09 Aug 2003 - Nicko Returns

Time 3:20pm
Hyatt Hotel, Columbus.

Well, well, well,

It’s been a while since me last diary hasn’t it boys and girls, yes lots has happened since me last entry.
Loads of great gigs, lots of parties, and lots of getting into various forms of trouble, [That being me middle name and such].

Well let me see, where were we when I last wrote me diary. Oh yes the night before Jones beach. You may have heard about that incident. I would just like to thank the park police Nassau County for helping get me to the gig.
So we get on stage and the gig went great. It was very windy though and the on stage sound was a bit weird.

After that we headed back to New York City. Me misses was not amused at what had happened but we did have a nice evening back at the hotel, some friends of ours had been at the show and came back to the hotel and we had a party into the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Sunday was a recovery day. We just hung out at the hotel and rested for most of the day. Our son Justin was due to arrive from his Grandparents around 5:00pm so I made me way over to LaGuardia to meet him. The traffic was moving very well so it only took me about 30 minutes to get there.
He had made the journey from the Tri state airport on his own. It was the second leg of his journey that he had made on his own. He was very excited when he met me. He’s growing up so fast.
So we had about the same time travelling back to the hotel. When we arrived we hung out and then had some room service.

Monday we went on a helicopter ride over Manhattan city. It was fantastic; if you ever get the chance to do it I thoroughly recommend that you do. After the helicopter ride, we headed over to central park and took a buggy ride. That was really beautiful as well. We went and had a look around the Ritz hotel and bought an ice cream and strolled through the park, right near to the zoo. It was a fantastic day out for us.

Tuesday we were in Columbia Maryland. We had chartered a plane to fly us there and then return after the gig to N.Y. We left the Teaterboro airport at 3 o'clock in the afternoon and made the hour long journey to MD. When we arrived we went straight to the gig. The boys had some press to do and then we hit the stage at 9:25pm. The gig went great and we did our normal runner back to the airport. We arrived back into the hotel for around 2 o'clock in the morning.

The next day we played Madison Square Garden.
Well that was a great night I can tell you. Me old mate Danny Clifford and his missus Linda came over from blighty to take a few smudges of the boys, me old mate Frank Coe was there, Jean Jennings and [Tim the photographer] from Automobile Magazine, [James and Verity Thomas [from Jaguar U.S.A] Kevin Mapp, [me golf guru from Florida] and Gage, Kevin’s girlfriend's son, Danny Spitz, Mike Piazza and his lovely girl friend, Steve Smith and Jan, and a hole bunch of friends from our office in New York and it was wonderful. The show was blinding, we seem to shine even more at these types of shows. I don’t know whether it’s because of the prestige of the venue itself or the pressure of the event, perhaps a little of both, anyway it was a cracker of a show.

After the gig we went back to the hotel. Rebecca and I got Justin into bed and then we went down to the bar for a nightcap with a few friends. We got to our room quite late at around 5 o'clock in the morning. I had to be up early at 10, so I wasn’t feeling too good when the alarm went off. I was due to go and have me dabs taken at the Nassau County police station. I was due there for around 1 o'clock in the afternoon. I was being driven by me lawyer Bib Kalina. When we arrived the police didn’t have the necessary paper work so consequently it was a wasted journey. Well on the way back from the nick, we decided to have a spot of lunch. After lunch Bob and I headed back to the City. Unfortunately he had the ‘Alicanti syndrome’ and went the wrong ’Kin way on the freeway. Hence taking us at least 45 minutes out of our way. Well I was not too pleased I can tell you.
It did have its good moments though especially when Bob started to sing to me. Oh yes that was fun. He didn’t have too bad a voice though and could actually hold a tune.

We arrived back at the hotel around 4:30pm. I headed up to me room and went and lay down for a couple of hours. I got up just after 6:30 and took me little one over to the Empire State Building. He said that out of everything to do in New York City that that was what he wanted to do the most. So we took the subway for a couple of stations, which by the way was a first for us both, and then we walked a couple of blocks to the building. We paid for the ride up in the elevator and also for the Sky ride trip. It’s a Back too the Future type ride. Really cool it was too. We got to the top and evening had arrived. The whole of New York was lit up and it was a most spectacular sight. Justin and I had a great time up there. When we got back to the bottom we bought a few souvenirs for his friends back home and for Momma.

We got back to the hotel a little after 10 o'clock. Justin had also managed to hail a cab for the second time on this trip. He hailed one when we left the heliport a couple of days previous. He’s amazing for his age.
Well we decided to have some room service and watch a movie. Mum was still a little worse for wear and was in her bed.
I called for a nice steak and spuds with spinach and Justin just wanted some ice cream. We put on Shanghi Knights and then the food arrived.
Well I gave me little one a bite of me steak and that was it, Bye Bye ice cream. We ended up sharing the whole lot together. There was so much food I know that I could not have eaten it all anyway.
A most splendid way to spend our last night together in New York City.

On Friday the 1 of August we left N.Y for Canada. Our first show was in Quebec City. We left on a charter flight and arrived into the city at around 5 in the evening. This was the first of three shows in Canada.

