Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Run to the Hills: Iron Maiden, the Authorized Biography by Mick Wall

This is the OFFICIAL biography of the men behind "UP THE IRONS". Each chapter talks to a different member of the band, crew members, mangers both former and current, current and former producers, etc. The book also goes into detail about some of their albums, like 2003's Dance of Death, 1998's Virtual XI. For each chapter, you get their full names, dates of birth, places of birth, etc.

Steve Harris
-Full name: Stephen Percy Harris
-DOB: 3/12/1956. Leytonstone, London, England
-In this chapter, you learn he is the oldest of four sisters and the only boy. Originally, he wanted to play drums, but since there was no room in his house at the time, he decided to switch to bass playing. Over the years, people who have worked with him refer to him as "Sergeant Major Harris" because of his demanding attitude. Two of his prior bands included Gypsy's Kiss and Smiler. When Paul Di'Anno came into the band he called Iron Maiden, things went well, but after a while, Paul started pulling stunts that drove Steve nuts. Nowadays, Steve has four kids from his first marriage to his high school sweetheart Lorraine: daughters Lauren, Kerry and Fay, son George. With his partner Emma, he has two kids: son Stanley and daughter Maisie. His daughter Kerry also works as a production assistant for, shockingly, Iron Maiden

Onstage with Maiden

Steve, his first wife Lorraine and daughter Lauren
Dave Murray
-Full name: David Michael Murray
-DOB: 12/23/1956. London, England
-The most shy, reticent member of Iron Maiden, he's more likely to go with the flow since he worries about getting fired. He's usually the last one to comfortably give interviews, probably since he's such a private person. When Rod Smallwood became their manager, Dave was terribly intimidated by the large Yorkshireman because he worried he would be the next to go. When Rod heard about this, it saddened him to know that the lead guitar player for Maiden should be almost scared of him. But after going out and both of them getting blindingly drunk, things changed. Dave has an older sister named Pauline and a younger sister, Janet. He said it feels weird knowing that his sister Pauline, who is a teacher, has an Iron Maiden poster in her classroom. Growing up, Dave and his family lived in Salvation Army shelters for weeks on end to avoid their dad's scary moods. When he did come on to some money in Maiden, he used it to buy his parents a new home so they wouldn't have to move so much

Now. He's still very handsome for his age. I love his accent!!
Paul Di'Anno
-Full name: Paul Andrews
-DOB: 5/17/1958. Chingford, England
-He was the eldest of 10 kids, five brothers and four sisters, from his mother's two marriages. He grew up when punk was becoming big and when he joined Maiden, his raspy vocals gave the band's music a punk-like edge. He currently tours with a band called Battlezone, most likely doing punk-type music, which is what he prefers

Time has definitely not been on his side, has it?
Clive Burr
-DOB: 3/8/1957. East Ham, London, England
-DOD: 3/12/2013. London, England
Dennis Stratton
-Full name: Dennis William Stratton
-DOB: 10/9/1952. Canning Town, London, England
-Dennis Stratton was a good guitarist, but Rod Smallwood didn't like that he traveled with the crews of the bands Maiden had touring with them. Not only that, at the time he was married with a daughter and demanded more money to raise her. He also didn't like how the other guys would always listen to heavy metal and hard rock constantly, while he wanted to listen to stuff like the Doobie Brothers, the Eagles, etc. Before joining Maiden, Clive was the drummer in Samson, the VERY SAME band that Bruce Dickinson had been in prior to joining Maiden. When Clive left, he joined Maiden and the drummer that had been in Maiden during the early years was one Barry Purkis, who was known by the ridiculous nickname "Thunderstick" and had taken to wearing a leather S&M mask.
Clive Burr in 1984

Clive Burr later on
Dennis Stratton in 1975

Dennis Stratton now
Bruce Dickinson
-Full name: Paul Bruce Dickinson
-DOB: 8/7/1958, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England
-His parents were 17 and 18 when he was born. His mother, Sonia, was a promising ballet student getting ready to go to a prestigious ballet school when she became pregnant. His father, Bruce Dickinson Sr, was 18 and in the army. To raise money for their family, they shipped little Bruce off to his grandparent's house while his parents went to Sheffield looking for work. A few years later, along comes Bruce's little sister Helen, who he describes as "She was planned, I was an accident". In terms of schooling, there was a long variety of schools he went to, such as Manor Top Primary, which he describes as a "hellhole". Then there was Sharrow Vale Junior, which he describes as a little better, but not much. Then there was the private school Oundle. This is where he endured most of his bullying. At each school, he was bullied intensely, from having his clothes soaking wet from water, to picking out dried egg from his bed, to getting late night beatings from his classmates while he was still in bed. He constantly told himself "You can beat me up, but you're not superior". What got him expelled from Oundle was he and a friend had urinated into the food being served to the headmasters and prefects, who were celebrating the completion of a new extension onto their housing building, called Sidney House. They were tipsy and blurted out what they had done. He was married twice, his first wife Jane Dickinson, whom he was with from 1983-1987 and now second wife Paddy Bowden, with whom he has three kids: son Austin, son Griffin and daughter Kia. Not shockingly, Bruce's son Austin is the lead singer in a metal core band called Rise to Remain, a band Bruce is seen wearing a shirt of very often

