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  LOOPY'S WORLD: PART NINE - THE BEGINNING OF THE REST

Steve 'Loopy' Newhouse

steve newhouse

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Rehearsals were kept at a relentless pace even without a drummer. Steve had a whole bunch of new songs he wanted to work on and the rest of the band were eager to get things going again.

I sat there twiddling my thumbs most days, having nothing better to do. It wasn't like we had flight cases to number or anything electrical we had to work out. It was just Steve, Paul and Dave running through a few bits and pieces and myself and Pete either as support or to do the beer run, fags etc. I didn't drive so anything like a lunch run to the chippy was down to Pete, which left me in the studio with the guys most of the time.

I did learn to drive a few years later in Jersey. In fact it was the band that had paid for half the lessons and I was doing so well until the day of the test. We pulled up outside the Test Centre and my instructor advised me not to take the test. I totally agreed. I'd been fine up to that day but my nerve went and I made so many stupid mistakes. I guess me and driving are meant to be kept apart.

Article continues below...

   


It was during this rehearsal period that Steve had two ideas that he kept playing over and over again. Dave would join in where he thought he should and it sounded fine. Then Paul would add a scream over the top and what you ended up with was the intro to 'Killers'. The bit after the intro (when it goes into the main song), was the second piece that Harris had been working on. I suggested he put the two parts together and 'Killers' was born. It was just a suggestion and I'm not expecting royalties or anything. But when Steve said he would make sure I got a disc to hang on my wall, I was over the moon.

But that was then, and this is now. I'm still waiting.

A few years later in Nassau, Bahamas, I reminded Steve of our conversation, and he denied all knowledge of it. And that, quite simply, is what I had to put up with.

After rehearsing the same stuff over and over, a familiar face stepped through the studio door. I couldn't believe it.

He was as tall as me, but not as good looking, his hair was curlier, but about the same length and he didn't have the pot belly that I'd earned (roadie's perks).

It was Dennis Stratton.

"Alright lads", he said. A small chorus of "what the fuck?" went up as I watched Den greet all of us in turn.

I'd seen this guy before and here he was with his guitar in hand. Things are looking up I thought.

The first time I saw Den was several months before. I was just a punter in a huge crowd of noisy people in a pub called the Bridgehouse, in Canning Town, East London. I was towing along with Steve Harris mainly because I thought he wanted to see the band Dennis was in, called Remus Down Boulevard (or casually known locally as RDB). I was impressed by what I saw and heard. The band covered a multitude of songs from rock to blues and back again. After the gig Steve went off to have a quick word with Den. Then we left and Harris dropped me home. I never thought any more about it.

And now here he was, not even auditioning. Just, well... here!!!

The rest of the band put Den through his paces, which didn't take long. He knew what Iron Maiden was about and had obviously done his homework. In fact I actually remember Dennis chucking a cassette in the bin with the comment, "I won't be needing that anymore." I thought it was his George Benson tape but no, it was the demo that Harris had put together to give Den a heads up. It didn't matter. Within a week Dennis knew all the songs inside out.

I always liked Dennis a lot. In fact, I still do. We meet up occasionally at a local pub where he and Dave Edwards still ply their trade as RDB. It's always a good night out and I hope it continues. But more stories about Dennis later.

There had also been talk of a drummer coming in, somebody I hadn't heard of. Although my knowledge of other local bands and musicians at the time were somewhat limited, I was happy to bide my time and see what fate had in store for me. Let's face it; I worked for the band but for no one in particular at the time. Doug had gone so, in hindsight, the next drummer was going to be my problem. That's when I got introduced to Clive Burr for the first time.

Clive, a friend of Dennis, had been playing the local pub and club circuit and was basically told I was his roadie and he didn't have a say. I'm not sure he was all that happy about it. That wasn't my problem though. I was his first proper roadie. All I had to do was keep my head down and do my job. The rest of the band and crew knew I could do what was required but, for some reason, I had a feeling either Clive didn't like me or wasn't happy with the way I did things.

