5 Little Known Facts About Iron Maiden, By M.D Balousek



The Heavy Metal band/juggernaut has been going for over 40 years now, with millions of fans all over the world enjoying their music and dynamic live shows. Here are 5 little known facts about the group you may not know:


5. The Angel and the Gambler repeats it’s chorus 21 times..probably for a reason.

The much maligned  1998 album Virtual XI was widely panned for various reasons (this author happens to like it) but nothing received the scorn that the song The Angel and the Gambler did. Conceptually, it portrays a protagonist of a gambler and an angel (or a demon?) playing cards for his soul (or a metaphor, or something like that). The chorus repeats 21 times, the same number as used in the classic card game, Blackjack. This little “Easter Egg”, while leading to costernation among fans of the band, was likely on purpose with the theme of the song.


Here is the (underrated) video further showing the theme (and thankfully using a shortened version of the song):

4. Bruce Dickinson is an author of two books, the Lord Iffy Boatrace, as well as it’s sequel, The Missionary Position (1992). These two satirical novels were among the series of projects Dickinson had taken on in the late eighties, some of which he would later say would lead him to wanting to leave the group to give his full commitment to.

3. The Soundhouse Tapes feature another guitarist (named Paul Cairns), along with Dave Murray, even though for decades Maiden has insisted otherwise.

This controversial revelation came about in 2013, when several sources including former Maiden roadie Steve “Loopy” Newhouse revealed that another guitarist had appeared on the now famous demo. Maybe that’s why some of the solos really didn’t sound quite typical of Dave Murray’s style, in retrospect!


2. Nicko Mcbrain appeared with the band while Clive Burr was still part of the group!

While on tour with Trust in 1981, who coincidentally were opening for Iron Maiden at the time, Mcbrain appeared on stage with the group, albeit dressed up in full “Eddie” garb!


1. Sanctuary, one of the band’s most beloved songs, may have not been written by the band.

According to Metal Hammer writer Dave Ling, the song was originally written by guitarist Rob Angelo, a member of the band in 1977 who was paid 300 Britsh pounds for the song’s rights. Perhaps that explains the song’s writing credits being changed several times throughout the years.