As Lions. The one in the center is Bruce's son Austin. The band he was in prior to this band was Rise to Remain

Austin Dickinson

Griffin Dickinson, who's the lead singer of a band called Cytota
Adrian Smith
-Full name: Adrian Frederick Smith
-DOB: 2/27/1957. London, England
-Prior to joining Maiden, Adrian had formed a band called Urchin, where he sang lead vocals and played guitar. This band had come in handy for Adrian's friend Dave Murray, who was fired after a major fight with Maiden's then vocalist Dennis Wilcock over musical direction. Dave was with Urchin for six months before Steve regretted firing Dave and brought him back into Maiden. When Urchin broke up and Maiden was told to find another guitarist for that "twin lead guitar" thing that so many bands were going for in those days, Adrian was the first one to come to Dave's mind. Adrian is married to a beautiful woman named Natalie, who is from Canada and they have three kids, two daughters named Natasha and Brittany Smith and a son named Dylan Smith

Janick Gers
-Full name: Janick Robert Gers
-DOB: 1/27/1957, Hartlepool, England
-His father was in the Polish Army and emigrated to England where he met his wife and soon had little Janick. In terms of bands, Janick played guitar in a band called White Spirit, who were lumped into the NWOBHM movement in the 1970s. Later on, he went and played guitar for Ian Gillan's band. He took the place of Adrian Smith in Iron Maiden in the mid-1990s and when the band reunited, Steve thought seriously hard how it was going to work with three guitarists. Luckily, Dave, who the optimistic member of the band, said it could work. Obviously it's working. The band is still going strong with the so-called "Triple Axe Attack". Not only that, bringing in Janick was like breathing fresh air into the band. He brings a little theatricality into the band, joking around with the Eddie they have on stage, pretending to fight with him, spinning around, etc. He did some work with Bruce Dickinson during the 1990s when he was working on a solo career. Bruce convinced him not to sell his gear, as he had plans for Janick. He also has a degree in Humanities. He also jokingly says he sometimes forgets he's in a band when people come up to him at night in the bars, asking for autographs and his nose is red from drinking. He has two kids: son Dylan and daughter Sian with wife Sandra

Gillan the band. Janick is the one second from the left
Nicko McBrain
-Full name: Michael Henry McBrain
-DOB: 6/5/1952. Hackney, London, England
-Some of the bands he's been in over the years include Chapman Whitney Streetwalkers, where he was the drummer. Then it was on to Trust, a French political metal band, whose lyrics often were about politics. He got his nickname from the fact that while in Trust, one of the band members introduced him as an Italian drummer named Neeko. He decided to change it to Nicko to make it sound more English. As a child, he always had a teddy bear named Nicholas and because of that, people always called him Nicky. He is married to a woman named Rebecca and has a son named Justin and a son named Nicholas

Trust, 1982. Hint: Nicko is the one on the far right
Rod Smallwood
-Full name: Roderick Charles Smallwood
-DOB: 2/17/1950. Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England
-Tough, big, Yorkshireman Rod became their manager after a few years of Maiden being around. What initially turned him away from management of music acts was managing the horribly egotistical Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel. He hated their egos and was fed up with managing music acts. He caught Steve Harris and his band Iron Maiden playing at a local pub and with the help of his friend Andy Taylor, they became Maiden's managers and formed Sanctuary Records, named after one of the band's singles. Initially, after leaving Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, he was thinking about going back to school to become a lawyer when a friend of his, who knew he had some experience managing bands, gave him a demo of a then unknown band called Iron Maiden. After listening to it, he became convinced this band was going to be successful
Blaze Bayley
-Full name: Bayley Cook
-DOB: 5/29/1963. Birmingham, England
-He talked about being broke when he was younger and only realizing his family's financial status when he got older. He talked about working as a night porter at a hotel in Tamworth and getting the coveted late night shift, which left him free to blast music at top volume and sing at top volume. He talked about being in a Birmingham-based punk-metal band called Wolfsbane, about the name of the band was inspired by a highly poisonous plant that blooms in moonlight and has medicinal properties as well

Derek Riggs/Eddies
-DOB: 2/13/1958. Portsmouth, England
-He is the artist and mastermind behind the band's iconic mascot, Eddie. He has created the Eddie for almost every album cover to this day. In fact, the only album cover Derek did not design was 1992's . That macabre, tree-creature Eddie was created by Melvyn Grant.
Derek Riggs

So many Eddies...

The cover for their single "The Trooper". This image is also what bassist Steve Harris has tattooed on his right forearm

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