01 Feb 2004 - Nicko - LA

Time 6:30pm
In hotel room, L.A.

Well, well, well,
How the blazes are you boys and girls?
I'm doing fine today, a wee bit hungover from last night but I think I'll survive but you never know do you?

On Jan 17 we played to 50,000 fantastic fans at Pacaembu Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It must have been about 85 degrees. We left on 18th and l called in at home in Florida for a day to see Rebecca and Justin. It was fairly warm there. Then it was on to Montreal to arrive the day before the show, Jan 19.
Brass monkeys or what I can tell you - must have been well under zero, snow everywhere, beautiful, yes, but bloody cold!!! What a change in a couple of days.

We had a great gig in Montreal, nearly 10,000 fans were there, which is incredible as we only played at the same venue last August!! And they always give us a huge welcome - thanks guys or should it be merci. Same in Quebec the next
day - bloody cold but great audience. Merci aussi. Yes OK l have been learning a bit of French off Bruce who always does the whole set in French and seems pretty fluent. (but how would l know) TEEHEE!!!!!

Anyway, then it was to NY and here the fun and games really started. Never in my whole career have l had such an eventful week on the road I can tell you.
'Kin marvelous.

In NY we couldn't get the Gardens or any of the arenas due to all the 'Kin hockey and 'Kin basketball games going on, so we decided to go back to the Hammerstein Ballroom for four shows. This is where we had three great shows on the
Ed Hunter tour when Bruce and H came back. Its an old but atmospheric theater that holds about 3000 billies.

The first gig went really well, great NY crowd. Fantastic start. Then overnight l had one of me snare drums nicked, Are you sure!!!! 'Kin geezer must be mad to nick one of me custom painted drums it ain't goin to be easy outing it
AAAHHHEEEE boys and girls, be on the lookout for me will you!
Also one of the flags for Trooper went walkies and some other gear. Good overnight security or what from the promoter and the hall. Fortunately I had a back up snare. Oh yes the one that was nicked was me black snare with Iron Maiden
written in white around the shell. also we were able to replace everything else in time for the second show.

Some of the guys went to a really good rock bar called Belle-Vue (??) somewhere around 35 and 9 I think. Apparently highly recommended. Others hit the Irish Pub and I went back to the hotel bar.
Me very good friend Kevin Mapp and his son Shane, came up from Florida to see me.
Also me pal Rick Baum came up as well. He met me in the bar. Oh yes most importantly me misses was with me. She had arrived into New York the day before.

Second gig was also going great guns until during Iron Maiden some idiot on the balcony right over the mixing desk decided to chuck his full beer onto the desk. And we all know what happens when water (American beer??!!) meets electricity.....pow!! Desk dead. 'Kin Idiot!!!!
We didn't know what on earth was happening, finished the song, came off and then found out. Hell of a racket coming out of PA. Our sound man Dougie did his best to fix it but it just wasn't possible. So the audience and ourselves were left high and dry.....no encores. It was a bit like having sex but no orgasm.AAAHHHEEE!!!
It felt like a job left undone. We were really sorry for the fans. It was a Saturday night and we knew a lot had come an awful long way to get to the gig. But what can you do. We all went back on stage and Bruce explained what had gone down. The crowd was fantastic - they understood what had happened and we couldn't do anything and actually gave us a standing ovation (which was
actually very touching in the circumstances) Fantastic Thank you to all of you for
understanding, 'Kin magic!!
We are often very proud of the attitude of the majority of our fans and this really was one of those times.

After the gig Davey, H and I did a runner back too the hotel. We were feeling a wee bit down from what had happened so we had a few libations to help ease the feeling!

