Of course Bruce Dickinson is speaking of his “First Time” singing with Iron Maiden. What did you think we were talking about? This isn’t TMZ!
The Inside Scoop:
Bruce Dickinson on his first experiences with Iron Maiden
Well I remember the first moment, in rehearsal I’d learnt all the songs. They’d ask me to learn four so I thought well there’s only two albums worth. I might as well learn a lot so, I turned up and Steve wasn’t there yet so we just started jamming all of our favorite songs.
Bruce Dickinson continued: And we all like all the same bands, so then we started mucking around with some Iron Maiden stuff. Then Steve turned up then we all went lavish to (like, you know?) Wrathchild and Twilight Zone, and Steve was like why that’s it and My God! And he was immediately on the phone to (manager) Rod Smallwood. Back in the day, of course, that for those of a certain age, it was a pay phone (chuckles) right, so, he’s on the pay phone (you know?), running out of change, shoveling more and more change, going we’ve no, no, no, got to get him in the studio today (you know?) because I had to go and get into a studio so they could just make sure that I wasn’t all smoke and mirrors.
To make sure my voice really did work and of course they had the small matter of going and doing some festivals in Sweden (or somewhere?) and with Paul Di’Anno in between so that I thought. I remember going away thinking, I must old, ummm, (you know?) because they’re all jumping up and down with excitement. From there to the first show in Bologna took a few months and ummm, yeah, it was the first time I’ve ever done a show outside of the United Kingdom, ever!
First Iron Maiden live footage with Bruce Dickinson
The First Show: The Number of the Beast
It was a small basketball arena, I think it was about four or five thousand capacity (or something like that) biggest place I’ve even played in the world up until that time.
I was just conscious that I was on probation and not only with the audience but with the road crew (you know?) who were taking a look at me for the first time, they’d never seen the sight of me basically.
The whole thing was all building up to The Rainbow, which was the first show of which everybody got a good look at me in the U.K, plus, we were playing some new material that people didn’t know. The crucial thing was that as a band, internally we were all really, really happy but I didn’t have much of a clue as to exactly where it was going.
And it wasn’t until we’d done the Number of the Beast album, the more we recorded of it the more certain we were that this was really something special.
That Spirit from 1981 still lives on in Iron Maiden today!
The idea of change from obviously back in 1981, when you (sort of like) whack on the pair of spandex, some boxing boots and a red t-shirt and (that) that’s it (you know?) and we had the road crew with plastic devilish pitchforks and basically pantomime costumes.
From that period to now where we’ve got all the (you know?) sophisticated bits and everybody’s on in-ear monitors and things like that, except me: I still use rubber ear plugs, but nevertheless. I don’t think we’ve ever lost the childlike delight in doing something a bit daft. And I also don’t think we’ve ever lost the ability to be fierce.
If somebody jumped on stage and started a “punch-up”, it would be a race to see if it was me or Steve that would get there and “chin-in” first. That’s never gone out of the mix, obviously there’s layers of sophistication on it now because we’re doing all this “prog stuff” and everything else like that but underneath it (you know?) we’re still Jack Russell Terriers.