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  LOOPY'S WORLD: PART ELEVEN - TOURING

Steve 'Loopy' Newhouse

steve newhouse



loopyworld

So much has already been written about Den and Clive joining the band that it seems pointless going over the same old shit, so I will keep this short and to the point.

After recording the first album the best thing for the band was obviously being chucked back out on the road again. But this time we had an album to promote.

We started with a small stint, which was meant to be the Metal For Muthas tour but because the album sales had done so well, we were given the chance to do something bigger and better. When Rod said we had been offered the Judas Priest tour we couldn't believe it.

Article continues below...



"Oh, alright then", we said, and went home to pack our bags. A month on the road supporting Judas Priest was so much better than a month of never knowing where your next meal was coming from. We may have only been put on £30 a week but, on tours with bands like Judas Priest, you never went short of anything. We were all put in decent hotels, had three meals a day and were looked after really well by Priest's road manager, Dickie Bell.

Prior to the Priest tour, Paul Di'Anno had done an interview with Sounds' Geoff (Deaf) Barton and had said something along the lines that Maiden would blow Priest off the stage. It's bound to be archived somewhere, check it out.

This caused a little bit of angst with KK Downing, Priest's guitarist, so much so that KK wouldn't even look at us, band or crew. This lasted for a little while, until Sheffield.

It was Steve Harris' birthday. We had been put up in a nice hotel called the Royal Court (I think), on the outskirts of the City, and everyone had been invited to Steve's birthday bash in the hotel bar.

Things were going quite well until there was a crash at the hotel's front doors. Ian Hill (Priest's bass player) had tried to drive the band's car into the foyer, to the point where you could actually hear the door frames creaking. A few of the Priest crew and band spilt nicely into the party, and chaos reigned for about an hour.

Then things got slightly out of hand. Tony Slee, one of the lighting crew, was seen walking around with a toilet. Apparently he found it outside one of the rooms. The hotel was having some refurbishment done at the time so that was plausible, but then he dropped it in the reception area. Needless to say the Police were called but, by the time they arrived, the Priest boys had scarpered back to their own hotel.

After that night we were all good buddies. Even KK was talking to all of us and we felt we had become part of the Heavy Metal fraternity. Rob Halford had convinced himself that Dave Lights was gay and chatted him up constantly.

One of the gigs we did on the tour was at the Southampton Gaumont Theatre (now the Mayflower). Lovely venue and a big enough stage to accommodate both bands, but not enough width to store our gear when we'd finished, so we loaded our equipment straight onto the truck, went back in to say goodbye to the rest of the band and said that we would see them tomorrow in Aberdeen.

Priest were about 20 minutes into their set and we were on our way out to the truck when one of us, and I'm still not sure who, just happened to hit an aluminium A-Frame ladder, which crashed to the stage floor, making an almighty racket.

Unfortunately, it happened during the very quiet bit in 'Victim Of Changes' (once she was wonderful... etc)

Not that we cared. Me, Lights and Pete were quickly legging it out of the door, into the truck and away. Nothing was ever mentioned about it again, but it did happen.

There were lots of pranks that Judas Priest tried on us, but we'd like to think we were as smart as they were. When the tour first started they tried to mess about with our sound but Dougie Hall, our new sound guy, was equal to anything they had. He had his own sound rack (complicated gizmo for the uninitiated). He just wired it into their system and over-rode everything they had set up.

Judas Priest soon realised that we were not here for the fun of it and started taking us seriously. Come the end of the tour we had all become good friends and, within a couple of years, a few of their crew were working for Iron Maiden, notably Marcus Cowe (now deceased, RIP) and Dickie Bell, who stayed with Maiden for over 25 years.

We had also started to use the same lighting company, Meteorlites, who were based in Baldock or Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

Two of the Meteorlites guys on the Priest tour became Iron Maiden tour regulars too, Roger Gribowicz and Derek Goddard (RIP). I'm sure there were others, but the Maiden crew family was getting bigger all the time.

Through Meteorlites we managed to meet a lot of influential people and things just kept getting bigger and better.

We were introduced to a guy called Charlie Kail, who owned a company called Brilliant Constructions. We had an idea for a drum riser and we asked Charlie if he could build it. Charlie invited us up to Baldock for a weekend to see what we could come up with, which apart from getting done what we had set out to do, turned into absolute chaos.

Baldock is a typically small English town, surrounded by countryside in every direction. The high street is approximately a mile long with a staggering 16 pubs along its length. And trust me, we staggered to every last one of them. My head hurts just thinking about it.

