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  LOOPY'S WORLD: PART SIX - THE FUN BEGINS

Steve 'Loopy' Newhouse

steve newhouse

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loopyworld

Just over a month ago I posted a little blog about Iron Maiden recording the Spaceward Demo, which as we all now know, became 'The Soundhouse Tapes'. And of course, if it hadn't been for the success of the Soundhouse Tapes, then where would Iron Maiden be now?

With the demo in the bag we went back to rehearsing at Hollywood Studio's, whilst waiting for the final studio cut to be sent to Steve. In the meantime the Green Goddess had been overhauled and was now road worthy again, so we managed to book a bunch of gigs and went back to what we did best, i.e. play to packed pubs all over the place.

Article continues below...

   


It wasn't that long after we got back to gigging that the first batch of our demo's came through and, keen to make an impression, Steve sent the demo's off to everyone he thought important enough to hear it.

About this time we heard of a heavy metal bar/club/pub making a lot of noise in Kingsbury, North West London, and Steve wanted to go there and try his luck.

The Heavy Metal Soundhouse, as I recall, was a huge pub on a roundabout in the middle of Kingsbury, NW9 (I think). So loaded with our massive assignment of one (1) cassette, Steve and I made the journey round the North Circular Road in his Nan's Nissan and, having found the place where somebody had conveniently left it, we ventured in.

First impression was the volume. Not the size of the place, I mean the VOLUME. The noise was deafening. Well to a layman it was deafening, but to those of us that were used to it, this was sitting at around 9. Iron Maiden was only playing at 8 at the time, but we persevered.

Harry and me stood and watched the head bangers doing their thing for a while, when Steve then decided it was time to approach the long haired guy at the consul and have a quick word.

Neal Kay looked like he'd seen it all before and until this point, I'm sure he had. With his long blonde hair and stack heeled boots, he watched me and Harry approach, with a look that said, here we go again. With Steve holding up the demo before him, Neal met us at the steps to his rostrum.

"Yes gents?" he said. Steve passed him the demo tape, and simply said, "Can you give this a listen?"

Neal accepted the tape and went on about the amount of demo's he got all the time and he didn't have time to play them all but eventually agreed to give it a listen. Steve and me got back in the trusty Nissan and went home.

A few days later my phone rang and some lunatic was ranting and raving about how good our demo was.

It was Neal Kay.

He was saying how he wanted us to play at the Soundhouse as soon as he could set it up. I then phoned Steve and relayed the conversation I'd had with Neal. Steve hung up and phoned Neal to arrange our first gig at the Heavy Metal Soundhouse. The gig was quickly arranged for a few weeks later.

In the meantime, 'Sounds', a popular music weekly, had picked up on the heavy metal scene at the time and had started to compile a heavy metal top ten, based on the stuff that Neal was playing at the pub.

Maiden's demo had become so popular at the Bandwagon/Soundhouse that one of our tracks, 'Prowler', was all of a sudden number one in the chart and the punters were going mad for the band.

This was ultimately the best move the band had ever made. Ok, it was Steve who made the decisions, and nobody can fault his single tracked mind, but to me, this was the one thing that helped to make them as big as they became.

The union of Steve Harris and Neal Kay was exactly what Iron Maiden needed.

But again, that's history now, and I'm telling the story my way.

Every gig we did at the Soundhouse/Bandwagon was sold out. I'm not sure how many shows we actually did there but we always came away feeling we had proved ourselves. Of course, we were still doing gigs all over the country and our fan base was getting bigger and better everywhere we went.

We then got booked to do a headline gig at the Marquee Club in Wardour Street in the centre of London which to Paul and me was almost like coming home.

The two of us had spent a couple of years frequenting the Marquee seeing great bands like Nutz, (a favourite of mine, so much so that I followed them everywhere); AC/DC, who I remember doing every Monday in August '75??? Whatever year it was, the encore usually ended up with Angus getting his kit off; Thin Lizzy and Gary Moore. We even got to see Status Quo do a warm up prior to their gig at the Reading Festival the following night. It got to the point where Paul and I went to the Marquee so often, one of the managers, a guy called Nigel, used to let us in for nothing.

