Who was auditioned to replace Blaze?

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
Maiden didn't play an encore in Rio on the second of December as Blaze's performance was so bad
They gave up on it, it was damage control. When you have 3 years of pressure that your vocalist is not good enough that's putting a nail in the coffin yourself. If there was any faith in him, they'd done something else, like send Dave and Nicko to solo to give 20-25 minutes break to Blaze and then do something easy for the encore like NOTB (in D) but not Trooper ffs. It could've been salvaged but it wasn't.

It would be catastrophic for Maiden to just lose another vocalist at that point, without a certain replacement.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
Yes yes my friend

I've got to be honest with you, when I first was told, I was sitting in a sake bar in Roppongi, Japan, with Rod and Janick. And Rod turned round and told me that Adrian was coming back with Bruce and asked what did I think about it.
Either 18th or 22th November 1998.

Don't forget the Dickinson-spin story about rejoining Samson that he launched in the second half of 1998.
 

TheTalisman

Fågel
Maiden didn't play an encore in Rio on the second of December as Blaze's performance was so bad.
Full show:

Encore left out:
The Number of the Beast
The Trooper
Sanctuary

Blaze mentioned in "At the end of the Day" that the rest of the band went to the dressing room, while he was waiting for the Number of the Beast intro.
 
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srfc

Ancient Mariner
Full show:

Encore left out:
The Number of the Beast
The Trooper
Sanctuary

Blaze mentioned in "At the end of the Day" that the rest of the band went to the dressing room, while he was waiting for the Number of the Beast intro.
This seems a significant moment now given the Nicko Japan revelations earlier in the thread.

Firstly, Nicko has cast iron specifics about where he was when he found out about Bruce and Adrian. So we can take the timescale as being this, moves are made behind the scenes at an unspecified time but with enough detail that Rod can say Adrian is coming back too. He tells Nicko and Janick between 18-22nd Nov 1998, give or take a few days as Maiden might have been in Japan for a few days before or after the gigs.

They then meet Bruce after the Japanese dates according to Nicko. This is less specific. He may have been mixed up and mean after the whole tour, or he may mean during the gap between Japan and the South American dates. If we take it as the later, and that Maiden have already met Bruce when they play that gig in Rio then maybe some members of Maiden (Steve really) might have still been on the fence about Bruce up until Blaze's very next gig with the band.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
This seems a significant moment now given the Nicko Japan revelations earlier in the thread.

Firstly, Nicko has cast iron specifics about where he was when he found out about Bruce and Adrian. So we can take the timescale as being this, moves are made behind the scenes at an unspecified time but with enough detail that Rod can say Adrian is coming back too. He tells Nicko and Janick between 18-22nd Nov 1998, give or take a few days as Maiden might have been in Japan for a few days before or after the gigs.

They then meet Bruce after the Japanese dates according to Nicko. This is less specific. He may have been mixed up and mean after the whole tour, or he may mean during the gap between Japan and the South American dates. If we take it as the later, and that Maiden have already met Bruce when they play that gig in Rio then maybe some members of Maiden (Steve really) might have still been on the fence about Bruce up until Blaze's very next gig with the band.
Didn't Roy Z mention something in a drunken post about spending Christmas at Bruce's house and convincing him about re-joining the band? @matic22 might have more information.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Didn't Roy Z mention something in a drunken post about spending Christmas at Bruce's house and convincing him about re-joining the band? @matic22 might have more information.
Yeah, that's why I'm sceptical about Nicko's comments about meeting Bruce being after the Japanese tour. I have vague memories from the media back then that meeting between Bruce and Steve was post-christmas at Rod's house in Brighton.
 

Black Wizard

Cereal Litigator
The band themselves hated the term reunion. Bruce included, he even ranted against it. The band never broke up.
It does frustrate me that the current era of Iron Maiden is frequently referred to as the "reunion era". The "reunion" was 20 years ago and the current line-up has lasted longer than other line-up in the band's history.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
The Nicko story is very specific on the dates. It seems to me that a meeting or series of meetings happened between Dickinson, Smith, Harris and Smallwood prior to that. I don't think that Bruce phoned Adrian and told him Smallwood phoned me that Harris phoned him that we should play together again. That's a bit stupid.

The Christmas episode Roy Z talks about might be Dickinson being nostalgic about their band and having a surge of second thoughts due to it.

Like I said, I think this all happened while on tour with Blaze and as such it is a controversial topic.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Like I said, I think this all happened while on tour with Blaze and as such it is a controversial topic.
Why? It was not the first time that had happened, as they also decided to have Bruce as a singer in 1981 whilst DiAnno was still touring with them only to announce it once DiAnno had been fired.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
Official : Blaze's been bad on tour and we decided to fire him because Maiden live suffered. Luckily, both Bruce and Adrian were open to getting back at the time.

Unofficial : Blaze hasn't been worse on VXI tour live than on TXF, and the tour was bigger. However Bruce and Adrian wanted back so he was booted.

I see no problems with that Rio de Janeiro gig. Blaze's voice is strong on start, as concert proceeds more and more classics are played and his performance gets worse and worse. That's basically Iron Maiden live 1995-1998.
 

