The book printed Bruce's response as well. "I don't want to end my career singing to 5000 people. I want to end my career by singing to 50 000 people."The book I have simply has a quote from Harris:
"The first thing I said to Bruce was 'Why do you want to come back?'".
That's as far into it as it goes, implying Bruce initiated it but with no reason as to why.
I disagree. It was a case of realizing that Maiden with Bruce still had a much bigger potential than Maiden without Bruce or Bruce without Maiden, to attract huge crowds and win a new generation of heavy metal fans.That's actually a pretty sucky reason to rejoin Maiden.
I've read somewhere that Adrian wanted Janick to stay in the band if he was to return. As for Bruce, I think Steve wanted to know for sure that Bruce was gonna be really into it, and not just for like one tour and one album.I've definitely read that Bruce made it a condition of him coming back that Adrian come too. And as Bruce and Janick are friendly, I'm quite sure he insisted they keep Jan as well.
"I don't know where it's going with them. While I am not part of them anymore, I still have an attachment to them. I still talk to the band. I always seem to put it this way: 'We may be divorced or seperated but we still share the same bathroom'. I don't want to see them disappear down the tubes or anything like that. It would just be a shame to see all the past work be washed aside if people don't like the new stuff."
The wheels were set in motion when Steve asked Rod Smallwood (who was also managing Bruce) whether Dickinson would consider returning. Smallwood spoke to Bruce and returned to the bassist with an affirmative nod. In some ways Bruce was surprised there was even mutterings of acceptance from camp Harris, given the harsh words that been spat against him.
"All of us want to do this", Bruce explained when the decision had been made to rejoin the group with everybody's blessing. "In a lifetime, most people never get to be the best in the world at anything. I've been really lucky because in my lifetime we were kings of the world in 84, 85, 86 and I've just been offered a shot at doing it again. You don't pass it up. "
Bruce was not the only one involved in the comeback however. It was Steve Harris' idea also to bring Adrian Smith back to the table, and create an unprecedented three-guitar assault. There was no question of dumping Janick to return to the classic line-up, Gers was now a staple six stringer for the band. Steve's only thought was to add to the guitar carnage. "I don't think I would have come back in the band if they said, 'if you come back Janick's going to go'," explained Adrian with characteristic good grave. "Unless he left of his own free will. That wouldn't have been cool."
However the music was dressed there was no doubt Maiden was struggling to retain its status as the world's greatest heavy metal band. Steve Harris had been thinking for a while that it was time for a change and in the end the group decided it was best if they find a new singer. Blaze had always been the wrong choice in some people's eyes.
"To me Blaze couldn't sing, I hated the bloke," Neal Kay says. "And I heard him do an interview on radio in Lisbon. And he was talking such bullshit, I phoned Steve up and told him actually, I was so annoyed with what I heard. I said 'your fucking singer's mouthing off in Portugal about this that and the bloody other'. And I said to Steve, 'why did you take him on board?' And Steve said, 'well there was no one else English who could do the job'. And I said 'fuck me there are hundreds of yanks with voices like you wouldn't believe' - that was it. 'I'm not having a bleeding yank in the band!' he said, 'We're a British band'. And that's how it is. Even if the most talented man on God's earth comes outside of England he won't be joining Iron Maiden."
The split was amicable nevertheless and instead of feeling the victim of a conspiracy, Blaze took the news in good spirit. He still maintains his time in the band was magnificent and that both he and the whole of the Maiden entourage enjoyed their time together. It was a strange period for the group and they were lucky to escape a tough time for traditional metal with their dignity intact. "Basically, they wanted to do something different and that gave me the opportunity to put my own band together," Blaze says of the split. "The result of doing this was Silicon Messiah, the album I am most proud of out of all the albums I have done. I remain friends with everyone from Maiden. [...]
The period in which Blaze fronted Maiden was vital for both as it enabled them to see where they could go next. It was clearly going to be difficult for the union to remain for another five years and it seems now with hindsight, the decision to split was best for both parties. They didn't know it at the time but the Iron Maiden boys were about to be reunited with a very special singer.
"The first thing I said to Bruce was, 'why do you want to come back?' and the second thing was, 'How long are you staying for?' We didn't want him coming back to just do a one-off tour. We'd rather get someone else. And that's what we probably would have done if Bruce's attitude hadn't been right and we didn't believe that he was coming back for the long-term." So said Steve Harris regarding the suprising return of Bruce Dickinson to the ranks of Iron Maiden. [...] When things had finally hit a dead end with Blaze, there was only one man fans wanted to front Iron Maiden. Those fans, plus a large helping of the music press, began to ask Harris and co. questions about contemplating a Brucey return. Initially the answer was short and sharp, a veritable 'no'! why would he? Bruce had left of his own accord and was enjoying a resurgence in popularity with his seriously heavy set, The Chemical Wedding. From extreme metal magazines to hard rock press, Dickinson was for the first time in his solo career, being afforded the respect he craved and deserved. Finally he had established himself as a solo performer in his own right - no longer simply regarded as the ex-singer of Iron Maiden. Therefore it was ironic, to say the least, that his most successful record under his own moniker would see him reunite with Maiden.
I wasn't. In fact, that was some of the best news in my life.I have to say when the reunion was first announced, I was a bit upset.