He talked to the guy and said,
''Could you make a giant that looked like that?'' like Eddie.
Now you've got something
that really makes a huge statement on stage.
''Look at that thing, wow!'' you know.
After that it was playtime with Eddie.
Kids really did relate to Eddie. They had the artwork, the figure,
and they turned it into, eventually, a merchandiser's dream.
Itís important that a band establish what their image is
and many people have copied Iron Maiden.
From what I can gather, Lars from Metallica,
his whole concept for merchandising and design
was based around what Maiden were doing.
We used to get people turn up in America with these Eddie tattoos
and the cars were covered in Eddie. That got a bit crazy, a bit scary.
I love him really.
Several times we put Eddie on the cover of Kerrang.
Eddie would sell as well as Jon Bon Jovi,
as Gene Simmons, whatever. It was a recognisable cover image.
Good night from Eddie and the boys! Good night.
They came to Australia in around November '82. It was fantastic.
But the band had not broken significantly in Australia
until Number of the Beast, Bruce Dickinson's arrival
and the Run to the Hills single. As a stage performance,
it was up a scale to anything they'd normally seen in Australia.
And it was instantly successful.
As with cricket, they don't initially take too kindly
to a bunch of touring poms. But they won them over in that first tour.
We travelled all over. There was one place, kind of in the outback,
in the middle of nowhere, and it was a bit like Bob's Country Bunker,
a Blues Brothers sort of thing.
Not quite the chicken wire, but it was a tiny backstage, a little room.
And when we went there, there was all these tables set up,
and people were, like, eating dinner and stuff.
And it was, like, ''OK, maybe they'll take the tables away when we go on.''
But, no, they didn't, they were there the whole night.
It was funny. Between songs you'd hear, ''Table 76, your steak's ready.''
I did get a phone call from him at four in the morning,
when he was complaining in his usual emphatic manner,
about my booking them into what appeared to be a bingo club
in the middle of Wagga Wagga,
complete with chicken in a basket on the menu
and twin-sets in the audience.
I can't take the blame for that.
Andy Taylor was telling me to put extra shows in
to keep the money up on their first Australian tour.
We had problems with Clive on tour, really.
In that particular case, we gave him three months to sort himself out.
And he didn't.
I think with time maybe it could have been sorted,
but time was what we didn't have.
Itís all about live. So if we start not being able to perform
at max out, 1 50 percent, then things have got to change.
I didn't feel like I wanted to leave.
I just got asked to leave one day and that was it.
Nicko toured with us when he was with Trust
and we knew what a brilliant drummer he was.
We were connected with Nicko over the years, either this show or this show.
The most natural person to have in the band.
In the early days, in North London,
me and Nicko used to go for auditions for bands.
There used to be, like, ten or 1 5 drummers go,
and there'd always be two left, me and him.
And I knew he'd get the gig. But I didn't have to worry,
cos the phone would ring two weeks later
cos he'd got the sack for giving too much of that.
(rants)
''And another thing.''
He's a lunatic. What can I say?
That's what he brought to the group. He brought Nicko.
This energy that he's got.
And of course the technique as a player as well.
A real character, and a real charge of electricity when he came in.
Iíd known Nick for quite a few years before he joined Maiden.
We always got on very well.
I was very concerned about his influence within the band.
''I don't think Steve's making the right choice.''
''I know you.'' All this business, winding me up.
I think, genuinely, he wasn't sure.
We had a lot of talks over the years, to keep an even keel.
He's got a heart of gold.
He's a lovely guy and a great drummer.
Now they're there, that's the fucking line-up. I tell you, whoa.
You wouldn't want to follow them on stage.
What the band used to do is they'd rent a hotel in Jersey,
when it was low season, and we'd get a chef
and a pool table and a dartboard.
24 guys with a 24-hour bar,
and you didn't have to pay for any of it. Dear me.
''Are we going to have a play today?'' ''I don't think we need to, do you?''
''Got any new tunes ready?'' ''Yeah.'' ''Shall we have a go at them?''
''No.'' ''OK, let's go and have a beer.''
We had the crew over there, and it was just like mayhem. Months on end.
The gear was just there 24 hours a day, set up.
And you could go down there at ten in the morning in your jimjams
and just sit, pick a guitar up.
Somebody else would wander in. ''What you doing?'' ''This. Cool, eh?''
Suddenly, ''Yeah, cool.'' Tape recorder goes on.
Bruce and I started really working well together.
I never really sat with... I didn't write with Paul,
so I never sat with a great singer.
I play a riff, and he comes up with something amazing,
opens his mouth and you've got a great-sounding song.
So that was a new thing for me to get into as well.
This was the first album we did with Nick.
So...
He was like a new toy to play with, you know.
Itís like, ''Wow, he does this. And this.''
''I wonder if he can do this. Can you do this?''
''Can we make him do something really mad?''
''Could you do this, this and this? He can, too!''
Iím with one of the best, if not the best,
rock player, bass players in the world, and composer.
So the way he writes makes me think, ''I can't just play straight on this.''
