Maiden US Tour 1982


Anyone knows which gigs played Nicko Mc Brain with the band while Clive Burr was in England because of his father's death?

Which period was it?


Ancient Mariner
As far as I know, this was only on a televised show in Brussels, the very first one mentioned here:
Interesting. I remember a story about Nicko being on stage with a mask, but I have never realized that Nicko drummed with Maiden before he joined. Would love to see that.
edit: here it is!
Edit: Upon pondering where the thing with the dead father came from, could it be you mixed that up with Adrian's absence for a few shows during the 1999 Ed Huntour?
Yeah, that must be it.


Adrian missed:
17 July 1999: 2nd New York gig
18 July 1999: Boston
20 July 1999: Toronto
Last edited:


The Belgian tv show was at the beginning of the tour. I'm asking about US Tour between september and october (after Reading Festival) when Clive's father died and Nicko helped Maiden performing some shows. When Clive was back everything was different (as he said). This is the period I'm talking about.


Ancient Mariner
Alright. Never heard of that. We could try to listen to bootlegs from the US tour and see if we notice different drumming (or comments from Bruce about it).

I just did a google search, didn't find the dates (yet) but saw these articles:
... However, in 1982, when Burr's father died while Maiden were touring the US, the drummer flew back to the UK to help his family cope with the bereavement. His bandmates continued with Nicko McBrain, who had previously drummed with Streetwalkers and the French band Trust, in his stead.

"I knew Nicko," Burr told Classic Rock two years ago. "He loved the band, he loved being part of it all. And the rest of the band liked him." When Burr returned to the US a fortnight later, he "could tell something wasn't right," and he was ousted. "I was too upset to feel angry about it. I guess they had their reasons," he said, refuting the claim that he was more of a party animal than the others. "There was a grieving period – I grieved for my dad and I grieved for my band – and then I brushed myself down and got on with it." ...
... While on tour in 1982 his father Ronald died of a heart attack, aged just 57, and Burr returned to Britain for the funeral. By the time he returned to America the atmosphere, he said, had changed and he was asked to leave. Exactly why has always remained unclear, although Burr denied the rumours that it was because he was drinking too much. He said he drank no more and no less than anyone else in the band.

Burr said he tried not to get angry about the decision. "I was too upset to feel angry about it," he said. "There was a grieving period. I grieved for my dad and I grieved for my band – and then I brushed myself down and got on with it." ...
... But trouble loomed midway through the ensuing Beast on the Road tour, when Burr was called home to attend to his father's funeral, leaving Maiden to soldier on with former Trust drummer Nicko McBrain as a temporary replacement. As soon as he rejoined the band, Burr noticed a change of demeanor in some of his bandmates, and his worst fears were realized when he was unceremoniously dismissed from Iron Maiden at tour's end, to be permanently replaced by McBrain. At the time, the media latched onto rumors of Burr's excessive alcohol and drug abuse as the reasons behind his sacking, but the drummer would later insist that these were unfounded, defending his quiet acceptance of his fate as part and parcel of grieving his father's sudden passing. ...

This is the longest piece about Clive's leaving:

... Before we get to how he started with Iron Maiden, and just how good they were with Clive powering them along, it’s perhaps more pertinent to address how it finished. This is something that has gnawed away at Clive for the best part of 30 years. Much has been written about his split from Maiden, during an exhaustive US tour in the summer of 1982. And most of it, he says dismissively, is hogwash.
“I’ve heard the stories – that it was because of drugs or too much drink,” he says. “It wasn’t anything like that.” The truth, as it often is in cases of heavy metal musical chairs, is a bit murkier, a bit more acrimonious. It started with a phone call. He doesn’t recall where he was when he got the call, he just remembers that he had to get home to London. His dad, Ronald, had died unexpectedly of a heart attack. He was just 57 years old.