Anyway the next day was off. Rebecca and I went to the Theater. We saw 'Cat On A Hot Tin Roof'. Ashley Judd and Jason Patrick stared in this show and it was the best I can tell you. Ashley was stunning. We had third row seats and it
just blew me away. Fantastic performance from all in the cast.'Kin BRILLIANT.
After the show we had a wee libation in a bar just around the corner from the theater and then we went over to meet with Bruce and his wife Paddy, for dinner. We had a most splendid evening I can tell you. Only downer was that me misses lost her cell phone. I think it fell out of her bag when we got out of the taxi at our hotel. OH WELL POOH POOH!!!

Monday was our third show. Everything went great, steaming gig. And it was Janick's birthday so of course in true Maiden tradition we gave him a good pie-ing , lots of lovely cream cakes in the mush. Although this did come back to haunt us later!!

Anyway all sorts of stuff was going down between Rod, our agents and the promoters. These gigs apparently all went on sale early last December. But the promoter got in touch to say there had been a mistake with the hall and it was double booked with an exhibition of some sort and that we couldn't play. ARE YOU 'KIN SURE OR WHAT!! Of course Rod's reaction was to tell them to go sort it out, we are contracted, a load of tickets have been sold - WE ARE PLAYING. Everyone reckoned that things would be sorted out, especially as, believe it or not, the Hammerstein's own website was advertising all four nights even that weekend before!! Despite saying we couldn't play! Rod tried everything right down to Monday evening but in the end we just ran out of time. Bad as it was for us, its tragic for all the all fans with tickets, We got word out as best we could and the metal 'jungle drums' were very supportive. In all the time we have been together we have never experienced anything as ridiculous as this. All we can realy do is make sure all the fans with tickets for the fourth night get a chance for the best tickets next time we come to NY and we are doing this on this website.

Despite all this the fans that did get to see us were as brilliant as ever and we had a great time on stage at least most of the time. And it certainly hasn't put us off playing in NY. Thank you NY.

After the bad news I decided to head back to Florida. Rebecca and I arrived 2 hours late but safe and well. I stayed home through till Friday as I had to go see my boy do his first gig on Thursday evening with his school orchestra. It was fantastic he plays the snare drum in the band and was right on top of it I can tell you! I was so proud of him.
I left for L. A at 8:55am and was in the hotel for 2pm. We were playing 2 nights at Universal Amphitheater. We played there on BNW and liked the venue, good acoustics and the best back stage area anywhere. The promoter really does look after the band and their guests.

The gig was going really well, we weren't too rusty after a few days off and the travel, and then... there is yours truly playing along to Hallowed, when there is a great crash and half my drumset gets scattered by a flying Bruce... and not in a plane this time.
Bruce was sprinting along the top walkway which runs right behind my kit when he slipped on what we later found to be some residual cream from Janick's pie-ing on his birthday at the last show. At first we thought it was really serious. Janick was cradling his neck as though it was broken. Steve hadn't heard all this with all the din on stage and was looking round furiously at Janick as of course he had stopped playing! But Bruce is tough as old boots, he soon
got up and just carried on. After the show we had a doctor come and check him out. He strapped him up pretty heavily but thankfully he was fine. And even more importantly so was my kit!!!!

Great night all in all. I wonder how he's going to feel tomorrow?

The next night was 'Kin brilliant!!!!
The sound was even better than the night before. Bruce was feeling extremely sore but he soldiered on. One thing he doesn't lack is courage. And we played a stormer.After the show I got showered and went out to meet some pals. Me best pal
Jeff Hammer was there with Debbie as was Jeanne Edwards and Sterling and a few of her chums. and then there was Micky Dee, Vinny Appice, Ronnie James Dio, Craig Goldy, Simon Wright and the CHICAGO MUTANTS. Love you all.

After the show we had a wee party back in the bar and then in Jeanne's room. Hence the hangover that I mention earlier. Oh Well!

One things for sure I will feel better sooner or later today.
My love to you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of our fans that have seen us this last couple of weeks. It sure has been a very eventful few days in the USA!!!!

Stay safe and well
God bless you all.
Love ~Nicko~.

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