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metal talk
20th July 2017

bruce dickinson

Bruce Dickinson took to the stage in front of thousands of screaming fans at a sold out Toronto show last Saturday night but the intrepid frontman was flying over Hamilton in the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's prized Lancaster Bomber before he took to the stage.

Museum CEO and pilot David Rohrer said the World War II aircraft, nicknamed Vera because of its VRA flight initials, holds a special place in Bruce's heart, telling CBC News:

"The first model airplane he ever built as a young lad was a Lancaster."

The museum invited Bruce to their facility which is next to the Hamilton airport knowing that he is a massive aviation and history buff and it's already been well publicised that he is currently flying Maiden around North America on their current 'Book Of Souls world tour final leg in the band's 747, Ed Force One.

The previous legs of the tour saw him flying across the globe to thirty-five different countries, including stops in Canada, the United States, Central and South America, China, Australia, Asia, Africa and Europe, hitting every continent except Antarctica.

Bruce told Wales Online earlier this year that the thrill of flying feels totally different than the thrill of being onstage.

"The satisfaction flying airplanes is getting the job done, but the satisfaction with playing live is external, looking out at all the people looking at you," he said.

"With an airliner, it's all internal. If you've got passengers, nobody goes, 'wow, wasn't that great'. They're thinking about the rest of their day. Your job as an airline pilot is to deliver them safely and be invisible."

Hamilton's 1940s-era Lancaster is one of only two left flying in the world. It was built at Victory Aircraft in Malton, Ontario, in 1945 and was used to train air crews and later for coastal patrols and search and rescue work, before being retired in 1963.

The Warplane Heritage Museum bought it in 1977 for around $10,000. A team of volunteers led by Royal Navy aeronautical builder Norm Etheridge spent eleven years restoring it before it returned to the air on September 24th 1988.

Bruce spent the best part of the day at the museum, talking aviation and signing autographs for fans.

"He was just unbelievable. So nice," Rohrer said. "You could really see how much he appreciated the planes."

But Bruce needed to ensure he would be back in time for the concert and had the problem of gridlocked traffic heading back into Toronto so he flew a friend's small Cessna 172 back to Toronto Island to be back at the Budweiser Stage on time.

"What a truly interesting guy," Rohrer said.

judas priest


monsters of rock

Monsters Of Rock In Full Flight is strictly limited to 300 worldwide and is available from 30th November but those ordering before 31st October will have their name published within a dedicated page in the book.

It's a deluxe 128 page hardback book in a metal flight case with a narrative by Jerry Bloom.

When promoter Paul Loasby put on the first Monsters Of Rock Festival in 1980 he could probably never have imagined it would become an annual event that would endure for so many years.

Featuring bands from the UK, Germany, Canada and USA, Loasby chose to stage the event at the Donington race circuit in the middle of England and it would prove to be a defining moment for many of the bands on the bill.

Not least for headliners Rainbow as it was the their last ever show to feature drum legend Cozy Powell. As it would happen it turned out to be the last for vocalist Graham Bonnet as well. For many of the other bands on the bill such as Scorpions, Judas Priest and Saxon, they were all on the ascendancy and would soon go on to even greater success.

Now in celebration of this first ever Monsters Of Rock Festival comes this hardback book full of glorious photos of the bands that took to the stage for that inaugural event including back stage shots. Most of these shots have not been published before which add to the uniqueness of this deluxe 128-page book which is packaged in its own flight case.

Also included are stories surrounding the event with tales and recollections from those who were there, including artists and fans alike. Each book will be signed by the author. The 300 will sell fast and definitely go on to become collector's items so order yours now right here to avoid disappointment.


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