In a new interview on Talk Is Jericho, Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain looked back on an “embarrassing” night in the band’s musical journey.
Here’s what he said:
“Just pick a song out of the hat – anyone. [Laughs]
“One story that springs to mind like that is when we were doing the [1984’s] ‘Powerslave’ tour. We did three nights at Hammersmith Odeon – maybe more actually, I think we might’ve done five nights there.
“And we were doing ‘Flight of Icarus,’ and Bruce [Dickinson, vocals] always, before you’d get a kick out of it, he goes, ‘Scream for me Hammersmith, Scream for me Hammersmith, Scream for me…’, three times.
“It always was three times, ‘The Flight of Icarus.’ [hi-hat counting off].
“One of the nights, he [Bruce] goes, ‘Scream for me Hammersmith, Scream for me Hammersmith…’
“And he didn’t get to the third one, and I counted it in, so Dave [Murray, guitar] and I, because Adrian [Smith, guitar] was stage-left, Dave was stage-right, Bruce is out front…
“So I couldn’t stop, ‘I can’t stop, that would be really embarrassing. I’ll just carry on… How am I going to get out of this?’
“So they all ended up flying up to the drum riser, and they were all standing in the steps in front of me going, ‘What the f*ck are you doing?!’
“So that was one of those moments, and we were recording, and [producer] Martin Birch is out in The Stones’ mobile, and they were out the back, and I played, got through a gig after total embarrassment…
“I went from this massive, ‘Yeah, I’m playing really well,’ to, ‘Oh my god, what did he just do?’
“I thought, ‘I’m not gonna get fired, I’m gonna leave the band.’ So I’ve gone out when we finished the gig, I’ve gone into the dressing room, and I said to the guys, ‘I’m really sorry. You don’t have to fire me, I’ll just leave…’
“Everyone started laughing. Martin Birch came in, he said, ‘That was priceless!’ And there is a tape of that somewhere, and I wish I asked Martin about it.
“I did ask him about it years and years ago, and he said there was a quarter-inch tape that was running the whole show – not just the two-inch magnetic stuff that we had because it was all analog in those days.
“And he said, ‘I’ve got that in my attic, I’ll get it out one day just to embarrass you.’ So that was quite an experience.”