A US road map dotted with gigs lay in front of Maiden, but at that moment it didn’t matter, he says. “I had to get home.” Everyone seemed fine with that, he remembers. Go home, they said. Be with your family. Clive flew back to London on Concorde.
Maiden brought in former Trust drummer Nicko McBrain as a replacement so the tour could continue, the show could go on. Clive and Nicko were mates. No worries. Everything was cool.
“I knew Nicko,” Clive says. Nice bloke. Good drummer. At a number of earlier shows, Nicko had dressed up as Eddie to terrorise the crowd. “He loved the band, he loved being part of it all. And the rest of the band liked him.” Clive was about to find out just how much.
So Clive flew home, went to his father’s funeral, spent some time with his family, and two weeks later flew back to the States to join up with Maiden, who were criss-crossing America supporting Rainbow, Scorpions, .38 Special and Judas Priest.

“I got back and I could tell something wasn’t right,” Clive recalls.
There was a meeting. The atmosphere was tense. There was change in the air, and Clive, still numb from the loss of his dad, could smell it.
“We think it’s time for a break,” they told Clive. And that was that. After the best part of four years, three albums – not just any old albums, either, but the three albums that many Iron Maiden fan will tell you remain the band’s best work – and suddenly the dream was over, just as it was all coming true.
Everybody knows what happened next for Maiden.
What happened next for Clive Burr was a case of dusting himself down and starting all over again. He was grieving for his dad. Now he was also grieving for his band and the job he’d dreamt of since he first saw Ian Paice playing Highway Star with Deep Purple.
Back home in the UK the rumours were rife: it was the drugs that were to blame for his dismissal; it was the drink; that Clive liked the beer, sex and rock’n’roll just a little bit more than the others; that sometimes he had to play shows with a bucket by the side of his drum stool for when those hangovers became just a little bit too much... The rock’n’roll high jinks were getting in the way of the band, everyone agreed. Everyone except Clive.

Thirty years on, he says it still smarts to hear it. He was never a big drinker. Sure, he’d have a brandy and Coke – a Courvoisier and Coke, “my roadie used to get it for me before we went on,” he laughs – but nothing too debauched. No more or less than anyone else in the band.
“We were like schoolkids in America,” he says. “We’d never been there before and it opened our eyes. There was a lot of parties, and girls were throwing themselves at us. We’d never experienced anything like it.” Clive – the lad who had been voted teen
magazine Oh Boy ’s Hunk Of The Month in July 1980 – lapped it up. “Of course I did. We all did.” And then it was gone.

Clive flew back to London again, then on to Germany with his mum, and laid low.
“I was too upset to feel angry about it,” he says. “There was a grieving period – I grieved for my dad and I grieved for my band – and then I brushed myself down and got on with it.” Just like that?
“Pretty much, yeah. There was no real bitterness. Life’s too short.
“It’s good to set the record straight, to tell my side of the story,” he says, “because it’s not widely known. I think if you’re going to sack someone, sacking them after they’ve just lost their father is not the best time to do it... I guess they had their reasons. So that was that.” fter Maiden, Clive played with a number of bands in fairly quick succession: Graham Bonnet’s Alcatrazz (that lasted a week), Trust (Nicko’s old band), Stratus, so-called NWOBHM supergroup Gogmagog, Elxir, Dee Snider’s Desperados. None of them would come close to matching what he achieved with Maiden. And yet for Clive it didn’t matter.

“I just wanted to play. When I came home from Germany after Maiden, I used to put my hair in a hat, put some dark glasses on and play with anyone who’d have me, in the pubs around London,” he laughs. “I just wanted to drum.” ...
Last edited:


Priest of the Holy Wristband
Great research work Foro :okok:. I had never read such versions of the story. This is a bit sad, as it lincks his departure to his father's death. Looks as if this sad event gave Nicko the opportunity to outshine him. Harry was clearly upset with his unability to maintain a constant playing level through a tour, and it seems he was given a chance to improve. But Steve LOVES playing with Nicko, and my guess is that, from the very moment those two met and began to play together, Clive didn't have a chance to make it


Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Yep. The same single mindedness and drive that made Maiden the success it is couldn't accept anything but the best.
Nicko was given a chance, fit better than Clive and Clive was gone. That's Steve.


