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  LOOPY'S WORLD: PART SIX - THE FUN BEGINS

Steve 'Loopy' Newhouse

steve newhouse

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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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joe lynn turner JOE LYNN TURNER ANNOUNCES UK AND NORTHERN IRELAND DATES THIS SPRING
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wildfire festival EXCLUSIVE: WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2015 ANNOUNCES FIFTY BAND LINE-UP
Wildfire is known for bringing the best in Scottish talent to Wiston Lodge, and there is one name everyone at Wildfire HQ agreed should be on the bill...

kiss KISS GET ANIMATED IN COLLABORATION WITH J-POP IDOLS MOMOIRO CLOVER Z!
Just when you thought the Metal world had gone insane enough with Babymetal...

ronnie james dio RONNIE JAMES DIO FIFTH ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL EVENTS ANNOUNCED
The weekend will include a public memorial service, a celebrity bowling tournament and the inaugural Ride For Ronnie motorcycle ride and BBQ...

walkway WALKWAY RELEASE SINGLE AND VIDEO FOR 'STREETWISE'
The single is the first release from their second studio album. Walkway will support Status Quo in June 2015...

motley crue MOTLEY CRUE REVEAL DATE OF FINAL SHOW AND FINAL TOUR LAST LEG DETAILS: NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO OUT NOW
Motley Crue are also in the process of putting together the ultimate collector's album package...

art of anarchy PRESENTING ART OF ANARCHY FEATURING SCOTT WEILAND, BUMBLEFOOT, JOHN MOYER OF DISTURBED AND JON AND VINCE VOTTA
Poised to become one of the biggest new bands of 2015, Art Of Anarchy is redefining the rock supergroup...

jettblack JETTBLACK RETURN WITH A BRAND NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO
Jettblack get serious in 2015, kicking things off with a headline tour and new single in February...

dead kennedys DEAD KENNEDYS FANS PERFORM PUBLIC SEX ACT LIVE ON STAGE
"This was something definitely different to see at a punk concert..."

evil scarecrow EVIL SCARECROW'S MISSING TRACK FINALLY RELEASED! A MESSAGE FROM DR HELL!
Evil Scarecrow have just released a new, old version of 'Robototron', which they feel is the definitive version of their most popular track...

eddie and the hot rods BREAKING NEWS: ORIGINAL EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS LINE-UP REFORM FOR 40th ANNIVERSARY
This will be the first time all original members have played a full show together for over thirty years...

carthagods CARTHAGODS TO RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM WITH SPECIAL GUESTS INCLUDING TIM "RIPPER" OWENS, RON THAL AND MARK JANSEN
"It's been a long time that we look for this occasion to finally satisfy our fans..."

paddy goes to holyhead EXCLUSIVE: PADDY GOES TO HOLYHEAD ANNOUNCE FINAL CONCERT FOR ST PATRICK'S NIGHT
Sadly it's the end of an era as Paddy Goes To Holyhead have announced that they are to play their final gig...

grateful dead BREAKING NEWS: GRATEFUL DEAD TO RE-UNITE FOR 50th ANNIVERSARY FAREWELL CONCERTS
The reunion, billed "Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead", will feature the band's surviving members...

nazareth BREAKING NEWS: VOCALIST LINTON OSBOURNE LEAVES NAZARETH
"I am no longer a member of Nazareth. It didn't work out, for me, or for the band..."

lordi LORDI ANNOUNCE UK DATES FOR TOUR FORCE ONE
Lordi bring 'Scare Force One' to the UK for ten dates in the Spring...

nightwish NIGHTWISH REVEAL TRACKLIST & FORMATS OF 'ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL'
The new studio album, released on 30th March, is available in several tasty formats...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN LEADER STEVE HARRIS' MANSION BACK ON THE MARKET AT KNOCKDOWN PRICE
The mansion boasts its own pub called the Horse and Cart as well as an indoor swimming pool...

pete way EXCLUSIVE: ALL PARTIES IN BATTLE BETWEEN FIN MUIR AND PETE WAY OF WAYSTED GIVE A RESPONSE
"I can confirm that this appalling defamation is completely without foundation..."

death angel DEATH ANGEL ANNOUNCE UK HEADLINE SHOW AND DATES WITH QUEENSRYCHE AND ARMORED SAINT
Los Angeles Heavy Metal legends Armored Saint will join both acts for a special London show at the Electric Ballroom...

