During one of the shows of his Spoken Word Tour, Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson remembered when he broadcasted an Iron Maiden album that wasn’t released yet over a radio channel for pilots and air traffic controllers.
In the summer of 2003, Iron Maiden released their thirteenth studio album ‘Dance Of Death,’ which became a global commercial success. The album features successful singles such as ‘Wildest Dreams’ and ‘Rainmaker,’ and as it turns out, was also a subject of a hilarious incident before its release.
At one of the stops of his Spoken Word Tour, Bruce Dickinson recalled when he was flying an airplane back from Egypt, and the aircraft was empty. He then said his first officer was a rock music fan, and as they were listening to music, Dickinson got the idea to offer to play him the brand new, unreleased Maiden album. However, things went pretty wrong after that.
Dickinson put the album in the CD player and put the boombox on the pedestal. After he and his crew listened to songs from the album, such as ‘Rainmaker,’ Dickinson landed in Rome and noticed he was broadcasting over a radio channel used by pilots and air traffic controllers.
During the show, Bruce Dickinson recalled this incident as:
“Once we were coming back empty from somewhere down in Egypt or somewhere, wherever the hell it was, but it was an empty airplane. So the cockpit door’s open, the cabin crew are all in the back, and they’re all chilled out, asleep, or doing whatever. We’re flying over Italy, in the cruise, the autopilot’s on, thumb in the bum, mind in neutral, you know.
My first officer was a big rock fan, a big AC/DC and Airborne fan, right? So he’s — wherever trip we were on — he’d bought his boom box with him, and he said, ‘Hey boss, listen. Do you mind — we’re on a cruise — if I listen to music?’ I went, ‘Of course, it’s not strictly company procedure. F*ck it, yeah. Come on.’
So on goes AC/DC, a bit of Airborne, and we’re grooving away, and I said, ‘You know what? I happen to have just a mixed copy of the new Iron Maiden album on me, which nobody in the world has heard apart from the band and the management. Do you wanna hear it?’
He’s like, ‘yeah, yeah, cool!’ I went ‘yeah!’ So out comes the blank CD, put it in the CD player as it was then, and put the boombox on the pedestal and we start playing it, and I shout back to the girls and boys ‘Uh, anyone wanna hear the new Maiden album?’ They went ‘yeah!'”
He continued as follows:
“I get the hand microphone, and I put it up against the speaker, and you know, wherever in the album, probably ‘Rainmaker’ or something, it’s blasting out all through the cabin, and they’re all having a good time. And it’s been about four minutes or so, and I’m thinking, ‘I haven’t said much on the radio recently.’
So I put the hand mic down and think, ‘Oh, f*ck,’ and then I finally get on to Rome, you know, and all I can hear is this bloke going, ‘Who is transmitting? Who is transmitting the music? What airline are you? Who are you? Own up!’ And the great thing was, he wouldn’t have a f*cking clue who it was because the album wasn’t released yet.”
Below, you can check out fan footage of the show where Bruce Dickinson recalls this incident.