Ancient Mariner
If that's Steve, then he probably made one of the darkest decisions in the Maiden camp since they make albums. What a timing! And how bad to blame it on other nonsense, still many years later.

It's not unusual that someone's playing gets worse after the death of their father (especially on that age!)
What I think is that Nicko's character was especially a treat, and very difficult to let go (and of course his playing was refreshing as well when he entered; but I am sure that if Clive was given the chance after the tour, his drumming was also still valued; Bruce and Adrian's comments about Clive's drumming still stand.)

I bet that all this may have caused some extra pain when Clive died.
Last edited:


And the world, unheeding, turns
Staff member
Thanks for the links Foro. However, I think that if Clive himself made no big deal of it, we shouldn't get worked up about it.


Ancient Mariner
He sure waited very long with sharing it. I'll try not to be too bitter about it. ;)
The way it went, the timing, it just feels a bit sad as harrisdevot says. But at the same time I realize -and am happy with- Nicko's impact. His drumming opened new horizons.


Priest of the Holy Wristband
I'm sure that the main reason behind his departure is that Steve was unsatisfied with his live drumming. They said (including Bruce), that sometimes he played so slowly that it got boring. And Steve and Nicko really had to play together : the way they speak of each other (or the way Adrian spoke of the pair) really makes me think of the Lee-Peart duo. As a listener, I still prefer Clive's drumming, because it sounds more "Metal", but I know that technically, there is a real gap between the two and that Nicko allowed Steve to write in different directions, just like Bruce did one year before.

EDIT : and I have the feeling that Steve now wants to clear out some of the black clouds of the past. The way he phoned Dennis to invite him to a gig and keeps in touch with him ; him meeting some of his old bands members. I think he is one of those guys who get smoother with age.


Ancient Mariner
@dteddie If I may ask, how do you know it was after Reading?

If it indeed is after Reading, then the best thing to do is listening to bootlegs. I listening to all the songs that I (briefly!) checked from the available bootlegs on YouTube, based on the Commentary and I thought I heard Clive on all recordings. His patterns are typical and very much in accordance with his studio work, and he has these lightning striking crash hits.
So, if Nicko really played drums for about a fortnight, then this could be the period (without known bootlegs, although the site hasn't been updated for ages) in which Nicko sat behind the kit:

5 until 23 September 1982

I'll do a second listening. But meanwhile it would be cool if we have more sources. I am mighthy curious as well now. Who knows someday a recording will surface.


That's what I'm looking for, a 1982 bootleg withNicko on drums. You're right, it could be before Reading Festival because the US tour was for a couple of months. But I think it was after Reading Festival. If we could know when his father died we could confirm this period. They were on tour with Judas Priest until the end of october.


So, Clive knew that he was out of the band, way before the tour ended? I think he still played awesome, last shows in Japan late 1982 are really good performances IMO :) 1982/1983 was the start of my Maiden madness and I´ve been collecting especially stuff from 1982...


I think that time line of Clive´s absence from the band was actually mentioned in the book Origins Of The Killers (or what it was called) about Maiden 1975-83. I have the book, but can´t check it right now, ´cos our drummer lent it and he´s a bit slow reader, it seems :)
I remember that in 98 they did something like this with Janick Gers in a Tv show in spain.They went into the show with a guy looking like Janick but was not him.Maybe some guy of Dirty Deeds

Here is the proof ! LOL


Well, the book didn´t shed any details on the case. It mentions that Clive had to leave for his father´s funeral and be away for few weeks, during the USA Tour 1982... Maybe we should ask Nicko when did he first fill in for Clive :) ... If he remembers...

Gerald Wiley

Lady don't fall backwards
I have always understood that Clive was living a 'rock and roll' lifestyle, that was effecting his live performances, and that was the reason that he was replaced....