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26. Other IRON MAIDEN tidbits




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This article is from the Iron Maiden FAQ, by Vartan Narinian vsn@pobox.com and Steve Payne Sirpapa@aol.com with numerous contributions by others.

26. Other IRON MAIDEN tidbits


* Steve's first bass was a copy Fender Telecaster. It cost him 40 pounds.
* Steve actually studied to be an architectural draftsman for about 5 years
or so, and actually received a license.
* Steve Harris is the band's main songwriter, having written or co-written
approximately 75% of all songs. I first discovered this fact when I used
to watch the LIVE AFTER DEATH video and see Steve Harris mouth along to all
the lyrics while playing bass! Now I understand why! :)
* Steve believed the best song he had written was "Phantom Of The Opera",
then changed to "To Tame A Land", then changed to "Rime Of The Ancient
Mariner" (as of 1985). Anybody know if that's changed again since?
* Steve Harris also thinks the best Maiden song that Adrian Smith wrote was
"2 Minutes To Midnight."
* Dave Murray writes a song about once every 3 years, a process that Bruce
Dickinson has described as being something like "trying to give birth to
an elephant!" Some songs are "Charlotte The Harlot". Also, "The
Prophecy", "Still Life", "Deja-Vu", "Public Enema Number One", "Fates
Warning", "Chains Of Misery", "Judas Be My Guide", and "Twilight Zone"
(the main riffs but not the lyrics, which were written mainly of course by
Steve Harris).
* The MAIDEN JAPAN E.P. happened because the Japanese wanted a live product.
It was produced by IRON MAIDEN and Doug Hall, and released in November of
1981.
* IRON MAIDEN is apparently included in the Guiness Book Of World Records
Museum in Las Vegas, NV. The Guiness book of Records (1990 ed. p. 155) says:
"Largest PA system: On Aug 20th 1988 at the Castle Donington 'Monsters of
Rock' Festival a total of 360 Turbosound cabinets offering a potential
523kW of programme power, formed the largest front-of-house PA. The
average Sound Pressure Level at the mixing tower was 118dB, peaking at a
maximum of 124dB during Iron Maiden's set. It took five days to set up
the system."
* Nicko McBrain used to play with Pat Travers, but doesn't think too highly
of him or the experience. When asked about it in 1988, Nicko replied "I
wouldn't stop to PISS on him!"
* Nicko McBrain has (at least) 1 kid, Nicko Junior I believe. He was born
sometime around 1982 or so. Nicko also married an American woman sometime
in 1988 I think. I'm not sure what number marriage this was, and if he's
still married or not...
* The video for The Trooper contains a vicious cavalry charge which the BBC
wouldn't play un-edited (even though the film it was lifted from, "Die With
Your Boots On" (do I see trend here?!) was ironically screened at 7pm one
evening when the band had been told their video was 'too bloodthirsty for
young people').
* Most concerts during the Piece Of Mind tour clocked it at a little over 2
hours (for the first time now at this point)!
* Bruce is an avid fencer, and carries a full set of epees on the road with
him.
* Bruce is also a 'train addict' - fascinated by trains, etc.
* Adrian is an avid fly fisherman.
* It's hard for Nicko to even take a break from playing (even after months
and months and months on the road) - he likes playing so much! Even so,
he is also an avid fisherman, and has pursued and obtained a private
pilot's license. During the last part of the World Slavery Tour, he
preferred flying his private plane to most gigs, as opposed to the guy's
tour bus.
* The whole band are huge soccer fans. West Ham (England) is their favorite
team, but they used to play often on the road, especially gruelling matches
with Rainbow and Def Leppard guys. You can also see references to West Ham
on the SOMEWHERE IN TIME album cover, and even a reference or two in a few
different songs.
* POWERSLAVE was mixed at famed Electric Ladyland Studios in New York, NY.
* Rehearsals for the World Slavery Tour were done in Fort Lauderdale, FL,
beginning 06/20/84. This was followed in early August by 5 days of pre-
production in Hannover, Germany, where the whole stage set, P.A., lights,
etc. were put together complete for the first time.
* The World Slavery Tour entailed over 300 gigs in 13 months, enslaving 28
countries en route. On this tour they took 120,000 watts of PA, and over
800 lamps. For the US, it took 6 45-foot trailers and 5 buses to carry all
the equipment and crew and personnel (the permanent crew of 12 people
expanding to 42 on the road).
* Maiden has always tried to avoid playing big prestige arenas, like Wembley
and the NEC (both in England) in favor of taking the music to the people
for as many nights as the people want them there. Well, at least most of
the time. :)
* Steve Harris lives on a farm in Romford, just outside of Essex, England.
* Another popular hangout: Harrow, London (bowling alley, favorite of Bruce
Dickinson and Janick Gers)
* Derek Riggs lives in Ashwell, Hertforshire - and supposedly owns a very
good pub there.