Over the few months leading up to recording the first album, we spent so much time in rehearsals, the drum kit never had to move so Clive seemed happy enough. And, I have to admit, Clive slotted into the vacant position left by Doug really well. In fact, compared to Doug, Clive was an absolute beast.

Doug was so laid back in his approach to drumming. Don't get me wrong, he did the job extremely well, but Clive's style was much more subtle. "These instruments are for hitting," Clive said, "and that's what we do to them." I had never changed a drum skin for Doug. I didn't have to. With Clive I was changing at least one skin a week and that was during rehearsal. On tour it was something else, but don't rush me.

Prior to recording 'Iron Maiden' we went out and did a small promotional eleven date British tour introducing Dennis and Clive to the world, during which I got a phone call from my Mum halfway through the tour in Mansfield (I think), telling me my Granddad had passed away.

Obviously I was gutted but when asked if I wanted to go home, I declined. I felt I had a job to do. Plus, being at home, I would have felt pretty useless. My Granddad had moved on and so would I. And, let's face facts, I couldn't bring him back even with my connections.

I will never forget Paul Di'Anno mentioning my Granddad during the show and dedicating one of the band's songs to him, but I felt so numb and, to this day, I couldn't tell you which song it was. It wasn't 'Phantom Of The Opera', that's for sure.

The tour was a huge success. Den and Clive had bedded in well, the crowds had loved them and things were moving quietly but quickly on to the next phase.

I arrived home at 6.00am on the morning of the funeral and my Dad said he understood if I didn't want to go. I kissed him and Mum goodbye on the door step, told them I was sorry, and went to bed.

Later that day we all went to our local pub and said our private farewells to Granddad George, over and over again.

A few days later it was back to the studio, but this time it was different. Clive had ordered a custom built drum kit. Ludwig shells, but Tama hardware, so the shells had to be fitted with Tama fittings. This was all done without my knowledge but I didn't care. I was still happily employed by Iron Maiden and we were going places.

The new kit arrived at Hollywood studios and Clive and I were given a couple of days to set it up the way he wanted.

Using band money, probably provided by Rod (who else?), we were happy going off and getting McDonalds or KFC, or whatever we fancied and bringing it back to the studio.

Vic was always hanging around and the rest of the band would drop in occasionally to see how we were getting on. If memory serves me right, the rest of the band would spend hour upon hour at Dave Lights' place in Wapping, going over new material.

So for me and Clive, this was the easy bit. Being left alone with a huge drum kit in carrier bag size pieces, excluding the bass drum, and two floor toms, all we had to do was put it all together.

How hard can it be?

Actually it was easy when you knew how. Once the bass drum was in position and the two floor toms were close enough, the rest just fell into place. All the stands were marked up with colour coding and we used Jubilee clips to make sure that stand partitions didn't go up, let alone down. Everything hunky dory, we went home. The next day, Clive didn't like it. And that became the story of my life.

Day after day we went through the same thing. Set it up, Clive didn't like it. Take it down. You could see the band getting frustrated but that was nothing to how I felt. All I could do was keep going and try and appease the man. In the end somebody spoke to Clive and he agreed to live with what he had.

Now, can I just add here, I have no idea if this was something to do with his condition, I don't even know if he knew about his problem then, but what I can tell you, without malice or prejudice, was that he became difficult to work with and for. Most people didn't see it or realise it but Clive wasn't the easiest person to work for.

Even during the shows, mostly in Europe and Japan, he relied on me to count him in, on certain key changes, especially during 'Phantom Of The Opera' and one other that I can't remember now. Basically, if it hadn't been for me, his timing would have been all over the place, but I remained the unsung hero, and wonder what would have happened if he'd got it wrong.

It would probably have been my fault for that too.

