Why did Steve Harris fire Clive Burr ?

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Some recent comments from Nicko:


What is more interesting, is the following from the comments section, setting the record straight as Blabbermouth keeps on repeating the incorrect story about Clive having to fly back to the UK mid tour to attend his father's funeral:

Chantelle Travers said:
Blabbermouth, you do not have the story right and Clive, as amazing as a drummer as he was, either lied or misremembered the way things ended.

In 1982, Iron Maiden were on a gigantic upward trajectory and the band, particularly Steve were capitalizing on using this momentum to establish themselves. Clive (who is my favourite Maiden drummer) was heavily indulging in women, booze and narcotics (beyond cocaine) and it was impacting his performance.

During their North American tour, Nicko (who had just been sacked from Trust) was back in London when Rod Smallwood called him and asked him to be on retainer in case he’s needed, as they were having issues with Clive. At this time, Nicko actually advocated on Clive’s behalf but they ultimately settled on a retainer amount. A month later, Nicko got a call from Rod, saying they’d sorted things out with Clive and he was being removed off retainer. But then two weeks later again, he got another call that he was going to be placed on retainer again and they would need him to complete the tour.

Clive’s father - Ronald Ernest Burr died on December 25, 1982. The tour was already finished.

If you read interviews with Clive, he’s referred to his father’s death as sudden and unexpected. So it’s clearly erroneous. He did not have to leave the tour suddenly for his dad’s death. He was replaced before his dad passed away.

I don’t blame Clive. He is definitely Maiden’s finest drummer and his memory from over two decades ago (the interviews are from the early 00’s) during a very hazy time in his life are probably quite clouded.

What is remarkable is Steve’s focus as a 23 year old. It is not coincidence that Maiden the mother fucking legends they are today.
 

Ruflux

Ancient Mariner
It's too bad the rest of the comment is basically fanfiction if we are to believe Bruce's account from his book. I think I'm a little uncomfortable with Clive's name being dragged through the mud after his death when first-hand sources say drugs or partying were not the reason he was fired.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
It's too bad the rest of the comment is basically fanfiction if we are to believe Bruce's account from his book. I think I'm a little uncomfortable with Clive's name being dragged through the mud after his death when first-hand sources say drugs or partying were not the reason he was fired.
Fair enough, although at least someone has made an effort to debunk the bullshit surrounding the funeral of Clive's dad.
 

chaosapiant

Ancient Marinade
Reading both accounts, I always like to assume the truth is somewhere in the middle. Most folks who are "partying excessively" are too fucked-up to realize that others might not be partying as hard, or trying to keep it together. I think it's likely that everything happened during a similar period of time, Clive's dad died, band on upward trajectory, for whatever reason Nicko was called in and he was awesome at the part, and the chips just kinda fell where they were. The fact that Maiden's biography has multiple quotes/accounts from band members including Adrian Smith leads me to believe that while it might not be the whole truth, it likely also wasn't completely dishonest. Usually shit like this doesn't just happen for one reason and I know I've read several interviews where Bruce has said that he believe Clive was the "best drummer Maiden ever had". It's still sad though. When I re-read the biographies like Run to the Hills (I read this almost every other year because it's a good read and I love Maiden trivia) I always feel down about how both Clive and Adrian were let go.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
I think it's likely that everything happened during a similar period of time, Clive's dad died, band on upward trajectory, for whatever reason Nicko was called in and he was awesome at the part, and the chips just kinda fell where they were.
The key thing here is that Clive dad's died after the Beast of the Road tour was over, so there was no way Clive's claims that he had to fly back to the UK mid-tour to attend his funeral and that he was replaced by Nicko during that time (as told to Classic Rock and subsequently repeated by Blabbermouth without checking the accuracy of such information), could be true.
 

soundwave

Educated Fool
Reading both accounts, I always like to assume the truth is somewhere in the middle. Most folks who are "partying excessively" are too fucked-up to realize that others might not be partying as hard, or trying to keep it together. I think it's likely that everything happened during a similar period of time, Clive's dad died, band on upward trajectory, for whatever reason Nicko was called in and he was awesome at the part, and the chips just kinda fell where they were. The fact that Maiden's biography has multiple quotes/accounts from band members including Adrian Smith leads me to believe that while it might not be the whole truth, it likely also wasn't completely dishonest. Usually shit like this doesn't just happen for one reason and I know I've read several interviews where Bruce has said that he believe Clive was the "best drummer Maiden ever had". It's still sad though. When I re-read the biographies like Run to the Hills (I read this almost every other year because it's a good read and I love Maiden trivia) I always feel down about how both Clive and Adrian were let go.
Of all of the notable departures (Paul, Clive, Adrian, Bruce, and Blaze - Dennis and the rest don't rank highly enough for me to comment IMHO), it's Blaze that I feel the worst for. Love him or hate him, he gave it his all when he was there, he clearly loved the gig, and has been pure class towards the band since his departure. I felt Steve's initial explanation for his removal was crap.

