19 Sep 1999 - Johnny B - Stockholm
How sweet a victory is ours. Let's deal with the superb West Ham march into Europe. Both Steve Cox and the record company spent the afternoon phoning around trying to find a pub or club inn Stockholm that was showing the West Ham match... but to no avail. After a few frantic calls to the UK we found out that it was being shown live on a new digital channel called 'Sky Sports news' or some such malarkey. Why do these buggers have to muck about with the channels. Don't they know 'Arry and I wanna watch the football. Sorry to all you Newcastle and Chelsea but hey ....... there is nothing like watching the Irons live! Anyway Stevie Cox found out that only 3, yes 3 sets of Sky Digital had been sold in the Stockholm area and none of them to a pub. We were still trying to find a place to watch it 25 minutes before kick off. In the end we gave up and went to O'Leary's, a cool pub/bar/restaurant in the south of Stockholm. O'Leary's was real cool. The people were ever so friendly and Steve was signing autographs all night. We never got to see the West Ham match but were able to watch the scores from all the UEFA matches being updated live. We let out such a roar when we realised the hammers were 1 - 0 up that we shocked the pub who could not believe that anybody could be that passionate about a football match. 'Arry does love his football and he loves West Ham even more. When the score flashed up 2-0 .... another round of drinks was quickly ordered. Bruce arrived just as West Ham scored there third goal. I don't think Bruce supports the Hammers but he did that night. Great merriment and partying was had by all (even if we couldn't see the goals). Anybody visiting Stockholm ..... check out O'Leary's ...... great people, great place .... great vibe.
What about the 1st (oh yes there is another coming soon ) Iron Maiden Wacky Races. A resounding victory for our team ..... despite what you may hear from the other team. Bruce and Jim had filed all the flight plans etc. brilliantly and we landed roughly around the time the other team were due to be taking off from Helsinki. When we landed it was a mad dash over to the terminal and into cabs. However Bruce and Jim had to pay the landing fees etc. and fill in yet more paperwork so ......... as the rules stated before the start were 'The first to the hotel wins' ...... Nicko, Harry and myself set off for the hotel with due haste. When we arrived I rushed straight into the hotel to look for a clock to video as proof of the time we arrived. No clock anywhere!!!! Not in the reception, lobby, bar .... no where! Harry was next through the door and suggested we video his watch but then felt the other team would say he had altered it to win. Just as we were trying to come up with proof who comes running into the hotel but Steve Cox. How the fricking hell did he get here at this time. He should be in the air only 20 minutes from Helsinki. It comes to light that we were not the only team to 'bend the rules'. They caught an earlier flight ..... crafty buggers. They then tried to claim victory that their 'team' was all in he hotel before ours as Bruce was outside still signing autographs. However ...... Harry and myself soon noticed a flaw in their claim. Where was Adrian? It seems that he had to be dropped off at a different terminal on the way to pick up his lovely wife on the way. Can you believe they tried to claim Victory with a team member missing. Steve Cox tried to tell everyone it was a draw. Pants! Bruce Airways team won hands down victory is ours and we await our round of drinks. Talk of a double of quits match has now surfaced ...... I'll let you know. Well tomorrow is the Stockholm gig which I am looking forward to greatly. I have been told the crowds are great, the venue is outstanding and the band cannot wait to play.
Well Up The irons, Up Bruce Airways, Up the Hammers and bring on Juvé.
- Johnny B