For months on end, gig after gig, Clive would sit behind his kit and say that something was wrong. I couldn't or didn't understand what he wanted. Every day was the same routine, I would set the kit up, and Clive would turn up and say it was wrong. I spoke to people far more professional than me like Doug Hall, the band's sound engineer, who said: "Don't worry about it. He's just feeling his way into the band."

It actually got to a point when I dreaded the band turning up for soundcheck. As far as I was concerned the drum kit was set up the same way every day. There was a system on the kit that meant I couldn't set it up wrong, but Clive would still say it was.

Clive and I even had long chats about it. One of which, was at The Colston Hall, Bristol. The band had come in early to do a radio interview at a local record store, so myself and Clive found somewhere quiet and had a chat and I was basically told, if I didn't get my shit together, I would be out. I responded by saying that I wasn't happy being treated like an idiot and that I was working for the good of the band. I was doing what I could to keep him and everybody else happy but I would do my best to keep the kit as he wanted. The conversation ended peacefully enough and, give credit where it's due, he came back from the record store with the new Rush cassette 'Moving Pictures' and as he passed it to me he said: "I've heard it. It's not all that."

I gave a wry smile, I mean, really, what did Clive know about proper drumming?

That wasn't the end of our spats and I stayed with him for longer than I expected, but he was the most infuriating man I had ever met. To set up the kit for Clive as I always did, and then for him to turn up almost every day and say I'd done it wrong was frustrating enough, but to watch him put it back to where he'd found it, during the show I might add, was bloody infuriating.

At one show in Reggio Nell Amelia, Italy, one of our trucks had jack-knifed on the mountain road toward the town so half of our equipment turned up late, including the drum kit. When it arrived I sweated buckets to get the kit set up as quickly as I could, taking care to put it where I always had.

The one thing you don't do is piss off an Italian audience by cancelling a show.

So, getting later and later and without a soundcheck to make sure everything was in working order and where it should be, in true Iron Maiden tradition, the show went on as it should have, and was an outstanding success.

Unbelievably, after the gig, Clive found me loading our backline on the truck and asked to have a word. After everything we had been through that day, I expected the worst.

What I actually got was a "thank you" and he told me that I'd got it right for once.

I could have killed him there and then but I bit my lip. As I said, he was bloody infuriating.

N.B. I wrote this several months before Clive passed away, and this is not designed or in any way meant to discredit what he did for the band. He will be sorely missed and it was a privilege to work with him. Clive was a brilliant drummer, and will always be remembered so.

We may have had our disagreements, but I never had any bad feelings about him. We were both just doing our job. Rightly or wrongly, we both served the bigger cause.

When Colin Claydon took over from me, I saw the band on the road a few times, and as far as I'm aware, the relationship between Colin and Clive was a good and strong relationship. So my only conclusion is that Clive's problem was with me and I still have no idea why?

But it must prove a point. When Clive left Iron Maiden, and Nicko took over on the sticks, I got a call from Tony Wiggens, the band's Tour Manager, asking me to go back. But more about that soon.


Click here for the Loopyworld index for the rest of this amazing story, including Steve's tribute to Clive Burr...




21.5.13


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Blackwolf join The Vintage Caravan as support to Blues Pills in November. New single 'Kiss The Fire' is out now...

hammerfall HAMMERFALL ANNOUNCE LINE-UP CHANGES
"Life in a Heavy Metal band is indeed filled with twists and turns, highs and lows, ups and downs..."

metal all stars METAL ALL STARS SCHEDULE EXCLUSIVE LONDON GIG IN DECEMBER
A special one-off concert by the Metal All Stars featuring members of Megadeth, Dream Theater, Anthrax, Testament and many more is not to be missed...

voodoo vegas VOODOO VEGAS RELEASE LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'NO MORE'
This is the last release from the debut album as Bournemouth's finest prepare to return to the studio to record the follow-up...

enter shikari ENTER SHIKARI ANNOUNCE THE MINDSWEEP ALBUM DETAILS, PLUS 2015 EURO & UK TOUR DATES
"We pushed ourselves vocally with some of the rawest angriest vocals we've ever done as well as some of the most dulcet and delicate..."

