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Why did Steve Harris fire Clive Burr ?

Discussion in 'Maiden Chat' started by johnglen, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. soundwave

    soundwave Educated Fool

    Completely agree. It just wasn't meant to be.

    I actually admire Steve's business sense and tenancity at that age. He and Rod had to make two big personnel decisions in a short period of time. It's hard enough firing someone in a 'regular' job, let alone a situation where you basically live with the person.
    Hermod likes this.
  2. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    And I admire Nicko for defending Clive.
  3. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    The way you say it (very respectfully; thanks, finally not about partying and drugs) doesn't rule out that he might have had health issues that did not effect his playing then but possibly later. Well, he surely did have health issues later which had effect on his playing. Issues he could not prevent. I really wonder how Steve noticed these future problems. Clairvoyant.
    Luisma likes this.
  4. jazz from hell

    jazz from hell Ancient Mariner

    I haven't studied the case as seriously as others, but, sorry to say, to me it does look like it was exactly that which Steve wouldn't tolerate. Nicko's mentioning of 'another nose dive' points in that direction as well, doesn't it?
    As a drummer, Clive was as great as Nicko imo.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
    CriedWhenBrucieLeft likes this.
  5. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Not per se, Jazz. A sudden drop, plunge, sharp decline.
  6. harrisdevot

    harrisdevot Ancient Mariner

    Great stuff and quite detailed. He did his last gig with Trust (supporting Maiden) on june the 5th, so all the chronological side of it seems accurate.
    Luisma likes this.
  7. harrisdevot

    harrisdevot Ancient Mariner

    He already had to sack Doug Sampson, who was a close friend and a companion since his very beginning in music, three years before, so I guess this decision was not that hard. Anyway, it seems that guys / bands that can't make those decisions don't last long. Even Lemmy had to sack Taylor, and he was not a business-freak.
    soundwave likes this.
  8. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Ancient Mariner

    I agree with Jazz. Why would Maiden sack a guy who had "health issues" if it hadn't been affecting his playing? There is zero evidence that Steve & Rod foresaw future health issues that Clive was going to have and sacked him. This doesn't even faintly make sense or sound likely. I think this was clearly Steve & Rod looking ahead and thinking can we rely on this guy. It doesn't matter how much they liked him personally or how great a drummer he was or how much they've defended him after the fact or what Clive has said. I think Steve had seen enough to know that Clive was an accident waiting to happen (in terms of going off the rails & this effecting the band & his own playing); there were perhaps other areas of friendly disagreement (musical or otherwise) that would never been resolved & Steve made the decision.
    bearfan likes this.
  9. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner

    Exactly. They were looking to make the band bigger, better, and get in people who could make that happen and sustain it.

    Same reason they swapped Stratton for Smith, Di'Anno for Bruce, then Clive for McBrain. There is no real denying these moves worked out really well and easy to see without these moves Maiden would not have done what they ended up doing and are still doing.
  10. Luisma

    Luisma Trooper

    Always a pleasure to share what I've got... I'm writing a book about Maiden so any inteview I can get my hands on is welcomed
    Lego likes this.
  11. GhostofCain

    GhostofCain Ancient Mariner

    Fantastic, thanks for sharing this. :)
    Luisma likes this.
  12. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Why do you make these words bold @GhostofCain ?

    edit: O wait, they were already bold.
  13. GhostofCain

    GhostofCain Ancient Mariner

    It wasn't me guv'nor!

    That being said, I guess the quote is highlighted because the dates do not match the end of The Beast on the Road tour.
  14. Luisma

