Harris got the band name from a film of The Man in the Iron Mask. The "Iron Maiden" was a metal coffin with spikes running outside it that could be inserted inside. The occupant was than impaled and presumably killed.
In New Year's Eve of 1978, the band was recording "Iron Maiden," "Prowler," "Invasion" and "Strange World" in Spaceworld Studio near Cambridge. It cost them £200, which exhausted their resources and preventing them for actually purchasing the master tape. Two weeks later, when they obtained the tape, they found the music was raw and unmixed, because the master copy had been wiped. They gave this rough copy to DJ Neal Kay, who played it at the Soundhouse to a great reaction. They began playing gigs there and the demo tape found its way into the hands of Rod Smallwood, who became the band's manager.
Doug Samson left the band for health reasons, and was replaced by Dennis Stratton as guitarist. Dennis left because his musical preferences differed with the rest of the band's (although no one took it personally; he remained friends with the band members) and became the manager of The Carts and Horses. Adrian "H" Smith, friend of Dave Murray and former leader of the band Urchin (which had since broken up) took his place. After his solo project, ASAP (Adrian Smith and Project), Adrian decided he wasn't prepared to go back to the band's lifestyle, and was replaced by Janick Gers.
Dave Murray helped Adrian start the band Urchin, which was originally called Evil Ways.
Paul Bruce Dickinson (who went by the name Bruce Bruce before joining the band) released a single with Rowan Atkinson in the UK. It was a cover of Alice Cooper's "(I Want to Be) Elected," and the artist was credited as "Mr. Bean and the Smear Campaign," which was the band of musicians Dickinson had assembled. Between Bruce's vocals, Rowan, in character as Mr. Bean (who was running for Prime Minister) would describe his ideas for Britain ("There will be no tax cuts. But a lot of people will be forced to have haircuts- yet, Mr. Brownson, that means you!") and eventually delivered his manifesto. At the end of the song, it is revealed that he won every single vote. It was also included on the soundtrack for the film Bean.
Dickinson aspired to be a drummer, even going on record as saying "I want to be Ian Pace's left foot". He once stole congas from his school to practice. As soon as he learned of his singing abilities (about 1976), he joined the band Styx, who were named after the river of Hell according to Greek mythology.
The band claims Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Van Der Graf Generator, Arthur Brown, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and the Beatles as inspiration- Bruce reportedly was listening to the Beatles at age five.
McBrain was drumming at age 10, playing on his mother's cooker with anything that could serve as drumsticks, including knitting needles.
The ever-changing "Eddie" is their mascot. He appears on all the album covers and most single covers. Originally, he was a theatrical mask called Eddie The Head (or Eddie T.H.). However, when Derek Riggs designed the cover art for the single of "Running Free," they were fascinated by the one-armed junkie-like zombie who was chasing Bruce, and made him Eddie instead. For the next few albums, Eddie appeared in prison, Hell, etc. In 1992, Melvyn Grant designed the cover for Fear of the Dark, which depicted a skinny, skull-headed, purple-blue monster playing a guitar. He appeared in the next few album covers like this. The 1996 cover of Best of the Beast, designed by Derek Riggs, featured variations of all the previous Eddies attacking the viewer.
Dickinson is a licensed pilot and has a record label called Air Raid Records, which is his nickname.
Dickinson earned the nickname "The air-raid siren" for his distinctive vocals. (thanks, Brett - Edmonton, Canada, for all above)
In 1995, Dickinson released the solo album Accident of Birth and followed them up with 2 more, Tattooed Millionaire and Chemical Wedding. They were full of Biblical references - "Jerusalem," "Book of Thel" etc.
Nicko McBrain's birth name was Michael Henry McBrain. As a child, he carried around his favorite teddy, Nicholas the Bear, around everywhere, so his family jokingly nicknamed him "Nicky." When he got older, he changed it to "Nicko" to sound cooler.
Before Maiden, Nicko McBrain performed with singer and keyboardist Billy Day, as well as being a member of bands like the Blossom Toes, the Pat Travers band, Trust (a French politically-oriented metal band that actually supported Maiden's UK tour in 1981), and the Streetwalkers, which McBrain later called a "great little band." He was surprised they had no sucess, although they released many albums.
Dave Murray was fired from the band in late 1976 after he and Steve Harris had a fight at the Bridgehouse. Dave became a member of future Maiden guitarist Arian Smith's band Urchin, and he was replaced by Terry Wapram. At about the same time, Tony Moore joined the band playing keyboards. They played one gig at the Bridgehouse and keyboards were clearly not what they were looking for. Moore left, and Wapram was close behind, claiming he couldn't play without keyboards. Steve wanted Dave back, so he attended an Urchin gig, and after the show convinced Dave to play guitar for Maiden again.
Paul Day was the vocalist from late 1975, when the band was formed, to spring of 1976, when he was replaced by Dennis Wilcock, a former songsmith for the Smilers. It was he who recommended Dave Murray was a guitarist to Steve Harris.