Well I can tell you this show and Montreal were most definitely on the top five list of Maiden shows ever. The audience and the way we played at these two gigs were unsurpassable. ‘Kin amazing nights. The only way to explain this is you had to be there to feel it. Magic couple of nights.
The third gig was in Toronto on the Sunday night. This was a great gig as well but lacked a little, I don’t know, Magic maybe. It is so hard to explain what makes something more special or different than others but it was still a fantastic evening.

After the Canadian shows we headed back to the U.S and picked up the tour in Ohio. We left Canada on the Monday after the Toronto show. We were at the hotel in Cleveland for a little after 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Davey and I decided that we would find a golf course and get a round in. As soon as I had got to my room I called a local course and we headed over to it. We paid for only nine holes as there was a league match going out a little later in the afternoon. The guy said that there was a chance of getting another nine in and to check back in with him after the nine holes. Off we went. We were so happy too be out playing. It was a wonderful course and we finished up and went back into the pro shop to check if we could play another nine. It had gotten really busy and so we didn’t hold up much hope of getting out again. Well, the guy told us that we could go out again after 6:15pm. It was only 4:40pm, so we said that we would leave it and head back to the hotel bar. At which point a guy comes through the door going “Oh my God it’s Iron Maiden”. Well, he was playing in the league and so said to the guy behind the counter that he would play nine holes with Dave and myself and that we could go off the tenth tee with him. God works in wonderful ways doesn’t he boys and girls. The guys name is Roy. Thank you Roy, way to go mate.

The next day was a show day but Dave and I decided to go and have a round of golf earlyish in the morning. I had booked a tee time at a course called Tanglewood Country Club, a most splendid track a few miles from town. We had a tee time for eleven o-clock. We invited Roy and so we had a three ball. The course was magnificent. A very beautiful place to be. We all enjoyed playing there and so it has made the places to return too list.
Thank you Joe for all your kindness and hospitality. Oh I forgot to tell you that the night before Davey, Gaddzy, Ian, Jan and myself all met at a bar called D’vine Wine and we all got absolutely smashed. A great evening was had by all.

The gig that evening was also happening. We played a blinder and headed back to the hotel.
We headed out to Troy Michigan just up the road from Detroit. The gig used to be known as Pine Knob, for some strange reason the name has been changed to DTE Energy Centre. Before we left for the venue I headed over to a restaurant called Champps. While I was eating, one of the managers recognized me and came over to talk to me. He is a big Iron Maiden fan and was delighted that I was eating in his gaff. He had tickets for the show so I arranged for him to get a parking pass and VIP laminates for him and his two pals. After the show we met up in the restaurant and had a couple of beers. It was also after midnight and therefore it was Bruce’s Birthday. I headed up to me room at just before 1 o'clock am and had a bit of an early night.

The gig was great but the sound for me was a little weird as the backdrop drapes were really close behind me and so acted as a sound baffle. My sound didn’t have any drive to it. It was a great show though none the less.

The following day was off. Davey and I decided the night before [yes you guessed it] to get a couple of rounds of golf in. I called and arranged a tee time for us at a place called Pine Trace near Rochester Hills. I thought that Tanglewood was perfect but this place was just stunning. We had a tee time of 10:32am and we made our way by means of the courtesy bus from the Marriott hotel to the course. It was only a 4 mile drive and so we were there in good time. Davey hired some clubs and we settled the bill and made our way to the practise tee. I had asked one of the managers that I had met the night before, a guy named Theo, to join us. He made it on time and so off we went to the first tee. The course was magnificent. A very cool place to play. I have in fact played it way back in the past with me manager Rod. I only remembered it when we played a particular par 3. It was a hole with bull rushes six feet higher right in front of the tee box and a big ‘Kin Christmas type tree right in front of the ‘Kin green. It must have been at least thirty feet high. I think it was number six on the front side. A most daunting tee shot. I can tell you. It was 156 yards to the centre and you had to carry the ‘Kin tree or else there was trouble. I clobbered a teed up 9 wood at it and made the back of the green. I did 4 putt though.

After the first round we went into the clubhouse for a wee libation. I then went and enquired if we could get out for another round. The lass told us that it could be possible in like 45 minutes. Ok I said we’d be in the bar.
After only 30 minutes she asked if we could get out straight away. No problem so of I went to settle up the green fees and then we made our way to the first tee again. This time it was just Dave and I. Theo had a band rehearsal at his church so couldn’t join us. We played 12 holes when the heavens opened up and we got clobbered with some heavy rain. Shall we go in I enquired to Dave. No way came his reply. I don’t mind getting a bit wet do you. So we carried on and after a couple of holes it stopped raining. We finished the eighteen and went back to the clubhouse. We took a few wets and the lady behind the bar called the shuttle bus to come get us. We went back to the hotel and straight into ‘Shulas’ restaurant at the hotel. The best steak I have had in a while I can tell you. After dinner I went to bed and had an early night.

Thanks to all who have met us these last few days you all have been great.

Well I’m pooped right now so I’m going to go and I’ll get another diary going in the next few days.
I promise it won’t be as long to wait as this one.
We’re playing in Columbus tonight so I’ll catch up with you lot real soon.
Stay safe and well.

God Bless you all.

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