We still had some work to do the following morning and, although nobody was in the mood, we somehow got the job finished.

I've not been back to Baldock since but I feel I'll have to go back there eventually, even if it's to reclaim my sanity and, more importantly, my stomach.

When the drum riser was eventually completed a couple of weeks later, Iron Maiden went back on the road to conclude the Metal For Muthas tour that we'd started before the Judas Priest thing had got in our way.

This tour was a logistical nightmare, but such a massive success.

As usual, the agency and the promoters had got it completely arse about face and were sending us all over the place. (I hope that didn't rhyme too much).

Up and down the country, then from side to side, only this time it was different. This time someone else was doing the driving and navigating.

Me and the rest of the crew were on a bus/coach. But not any old bus/coach. Probably the oldest bus/coach the management could acquire, complete with the oldest bus/coach driver they could find... Nah!!!! That's taking it too far. The driver, bless him, did everything he could to keep us happy.

I was new to all this but I had heard tales of crews travelling in buses with sleeping areas and somewhere to sit and watch a movie whilst travelling from town to town.

Not us. We had a normal 52 seater coach and the best they could do was turn a few seats around to face each other so as you could try and stretch out. I kid you not.

We did 50 shows in 56 days in these conditions, and fuck knows how we managed to stay sane.

On this tour Maiden had brought in two guys from the USA, Michael Kenney, who was to work as Steve's roadie and is still there today, and Doug Hall, who was Maiden's sound man for about 32 years in all.

I owe Michael a huge debt of gratitude for introducing me to a few bands during those days, one being Journey.

Even now, if I hear a journey track, especially 'Any Way You Want It', I think back to those days with a wry smile. Thanks Michael.

The tour itself, as I said previously, was the Metal For Muthas tour with Maiden headlining, Praying Mantis as support and our old friend Neil Kaye as DJ and warm up. (He'll love that. Neil always thought himself as the main act with these two little bands to help him along. If only... lol).

The tour had many names, one being the 'Heads Will Roll' tour due to the amount of sackings although, from my memory, there weren't that many. The other was the 'Chicken and Chips' tour named simply because the promoters at each venue thought that we all wanted chicken and chips for our dinner every night. Obviously the cheap option for them, but it came to a head one night in Bath.

Pete Bennett, the Praying Mantis drum roadie, decided that enough was enough. He didn't want chicken and chips again, and subsequently head butted Maiden's Tour Manager, Adrian Enfield Bance.

It didn't make that much of a difference if I'm honest. The cheap option was always going to be chicken and chips, and that's the way it stayed, until later tours when the band took caterers with them. By then, chicken and chips was off the menu. Well, chicken anyway.

By the end of the Metal For Muthas/Chickens Will Roll tour we had already heard talk of us being the support band for Kiss in Europe. But we had one little gig to do first. Reading Festival.


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




24.7.13











 

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heavy metal HEAVY METAL HELPS PEOPLE DEAL WITH MORTALITY ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL STUDY
"Metal music can be seen as cultural good for fans and thereby can form part of their social identity."

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD STILL RUNNING DOWN THE HIGHWAY: PHIL, MIKKEY AND EDDIE ALL GEARED UP FOR FORTHCOMING DATES
"Every snare hit I do from now on until the end of my career will be a small tribute to Lemmy..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN'S STEVE HARRIS DROPS THE PRICE OF HIS ESSEX MANSION BY £1MILLION
The eight-bedroom mansion was on the market for £6.75million in 2012 but it's "guide price" is now a mere £3.95million...

hrh aor ALL GUNS BLAZING FOR NEW HRH AOR 5 ANNOUNCEMENT
Phil Lewis & Tracii Guns unite under the L.A. Guns banner once again for next year's HRH AOR 5 being held next March at Camp HRH in North Wales...

deep purple DEEP PURPLE 'LIVE AT THE NEC' DVD ON THE WAY: FAREWELL JON, WELCOME DON
The two share keyboard duties during the night in a very fitting "passing-of-the-torch" moment...

status quo ROCK 'TIL YOU DROP WITH STATUS QUO 1981-1986 VINYL BOX SET
In addition to the studio albums the box set will include an extra disc of b-sides and extended mixes...

zz top ZZ TOP TO RELEASE THEIR VERY FIRST OFFICIAL LIVE ALBUM IN SEPTEMBER
"In an abstract surrealism style, this collection is a definitive chronicle of the band hangin' together for four plus deluxe decades..."

tygers of pan tang TYGERS OF PAN TANG "SPECIAL TIME" HAS COME WITH NEW RELEASE
"The new Tygers album is finished, done and dusted and ready to unleash on our 'Tygertastic' audience. You're gonna love this one, it's a MONSTER..."

