5A. RECORDING DEMOS AT MINUS 20 DEGREES REVISITED
The original columns, published between 2014 and 2016.
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?
Ultimately, the demo led to the band playing bigger venues, getting Rod Smallwood on board as their manager, and eventually conquering the world.
So, why am I back a month later, talking about the same subject again?
The photo of Paul Cairns with the rest of the band, standing outside the pub next to the studio was not doctored in any way. Nelson, Paul’s dog taking centre stage, was a clue. I actually remember Paul saying he had slept in his van, and Nelson had kept him warm. I have no idea what triggered this memory, but I’m stuck with it now.
Paul’s account of his part in the recording of the Demo, according to Stjepan Juras’ book, ‘The Clairvoyant’.
In the book, Stjepan was contacted by Ricardo Lira, a Brazilian fan, who questioned the guitar sounds and suggested there must have been another guitarist involved at the time.
Stjepan did his homework, and finally managed to get in touch with Paul Cairns.
Paul’s very detailed account of the part he played on each track was enough to get me thinking that the only way he would know this stuff was if he was actually there.
My problem with the whole thing was the involvement of Paul Cairns. It now appears I may be wrong.
What follows is something I found on Facebook recently. But, before I post this, I must add that I have tried to contact the band to get some kind of response. I have even tried to get some kind of response from Paul himself. Neither has come back to me, which is expected from Maiden, but not from Paul Cairns.
If the guy wants recognition for his work, I can help. If not, then why bother…
Paul Cairns > Nicko McBrain
“Hi Nico..Paul “Mac” Cairns here..also a born again brother in Christ..got saved 6 years ago,our local bapist church here in Dover, Kent UK(Salem baptist Church Dover)…I was a member and guitarist in Iron Maiden back when Doug Samson was the drummer,passed the audition..so to speak!….in fact it is me And my guitar intro’s that the world first heard about IRON MAIDEN. played intro on PROWLER…. listen to the start of “Prowler”..and also on all those tracks that followed ,eg..2nd solo on Strange World etc..all me man.. featured on “The SoundhouseTapes”..which we cut on a chilly new years eve at Spaceward Studios(I never knew why I was not given any recognision,it certainly was not Dave that played all guitar parts..noway,I did my part in the studio,you can hear my guitar parts easy,they are very different to Dave’s..at the time I was still am a huge Jimmy Page fan..all my guitar parts on the demo …Strange World second solo..Invasion etc…….Nico,will you PLEASE do me a small favour,and I would be very very thrilled and pleased..would you tell Steve H and Dave M… that I would be honoured and very humbled to be recognized as a member IRON MAIDEN that actually played on THE SOUNDHOUSE TAPES at Spaceward Studios,way back on that chilly December New Years Eve… in 1978… and what that tape subsequently produced for the band, via Nea Kay’s efforts,…namely deserved worlwidesuccess,Steve’s great songwritingskills,a skilled band of troubadours,who could have even guessed.. .at those early sessions at Spaceward Studios,Ruskin gigs etc…etc..and so…Rock on brother Nico…give all praise and glory to the Lord..always…be great to meet up with you one day ..God Bless ..Paul Cairns..my .email: firstname.lastname@example.org..(got some early pics of Maiden to show you…scary!!!)
“see my band on …..youtube …southern country rocks …(gotta love those country licks dude..lol)”
Paul even left his home phone number at the end of his rant, but I have removed it for his own protection.
What Paul also failed to realise is not one of the members of the current Iron Maiden line up have a Facebook account i.e. Steve Harris has a Greek email address… go figure.
I can’t help feeling that this is a cry for help.
Why wait 30 odd years to make a claim about what happened?
Why is Paul talking to a brick wall when I have all the contacts he needs?
And why have I just posted another two and a half pages on Paul Cairns when I have Maiden stuff to post?
The original columns, published between 2012 and 2016, led to the hugely popular ‘Loopyworld – The Iron Maiden Years’ book, which you can buy from eBay.