So it was with a light heart but very heavy head I landed in Gothenburg about 2pm day of show and was taken straight to hotel. This was the third time we have played and sold out this magnificent 55,000+ capacity stadium. As in my past diaries (more) it is an incredible experience to visit Gothenburg for a Maiden show. Although it has a population of around 500,000 I understand, and that is including suburbs, when you put this many Maiden fans into a city this size it does have a huge impact and effectively becomes Maidenville for the day! Even the shoe shops have Maiden day and play our songs, let alone every bar. In the squares you will hear El Dorado coming from one bar, Aces High from another and Fear of the Dark from another, all mingling together as the fine Swedish beer disappears in copious quantities! If you have never been to a Maiden show there, you really should try one day as the experience over the couple of days is so memorable.
I went to the stadium early and met up with our promoters from Live Nation, Thomas and Tor. We have worked with Thomas since the very beginning, when it was EMA Telstar way before Live Nation, and the relationship has always been terrific. These are as good promoters as you can find anywhere on the planet and look after business and recreation in equally good measures, it is always a pleasure to see them.
Steve arrived soon after me with his football team -- he always arranges a game here, it has become a tradition, and (I think) they won 3-1, or was that Norway? Anyway, as always Steve enjoyed the game immensely, playing the full 90 minutes with his son George in the team too.
Once again the sound in this fine stadium was fantastic and the audience equally wonderful. Maiden has really be taken to the heart of Sweden and we reciprocate the feeling. After the show everyone but poor sad fatigued me went out to the local pubs and bars. All were crowded with fans but they were very considerate as they always are here and gave the band some space to talk to friends and generally relax. Thanks guys.
The following day there was huge front page coverage in the national papers, over 12 pages in one -- the show, the fans, the football, the bars after the show, quite incredible. The following day we flew down to Brussels for Werchter, another huge Euro festival. The next couple of diaries will be penned by my good mate and co-cyclist Howard Johnson who is joining us for a few days. Howard was originally a music journalist and joined us on our 1985 Polish tour covering it for Kerrang and later worked with me on Maiden for a few years. He now also writes on Rugby (so must be a fine chap!!) for various magazines in England and France, where he now lives. He also co wrote 2 books -- an auto-bio and one on the Lions South Africa -- with England rugby legend Martin Johnson. So l leave you in good, some would say much better, hands for the next few shows.