I also remember seeing a band featuring a couple of old school friends, namely Jeff Hepting from William McGuffie in Walthamstow, and Phil Collen from Leyton County High School for Boys (also the home of Steve Harris and Paul Dianno). The pair were getting together to play lead guitars for a band called Dumb Blondes.

To be honest I don't remember what they sounded like. I was just fascinated that I was watching some old schoolmates live on stage and thinking, if they can make it, why can't we?

Iron Maiden's first gig at the Marquee was a huge success, but it was also a long day. We arrived with our equipment at around 10AM. The guy running the place didn't show up until noon and with parking restrictions along Wardour Street being what they were at the time, we couldn't just park the van and unload our gear. So Pete and Vic took it in turns to take the Goddess around the block a few hundred times.

Finally it was time to load our gear in. At bloody last. Then the guy we had been waiting for says, "you could have parked round the back." GGRRRRR!!! Even more annoying, once our vehicle was empty, the same guy said, "you can't leave your van there."

The area at the back of the Marquee was meant for residential parking only and to get in and out of the parking area with a van our size meant only one thing. Having driven in forwards, somebody had to reverse it out, AND find somewhere to park. To me this was easy, I don't drive, S.E.P. (Somebody Elses Problem.)

When Vic finally returned to the Marquee Club, having parked 2 miles away and spitting feathers, Pete and I had the bands gear set up and we were ready to go. This presented our next problem. The Marquee wasn't big enough for us to store our empty cases, so Vic had to walk back to the van, and bring it back to the Marquee so we could get rid of said empty cases, and then take the van to another parking spot even further than the first.

Stay with it folks, and eventually you will see a pattern emerge.

By the time Vic finally got back, he'd missed the soundcheck and all you could here was "fucking" this and "fucking" that. To me and Dave Lights it was hilarious, and Pete Bryant too, but eventually Pete took pity on Vic and took him to MacDonalds. You could still hear the moaning half a mile away. By the time they came back to the Marquee, Vic had calmed down a little and I was given a cold Big Mac, fries and a root beer, "and be fuckin' grateful". I just fell over laughing. You might not get the irony but what we had was special.

The gig itself was fast and furious, as most Maiden gigs were those days. The place was filled with a lot of old friends from the Ruskin, but now we had the new bunch from Neal's Bandwagon selling the place out was easy.

So, once the gig was over, me, Pete and Dave Lights got on with doing what we did best, tearing the bands gear down. Vic said, "I'll go and get the van then?" To which me and Lights said, "Yeah, bye." But Pete asked me to look after the guitars and walked off with Vic.

The band had finished getting changed (there were no showers backstage at the Marquee in those days, in fact ever) and went home, leaving me and Dave Lights looking after the bands equipment. There was plenty of time to think about what was going on and that's when it hit me most. Having spent all this time working and touring together, this was the first time that band and crew had been split, and I had no idea what arrangements had been made regarding how I was getting home (not selfish, but survival...lol), or where the gear was going to be stored?

Of course, everything had been worked out by Vic and Steve, they just hadn't told anybody else. Pete knew when Vic told him in Maccy D's, but me and Lights were oblivious until we packed the van up and headed back to the East End.

Click here for the Loopyworld index for the rest of this amazing story...




25.2.13



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India's Demonic Resurrection will join Nightlord and main support Artillery following acclaimed appearances at Les-Fest 3 and Sonisphere...

judas priest JUDAS PRIEST 'REDEEMER OF SOULS' ALBUM LAUNCH PARTIES ANNOUNCED
A chance to hear new tracks from the album ahead of its release on Monday July 14th, plus these exclusive parties will also feature exclusive merchandise giveaways...

acrassicauda ACRASSICAUDA LAUNCH KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN FOR THEIR FIRST OFFICIAL ALBUM
The latest chapter for the Iraq Metal pioneers continues their astonishing story...

black sabbath TONY IOMMI CONFIRMS MetalTalk REPORT THAT HYDE PARK WAS NOT THE LAST EVER BLACK SABBATH GIG
Tony released a video just before Friday's gig thanking fans for their support and he ends it by saying: "See you on the next tour"...