''Iíve got to come up with some kind of complementary backbone for Harry.''
That set Steve off on to a new tack
in terms of the complexity of some of the arrangements
and the complexity of some songs.
He would come with a song, then have all the melodies in his head.
The lyrics, the riffs, even keyboard parts, and it would all be there.
''Iíll play it.'' So he sits there, he goes...
(sings)
(whistles)
And he plays and whistles.
He'll sit with an acoustic guitar and whistle the melody,
or he'll be playing his bass, acoustic bass,
and whistle the melody over the top, so you work in with that.
When you come up with bass riffs and use the technique he uses
and the sound, then translate it to guitar,
it comes out very differently. Almost like having three guitarists.
Itís a very unusual approach to the bass.
I think that gave the band a different kind of edge.
Sometimes it was a bit difficult to translate the ideas, I found.
But it definitely gives the band
one of the most difficult things to get, and that's originality.
Steve had the idea of having Eddie in a padded cell,
with a straitjacket.
I didn't think it was enough. I tried to think of something more,
and came up with the lobotomy. We just couldn't work out the title.
For a while, it was Food For Thought.
And then we came up with Piece of Mind in a pub in Jersey.
Suddenly, Piece of Mind.
I still don't know it's that good, but it worked.
Nick was adamant that he would not use
a double bass drum pedal, on principle, you know.
He thought it was un-drummer-ish to do that.
(sings)
He could manage it for about ten or 1 5 seconds before his foot fell off.
And during the course of rehearsals,
every day he'd go in and get better and better and better.
Itís an incredible piece of drumming.
Where Eagles Dare. Man, oh, man, that's a hard song.
And they'd start the show with it! Start the show, first song!
(sings)
The kids were coming out to see a band with a new drummer,
a new face, and I had to fill those shoes, so I was a little bit...
Didn't want to let the kids down in terms of what Clive gave them live.
When a band who are very rootsy, and have a grass-roots following,
and are unsigned, get signed, so often the fans turn and say,
''Itís no longer our secret, they're not what they were.''
That never happened with Maiden. They stayed in touch with the fans.
They were determined, however big they became,
they would never lose touch with the people who mattered, the fans.
It was the power of their live shows.
Simple as that.
There's no difference whether there are 75,000 out there or 700.
They're the same people.
Steve, I mean, he used to prove it, he'd come off stage,
and he'd be standing, and there'd be water
coming out of the eyelets of his sneakers.
That's how much sweat he used to generate during a show.
I think we always treated the fans with respect.
Put on a great show for them,
spent a lot of money on the production
and, you know, I think people appreciate that, you know.
That's one reason we're still around.
The Iron Maiden audiences have that, you know, extra oomph,
when they're screaming, shouting, singing the songs.
Scream for me, Dortmund!
There was a TV show in Dortmund,
and on that we decided to kill off Eddie.
We did a great job of maiming him.
Iron maiden wants you...
For dead
Come here, sunshine.
Eddie gets killed. We pulled out a woman's tights
covered in red stuff, that was supposed to be his brains.
Which I think left the audience bemused.
Iím not sure they got what was going on.
I remember getting into the excitement of it, with the guitar...
His head was there, we were smashing the guitar, everyone jumping in.
We thought, ''That'll make great TV.''
But the German authorities said it was too violent to get shown on TV.
Waste of time, really.
I tell you one thing I always did admire is Steve.
He's so focused and just, like, have it.
He is the band.
Forget trying to sway him from his path.
lf he's on a quest, that's... There's nothing you can say.
He had this dream and we're living it with him.
We wanted to get an album deal and be able to tour,
a proper tour around the UK, the Marquees of this world.
Big, big clubs, universities, just get an album out.
We weren't thinking the rest of the world at that point.
It wasn't until the first album was released and started selling well
that we were able to think about that.
The time was right for a band like Iron Maiden to come through.
And, boy, did they come through.
They were head and shoulders above any of the other bands
that were supposed to be the next biggest thing at the time.
Everybody who had anything to do with Iron Maiden
was very proud of the success.
We propelled Maiden from being a UK-based hard-rock band
into being a world phenomenon. And it was a world phenomenon.
The extraordinary thing is it's kept going.
It went very quick.
From when we first started, probably seriously end of '79,
through to playing four nights at Long Beach Arena in California
was less than five years, which is, you know,
quite a level to get to in that time, without airplay.
It wasn't as if we kind of thought, ''Hang on a minute,
they're number one in the British charts,
and they're singing at Long Beach. How did that happen?''
It was the most natural thing in the world.
It was through sheer hard work and live shows, really,
because that's their forte, live. Still to this day.
In a roller-coaster ride, you get that feeling at the top
of, ''Oh, shit!'' Right?
Well, we went, ''Oh, shit,'' for four years.
We did one world tour, and we were supporting and headlining.
And then we had a number-one album,
and then we recorded another album in the bloody Bahamas.
Then we went off to America where we headlined.
Stadiums!
It was just mind-blowing.
Thank you! Good night!
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