Paul Dianno is coming back the the USA?!
According to published reports, Paul got his visa cleared to do a US tour. I guess I will try to go since he will be playng a few blocks from my apartment.
My history with seeing Paul live is pretty interesting, well to me it is.
The first time was Battlezone/Obsession in 1987 at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA. I loved the Battlezone records and got stoked on seeing 2 bands that I loved. The whole time Battlezone was on stage, we were hanging out with Obsession and I never really got to check them out. Pity.
The second time was in 1993. The bill was Paul Dianno’s Killers and Solitude Aeturnus at the original Peppermint Beach Club in Virginia Beach, VA. At this point, I was a HUGE Solitude fan and was more stoked on seeing them than seeing Paul. I thought his Killers stuff was terrible. I get to the venue early that afternoon as I was always prone to do to get some stuff signed and Solitude was inside hanging out. I had them sign both of my cassettes(!!!). Super cool guys. Shortly thereafter Paul and his band came in and I had him sign my Battlezone LPs, Iron Maiden’s Live +1 (Greek pressing) and a compilation called The Best of British Rock which featured Dianno’s first post-Maiden band “Dianno” doing Antigua which was a great song. That album also had Persian Risk on it which featured some of the guys that were in Battlezone/Killers. Paul called his bandmates over and they all signed it and we hung out for a while. Paul asked me if I played pool and drank beer. Yes! We shot pool together and drank a few pitchers of beer and just talked about stuff. I never talked about Maiden with him other than to say that I was a big fan. He was pretty cool. Now, if you’ve read his book “Beast”, you’d see the other side of Paul that it seems most people saw and I got to see later than evening.
After Solitude Aeturnus played to a crowd of a whopping 30 people or so, I helped them get their gear offstage and ended up hanging out backstage with them during Dianno’s set, missing him play one more time. About ¾ through the set we hear the music stop suddenly and one of the Solitude guys opens the backstage door. On stage you see Graham Bath holding his jaw and Dianno says, “We’ll start playing again as soon as my guitar player stops playing like a c*nt!” I remember looking at John Perez of Solitude and thinking WTF? John said it was a common occurrence. Paul talks about his habit of fighting people over stupid stuff quite a bit in his book. I feel lucky to have survived my few hours with him unscathed!
So…2 times I’ve gone to see Paul play and missed him both time. Hopefully in February I’ll actually get to see him play.