black label society BLACK LABEL SOCIETY ANNOUNCE 2015 UK TOUR DATES
Zakk Wylde and co are bringing their explosive swagger to Europe in support of 'Catacombs Of The Black Vatican'...

evile EVILE ARE BACK WITH A NEW GUITARIST AND NEW TOUR DATES FOR 2015
"We finally get the chance to tour in support of our last album 'Skull'...we plan on playing that album in full at shows next year as we're really proud of what we put together..."

the temperance movement THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT 2 DISC DELUXE EDITION OUT NOW WITH BONUS LIVE TRACKS
Catch five stunning tracks recorded on the recent European tour. Fans who have already purchased the album can get these for free...

wildfire WILDFIRE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCE SEVEN NEW BANDS
Seven more red hot bands join headliners Tygers Of Pan Tang in what promises to be a scorching festival...

rival sons RIVAL SONS CONFIRMED FOR LATER WITH JOOLS HOLLAND
The band will preview their next single 'Good Things'. A further UK tour is planned for December this year...

ac/dc AC/DC REVEAL FIRST TRACK, ARTWORK AND TRACKLISTING FOR NEW ALBUM 'ROCK OR BUST'
'Rock Or Bust' is AC/DC's first studio album for six years and their first ever not to feature their founding rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young

manowar MANOWAR GIVE STUDENT MUSICIANS FROM ESSEN, GERMANY A NEW STAGE
Manowar will perform with the Bredeneyer Schulorchester. "We have offered them the opportunity to reach an audience that we know understands the tremendous power of music, and that they have more in common with than they may imagine..."

steel panther STEEL PANTHER UNLEASH VIDEO FOR 'PUSSYWHIPPED'
Biggest ever UK tour kicks off in March 2015, including a night at Wembley Arena...

texas flood THE TEXAS FLOOD SIGN LONG TERM DEAL WITH OFF YER ROCKA RECORDINGS
The powerhouse trio are ready to showcase their own brand of vintage rock to the world...

pythia PYTHIA ANNOUNCE RELEASE DATE, ARTWORK AND TRACKLISTING FOR NEW ALBUM 'SHADOWS OF A BROKEN PAST'
The band have also released the first song, 'The Key', which you can hear as part of the promo video here...

acdc AC/DC SHOOT NEW PROMO VIDEOS IN LONDON
Once inside Brian Johnson explained that Malcolm Young gave his blessing for the band to continue without him...

sanctuary SANCTUARY RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'FROZEN'
Seattle Thrash luminaries Sanctuary return with a new album and video, their first for twenty five years...

guns n roses GUNS N' ROSES TO RELEASE 3D CONCERT 'APPETITE FOR DEMOCRACY 3D: LIVE AT THE HARD ROCK CASINO - LAS VEGAS' INTERNATIONALLY
This is the first official Guns N' Roses live concert film since 1992's 'Use Your Illusion' concert video and features brand new live performances of classic GN'R tracks...

blues pills BLUES PILLS KICK OFF THEIR HEADLINING EUROPEAN TOUR
The three month tour takes in seven UK dates, including an upgraded venue in Manchester...

tesseract TESSERACT SIGN TO KSCOPE
The band have a new creative energy after reuniting with singer Dan Tompkins and have already written half of their third album, the follow up to 'Altered State', slated for a 2015 release...

primordial PRIMORDIAL TO RELEASE NEW FULL-LENGTH THIS NOVEMBER VIA METAL BLADE RECORDS
"We feel revitalized, the hunger never left and we are ready for another chapter to be written in our history..."

ill nino ILL NIÑO PREMIERE NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR 'I'M NOT THE ENEMY'
The video tells a bold story of youthful injustice, overcoming social stereotypes and the dreams of constructing a better life...

devin townsend DEVIN TOWNSEND LAUNCHES ZTV AND NEW ZILTOID SITE
"I'm really excited to present to you the new Ziltoid website, and the first of three ZTV episodes leading up to the album release..."

