25 Feb 2008 - Rod at the LA Forum

ROD'S DIARY FEB 19 -- THE LA FORUM

Big day today with LA show. Up by 8am as we are 8 hrs behind UK so need a couple of hours at least to catch up with the day's emails and get an answer back before close of play there. Then to lunch with our US label and a meeting after with the key team. As Universal bought Sanctuary all our product is now through Back Door (UME) and we have struck lucky with this I think. The team there is very keen and committed to Maiden -- one of the PR team Todd was actually at the Long Beach shows in 85 -- and most of them are quite young so there is a real buzz about it. Of course the first thing we have done with them is the LAD DVD and that was a no 2 on Billboard with our biggest first week sales for a DVD ever over there so they are also delighted with how this is working out. And as we get to know them more this can only get better

Went straight to the meeting to The Forum, the 14,000 capacity arena in Inglewood where I used to go and see the Lakers a lot when I lived in LA in the eighties. The show had been sold out for week so our guest list was the usual chaos with loads of LA based bands and biz wanting to come at the last minute as well as all the usual band friends there. A nightmare for Ian and our wonderful production assistant Kat, who appears on first edition of IM TV -- hope you all like this by the way. (Dave tells me he is trying to reduce some file sizes so you can all access it better. Took him a while due to time and travel but I think it was worth the wait and there will soon be more.) But we got them all in somehow in the end.

The band were down early so we could spend a bit of time getting a batch of necessary US and Brazil advance phoners and interviews out of the way and all went smoothly with the help of Sujata and Todd from Uni. Missed a couple but managed to catch up on them a couple of days later in Guadalajara. It good to keep on top of this and bang them out together occasionally so band can relax the rest of the time

There is a very famous wrestler here called Chris Jericho with WWE and he is a massive and incredibly well informed Maiden fan who has been to many of our gigs before. Also a really nice bloke. He wanted to interview the band for a cover story for the WWE magazine which as a massive circulation over here. A bit strange but what the hell. None of the guys are massive wrestling fans but I knew they would enjoy talking to Chris so agreed it. Adrian knows him best so he did most of this and the cover shot which is fun and shows just how strong Adrian really is!! We will post it on site when it comes out

Chaos backstage before the gig with bands and guests having a beer all over the place. Took time to chat with Ronnie James Dio. Saw him recently at Heaven and Hell gig at home in Brighton, Ronnie is a total gent and one of the nicest people you could ever meet -- right up there with Dave Murray I guess!!!

The show went really well and as good a reaction from an LA crowd as I can ever recall. There was a real buzz amongst the fans about this show and you could really feel it at the start when the intro filmed bit started, and of course there was uproar when the Churchill Speech started. A major victory for Eddie tonight!

But a red face for a manager. The Lakers used to play at the Forum when I used to see them and moved to Staples a few years ago. We were announcing the first set of US dates from onstage that night with the press release going on the web straight after the show with all the details. So I thought it would be a great idea to get Eddie a supersize Lakers shirt and put him it on him and return the Lakers to the Forum with their biggest player ever and at the end of the set and do a pic with band to go with press release. I have always liked these fun sort of stunts for a good publicity shot and think fans enjoy them too. I like to think I usually get it right. We did get a great shot but it just didn't feel right, maybe as this Eddie is a bit big and cumbersome due to his size and complexity. Anyway Bruce came out for encores to say the band was not basketball fans and it was their sport obsessed managers bloody stupid idea!! Well, fair enough. Lars from Metallica, who I have known since LA days in eighties, was on the desk with me sharing a few (?!) beers and thought it was a great laugh. Have to say I did too, I don't particularly mind being called an idiot in front of 14,000 fans!!

Afterwards was chaos again with various guests, family and other bands milling around backstage taking advantage of all the beers we had laid out. The original director and editor of LAD, Jim Yukich and Gerry Behrens were there and we hadn't seen them in years. Also some of our old team and Capital Records, our agents, promoters, record label and a galaxy of others. Finally got our about 2am -- need sleep. For tomorrow we are playing to some of the most incredible fans in the world and some massive stadium shows around Mexico and South America. We are about half way through and so far it's been great. This second half should be a truly wonderful experience for all of us.

- Rod

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