Got my les paul back - and I spent the weekend with Iron Maiden!

Bonehead

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Some of you may (or may not) remember my plea for help on curing some buzz I'd picked up on the low E after changing strings. I took it to SF guitarworks, and they did a bang up job. Spent the evening playing it after playing my strat for the last three weeks, and all is right as rain. To be perfectly frank there is still some buzz in the low E, but then set it with just little enough to keep it from coming through the amplifier. Not poor work on their part, rather, I'd requested the action as low as possible. They came up with the perfect mix, and give it a good fret level too. The buzz is actually almost non-existent. And, of course, it plays like a dream. They cleaned it up, did intonation, etc. etc. Glad I took it in.

Now, this next part is very long, so feel free to move along if that seems boring. However, it's a pretty cool story about meeting Iron Maiden this weekend!

Here goes (I'm cutting and pasting from a heavy metal bulletin board I frequent from time to time. It's too long to type again!).





Okay, here's a bit of an unbelievable story, but every word is true:
(Long, but worth it, I think)

I went to New York this weekend with a dear friend of mine. We were going to Alex Grey's art gallery before it closes. If you don't know him, he is the guy who did the cover art for Lateralus and 10,000 days by Tool, though my friend and I were "fans" of his previous to that. He's really amazing.

When I was making plans to go I did a check on Ticketmaster to see what was in town, and lo and behold, Maiden was at Madison Square Garden. However, it was sold out. Rather than pay the extra scalper fees, we just opted out (especially since I had seen them in San Francisco a couple weeks ago, and my friend had done the same in Phoenix).

We checked into our hotel Friday evening, around 5:30 I'd say. We dropped our bags off, and headed down to the lobby...when who should I see, but "Gadsy," also known as Nicko's drum tech (in the Early years DVD), and more recently known as Maiden's road manager. I almost went to say hi, but it took me a minute to realize just exactly who he was. So, I say to my friend, "Dude, I think Maiden is staying here..."

We headed down to Greenwich village to eat (we were staying in Midtown Manhattan). We had a good meal, then headed back to the hotel...to find Dave Murray standing out front, smoking. We said, hi, but very casually and pleasantly (wanting to freak out, but you know, respecting his right to peace). We walked into the hotel bar and sat down. At the next table was Adrian Smith with his wife. Dave came back in, and sat down at the next table with a couple of women, one may have been his wife, I'm not sure. So, we just kind of hung out for an hour or so, and on the way out we walked over to Adrian (there were only a few other people in the bar - it was quite small). Basically, I just said, "Okay, so we are sitting over there having a couple of beers, and I can't imagine how old it must get for you to hear this, but really man, HUGE fan here. I saw you a couple of weeks ago in California..." etc. etc. We were really calm about the whole thing though, and it's a nice hotel, so I think they thought, "well, they wouldn't be in here if they were not at least kind of normal..." and I'll be damned if him and his wife didn't strike up a rather lengthy conversation with us. We talked about the art museums in NY, and various other things. They wanted to know what we did for a living. My friend is a tattoo artist, and they both seemed keenly interested in that, asking lots of questions and all that. It kind of went past the "polite because your a fan" place, and we all just had a really nice, relaxed conversation. They asked if we were going to the show, but we said, "nope, sold out..." and that our trip was kind of last minute, which it was. Adrian's wife said, "Shit...well, we don't have tickets, but ask Gadsy when you see him again. He'll hook you up" I had mentioned that we saw him, and that we knew who he was.

So, that was Friday night. Saturday they played a show in NJ, but stayed in the hotel all weekend since it was close to both shows (NY and NJ). Intermittently we saw them around the hotel (lobby and bar are small), and always spoke for a few minutes when we did, "What did you guys do today?" that kind of stuff. Janick (and Dave) were also staying there, but they told us Bruce and Steve were staying elsewhere.

So, Sunday came, but we never did see Gadsy, so tough beans....but I couldn't be disappointed really, having just seen them in San Francisco.
We had a great time Sunday doing other things, and when we got back to the hotel we wanted to go to the bar. It was closed, but as we walked away, the doorman said, "This way sir, we have to let you in the back..."
See, the bar WAS closed, but they'd let the Maiden crew and family in after the MSG show, and let them have a private party. It hadn't dawned on me to that point, but all the hotel staff thought we were associated with the band. I have long hair, and my friend is all pierced and tattooed, so they just figured, "These guys are with the band...otherwise, how could they afford to stay here?" Hilarious. When the ushered us into the bar, Adrian and his wife were there, and maybe 3 other people. We sat down at the bar (where they were also seated), and they said, "How did you like the show?" We said, "We couldn't get tickets...." and Adrian and his wife freaked, they were really nice and apologetic. He said, "Ah mate, we sorted it all out for you! We'd had some tickets with Gadsy!" He seemed really disappointed that we didn't get to take advantage of them. I just said, "I'm a HUGE Maiden fan, but it's not the end of the world, it's been more fun hanging out with you guys!" Which it had. Even the show was long over, they produced the tickets after awhile, just so we could have them as a souvenir. They were bitchin' seats, too. So, I have a ticket to Madison Square Garden that Adrian Smith gave me!