    Luisma Trooper

    I don't remember seeing this post here so here it goes
    Is an interview with Bruce where he talks about Clive leaving the band. As you can hear he mentions that Clive had personal problems that were affecting his playing. This goes in line with what some of us were discussing (personal problems - Father dying vs Health Problems)
  15. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Posted on page 4. The father died after Clive played his last concert. I still don't know what to make of that death. I mean, it must have nothing to do with all this it unless the death date is wrong, unless the man was ill for a long time, unless all rumours and memories are wrong, including Clive's as well.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  16. Having read this thread and remembering tidbits along the years I think the following happened:
    Clive's playing was probably ok other than a few nights here and there. Steve said that he doesn't mind that people party as long as it doesn't mess up their gig. I think that is a white lie. I think Clive had a coke habit and had let it get the better of him hence he was warned a few times to get it under control. He offered Loopy some coke as a parting gift so we know he was a user. He also might have been difficult to work with at times again from Loopy. Also Bruce said he regretted he wasn't allowed to sort himself out ie they couldn't wait for him to get straight. They came up with the partying too much reason that they have been using for the past 30 years which is kind of truthful in its own way and vague at the same time. Also they might not want to mention his drug problem. His parents were still alive when he was let go. Its pretty clear he didnt have to go back to England to attend to his father. He was probably warned he would be going back if he didn't get his habit under control. He was probably warned a few times and then he was out. It probably didn't affect his playing the gig that much as no one can find or remember a bad gig he also went to Japan and Australia where cocaine would have been difficult to find in 1982 so they kept him on there. He also did that tour and had not left them in the lurch so they were thankful for that and probably Adrian and Bruce were his good friends. The band probably didnt want a Glenn Hughes situation or whatever dealers hanging around etc the next tour. As someone earlier said hard drugs were probably a no no. Nico probably didnt have a habit and was well known to Rod and Steve and they knew he could do the tours and wouldnt become Glenn Hughes.
    bearfan likes this.
  17. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner

    That all seems pretty likely ... and unlikely much info will come out now .. bad form saying negative things about a dead person that I think they all liked. If it was later when Maiden was established, they could have afforded to give him time to straighten himself out ... or at least a longer chance .. but then, they had to keep moving .. especially in the 1 record/year/band days
  18. harrisdevot

    harrisdevot Ancient Mariner

    Is Glenn Hugues a code name for drug addict ? :D
  19. Ruflux

    Ruflux Nomad

    Interesting theory. Here's my hot take on the whole thing:

    Nicko did say in the Run to the Hills book that things were pretty crazy as far as partying, drinking and general shenanigans (and he specifically does bring up coke) are concerned during the Piece of Mind tour, but apparently things already mellowed out during the Powerslave tour, so obviously coke use wasn't a problem in general or for him specifically, or anyone else involved for that matter either.

    Therefore, if drugs were the reason Clive was fired, it probably wasn't just the general use and the partying that was the issue. I feel that the above theory, were it true, would certainly explain the decision, especially since there's not really much evidence of Clive's playing suffering during the tour.

    Hell, thinking about it, the firing might've even been a preventative measure by Steve and Rod: if they thought that there was even a small chance Clive might not be able to control his habit then they would've no doubt sacked him even if he wasn't having problems performing at the time. From their perspective it would just be about ensuring that the band won't suffer in the future because of decisions they made back then and playing things safe.

    It feels kinda harsh in retrospect, but the reality is that at such a critical time in the band's career every member would have to be dead reliable. No room for error, and definitely none for wild cards. So long story short, they decide to replace Clive, and go with a known to be reliable and road-proven replacement. Was it the right call? Who knows.

    Obviously setting aside Clive's later MS diagnosis, it could well be that he would've sorted himself out given more time and Maiden would've happily continued with the same lineup. Or it could've all gone to hell. All we know is that Nicko was a great replacement and gave absolutely no trouble to the band, so from that perspective it did seem like the right call, especially given what an impressive drummer Nicko is. He also fits Steve's style of playing perfectly, better than Clive ever did so that's a huge plus too.
  20. He probably was sick in a bucket, but I think the drug use while not stuffing up his playing too much on the gig might have got in the way of everything else. Especially if its getting out of hand. Coke would muck up his timing at sound checks etc. They might have thought he was turning into a bit of a junkie and using his per diem etc. His drumming might have been stuffing up in that May-June period and then he couldnt pull his head in. You would have to check the bootlegs for May and June and see how the drumming was. He does vehemently deny that he was playing bad. However he probably wont admit he had a coke habit and they kicked him out for drug use.

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