Nicko’s tribute to Ringo
Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain says Riingo Starr inspired him to become a musician – and no matter what anyone says, the Beatles legend is a “stunning” player.
Speaking to Rock DJ Tom Russell at the Classic Rock Awards this week, where Maiden won the Band of the Year Award, McBrain explained how he got into the music business.
He explained: “When I was a teenager there wasn’t a lot to do. We didn’t have a lot of money
but we had the passion to be players.
“I wanted to be Ringo Starr. I had pictures of him on the wall and everything. People say he wasn’t the greatest drummer, but for the Beatles he was. No one else could have done that job.
“Ringo was the essence of that band as the rhythm guy and he had amazing timing. He wasn’t flamboyant. He didn’t do many a lot of drum fills and when he did they were very simple – but very good.
“He’s still a stunning drummer.”
McBrain said he was sorry to have lost out to Anvil for the Best Movie gong, but pleased they’d finally made their way out of the years of struggling. But he added that it’s all part of the standard rock’n’roll career.
He told Tom: “Everybody goes through it. It’s like an apprenticeship in the industry. We’ve all struggled, and if you give up then it wasn’t for you.”
Rock Radio has long suspected Maiden are planning to appear at next year’s Sonisphere Festival after we spotted McBrain and some of the band’s production team backstage at this year’s event. But the drummer refused to be drawn on the matter.
He said: “I was there checking out a few things, just to get an idea of what the boys are up to down there. Why, what do you think I was up to? I saw Linkin Park and Heaven and Hell, that was the main reason.”
We remain to be convinced. Meanwhile, you can hear Rock Radio’s Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards Special at 1600 GMT on Saturday, November 7, including the Maiden interview and many others.