We talked a lot that night. Adrian's wife talked about the Zep reunion show, and insisted she was the reason that Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes got together...she told a bunch of cool behind the scenes stories about Tool, Kate Hudson, etc. etc. She showed me the photos she took at Zep's show on her digital camera. Adrian talked about music, and we all joked a lot. At some point Adrian's wife said she'd been getting text messages from Kate Hudson all night, not sure why this was...but I said, "That's funny, me too. She won't leave me alone." Adrian cracked up at this, and said, "Kate, come on, gimme some space..." And that was the way the whole night went. Adrian said he couldn't go to the Zep show as he had the flu, but then told me how he'd seen them at Earl's Court years ago...and well, there were just a bunch of other cool stories, but just like the previous nights, we talked about ourselves too (my friend and I), and they were just as interested as we were in there crazy stories, and made little jokes about things....and well, it was just too fucking crazy.

So that's my story. All the other guest were convinced we were members of Iron Maiden - several people approached us in the lobby and whatnot, saying, "I'm a big fan..." which there obviously weren't, or they would have known were weren't anybody special....but no matter how honest we were with people, "Nah, we are not with the band man..." they would NOT believe us. It was quite a weekend.

We checked out this morning...and I'm home. I've got one, extremely dark and hazy photo of Adrian taken in the bar, but I'll post it later. I really didn't want to impose with pictures...though I don't think they would have minded. They were having such a "normal" time with us that I didn't want to suddenly say, "Oh, and can I get a picture, Mr. Famous?" It would have kind of blown our cover as two giddy, teenage minded Maiden Fans.

Best. Weekend. Ever.
 

tlecstr

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Great story!! Thanks for posting that one. It's always cool when you meet someone that your'e a big fan of, and they treat you nice.
Kev
 

marc1kim

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Maiden Rocks. I love them. They were soooo influential to many, but got little credit. They are the unsung heros of metal. Congrats on you getting to hang with them. It'll be a story you'll never forget.
 

Deftone

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That's really cool. I was a huge Maiden fan back in High School (early 80's) Good stuff!
 

05hummer

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Cool story.. I would take an evening at the bar with maiden bullshitting, over a concert any day......
 

b-squared

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That's way cool.

I'm impressed that you guys could maintain your composure. :D

BB
 

Gunner

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Friggin Sweet story! Its something you will never forget. Good goin!
 

decoy205

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thats a great story man. I live in NY and i miss so much crap. I didnt even hear about this maiden show until monday. I also missed BCR Gregs sale event.

I suck..:(
 

Joeydego

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lotsa respect for maiden. lucky you.
 

Oh Teh Noes!!!

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Im a huge maiden fan. Its really cool how they can sit down and have conversations w/ anyone. Up the Irons!!
 

06VM

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What a great story!
I read it twice. So awesome. Reading it actually put me in a great mood.
Thanks for sharing.
 

Bonehead

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Thanks for all the positive and "wow" responses.

Yeah, it was way cool. I cast my musical net far and wide, but my primary love has always been metal, and I've been a huge Maiden fan since Number of the Beast (it was the first one I bought - I was 11 years old at the time! I've got all the albums and most of the DVDs, yada yada. So it was a fantastic thrill for me, and yes it was a bit difficult to keep from doing the whole, "Dude, you have no idea how cool this is for me..." thing.

Some of the things I learned in conversation with him:
He's not a big Zep fan, but rather likes the hits like Rock and Roll and Blackdog. His wife is friends with Tool's manager, and mentioned going to the Laker games with her. Also, Adrian seems more or less up on basketball, and felt that though the Lakers won that night (MSG show night), the Celtics would win the series- he was right on that of course.

He also told me that, "A Zep reunion tour won't be happening..." according a source close to the band that he knows. Though he admitted that nobody can really know except the band themselves. Just that it doesn't look good on the private side of things, regardless of what has been said in public.

Well, there was a bunch of other stuff I don't remember, but it was just fun to sit and shoot the breeze.

Also, when I met Dave Murray, he seemed a bit drunk to me!
 

LongBeach

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That would have been soooo cool!
Better to be lucky than good any day of the week!
 

Quickdraw

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Hi all... new to the group, and had to chime in being a HUGE Maiden fan also, and just say thanks for sharing that story! I love hearing that some of my heroes are cool people!
 

tung

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Maiden always strike me as real down to earth British guys. they don't seem to carry that rock star attitude about them. Love their earlier stuff, pretty sets the bar for heavy metal, really.
Thanks for the cool story.
 

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