I first saw Iron Maiden 9,698 days ago as a wide eyed sixteen year old. They’d been my favourite band for a number of years, but it took a while until I finally got to see them. My parents wouldn’t let me see them during their Seventh Son tour in 1988 when they played Birmingham’s NEC Arena. 

1990 was the first chance I had to see the band on stage and I grabbed it firmly with both hands. In the intervening twenty six and a half years I will have seen them more than two dozen times with two different vocalists and in six different countries – not huge by some people’s standards, but I’ve seen well over a twelve hundred different bands. 

The October 16th gig was also the last time that they played in the Potteries. When a UK tour was a big deal for bands and they played the length and breadth of the country stopping at places I’d never heard of as a kid. I spent so much time looking in awe on their singles promoting the latest tour when you’d come across the Victoria Hall. How I’d loved to have seen the World Slavery Tour (September 27th 1984) or the Somewhere On Tour jaunt (October 22nd 1986) in that building. In all they played the venue eight times, I’m so glad I got to see them in there once. 

As the current tour is heavily promoting the Book of Souls release there is only limited space for their back catalogue, and Tailgunner unfortunately doesn’t make the cut. Nothing from the 1990 album is in the set list and nothing has been featured since Can I Play With Madness was included during their 2014 tour. None of the other album tracks have even had a look in since the early 90’s. 

I’ve gone for this track as I’d never seen the video before – I’m pretty sure it’s unofficial as it was never a single and there’s no live concert release for this tour. It’s also the very first song that this wide eyed Maiden fan ever experienced. 

Later this month I’m taking my youngest nephew to see Eddie and the boys in Liverpool – his first concert. He’ll be several years younger than I was, but I never had a cool uncle who’d take me to concerts at his age. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s still into live music in a quarter of a century. I have my doubts because he’s currently at that age where he has a seemingly short attention span. The amount of different hobbies and interests he’s had for a thirteen year old is phenomenal. 


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