Well, the very first time I talked with a Iron Maiden-member was when Bruce Dickinson released his solo-album "Tattooed Millionaire". That was only a phone-interview, so I can't really say that I got to know the man..! :-)
But shortly thereafter, at the DONINGTON FESTIVAL 1992, I met the whole band. I can't say it was under pleasant circumstances though...!
It was early in the afternoon the day before the show was about to take place. I was there to do interviews with the bands who were playing (Thunder, Skid Row, The Almighty, W.A.S.P, and Iron Maiden. Didn't ask for an interview with Slayer though...). So the only people there were record-company people, managers, roadies, journalists... A bandmember or two here and there...
I went to the catering-tent to have something to drink, cause it was really hot that day. When, from out of nowhere, some idiot with a khaki-green cap tripped and fell on my feet and spilled his hot coffee all over me!
I was almost about to tell him EXACTLY what I thought about that, when he looked up and I saw who he was. It was Bruce Dickinson. He was really sorry, and gave me a few paper-tissues so I could dry off the coffee. But now he owed me a favor..! The thing was that EMI (Iron Maiden's record company) had told me that there might not be enough time for an interview with the band, so I MIGHT end up without one.
But why should I listen to EMI when the singer was right there in front of me? So I asked him if he would mind to give me a short interview, and he was very helpful, said he didn't mind at all.
He went looking for a place where we could sit without being interrupted, and found a caravan that nobody was using, so I got my exclusive interview in a messy caravan!
The next day, I was supposed to do another Iron Maiden-interview, but this time for TV. My very confused camera-man showed up two hours too late, and if there was a small chance to get a chat with the guys before, it was almost impossible NOW...! But the girl from the record-company was a very nice lady and told us that we could do the interview if we only did it quickly.
I was prepared, but the camera-man was The Cameraman Sent from HELL! He didn't have extra batteries for the camera (and his was empty...), hadn't thought of the UK-sockets (they are totally different from the Swedish ones...) so he couldn't plug it in... Then he tried to solve the problem by trying to stick the two wires directly into the socket, which of course didn't work out quite well... And during this embarrassing performance, I was standing there, looking at the Iron Maiden-guys who were sitting in a comfortable couch, witnessing the whole thing.
They only had about ten minutes before they were about to walk up on stage..! I was smiling nervously, trying to pretend as if these things usually happen, but I don't think I succeeded..! I especially remember Dave Murray's face when he watched the Cameraman From Hell - it said "will somebody please kill this guy and get me OUT of here, please!! NOW!".
Needless to say, the interview never happened. I had the whole band right there, comfortable and ready to be bombarded with questions - and I end up standing there like a complete idiot. I know it wasn't my fault, but it felt like it was.
[PICTURE: Iron Maiden autographed LP...]
When the EMI-people came in and told us that the band had to go (they looked very relieved by the way!) the promotion-lady said, very quietly, so that the Cameraman from Hell wouldn't hear:
- I know you're not responsible for this...
So, there went my chance to get a great TV-interview with Iron Maiden - right down the drain. But I bet THEY had something to tell people they met afterwards!
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