UK metal monsters exposed
10 Things You Never Knew About Iron Maiden

Be Afraid. Be very afraid. We're taking you into the fearsome world of UK metal monsters, Iron Maiden

We all known singer Bruce Dickinson is a keen aeroplane pilot but read on for ten lesser known facts about the band from the current issue of Clash Magazine.

1. A young Bruce Dickinson was expelled from boarding school after wandering over and taking a slash in the headmaster’s dinner. We don’t know what the dish was. Nor do we don’t know whether the teacher carried on eating.

2. Bassist Steve Harris is the founding and only original member of Iron Maiden. In the early days the line-up was constantly shifting, one guitarist lasted just two days before his girlfriend wouldn’t let him go on tour with the band.

3. While Iron Maiden have been dogged with accusations of Satanism by religious fundamentalists throughout their career, a Brazilian priest, Marcos Motolo describes himself as “their number one fan in the world”. He has 162 Iron Maiden tattoos, a son called Stevie Harris and references their lyrics in his sermons.

4. The band are known for having incredibly dedicated fans, with one particularly committed chap going so far as legally changing his name to Iron Maiden. Whilst in other legal facts we find drummer Nicko McBrain became a born again Christian after having a religious experience in 1999 when accompanying his wife to church.

5. Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith bought his first guitar off other Maiden guitarist Dave Murray when he was fifteen for five quid. Smith fixed up the broken axe and sold it on for a profit. Who needs royalties?

6. The first time that long-time Maiden manager Rod Smallwood saw the band, then-singer Paul Di’Anno had been arrested for knife possession earlier in the day, forcing Steve Harris to sing lead vocals for the first and only time at a Maiden gig.

7. In the early days, when touring, the band used to travel around and sleep in a truck that they had bought which they dubbed “The Green Goddess”.

8. Iron Maiden’s passion for swordplay is not restricted to their lyrical content. Bruce Dickinson is a skilled and enthusiastic fencer who was once listed seventh in the rankings for Great Britain.

9. Steve Harris is an enthusiastic footballer who was offered a trial with West Ham as a teenager. He has a full-sized football pitch in his back garden, which is the home ground of Iron Maiden’s own football team consisting of members and associates of the band.

10. The band mascot, Eddie the Head, was originally a mask at the back of the stage. Blood capsules were fed through the mouth, invariably soaking the drummer with fake blood. Artist Derek Riggs based the first drawing of Eddie, for Maiden’s debut album, on an image he saw of a decapitated head on a Vietnamese tank.

Words by Nick Staines


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