andy fraser ANDY FRASER OF FREE'S LAST RECORDING WITH SAIICHI SUGIYAMA ONLINE HERE
"'Melting Away' became one of Andy's last recordings. He still had so much to offer and I was really looking forward to continuing to work with him."

ritchie blackmore RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW TO PLAY AGAIN BUT WITH LESS DEEP PURPLE SONGS
"I would do probably ninety-five percent Rainbow songs; that's what they seem to want to hear. And it didn't occur to me. I just naturally assumed they wanted to hear everything."

saxon EXCLUSIVE: THIS IS WHAT OUR FAVOURITE ROCKERS THINK OF THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE
Comment from Saxon, Slash, Thunder, Iron Maiden, Uli Jon Roth, Hawkwind, Cher, Johnny Rotten, Machine Head And More...

beyond the black UK EXCLUSIVE: BEYOND THE BLACK SINGER JENNIFER HABEN IS LOST IN FOREVER AS FIVE MEMBERS DEPART THE BAND
"I have enjoyed the time together with the guys very much and am grateful for everything we have achieved together in Germany. I am currently looking for new colleagues..."

cats in space CATS IN SPACE SET TO RELEASE SLADE CLASSIC WITH DANNY BOWES OF THUNDER ON GUEST VOCALS
"It's is one of my favourite Slade songs, so when they asked me to sing on their version it took me a good second and a half to say yes..."

guns n roses WAS BREAKING NEWS: GUNS N' ROSES ADD MORE TOUR DATES FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER
The Gunners' newly announced dates are for South America with ten dates in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia with more to be announced soon...

keith moon YOU WON'T GET FOOLED WITH OFFICIAL KEITH MOON COMMEMORATIVE DRUM HEAD
Manufactured as a special, custom product by Remo, these 14" high-gloss drum heads are a perfect collector's item for true fans of the legendary drummer and The Who...

the answer WAS BREAKING NEWS: THE ANSWER AND THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER UK TOUR
"The fact that we get to debut this new material with our mates The Dead Daisies just adds to the rush we're currently experiencing. You really don't want to miss this one!"

ian gillan IAN GILLAN SAYS: "IT'S A WONDERFUL THING, VINYL..." WITH NEW COLLECTION ABOUT TO BE RELEASED
"You just bought something significant, not easily disposable. And look at the sleeves - aren't they cool..."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY: "THE LYRICS ON THE TITLE TRACK ARE SOME OF SPIKE'S BEST EVER!"
"I approached the songwriting from a different angle and it felt good. There's a lot of passion there."

48 hours 48 HOURS TO ROCK THE UK TO A CITY OF ASHES
"We're hitting the road in September for a co-headline tour with our broseph's City Of Ashes! This will be one of the unsigned tours of the year!"

hammerfall WAS BREAKING NEWS: LIVE LIFE LOUD WITH HAMMERFALL ON 2017 EUROPEAN TOUR: NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY
"We can't wait to get back on stage again to have a gigantic Heavy Metal party every night with all our Templar friends!"

joe perry AEROSMITH GUITARIST JOE PERRY REPORTEDLY SUFFERS HEART ATTACK DURING HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES GIG
"Thanks to everyone asking about our brother Joe Perry," Alice Cooper wrote. "He is stable right now, with family and is under the best care."

onslaught ONSLAUGHT, BEHOLDER AND ANIHILATED TOUR PROMISES TO BE A TOUR DE FORCE
"By the time we hit the road in November it will be well over two-and-a-half years since we did the last run and we feel the time is now right..."

arw ARW (JON ANDERSON, TREVOR RABIN AND RICK WAKEMAN) ANNOUNCE BAND FOR UPCOMING WORLD TOUR
"I have played with arguably the three greatest bass players ever and I can't wait to play with one of them again!"

marillion MARILLION UNVEIL 'THE NEW KINGS' FROM FORTHCOMING STUDIO ALBUM 'FEAR'
'The New Kings' can also be heard on Marillion's current tour which starts on Monday 11th July in Barcelona...

michael des barres AN AMERICAN WRITER ASKS WHY IT TAKES A BRITISH EX-PAT TO ASK, "WHAT'S GOING ON?" MICHAEL DES BARRES HAS THE ANSWER
This incendiary cover of Marvin Gaye's classic confronts America's issues in an incredibly timely and head-on manner...