TheTalisman

Fågel
It isn't like Blaze never tried to change the material performed either: It is mentioned by Steve in the Run to the Hills biography that Blaze wanted them to try Phantom of the Opera live on the next tour (the Virtual XI tour), better they had performed that track rather than Hallowed Be Thy Name for example...

It also mentioned in "At the end of the Day" that he was told before the start of the X Factour that the band would not detune, it seems like he suggested that as well.

But let's not forget how Bruce sounded on his last tour!
 
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GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
It isn't like Blaze never tried to change the material performed either: It is mentioned by Steve in the Run to the Hills biography that Blaze wanted them to try Phantom of the Opera live on the next tour (the Virtual XI tour), better they had performed that track rather than Hallowed Be Thy Name for example...
Is it? I do not remember reading that, but it has been a while since I last checked the hagiography...
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Official : Blaze's been bad on tour and we decided to fire him because Maiden live suffered. Luckily, both Bruce and Adrian were open to getting back at the time.

Unofficial : Blaze hasn't been worse on VXI tour live than on TXF, and the tour was bigger. However Bruce and Adrian wanted back so he was booted.
You forgot to take into account that Steve probably thought that the performance issues on TXF tour were a result of the settling in process. By the VXI tour, one had to be deaf to think that things were going to improve.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
There was more to it than just the performances from a technical point of view, he was getting words wrong, singing the wrong verses etc. consistently over the course of both tours.

I backed Blaze when he was in Maiden, and take no pleasure in saying this, but if people are genuinely suggesting that Maiden booted him out only because Bruce and Adrian were available then that's clearly wrong. It's years since I listened to them but my memory of any boots from the Virtual XI tour are that they were horror shows.
 

matic22

Ancient Mariner
I posted this before, but to my knowledge, the timeline was something like this:

-Nicko becomes significantly unhappy with the performances of Blaze during VXI tour. Goes to Rod and lets his feelings be known to him. (Possibly even threatens to leave the band) Rod tells Nicko to bloody get on with it and that they will deal with this matter after the tour.

-I think Bruce was happy with his solo career at this point. But there might be something there. Roy Z was absent during TCW tour, because of the combination of pursuing his producing career and personal issues. Despite Bruce saying that Guru was a good stand-in for Z, I still think Roy was much better, judging from bootlegs. I think Bruce was a bit displeased by this and this could be one of the factors why he wanted to ditch his solo career, since his main creative partner wasn't fully commited and somewhat unreliable.

-November 1998: The VXI tour is coming to an end. Rod comes to Steve and tells him about Nicko coming to him mid-tour. Steve agrees that they replace Blaze, but is reluctant to ask Bruce back. It takes a lot of time and persuading from Rod for Steve to give him a go-ahead to call Bruce. But in the end he does. I think this could've taken a whole month, but I doubt they auditioned any singers during that time, but they had some people in mind if they couldn't make a deal with Bruce.

-Early-Mid December 1998: Rod contacts Bruce. Bruce is on the fence what to do. Paddy and Roy get Bruce drunk, heavily persuade him and make sure that one of his demands is that they take H back too. Bruce is probably pretty scared about going back to a band with Steve at the helm of everything and him having basically no say, after a solo career, where he basically did whatever he wanted. This is the point where probably Roy suggested that one of Bruce's demands is an external producer (hoping that was him, but I think in this case Steve was a bit afraid that will give power to Bruce, so Caveman was hired). Bruce agrees to rejoin, if his solo band is cool with it. And then comes the infamous Casillas line: World needs Iron Maiden.

-Late December 1998: The meeting between Steve and Bruce is arranged after new year's.

-Early January 1999: Bruce and Steve meet up and they are cool with eachother's demands and the future direction of Iron Maiden. Blaze is informed that his services will no longer be required.

-February 1999: Bruce and H are officially back.

So, IMO, Bruce rejoined in January 1999 and no other singers were auditioned.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
No I didn't because it is Steve's fault that he hired a vocalist that had no touring experience. A frontman that fronted an underground band settling in one of the biggest established metal bands on earth, formely fronted by a guy whose technical and showmanship skills far above...that's not a thought that's a delusion. As far as I'm concerned, Blaze gave his 110% all the time. You cannot say his performance went shit when his performance has been consistent throughout, regardless of the level.

It isn't fair.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
I backed Blaze when he was in Maiden, and take no pleasure in saying this, but if people are genuinely suggesting that Maiden booted him out only because Bruce and Adrian were available then that's clearly wrong. It's years since I listened to them but my memory of any boots from the Virtual XI tour are that they were horror shows.
I'm suggesting both. Band knew from the day 1 it is going to be shit. When the chance of getting an appropriate vocalist without risk of getting a new, potentially unfit as Blaze vocalist presented itself they took it. As such Blaze is only to blame cause he took the gig far above his capacity, while Harris is to take the brunt of the blame because he hired him. People blame Blaze's worsening performance while the thing was doomed from the start.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
I'm suggesting both. Band knew from the day 1 it is going to be shit. When the chance of getting an appropriate vocalist without risk of getting a new, potentially unfit as Blaze vocalist presented itself they took it. As such Blaze is only to blame cause he took the gig far above his capacity, while Harris is to take the brunt of the blame because he hired him. People blame Blaze's worsening performance while the thing was doomed from the start.
That's pretty much what Steve said in metal hammer at the time, I think the quote was "better the devil you know"
 
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