udo dirkschneider U.D.O. TO PLAY ENGLAND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DONKEY'S YEARS
Germany's favourite rock god Udo Dirkschneider has announced three exclusive shows for the UK...

california breed CALIFORNIA BREED HAS GONE THE WAY OF BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION
After a great first album, the departure of a superstar drummer, and very little touring, California Breed is extinct...

kamelot KAMELOT SIGNS TO NAPALM RECORDS; NEW ALBUM AND TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED
In support of this highly anticipated release, Kamelot will hit the road for select UK shows, followed by a massive North America Tour...

the gentle storm ARJEN LUCASSEN AND ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN'S NEW BAND THE GENTLE STORM REVEAL TOUR DATES AND ALBUM DETAILS
"We'll perform some Ayreon classics together and premiere a couple of songs that will be on our upcoming album..."

jimmy page JIMMY PAGE IN FIGHT WITH ROBBIE WILLIAMS OVER HOUSE RENOVATION
The pair are neighbours and have fallen out over Williams' plans to revamp his multi-million pound mansion...

hard rock hell SAXON ANNOUNCED FOR HARD ROCK HELL 9 WITH ROCK GODDESS, PIG IRON AND MORE
Hard Rock Hell, aptly titled 'House of Horrors', are pleased to welcome Heavy Metal Titans Saxon back into their realm...

dark funeral DARK FUNERAL TO RELEASE 7INCH & DIGITAL SINGLE 'NAIL THEM TO THE CROSS' IN FEBRUARY
The single is available as a hand-numbered 7inch limited edition of which 500 copies are on black vinyl and 500 on blue vinyl...

santa cruz SANTA CRUZ TO RELEASE BRAND NEW SELF-TITLED ALBUM ON MARCH 9th VIA SPINEFARM RECORDS
Santa Cruz will also play five UK dates as main support to Amaranthe...

tygers of pan tang TYGERS OF PAN TANG TO HEADLINE GARAGE DAYZ RE-VISITED ALL DAYER IN LONDON
A mouth watering bill not only from bands that were a huge influence to bands like Metallica and Megadeth....

truffle TRUFFLE TO PLAY SPECIAL SOUTH COAST GIG WITH SIEGE, TOLEDO STEEL AND KODIAK JACK
Tickets are priced at only $7.50 for a night that promises to be full of faces from the area past and present....

ensiferum ENSIFERUM UNLEASH TWO NEW VIDEOS ON EVE OF LAUNCH ON NEW ALBUM
Today Ensiferum unveils the official new video for 'One Man Army''s title track as well as an in-depth "making of" clip...

autograph AUTOGRAPH RELEASE FIRST NEW SONG IN OVER 25 YEARS
Simply put, a reunion was both inevitable and essential...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT ANNOUNCES NEW SOLO STUDIO ALBUM 'WOLFLIGHT' OUT ON 30th MARCH
The ten tracks take the listener through a journey in space and time looking at the different faces of the endless fight for freedom...

adrian smith IRON MAIDEN'S ADRIAN SMITH ROCKS UP IN CHISWICK WITH DOOGIE WHITE, ANDY BARNETT AND DAVE 'BUCKET' COLWELL
MetalTalk's first Gig Of The Week for 2015 turned up two major surprises as a great night was had by all...

sabaton SABATON ANNOUNCE "SABATON OPEN AIR" WITH POWERWOLF AND CIVIL WAR
Tickets are on sale now for this special event in Germany in July...

pig iron PIG IRON ANNOUNCE RELEASE DATE FOR FIFTH STUDIO ALBUM
'Sermons From The Church Of Blues Restitution' will be released worldwide via OYR on 2nd March and will be preceded by a high value four track EP...

sonata arctica SONATA ARCTICA ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE LONDON SHOW FOR 'ECLIPTICA OVER EUROPE TOUR 2015'
"On these shows we'll perform 'Ecliptica' in its entirety as well as assorted hits from our catalog..."

skalmold SKALMOLD UNVEIL NEW SPRING TOUR DATES WITH ELUVEITIE AND WIND ROSE
For those who didn't catch the Viking/Pagan Metallers live on tour, here's another chance...

tony iommi BLACK SABBATH LEGEND TONY IOMMI TELLS ALL ABOUT HIS CANCER BATTLE
"In the good old days there was cocaine everywhere. This time we had tea and coffee and health drinks..."

def con one DEF CON ONE ANNOUNCE CRUSHING HEADS TOUR
British Metallers Def Con One can be seen across the UK in 2015...

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