08 Sep 1999 - Rod - London

Its 13.45 and BA 2832 is about to depart from London Gatwick to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris for the start of the ED HUNTER EUROPEAN TOUR. I've got to say l'm very excited- l think Paris tomorrow is going to be unbelievable- a real gathering of the clans. Bercy holds 16,500 people and it has been sold out for over 2 weeks - fans are coming from all over, especially the UK and Belgium, to join our amazing French contingent for the first European gig this time round. They will be joined by masses of International Press and TV, photographers, EMI execs from all over the planet, pretty well everyone from Sanctuary Management and related companies as well as many family and friends of the band and management. Which means we're gonna be busy!! It's a BIG one!!

I won't say much more as The Neighbourhood of the Beast will be reviewing the event for you, which is pretty interactive l guess! (check out their site) Besides this they will be designing, writing and editing the next but one (one is about to come out) Fan Club Magazine and even supplying artwork for a special Paris event shirt featuring Eddie tearing down the Eiffel Tower- of course- with 'l survived 9-9-99' on the back.

As usual with tours everything does not always go according to plan. Bruce went out to the States a week ago to pick up his Cessna which was being serviced with the intention of flying it back via Eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland and Scotland to arrive in Nancy in France for preproduction and rehearsals- the number of stops being due to the range of the plane. The service took longer than expected and then on the way to Iceland one of the engines packed up so Bruce had to fly on one engine, arriving very late and, I expect, very weary and a bit freaked out, in Iceland sometime yesterday, missing the rehearsal. The band played without him though to shake off the cobwebs and will be fine- we just have to hope Bruce remembers all the words- though no doubt he won't need to as the audience will sing them for him! Seriously though the preproduction was also to work with the new monitor engineer to sort out on-stage sound for the band which we obviously couldn't do as the singer is quite crucial to this.The monitor guy has worked with Maiden before but not with Bruce but he is very good so we don't expect any problems . We just wanted to take all precautions.

I should imagine Bruce was quite shaken up about this failure of the engine in his beloved Cessna but l know Bruce and this will certainly not deter him from flying. Nor me for that fact- l enjoyed flying around the States on tour so much l have booked flying lessons for after the tour. The downside is that we won't have the plane for the start of the tour so we will have to use scheduled flights for a while which is a real drag. Jim, our assistant TM, is a pilot too and was flying back with Bruce so he has stayed in Iceland with the Cessna and will fly it over when it is fixed so then we get back to normal.

I haven't seen Bruce yet but he apparently arrived in Paris about an hour ago from Iceland and went straight off to do interviews for his solo live album 'Scream for me Brazil' which he recorded in Rio and San Paulo. It comes out Worldwide on Air Raid / Sanctuary Records around mid- October. We'll put up more info on the site about this soon.

The rest of the band met up in Nancy as l said and following rehearsals went to Paris yesterday. Steve checked out a gig at Montmartre last night- this was Dirty Deeds, the first signing to Steve's Beast Records, and Kick. My spies tell me it went very well. Both are well worth checking out if you get the chance.

I will meet up with the band later. I think the plan is to go to an English pub in Paris to watch the Poland v England game in the European Championships which is on tonight. I hope we don't get too pissed/late as it's a BIG day tomorrow- I sound like my mum!!!

This is a good time to think back on the USA /Canada Tour now it's had time to sink in. There is no questioin it was a very enjoyable and successful tour
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