judas priest JUDAS PRIEST OPEN US TOUR WITH NEW SONGS AND CLASSICS: SPOILER ALERT - FULL SETLIST HERE
The legendary British Metallers are touring in support of of their new 'Redeemer Of Souls' album...

tony wright TONY WRIGHT RELEASES FIRST SOLO ALBUM 'THOUGHTS 'N' ALL' ON 17TH NOVEMBER
The Terrorvision frontman has made a personal, heartfelt and passionate reflection of his journey...

off PUNK/HARDCORE LUMINARIES OFF! RETURN TO THE ROAD
There will be six UK dates before the band head off to mainland Europe...

queensryche BREAKING NEWS: QUEENSRYCHE ANNOUNCED AS HARD ROCK HELL VIII HEADLINERS
Following the official cancellation of W.A.S.P., Hard Rock Hell are pleased to announce that Queensryche will be stepping up to the top slot...

motorhead LEMMY TALKS TO FULL METAL JACKIE ABOUT HIS HEALTH, THE NEXT ALBUM AND THE MOTORBOAT CRUISE
Lemmy Kilmister was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show this weekend...

hellion HELLION ANNOUNCE NEW 'KARMA'S A BITCH' MINI ALBUM & SINGLE
Hellion's strongest line-up to date unleash first new material in over a decade...

blaze bayley BLAZE BAYLEY RELEASES 'SOUNDTRACKS OF MY LIFE' DVD
Blaze and backing band Absolva are captured in a performance celebrating 30 years in the business for Blaze...

black sabbath BREAKING NEWS: BLACK SABBATH TO RECORD NEW ALBUM AND DO ONE FINAL TOUR
Just as we told you back in May, Black Sabbath's Hyde Park performance on 4th July was not the last ever Sabbath gig...

def leppard DEF LEPPARD ROCK THE NFL AT WEMBLEY
A stage was set up on the pitch with the band performing in front of beautiful cheerleaders...

slipknot SLIPKNOT RELEASE 'THE DEVIL IN I' OFFICIAL VIDEO
Find out more about the new masks as the build up to the release of '.5:The Gray Chapter' continues...

sy keeler ONSLAUGHT'S SY KEELER TO SIT OUT FORTHCOMING US/CANADA/SOUTH AMERICA TOUR
Ex Anthrax legend Neil Turbin steps into the breach as the health issues of Sy Keeler's son mean he is needed at home...

vivian cambell VIV CAMPBELL TO UNDERGO STEM CELL TREATMENT
Trixter guitarist Steve Brown will fill in for Def Leppard's autumn dates...

haken HAKEN LAUNCH 'DARKEST LIGHT' VIDEO
"We've managed to chop the old song in half, cut away all the excess fat and produce a 6 minute rowdy riff roller-coaster that will surely find a home in the heavier side of our live show..."

the dead daisies THE DEAD DAISIES RELEASE 'THE FACE I LOVE' VIDEO
Get a look at the title track of the new EP here. A new album will follow in 2015...

primordial PRIMORDIAL ANNOUNCE UK DATES IN FEBRUARY 2015
There will also be an album launch in Dublin in November for 'Where Greater Men Have Fallen'...

protokult SING ALONG TO 'GET ME A BEER!' LYRIC VIDEO BY PROG FOLK METALLERS PROTOKUL
"For those of you who can't understand what the hell Martin is spewing, now is your chance to sing along! Get yourself a cold one and enjoy!"...

whitesnake WHITESNAKE ANNOUNCE NEW LIVE DVD/CD WITH CLASSIC AND RARE PERFORMANCES
"It's still hard for me to find the words when remembering that half the incredible band who originally recorded the 'Slide It In' album with me have passed away," says Coverdale...

metal church VOCALIST RONNY MUNROE QUITS METAL CHURCH
The band posted a statement on their official Facebook page assuring fans that the band is alive and well and that "big announcements" are expected soon...