godsmack MULTI-PLATINUM US ROCKERS GODSMACK ANNOUNCE NEW STUDIO ALBUM "1000HP"
The band move into the fast lane for sixth studio album, '1000hp', set for international release via Spinefarm Records on September 1st 2014...

karmaflow 'KARMAFLOW: THE ROCK OPERA VIDEOGAME' IS UNVEILED WITH AN ALL-STAR CAST
This multidisciplinary art project is a must for lovers of gaming and Metal...

hellyeah HELLYEAH TAKES BLOOD FOR BLOOD TO THE TOP OF THE HARD ROCK CHARTS IN NORTH AMERICA
The band will tour Europe in July and August 2014 with six dates in the UK...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT ANNOUNCES DVD 'GENESIS REVISITED: LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL', WORLD TOUR PLUS EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW
Re-live a seminal chapter of prog rock history live on stage. "It's a feast for eyes, ears and all the senses..."

cannibal corpse CANNIBAL CORPSE TO RELEASE 'A SKELETAL DOMAIN'
The 13th full-length album from the American Death Metal icons is released in September. The extensive tour reaches the UK in October...

electric wizard ELECTRIC WIZARD UNVEIL 'TIME TO DIE' AS TITLE OF FORTHCOMING STUDIO ALBUM
"We had to kill the band so we could be reborn. It was the only way to ensure we could come back even stronger"...

motorhead aftershock MOTÖRHEAD POSTPONE RELEASE OF 'AFTERSHOCK - TOUR EDITION' NOW 4th AUGUST
A production error has put back the release for a month, but it will be worth waiting for...

suicide silence tour SUICIDE SILENCE ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER 2014 UK TOUR
An unmissable opportunity to see the titans of modern Metal. "Come throw your horns up, bang your heads, or mosh your knickers off!! "...

hordes of belial LIPID AND BURNING THE DREAM ADDED TO HORDES OF BELIAL V BILL
The yearly Dundee Metal event continues to strengthen the line up...

snakecharmer SNAKECHARMER ANNOUNCE THREE UK DATES
Six of the UK's most highly-esteemed and experienced rock musicians have joined forces to create Snakecharmer...

manowar MANOWAR ANNOUNCE NEW U.S. TOUR DATES FOR NOVEMBER 2014
Manowarriors have demanded more and further dates have been added. "We can't wait to be back and play for more of our U.S. fans!"...

tygertailz TIGERTAILZ RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'PUNCHED IN THE GUTZ'
The 'Knives' EP is out now and there is an upcoming release of unheard demos for September...

progstravaganza PROG SPHERE INVITES BANDS TO SEND SUBMISSIONS FOR 20TH EDITION OF PROGSTRAVAGANZA COMPILATION SERIES
The call goes out for bands around the world to submit songs for the jubilee edition of the sampler album ...

accept ACCEPT PREMIERE BREATHTAKING VIDEO FOR NEW TRACK 'STAMPEDE'
The stunning locations perfectly showcase the track which is from the band's album 'Blind Rage' out August 18th ..

mr big MR BIG ANNOUNCE ONLY BRITISH ISLES SHOW OF 2014
LA Rockers Mr Big have announced a one off show at London's Koko on Friday 17th October 2014 - their only show on these shores this year...

spike frankie miller SPIKE ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF '100% PURE FRANKIE MILLER' FEATURING RONNIE WOOD, ANDY FRASER, SIMON KIRKE, IAN HUNTER AND MORE
Call it a labour of love. A life's ambition. Or the chance to keep a precious legacy alive. Call it 100% Pure Frankie Miller....

kobra and the lotus KOBRA AND THE LOTUS RELEASE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR BRAND NEW SINGLE 'SOLDIER'
Explosive hard rockers Kobra And The Lotus have revealed a warsome (get it?!) official video for 'Soldier'...

massive wagons MASSIVE WAGONS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM AND UK TOUR
Two years and it's finally here, the brand new album - 'Fight The System'...

temperance movement THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
The headlining dates will take place in November 2014...

overkill OVERKILL REVEAL NEW TRACK 'ARMORIST' ONLINE
"Our confidence is high for this shoot. From the director's eye to yours/ours, should be a killer!"...

