The European tour that followed had a support band called More, and they were excellent. London based and loud, they were lead by ex-Maiden front man, Paul Mario Day.
I hadn't seen Paul for a few years and I was beginning to wonder where he had got to. We had known each other for ages. We used to hang about together as teenagers.
People were always a bit wary of Paul, mainly because he rode a motorbike and in those days, that meant trouble. It was absolute rubbish of course, but that was the perception of a biker back then.
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My dad wouldn't take any kind of crap from anyone, but he realised that Paul was a good guy and put a roof over his head for many months. Paul was also a good mechanic and got the old man out of a scrape or two.
Paul was also my introduction to Iron Maiden.
Paul had invited me and a few others to see the band play at the Cart And Horses pub in Stratford. Unfortunately, only two of us made it, me and my old mate Tee Green.
We only had enough funds between us for a pint, but we watched Paul and the band do their thing for as long as we could before making the long journey home on foot. All I remember about the gig was Paul wearing a hat (possibly a top hat) and that he walked around in circles a lot. It was loud, there was no getting away from that. We could still hear it five minutes after we left.
So, back to Maiden in Europe.
With the Maiden set up getting more and more professional I found I had a bit of spare time on my hands so I would help out the support act, More.
This would include getting the band's gear on stage, getting their drinks and towels ready and making sure the set list was where they could see it. Paul Day, being an old mate from way back when and having the same sense of humour, decided to change the wording to some of the set list, including a lot of references to me splitting with my girlfriend.
As it worked out it did me a favour. I found I was laughing about it so much that I stopped caring about my past and looked more to the future. No pun intended.
A lot of things happened on the European Tour. Some things stand out but a lot are lost to the magical thing called memory. Or lack of, in my case.
As I have mentioned before, Adrian's roadie, Stewart, was a bit of a mess, but he was dedicated.
Halfway through the French leg of the tour Stewart had to go and find somebody to repair Adrian's Mesa Boogie. He was gone for a couple of days but, to be honest, no one missed him.
We were doing a show somewhere in the south of France and, after the soundcheck, it was customary to take the guitars off the stage to a back stage area so they could be re-strung and cleaned for the show.
So, me being the little trooper I was and having nothing else to do (meaning Clive was happy for once), thought it would be a good idea in Stewart's absence to pick up Harry's bass and Dave's Strat and follow the band off stage.
The rest is a bit of a blur. As I trod on the top step of the stairs leading down to floor level they collapsed under me. All I remember was me, in a heap on top of the collapsed stairs, holding two and extremely rare guitars in the air.
A few things come to mind about this event. One, I had saved a couple of good guitars form certain doom and two, what would have happened if it had been the band instead of me?
Should I have sued somebody? In which case, who? The band, the promoter? Everybody?
As it turned out all I got was severe bruising under my left arm, which can just about be seen on this picture of me. But, like most things, you learn from it. I learned to leave shit alone.
I never received any compensation from my injury but am learning now that it has lasting effects. My rib cage is one inch higher on my right and I suffer from multiple muscle spasms in my right upper chest, whatever that means. Basically it feels something close to a heart attack and, whichever way you look at it, it isn't funny.
Rod, being the arse that he is, simply said, "Can you walk?" And like the kind of guy I was said: "Of course, or I wouldn't be here would I?"
To which he replied, and I'm not making this up: "So what you sitting there for? You have a job to do."
And that, my friends is what I had to deal with, and he wonders why I wouldn't do him a favour every now and then. Fuck him too. I managed to make it through the rest of the tour unscathed and still gave it my all.
We finished the European tour and certain phone numbers were exchanged, i.e., me and Paul Day and that was the end of that.