Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson admits that he “nearly came to blows” with bassist Steve Harris soon after joining the band.
During a show at Las Vegas’ House Of Blues on his solo spoken-word tour, Dickinson was asked by an audience member if he “had ever had a fistfight with any band members?”
“Well, almost,” the singer replied, to laughter from the crowd. “When I first joined the band, I was a very different animal to the previous singer [Paul Di’anno].
“When I joined, I said, ‘I know I’m the new boy, but here’s the deal: when I sing, I kind of stand in the middle of the stage at the front, I do the singing bit, and then I go somewhere else… You can go anywhere you like, but when I sing, I want to sing in the middle.’
“So I’ve got my monitors down there and I'm singing away, and suddenly this maniac comes up and goes [mimes Steve Harris’s foot-on-monitor pose]. Fuck off!
“And then the roadies comes and they move my monitors off to the side. I'm, like, ‘Cheeky fuckers’. So I fucking move them back again. And this carried on for a while.
In the end, what I did was I get and extra-long microphone stand... I had a microphone stand that was like a tank trap for bass players.
“And he’d jostle me - I've still got lumps out of my front teeth, and chips and cracks, of all the times he bashed my fucking mic into my teeth.
“So we nearly came to blows. But we came to an accommodation in the end. I sing in the middle of the stage, we just make the stage twice as big.”
The show took place on March 12, the day of Steve Harris’s 66th birthday. To prove that he definitely wasn’t holding 40-year-old grudges, Bruce led the entire crowd in a chorus of Happy Birthday to his bandmate.
Watch Bruce telling the story of nearly coming to blows with Steve Harris from 10:21 in the video below, and singing Happy Birthday to his bandmates at 15:00.
Bruce’s US spoken word tour continues through to March 30. Iron Maiden kick off their long-awaited tour in support of last year’s Senjutsu album on May 22 in Zagreb, Croatia. They headline Download on Saturday, June 11, presumably without onstage fist-fights.