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Steve Harris: I avoided Peter Gabriel as I didn’t want to be a tongue-tied fanboy

Iron Maiden's Steve Harris
Iron Maiden's Steve Harris (Image credit: Gonzales Photo/Terje Dokken/PYMCA/Avalon/Universal Images - Getty)

As one of rock’s best-known musicians and someone who has been in the music industry for decades, you might think that Steve Harris wouldn’t flinch at meeting his musical heroes.

However, in an interview in the latest edition of Classic Rock magazine, the Iron Maiden bassist admits to feeling the nerves in front of some of his musical icons.

Asked about who he’d like to work with if he could outside the world of hard rock and metal, Harris replies: “When you’re into bands that much, you don’t really think about working with them. You never really have a chance. You tend to put them on a pedestal.”

When it’s put to him that it’s strange hearing him put people on a pedestal, Harris answers: “Yeah, but I have people that I look up to too. I avoided meeting Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson for so long because I didn’t know what I’d say to him.

“I ended up playing tennis with Peter Gabriel once, just because he was on the court in the same hotel as me. 

“I don’t know if he even knew who I was, but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to get tongue-tied. I didn’t want to act like a fanboy, even though I felt like one.”

The full interview with Harris can be found in the new issue of Classic Rock magazine, which is on sale now.

Issue 271 explores the making of The Doors’ Morrison Hotel and also features artists including Alice Cooper, Band Of Gypsys, Glorious Sons, Suzi Quatro, while there’s an oral history of the goth movement.

Harris and his British Lion bandmates will release their new album The Burning this coming Friday (January 17), while Iron Maiden will return to the road in May for the next leg of The Legacy Of The Beast tour. 

They'll kick off with dates in Australia and Japan and will then return to Europe in the summer – a run that includes a headline set at the UK’s Download festival.

Classic Rock 271

(Image credit: Future)

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Iron Maiden: The Legacy Of The Beast 2020 tour
May 01: Perth RAC Arena, Australia
May 03: Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Australia
May 05: BrisbanecEntertainment Centre, Australia
May 07: Sydney Qudos Bank Arena, Australia
May 11: Melbourne Rod Laver Arena, Australia
May 19: Tokyo Ticket Pia Arena, Tokyo, Japan
May 20: Tokyo Ticket Pia Arena, Tokyo, Japan
May 22: Osaka Venue TBA, Japan
Jun 09: Bremen Buergerweide, Germany
Jun 10: Cologne Rehein-Energie-Stadium, Germany
Jun 13: Download Festival, UK
Jun 18: Dessel Graspop Festival, Belgium
Jun 20: Copenhagen Copenhell, Denmark
Jun 23:  Berlin Waldbuehne, Germany
Jun 25: Oslo Tons of Rock Festival, Norway
Jun 27: Gothenburg Ullevi Stadium, Sweden
Jun 30: St Petersburg Ice Palace, Russia
Jul 02: Moscow VTB Arena, Russia
Jul 11: Paris La Defense, France
Jul 18: Stuttgart Mercedes-Benz Arena, Germany
Jul 23: Lisbon Estadio Nacional, Portugal
Jul 25: Barcelona Olympic Stadium, Spain