bloodbath BLOODBATH STREAM FIRST NEW TRACK FEATURING NICK HOLMES AND REVEAL ALBUM TRACKLISTING
Sweden's masters of horror Bloodbath are set to release their fourth album of supreme death Metal, 'Grand Morbid Funeral', on 17th November 2014...

ac/dc AC/DC ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM, 'ROCK OR BUST', AND CONFIRM DEPARTURE OF MALCOLM YOUNG
AC/DC have announced details of their 17th studio album, their first for six years and their first ever not to feature Malcolm...

lordi LORDI RELEASE FIRST SINGLE FROM NEW ALBUM 'SCARE FORCE ONE'
Tour dates to follow for the Finnish sensations. "The overall sound of the band is more modern this time, and we've tried out some new tricks here and there..."

bloodstock CANNIBAL CORPSE WILL PLAY AN EXCLUSIVE UK SHOW AT BLOODSTOCK 2015
Cannibal Corpse, Sepultura and Ihsahn join the line-up that also includes Within Temptation and Opeth...

helix HELIX ANNOUNCE TOUR OF EUROPE
This will be the first Euro tour for Helix since heading out with Kiss and Ian Gillan in the 1980s...

threshold THRESHOLD DISCUSS HOW THEY FOUND THE NEW ALBUM ARTWORK ON THE INTERNET
Damian Wilson and Richard West discuss Threshold's new album 'For The Journey', out today...

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS RELEASE 'THIS IS ROCK N ROLL II' IN ADVANCE OF NOVEMBER TOUR
Re-packaged, re-styled and with 4 bonus tracks, the rare 2001 classic from The Quireboys will be available on 23rd October...

gwar GWAR REVEAL TWO NEW MEMBERS - BLÓTHAR AND VULVATRON
Meet the latest warriors to don the latex and styrofoam and join the intergalactic crew for Gwar's "Eternal" tour...

fear factory FEAR FACTORY SIGN TO NUCLEAR BLAST ENTERTAINMENT
The journey continues for one of the groundbreaking Metal bands of our time, with new material to be released in 2015...

tank TANK BEGIN WORK ON NEW ALBUM; BAND CONFIRMED FOR BANG YOUR HEAD
The band are scheduled to enter the studio in November with a release planned for early February...

blitzallica DIAMOND HEAD TO HEADLINE COUNTY DURHAM'S BLITZALLICA IN OCTOBER
Plus legendary Metal party band Dumpy's Rusty Nuts and old favorites Holosade who are reforming especially for this headbanging estravaganza...

saille SAILLE COMMENT ON FORTHCOMING THIRD ALBUM
"'Eldritch' differs quite a bit from our two previous albums," keyboardist Dries Gaerdelen says...

winger WINGER RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'BETTER DAYS COMIN'
Winger have released a new music video - the title track from their Billboard chart breaking album...

voodoo six VOODOO SIX ANNOUNCE SIX HEADLINE SHOWS IN EUROPE
This Autumn, Voodoo Six will play six headline shows in Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands...

michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER ANNOUNCES DECEMBER UK TOUR
Schenker will perform songs from the new album, which features the new single, 'Lord Of The Lost And Lonely' plus all the classics...

johnny thunders LOOKING FOR JOHNNY: THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY THUNDERS MOVIE TO BE RELEASED NEXT MONTH
When Johnny Thunders died in New Orleans on April 23rd 1991, he left behind a mystery...

metallica METALLICA TO RELEASE 27 LIVE ALBUMS BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR AND APPEAR IN THE GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS
To commemorate the anniversary of the LiveMetallica.com site, the band are offering CDs and LPs of every gig they played in 2014...

kobra and the lotus KOBRA AND THE LOTUS AND THE TREATMENT ANNOUNCE UK TOURS
Kobra And The Lotus will be kicking off their Headline Tour on 24th September in support of their latest record 'High Priestess'...

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