(But that's for another thread).
 

soundwave

Educated Fool
He initially was fired for not being "good enough", but the subsequent effusive praise from Steve, and the realities of the band's continued outlook at the time all point to a business decision. They did hire the wrong guy to replicate the old stuff on stage. That's not Blaze's fault. They knew what his range was going in. To hit him with the "bad performances" tag was being disingenuous.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Blaze was definitely the right guy for the direction Maiden was heading into at the time, but the wrong guy for the band’s longevity down the road.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
He initially was fired for not being "good enough", but the subsequent effusive praise from Steve, and the realities of the band's continued outlook at the time all point to a business decision. They did hire the wrong guy to replicate the old stuff on stage. That's not Blaze's fault. They knew what his range was going in. To hit him with the "bad performances" tag was being disingenuous.
Steve was never going to admit that he hired the wrong guy. The effusive praise was also probably a sign of being grateful for Blaze being a nice guy (read into that he would never challenge Steve's view).

I absolutely agree that Blaze not being able to replicate the classic stuff on stage by not having the qualities required to be Iron Maiden's frontman was not his fault but Steve's. I do not blame him though. Had I been offered the job, I would have probably accepted it too! :lol: I thank him for giving his best..
 

Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
Blaze was definitely the right guy for the direction Maiden was heading into at the time
The problem is that they hired Blaze at a time when they (Steve) probably didn't even know what direction they were heading to. Although, at the time, it felt that it was taking an eternity to recruit a new singer and release something (because I basically discovered Iron Maiden just when Bruce left), in retrospect I feel that a good 2-3 year hiatus would have done the band some good (but I guess the management must have thought otherwise).
 
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"Despite his obvious talent and his charming demeanor, the much-admired drummer was another casualty of the rock’n’roll lifestyle that came with Maiden’s growing popularity in the early 1980s. Previously reliable on stage, Burr started having performance trouble on the 1982 Beast On The Road tour. Often hitting the stage while nursing a hangover, just the same as certain other people in the band, Burr started to let his playing suffer. Cardinal sin. Harris wouldn’t tolerate it for long.

Guitarist Adrian Smith recalls the trouble of “keeping it together for the rest of us when he was having an off night, which he was having more and more as time went by.” And Harris, by then used to band members succumbing to the lifestyle, and worried about getting through the tour, remembers a night when Burr “spent most of the gig throwing up into a bucket at the side of his kit.”

“It got to everybody, in the end,”
says Smith. And so, at the conclusion of the tour in December 1982, Clive Burr was asked to leave the band that had made him famous."

From http://maidenrevelations.com/2012/11/09/feature-friday-maiden-exits/
Drummers are usually the ones that can't handle the fame. Peter Criss, Clive Burr, Phil Taylor (Motorhead), Keith Moon, John Bohnam, Rick Allen (lost his arm racing his Corvette in Sheffield). C'est la vie.
 

Ruflux

Ancient Mariner
Drummers are usually the ones that can't handle the fame. Peter Criss, Clive Burr, Phil Taylor (Motorhead), Keith Moon, John Bohnam, Rick Allen (lost his arm racing his Corvette in Sheffield). C'est la vie.
Stereotypically drummers are loud, sometimes annoying party animals with opinions no one pays attention to and no real musical contributions, in contrast with the quiet, shy and reserved bassist who may in fact even be a songwriter or the band's leader. Funnily enough I'd say that combination is actually pretty rare in reality if we're being honest, but for some reason it still persists as the image of a stereotypical rock rhythm section.

That said, drummers going wild and crazy is also magnified since they're the backbone of just about any band, keeping the beat, time, etc. If the drummer's off their game, the whole band suffers. There's a pretty immense pressure on any drummer because the rest of the band no doubt expects a high level of performance and consistency above all else. It's certainly not an easy gig to play drums for a big metal act or indeed any band.
 
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