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About Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden lyrics

Iron Maiden is a Hard Rock band from the late 60s from Basildon, Essex, England.


In 1964, Barry Skeels, Steve Drewett, Chris Rose and Alan Hooker formed an acoustic band in Basildon, Essex, that eventually evolved into a band called Iron Maiden (unrelated to the currently famous Iron Maiden). By 1966, the lineup was Skeels on bass, Drewett on vocals/harmonies, Rose on lead guitar, Tom Loates on rhythm guitar and Stan Gillem on drums; they played Rolling Stones and blues numbers under the name "Growth". Reduced to a two-piece, Drewett and Skeels played blues under the name of "Stevenson's Blues Department" in pubs and clubs in Essex and London. They supported a number of up and coming bands including Jethro Tull, Fleetwood Mac, The Groundhogs and King Crimson.

In 1968, Drewett and Skeels were joined by Paul Reynolds on drums and Trevor Thoms on guitar. They released an acetate (God of Darkness/Ballad of Martha Kent) under the then risqu? name of Bum. When they signed to the Gemini label in 1970, the name was changed to the less risqu? Iron Maiden. They recorded their debut album, Maiden Voyage, but it was not released. Reynolds was replaced by Steve Chapman on drums and Iron Maiden released the single Ned Kelly/Falling. This coincided with Mick Jagger's film Ned Kelly. A planned Australian tour fell through. The Gemini record label also folded (with the loss of the debut album master tapes) and Skeels left Iron Maiden. The band carried on without him for a while, but the debut album was not released until 1998 using duplicate tapes, pictures & press cuttings owned by Skeels.

Skeels moved to Newcastle upon Tyne in the mid-80s, where he soon joined local big name blues band "The Blues Burglars". During this time he met Venom. He left the Burglars when he was asked to help out as bass tech for Venom which lasted a number of years. He later became guitar and bass tech and then tour manager for a number of bands. After 12 years on the road Skeels joined Venom's management's new venture, Demolition Records in A&R. Soon they were signing established rock acts which provided Skeels the opportunity to move on into management and he formed Offbeat Management, taking on the original folkmetal band, Skyclad, also based in Newcastle. Skeels is currently still playing, in two bands, soul/funk/R&B group Ambience UK and back to his blues roots in blues/R&B/light rock group Black River Band.


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