* As of 1984, Maiden had never played "Invaders" live (even though it was
thought of as a good 'rock n' roll opener'), or "Gangland".
* The song "Wrathchild" is misspelled on the IRON MAIDEN CD release (it is
incorrectly spelled "Wratchild"). This is not limited to the U.S., it's also
appeared in Canada.
* The CD releases of the first 2 albums, IRON MAIDEN and KILLERS, were not
originally available when CDs first came to be. They were released later
on, and subsequently don't have a full inner sleeve, like all current CDs.
They contain only a front and back cover - the inside is blank, so beware!
Kinda cheesy!
* Martin Birch has produced all of Maiden's albums, except IRON MAIDEN
(produced by Will Malone), and A REAL LIVE ONE and A REAL DEAD ONE
(produced by Steve Harris).
* The show for the Monsters Of Rock Festival, August 22, 1992, was about a
2 hour Maiden gig. On the very last song of the show, "Running Free",
Adrian Smith comes out there to play on it! Bruce said later on that he
"didn't miss a note" and they saw tears in his eyes.
* The auditions for guitarists in Maiden's history has differed greatly.
When Adrian Smith tried out, all he had to do was apparently play the song
"Wrathchild", down a pint of beer in like 5 seconds, and play soccer halfway
decent with the guys. Janick Gers' audition was more difficult: he had to
learn "Iron Maiden", "Children Of The Damned", and "The Trooper" in one
night! You gotta think though...both of these guys were good friends with
the band and had some kind of connections to IRON MAIDEN even before they
joined.
* Bruce Dickinson was required to learn 5 songs for his audition. He
apparently also went above and beyond the call of duty and learned like 10
or something.
* Paul Sears (ex-GYPSY'S KISS drummer, an old band with Steve Harris) took
over IRON MAIDEN's management temporarily for a short time in 1977.
* One of IRON MAIDEN's earliest fans was Keith Wilfort, now the head of the
official IRON MAIDEN Fan Club. He caught Maiden's first ever performance
at the Cart & Horses tavern by accident - he was giving a barmaid's boy-
friend the slip at the time after getting caught taking her out, and came
in. He was completely blown away by "Transylvania" and was converted on
the spot. One night Keith walked into the Bridge House (another popular
early gigging spot) with a home-made t-shirt proudly proclaiming "Charlotte
Rules OK", and soon followed it with a more elaborate "Invasion" t-shirt.
So, he is pretty much the inventor of the first IRON MAIDEN t-shirt. He
later 'graduated' to pushing the band's merchandise, turning his home into
a pit with thousands of copies of THE SOUNDHOUSE TAPES E.P., and has since
progressed onto the Fan Club.
* All the b-sides for the SOMEWHERE IN TIME album were played pretty much
totally by Adrian Smith. Nicko did drums, Bruce did some vocals, but
everything else was done by Adrian...some vocals ("Reach Out", for
instance), all guitar and bass (that's why you don't hear the Steve Harris-
esque dink-dink-dink all the way through on the bass line). In fact, it
was supposedly only these 3 guys in the studio the whole time for these
singles: "Reach Out", "That Girl", and "Juanita." "Sheriff Of
Huddersfield" was done by the whole band, by the way.
* Think about this: the first 6 studio albums were in alphabetical order by
chance: IRON MAIDEN, KILLERS, (THE) NUMBER OF THE BEAST, PIECE OF MIND,
POWERSLAVE, and SOMEWHERE IN TIME. Then the go in reverse order after
that: SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON, NO PRAYER FOR THE DYING, and FEAR OF
THE DARK.
* Here's something else interesting: with the exception of the FROM THERE TO
ETERNITY video (which was released sometime in 1992), IRON MAIDEN has
released a video about every 2 years since their first, LIVE AT THE RAINBOW,
in 1981.
* All proceeds from the sale of the official IRON MAIDEN biography "Running
Free" are donated to the Anti-Heroin campaign (as well as sales from the
1985 "Running Free" 7" poster bag single).
* The song "Moonchild" from SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON was recorded in only
1 take!
* "Nosferatu" movie, 1922 - German film, FR Murnau. Another influence for
the band.
* Iron Maiden is one of only 3 bands to have made multiple appearances at
Donington as the headlining act. The others are Whitesnake (twice) and
AC/DC (3 times).
* The Irons is a nickname for West Ham United, a soccer club from London.
This is Maiden's 'fave' club. If you have any doubts about it, check out
Steve's bass - it's got West Ham logo on it. The club uses 'Up the Irons'
as its 'motto' and that is why Maiden uses it as well. Besides they are
Irons, too... :-)
* Iron Maiden visited Russia for the first time during Fear of the Dark Tour
(date indicated in Real Dead One). And connected with that (or may be not)
they issued a full collection of Iron Maiden albums on vinyl to be sold in
the stores around Russia - finally a legitimized distribution of their
albums (before this they used to copy the albums from friends or from
by-western-laws-illegal so called recording studios.)

 

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