freedom call FREEDOM CALL RELEASE A NEW METAL HYMN 'HAMMER OF THE GODS', AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD NOW
The trademark bold vocal harmonies remain. The track is taken from forthcoming opus 'Master Of Light'...

guns n roses STEVEN ADLER JOINS GUNS N' ROSES ON STAGE IN OHIO: FOUR FIFTHS OF 'APPETITE' LINE-UP PLAY TOGETHER FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1990
"On the drums, you might know this guy. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Steven Adler..."

ac dc AC/DC BASSIST CLIFF WILLIAMS TO RETIRE AFTER ROCK OR BUST WORLD TOUR: "IT'S BEEN SURREAL"
"AC/DC has been... you know, just... I don't know what else I would wanna do. I love the music and I love playing in the band, and I'm all filled up..."

guns n roses GUNS N' ROSES USE THEIR ILLUSION TO SILENCE THE DOUBTERS WITH US TOUR GOING SO FINE
Axl is clearly in his element on this tour, running across the stage to jump on the monitors mid-song and displaying all the panache of a man completely on top of his game...

stray del bromham STRAY TO ROAM AROUND THE UK ON TOUR INCLUDING A RARE REUNION OF THE ORIGINAL LINE-UP
No need to move a mountain as both Stray and Del Bromham's Blues Devils are on their way to a venue near you...

amorettes THE AMORETTES ANNOY THE NEIGHBOURS WITH RAUCOUS NEW SINGLE
'Let The Neighbours Call The Cops' was co- written by vocalist Gill Montgomery and Black Star Riders front man Ricky Warwick...

eagles of death metal WAS BREAKING NEWS: EAGLES OF DEATH METAL WANT YOU SO BAD ON TWO UK DATES IN AUGUST
This is EODM's first visit to the UK since the band were caught up in the terrible events at The Bataclan Theatre in Paris back in November 2015...

soil SOiL 'SHINE ON' THE UK WITH COMPREHENSIVE TOUR
"We are looking forward to seeing some new places and making some new friends this time around..."

acid reign ACID REIGN GET IN FESTIVE MOOD EARLY WITH SPECIAL GIG ANNOUNCEMENT
'Tis the season to Thrash as Acid Reign team up with Shrapnel with far from obnoxious results...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN: LEGACY OF THE BEAST MOBILE RPG GAME IS OUT NOW
"We've always wanted to make a quality Maiden mobile game as we think the combination of Eddie and the music is so well suited..."

rick parfitt status quo EXCLUSIVE: STATUS QUO'S RICK PARFITT SEEMS TO BE 'FINE FINE FINE' AS HE IS SPOTTED OUT AND ABOUT
Following the recent health scare a picture has emerged online of him taking a walk in Kingston over the weekend...

bullet for my valentine BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE TO PLAY 'THE POISON' IN FULL FOR THE FIRST EVER TIME
"We promised you something special right? See 'The Poison' played in full for the first time in Manchester! Tickets on sale now here..."

alter bridge WAS BREAKING NEWS: ALTER BRIDGE TO HEADLINE ARENAS ACROSS EUROPE THIS WINTER WITH GOJIRA AND VOLBEAT
This will be their biggest headline tour yet with twenty-four dates across fifteen countries, kicking off on November 4th 2016

the mission WAS BREAKING NEWS: BAUHAUS FRONTMAN PETER MURPHY TO GUEST WITH THE MISSION ON THEIR 30th ANNIVERSARY UK TOUR
"Peter's appearance will help make these shows the special events that we always wanted and hoped they'd be..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ILLUSTRATOR DESIGNS SHIRT FOR ONE DIRECTION'S ZAYN MALIK, MAIDEN LAUNCH THIRD TROOPER BEER AND HI-ON-MAIDEN TO HEADLINE PICCSTOCK
A full-bodied beer using a blend of chocolate and crystal malts to give "a roasted malt and caramel backbone with hints of liquorice and honey"...

bruce dickinson BRUCE DICKINSON TO TAKE PART IN TOP GEAR STYLE CHARITY ROAD TRIP
"The enthusiasm from the group is amazing which will lend itself to making it an unforgettable trip..."

anvil WAS BREAKING NEWS: ANVIL ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPEAN TOUR FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER
Anvil will not only be playing dates in Scotland and Wales but also English towns which rarely see major international artists, such as Huddersfield, Doncaster and Grimsby.

status quo IT'S TIME TO GET 'DOWN DOWN' TO BUTLINS AS SECOND STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION IS ANNOUNCED
The weekend will feature live music from ex-Quo drummer John Coghlan and his band with long time friend of the band, Jackie Lynton also scheduled to appear...

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