01 Oct 1999 - Johnny B - Athens
We are to split up for the first time in nearly a month. To get the tour gear from Madrid to Athens will take the crew days so ..... we have three days off .... well they say there is no rest for the wicked so I am going back to the UK to catch up on photos, video, meetings etc. I fly back from sunny, happy Madrid with the thoughts and sound of the bullring resounding in my thoughts.
I get to Gatwick and ..... go on guess ! Yep it is absolutely bucketing down. I haven¹t seen rain for weeks so I guess God was saving it up for me. I get home late and just crash out. I wake up 4am in the armchair. I panic and look for my day sheet from Stevie Cox...... wait I have a day off tomorrow, I¹m at home, I don¹t have a day sheet ..... god this touring messes with your head. I crawl to my pit and wonder what tomorrow will bring.
7.45am next morning there is a madman knocking on the door. It sounds like Eddie is trying to break in. I rush down to find ..... it is Fedex with a pack of stuff from the laptop company. That was the signal to world that I was home and up and about. The next 5 hours everyone and his mother called. I spend the afternoon working on video, cleaning files, dumping all the crap off the laptop that I have accumulated in the last three weeks and getting ready for Athens.
I have been amazed by the dedication and the lengths that you fans will go to to meet the band and get autographs. Obviously not everyone is lucky enough to win prizes to the 'Meet and Greet' events we have at most of the gigs. I thought the fans in Madrid and Barcelona were intense but after a few calls I am aware that Athens will be a whole new ball game. I am also told that I will be collecting two very lucky prize winners who have won the chance to come to Athens for the weekend to see the gig and meet the band from the airport. I travel into London for the meeting which turns out to be very exciting. It is about all the new merchandise, album, the next tour, and a special fan club only item.
I leave the meeting with the hardworking guardian of the fans, Steve Laz. We then spend the next hour and a half trolling through thousands of photos from the tour to use for the Iron Maiden Millennium Calendar. The time is now 8.40pm and I am handed an envelope with my flight details for Athens. My jaw drops .... I have to check in at 8.30am .... LAZ I¹M OFF HOME ! I leave early next morning for Gatwick!
By the way, a side-note about the Q&A on the site. In case you're under the impression that the band didn¹t show the correct interest and dedication to answering you questions .... YOU¹RE WRONG ! The uploading of the answers have been a nightmare. First the questions are there. I print all the questions out and get the band to answer them. The band were GREAT at answering them. For example ..... I turned up in the bar one night at 1am and handed Janick an envelope with 100+ questions and asked him if he could complete them asap. He said he would do them there and then. I sat one side of him and Stevie Cox sat the other side. We fired alternate questions at him for half and hour and ..... he answered them all without falter. We then treated him to a few beers. I tell you this so that you know that it is not the band or Maiden's fault that the answers to your questions are not loaded on the site - just bad scripting by techies!!
I went to download the hundreds of questions for Steve Harris only to find .....they had completely disappeared.. As I said ..... NIGHTMARE! Please be patient we know about it and we are not happy. You may see a note on the site asking for the fans to please resend the questions for Steve Harris. Please don¹t whinge at Addie and Skunk as it was not down to them. Anyway ..... by the time you read this the tour will have finished and you all probably have a load of new questions you could ask.
Back to Gatwick ....... I caught an afternoon flight to Athens. I sat in a seat at the back designed for a midget. How I wish I was travelling Bruce Airways. When we landed we were held on the plane for 30 minutes whil