Iron Maiden: The Spanish Inquisition
What’s their favourite album cover? Have they ever had a punch up? Find out everything you ever wanted to ask about Iron Maiden but were too afraid to ask!
NICKO: IS THAT YOUR BLUE FACE IN THE ‘FLIGHT OF ICARUS’ VIDEO? IF SO, DID THEY MAKE YOU DO IT?
Nicko McBrain: “Hah-ha! They did make me. I’d just joined the band in 1982, and ‘Flight Of Icarus’ was the first single off ‘The Number Of The Beast’. They said, ‘Being as you’re the new boy in the band, we think you should be the Icarus character.’ I said: ‘Yeah, I’ll have a go.’ But I didn’t realise I’d have to paint my face blue, wear a cape and stand on the edge of a precipice, with all these big waves breaking below. On the day we did the shoot it was quite windy. I got quite frightened.”
JANICK, YOU RECENTLY SAID IN AN INTERVIEW THAT YOU DON’T THINK OF IRON MAIDEN AS ‘HEAVY METAL’. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR?
Janick Gers: “No, I don’t think we’re heavy metal. To me it’s all music. We’re heavy, we’ve got loads of power, aggression and energy, but I don’t see us as metal. Deep Purple.”
A LOT OF MAIDEN SONGS ARE BASED ON HISTORICAL EVENTS OR PEOPLE, SO I THINK IRON MAIDEN SHOULD BE PART OF THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM FOR HISTORY. I’M STUDYING FOR MY A-LEVEL IN HISTORY SO CAN YOU PLEASE WRITE A SONG ABOUT CROP ROTATION AND JENNER’S VACCINATION FOR SMALLPOX? CHEERS.
Bruce Dickinson: “Hmm. I think the one about crop rotation is one for Jethro Tull. In fact Tull have probably already done a song about it.”
Steve Harris: “Ha-ha. Yeah, okay. We’ll bear that in mind.”
WAS THERE A PROPER PUNCH-UP AFTER ‘MISSION FROM ‘ARRY’?
Bruce: “No, there wasn’t. The only punch-up that happened was that I had to thump Nicko in the stomach to make him drop the tape, because he was going to break it. He was pissed off but ‘Arry was very amused. Those are priceless tapes.”
Steve: “No, there wasn’t a punch-up. But it came pretty close. I just wish we could’ve recorded the first part of the argument. It must’ve been 10 or 15 minutes long.”
Nicko: “I had this cassette in my hand and Bruce did hit me to get the tape back. But not that hard. I dropped the tape, Bruce picked it up and I steamed down the corridor after him. I was going to have him. I was going to have a fight with him.
I thought: ‘That’s it, I’m leaving the band.’ But then Bruce said: ‘I’m sorry, but I’ve got the lyrics to a song called ‘Powerslave’ on that tape.’ After that it all deflated.”
IS IT FAIR TO SAY YOU’VE ALL MADE FASHION STATEMENTS YOU WISH YOU COULD TAKE BACK?
Bruce: “No, I don’t take back any of my fashion statements however awful. I never regret anything because it’s all part of life’s rich tapestry. And in any case you can always hold it up to scare your children later.”
Nicko: “I admit I did often look ridiculous in the 80s. But that’s part of the colourfulness of the era. I was young and vain.”
Dave: “At the time the Spandex and everything made sense because everyone was wearing that stuff. But the Spandex years were definitely dodgy. We did look a bit odd. Our clothes were trying to be louder than everything else.”
Adrian: “I’m probably more guilty of that than anyone. I had a tremendous mullet for a couple of years. Not only that, I dyed it bright blond just to be double sure that it would never be forgotten. It’s in my wedding photos and everything.”
Janick: “I’ve never worn Spandex – I’d look like Max Wall [old comedian]. I’ve always worn jeans. So, no, not really. [Hammer reminds Janick that he once wore a single legwarmer on his right pin when he played with his pre-Maiden band, Gillan, at the Castle Donington Monsters Of Rock festival in 1982. He replies:] I wasn’t making a fashion statement. I’d probably just lost the other legwarmer. But I’ll own up to that, it’s a fair cop.”
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