avenged sevenfold AVENGED SEVENFOLD ANNOUNCE 'WAKING THE FALLEN: RESURRECTED' - OUT AUGUST 25TH
The restored breakthrough album includes a DVD & never before heard tracks, demos, and more...

dragonforce DRAGONFORCE ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW WITH EPICA
Grab your tickets quickly as demand for this double bill will be high...

devildriver DEVILDRIVER PREMIERE LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'GUTTED'
Check out the band's latest offering from sixth studio album 'Winter Kills'...

down n outz DOWN 'N' OUTZ ANNOUNCE UK & EIRE TOUR DATES
"It's like Joe and the boys have taken some vintage films and slapped them onto a big, bright Technicolor screen. A great, in-your-face new way to experience some of Mott's finest songs!"...

nuclear assault NUCLEAR ASSAULT TO RELEASE 'LIVE AT CBGB'S'
There will be a limited release of 500 picture discs capturing the old school thrashers back in 1986...

seether SEETHER REVEAL NEW TRACK, 'SUFFER IT ALL' AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE DOWNLOAD WITH 'ISOLATE AND MEDICATE' PRE-ORDER
The band have also announced UK Headline Shows for November...

gravedigger GRAVE DIGGER PREMIERE 'HELL FUNERAL' VIDEO
The track is from 'Return Of The Reaper', out July 14th...

voodoo six VOODOO SIX SET TO GUEST WITH THE WINERY DOGS ON TWO UK DATES IN JULY
These performances follow their Sonisphere appearance on Saturday July 5th...

orphaned land METAL MUSIC IS BIGGER THAN WHAT POLITICS CAN OFFER: ORPHANED LAND BRING ISRAEL AND PALESTINE TOGETHER
"We are the ambassadors of peace, more than our foreign ministry, or prime minister, or authors..."

madball MADBALL REVEAL OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR 'BORN STRONG' FEATURING CANDACE PUOPOLO FROM WALLS OF JERICHO
The track is taken from the album 'Hardcore Lives', released June 30th...

metallica METALLICA RELEASE NEW SONG
'Lords of Summer - First Pass Version' gets official release after being premiered on the first night of the current tour...

ted nugent kamp "TED NUGENT KAMP FOR KIDS" CELEBRATES 25TH ANNUAL SUMMER "KAMP"
When he's not being a guitar icon, Ted Nugent is on a mission to improve young lives. New album 'Shutup&Jam!' is out July 8...

massive wagons MASSIVE WAGONS RELEASE SINGLE AND NEW VIDEO 'RED DRESS'
The video incudes circus performances from the girls at Monster Cirque in the first release from the album 'Fight The System'...

black state highway THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM BLACK STATE HIGHWAY IS OUT ON 18TH AUGUST
The highly anticipated release is packed full of heavy riff-based rock...

helmet HELMET ANNOUNCE 'BETTY' 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR OF EUROPE FOR AUTUMN 2014
UK dates in Glasgow, Manchester, London now added due to popular demand ...

wacken LIVE AT WACKEN 2013 TO BE RELEASED AS DVD/ BluRay / 2 CD
Experience the world's biggest Metal Festival at home and be in with a chance to win a Lifetime Membership...

uncle rust UNCLE RUST ANNOUNCE AUGUST UK TOUR
The recently formed London based rock/Metal band will undertake a set of UK dates in August 2014...

blitzkreig BLITZKRIEG ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR FOR SEPTEMBER 2014
The band will visit five countries on their only tour this year...

sonisphere LATE NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT AT SONISPHERE ANNOUNCED
Only two weeks away - get ready to continue the party after the headliners leave the stage...

finntroll FINNTROLL REVEAL LIVE FOOTAGE OF SEMINAL TRACK 'TROLLHAMMAREN', FILMED AT THEIR LIVE ALBUM RECORDING SHOW IN AMSTERDAM
"Lock up your daughters, kegs of rum and men of God, for The Trolls from Up North are coming for you...live!..."

dragonforce DRAGONFORCE REVEAL NEW VIDEO 'THE GAME' (FEAT. MATT HEAFY OF TRIVIUM)
The track is taken from the album 'Maximum Overload', which will be released in August...

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