31 May 2004 - Nicko - Prague

On Board Jet from Stansted to Prague, Czech Republic.
Time: 3:10pm
28th May 2005.

Well, well, well,
How the blazes are you all?
I haven’t written a diary in such a long time!
Wow! I have almost forgotten how to work me computer it’s been so long.

Well, here we all are on our first journey as we start our new ‘Eddie Rips Up Europe’ tour. But more on that in a while.

On the 4th of May this year I left Miami for the shores of Blighty.I had a most splendid flight over with the best airline in the world, Virgin Atlantic. I got to see the wonderful, Layla, and the crew at the check in, in Miami, and was given a warm send off for me tour.

Last year, I had committed to do the London Guitar show with me old pals, Phil Hilborne, and Geoff Whithorn.
The shows were scheduled for the 7th and 8th of May at the Wembley Conference centre.
I arrived into London on the morning of the 5th.
I headed home to me drum in North London. I had had it rented out for the last year but the tenants left at the end of March. It was nice to go back and stay in the old place.
I dropped me stuff of and freshened up while I waited for a rental car to be delivered. My old jam jar is sitting in me sisters drive whilst I decide what to do with it. Avis were delivering a mini for me. Alright, I know it’s not a Jaguar, but hay, it gets me where I need to be OK!!!!!!!
After it arrived I got a few things together and headed over to Phils gaff in Essex.
I arrived a little after 6 ‘o’clock and set up me tubs for a rehearsal.
Phil has built a small studio next to his drum; very nice it is as well. I had a great rehearsal with Phil and Andy Frost.
Yes I did say Andy Frost.
Andy was with Phil from way back in the late 80’s and we called him out of married bliss in Dorset to come work the two shows that weekend.
We normally use, Jaz Lockerie on bass, but he had another commitment.
It was great to see Andy again, and more so to play together after so many years.
We have a history together. Phil, Andy, and I used to play a lot of my drum shows together.
After rehearsal we went to the local Indian for a most splendid meal. Of course we popped into the local Rubber-dub for a wee libation before dinner.

The next day we kicked off the rehearsal at around 1 o’clock, but not before Phil had cooked us a most splendid breakfast, the full English I may add.
Geoff joined us for a couple of hours before he had to run off to do a gig with Elkie Brooks. We had a great time running through the program for the weekend.
After the rehearsal I headed back to London via----------------------------------------------

Yes you guessed it----------------------------------------------------------

TOFF’SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS, YEAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are two things I really, really miss when I’m over in the States. The first is a good pint of, REAL ALE, the second is me visits with me pals Costa and Andy and all at Toff’s
I was in Heaven when I sat there and tucked into me beautiful Haddock and chips with, baked beans no less.
Isn’t it amazing what great pleasure we can glean from such small offerings and the like.

Well, after dinner I went home and relaxed in front of the glue tub and then went for a reasonably early night.
The next day I had to get to Wembley and help set up me tubs.
I have a new drum tech for this tour as Rusty has retired from active duty and the like. He’s back in Australia working a different job.
God Bless you Pete and Cindy.

Well, me new guys name is Charlie Charlesworth.
Good lad, young and adventurous, well he has to be working for me AAAHHHHEEEEE!!!!!!

We set the tubs up and were done in good time for a wee relax before the show at 4 o’clock pm.
We hit the stage and opened with Zeps’ ‘The Immigrant song’ followed by Joe Saurian’ ‘War’. It was great.
We played for 45mins.

Sunday was a hoot. We kicked off at 3 o’clock.
Bruce came along and sang a few tunes with us but not before Jazz Lockerie played.
He got up and did, Wishing Well, by Free.
Bruce sang, ‘All the Young Dudes’, (Mott the Hoopla,) ‘Burn’, (Deep Purple,) and ‘Run to the Hills’. WHO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was great, the place went bonkers.
My friend, Clive Morton, who runs the event was very happy and he invited us all, yet again, to play the event next year.
We graciously accepted.

After the show I took my friends to the ‘Ugly Duckling’ restaurant for a wee spot of nosebag.
There was Phil, Emma, Andy Frost, Andy Lumm and myself.
We had a great dinner. Great food there.
After dinner I went home and then to bed.

Well, that’s enough of this then, I know you lot are waiting for the news of the boys thus far.
Well, as you have gathered I started to write this here diary on the plane flying out to our fist show, but not before we had a bunch of rehearsals.