Steve Harris was originally bassist for the band Gypsy's Kiss (originally called both Influence and Temptation) and was one of the Smilers (ie, member of the band Smiler). He played ads in Melody Maker for band members and came up with vocalist Paul Day, drummer Ron Matthews (who went by Ron Rebel), and guitarists Terry Rance and Dave Sullivan. Steve was the only one who lasted past 1976, and, indeed, is the only band member to have been in Maiden ever since its formation.
After Dave Murray was recruited as backup guitarist, original guitarists Terry Rance and Paul Sullivan took offense and left. Bob Sawyer was hired as second guitarist (although he used the name Bob D'Angelo). For the first time, Maiden had a proper lineup (with Steve Harris on bass, Ron Rebel on drums, and Dennis Wilcock on vocals). Nevertheless, it changed six months later.
In August of 1980, KISS invited the band to support them on their European tour, as well as to perform at Reading as special guests to the band UFO. Pete Way was one of Steve's biggest heroes, so he agreed without the slightest hesitation. This skyrocketed their popularity in Europe. Reportedly, KISS and Iron Maiden got along very well together, both as musicians and as friends.
Blaze Bayley (real name: Bayley Cook, nickname: The Dark Lord) originally started a band called Childsplay, until becoming a vocalist for Wolfsbane and eventually being selected as the replacement for Bruce Dickinson (Wolfsbane supported Maiden on tour in 1990 and Steve Harris said he was "truly impressed" after hearing Blaze warming up). In 1999, Bruce returned to the band and Blaze left. Despite rumours to the contrary, everything was done on good terms. Blaze formed his own band (called simply Blaze) and has released three solo albums to date: Silicon Messiah, Tenth Dimension and As Live as it Gets.
Bruce Dickinson and Ozzy Osbourne share much common ground; they are both lead singers of a British heavy metal band with a distinctive singing style. They were also both inspired by the Beatles at very young ages. For the 1994 album "Nativity in Black: A Tribute to Black Sabbath", Dickinson covered "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath", with the band Godspeed providing the music. He sang it in his typical air-raid siren manner, and Godspeed made the song sound a little more metallic than it originally had; many found this a very unusual track as a result.
In 1999, a computer game was released titled "Ed Hunter." In it, the player assumed the role of Eddie T. Head and travelled throughout London and eventually into Hell. Throughout the game, Maiden's music plays ("The Phantom of the Opera", "Wrathchild", "Hallowed Be Thy Name", "Fear of the Dark", "Powerslave", "Futureal", and "The Evil That Men Do" all appear) and many subtle references to the band appear; for instance, in the first level, Eddie visits Acacia Avenue and Charlotte the Harlot can be seen in a window. To promote the game, Maiden went on the "Ed Hunter" tour, with an Ed Hunter stage prop built. It re-appeared for their "Brave New World Tour." Finally, in one level Eddie battles the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, a reference to Bruce Dickinson's running feud with Metallica.
Steve Harris: "I've got audio tapes that go right back from '76, not right from the first gigs, but from the days when we used to play places like the Bridge House. They're a bit dodgy. There's a version of 'Purgatory', which was then called 'Floating' and it had an arrangement that was a bit different. I've also got a tape of my very first band, Gypsy's Kiss, of us at the Cart and Horses. It might have been the first gig we did. There's a song called 'Endless Pit' which later became 'Innocent Exile'. The tapes exist, but I never play 'em to anyone!"
Original vocalist Paul Di'Anno was, between various rock projects, a chef, butcher, and other kitchen-related jobs. He was fired after the release of Maiden's second album, Killers, for behavioral issues (he had been partying heavily and often showed up for recordings, and even at concerts, drunk and/or stoned). He had a few subsequent bands, one of which was named Killers, but never reached the success Maiden did with Bruce Dickinson (who, ironically, also had the first name Paul). However, after Bruce left the band in 1993, there were rumors that Di'Anno would return to his post, although ultimately Blaze Bayley was chosen.
Derek Riggs, who drew most of the cover art, created a little trademark symbol of his: Two circles a distance apart from eachother, which a larger circle above that space. The larger circle has a line through the middle, which continues on down through that space and ends as an arrow. From the right half of the circle, a stick is protruding, and is attached to the smaller circle on the right. This forms his initials, D.R. It subsequently became a symbol of hardcore Satanism, distinguishing committed Satanists from the "poseurs." (thanks, Brett - Edmonton, Canada, for all above)
As well as having his own video game, Eddy appeared in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. (thanks, Tom - Trowbridge, England)
Based on a 1984 concert at Long Beach Arena in California, Iron Maiden's Live After Death
was finally released on DVD in 2008. The first disc is the original concert, with lots of chatter from Bruce Dickinson between songs. The second disc contains extras like a documentary about the making of the Powerslave
album and some live performances. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr played on the band's first three albums (Iron Maiden, Killers and The Number Of The Beast). He left the band in 1982 due to Iron Maiden's tour schedule and personal problems. Burr performed with many other bands of the same sound before being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1994, the treatment of which left him deeply in debt. Iron Maiden staged a series of charity concerts to help their old bandmate and was involved in the founding of the Clive Burr MS Trust Fund. Burr passed away on March 12, 2013 in his sleep at his home at the age of 56.