On board we have Steve, ‘they better ‘kin win’ Harris, Dave, ‘I’ll have a pint’ Murray, Adrian, ‘It weighed 2 pounds honest’ Smith,
Jan, ‘Hartlepool rule’ Gers, Bruce, ‘I’ll be home tomorrow’ Dickinson, Rod, ‘make mine a pint as well’ Smallwood, Ian, ‘that will cost ya a fiver’ Day, Steve, ‘we’ll make the game,honest’ Gadd,
and me good self.

We arrived into Prague at around 5 o’clock local and went straight to the hotel.
I had a wee rest before heading out to the gig at 7:30.
When we arrived at the venue you could feel the excitement and nerves from everyone, more so from me self. I was feeling great but had an awful case of nerves and of coarse Boomer was out in fine form.
Oh well better to have than have not AAAAHHHHEEEE!!!!!!!

I went up on stage to check me tubs out. Charlie had done a great job setting them up. Everything was where it was supposed to be.
Oh yes I have a new kit for the tour. It’s a beautiful Premier series set. Same sizes as all my other tubs but a special artwork on the shells.
You will see it when you come to a show won’t you boys and girls??????????

So 20 minuets before show time we’re all getting ready for the show. The vibe was great in the dressing room.
We all felt a wee bit of nerves but as I said before you have to have them or else you could easily lose your edge.
We hit the stage at 8:30 in front of a capacity crowd of 15.000 total Maiden fans. You guys were FANTASTIC I can tell you.
The gig went great, although I made a ‘Kin massive mistake right on the first song. ’Kin marvellous!!!! I went to come out of the second solo in ‘Murders’ a whole bar too soon and made the guys work to keep it together, but after that it all settled down and we blazed through the rest of the set with renewed passion.
It really was great to be back on stage with me mates, rocking with some of the best classic tunes from our past.
The set worked fairly well in its running order, but as usually is the case, we’re fine tuning that as we go. We find that we will have to change a song, or where it is in the set, just to make things flow a wee bit more.
Well, after the show we headed back to the hotel and then met in the bar. We all felt that the crowd made the night for us as we all had a few problems through the evening. Nothing to severe but just a wee bit below par so to speak. Well, it was our first gig!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you to all you crazy Billies out there in Prague.
You made our night!!!!!!!!!!

Well, I’m in me hotel room in Graz at this present time.

(7:30pm 30th May)

I did however write a wee bit of the diary on the plane from Katowice in Poland.

We played there last night and man was it fantastic. A brilliant evening was had and delivered.
We had made a change to the running order of the set but it still needs a wee tune up so to speak.
We hit the stage at 9:30 and had a great night. We played a lot tighter than the night before and were very happy with the way we all played.
The crowd were absolutely nuts. At one time towards the end of the evening they were chanting out something SSSOOO load, for so long that it sent a goose bump up me back.
We later found out that it meant THANK YOU!!!!!!
What a buzz I can tell you!!!!
27000 Polish fans singing with us and chanting things, it was truly a momentous evening.
After the show we went back to the hotel and met in the bar for a wee nightcap.
Dragonforce joined us; they had opened the show for us.
Nice bunch of chaps they are as well!!!
After a couple of glasses of Ducru I went to me bed.
Thank you to all of our friends in Poland for making us so welcome as usual. You are very special to Maiden.
THANK YOU ALL so much.

Well, as a lot of you will probably know West Ham United had there premiership final against Preston North End today!
Our Austrian promoter had set up a sports bar in Graz for us to watch the match this afternoon. We made it in time for kick off.
Most of our English crew turned up so it was a real party atmosphere I can tell you!
Harry was on tender hooks all day about it.
We settled in with a beer and pizza and watched the match unfold.
Brilliant it was as well.
No score in the first half but West Ham were definitely all over Preston.
Into the second half and Zamora put a blinding goal into Prestons net, 1-nil then.
It stayed that way for the duration. Great game and a great sigh of relief from Harry when they blew the final whistle.
After that there was revelry and celebration. Well deserved.
I’m very happy for WHU that they are back in the Premiership.
So tomorrow should bring a renewed vigour to the proceedings, don’t ya think??????????????

Well, it’s time for me dinner now.
It’s wonderful to be back on the road again and a pleasure to be doing me diaries.
Hope you enjoy
God Bless you all.
Stay safe and well.

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