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IRON MAIDEN pays remaining hospital bills for former singer PAUL DI'ANNO's

21-06-2022

Ex-IRON MAIDEN singer Paul Di’Anno, who is currently in Croatia awaiting three major surgeries on his knees, will have the remaining costs of his operations and treatment funded by his former bandmates.

Yesterday (Monday, June 20), Kastro Pergjoni, operations director of the Cart & Horses pub in Stratford, London, England where IRON MAIDEN made its live debut in 1976, who recently raised thousands of dollars so Di’Anno can undergo his long-delayed knee surgery, took to the Cart & Horses Facebook page to share the following message: “I am very excited to announce that the IRON MAIDEN team have kindly agreed to cover the remaining cost of Paul Di’Anno’s operation. Not only are IRON MAIDEN the best band on this planet, they are kind-hearted and supported by an amazing team. As a result of this fantastic news, I will be closing the fundraising on the 21st June 2022.”

Over the weekend, Stjepan Juras, a MAIDEN fan and author of many MAIDEN-related books, who is taking care of Paul while he has been receiving physiotherapy and lymphatic drainage treatments in Croatia, revealed on Facebook that the 64-year-old singer will undergo three operations over two days in July. The procedures will be followed by a period of hospital recovery, intensive care and rehabilitation, including re-learning of walking. If all goes well, Paul should be able to walk fully by the end of 2022. However, if the set of treatments fails, then a leg amputation will be the only option.

Last month, Di’Anno came face to face with MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris for the first time in three decades before the band’s concert in Croatia.

Harris, whose group kicked off the 2022 leg of its “Legacy Of The Beast” world tour at the 22,000-capacity Arena Zagreb, came out before the show to greet a wheelchair-bound Di’Anno and chat with him for a few minutes.

After his friendly meeting with HarrisDi’Anno stuck around long enough to watch some of MAIDEN’s performance before leaving near the end of the set to avoid a huge traffic jam after the show.

Di’Anno spoke about his experience meeting Harris in person after all these years in a live video chat with Canada’s The Metal Voice. He said: “That weekend was absolutely amazing. ‘Cause me and Steve have exchanged messages about football in the past. But we actually hadn’t met face to face for a long time. And it was brilliant, because I met up with Steve’s sister Linda first, whom I hadn’t seen her in about 30 years. And then seeing Steve was amazing, and then meeting up with MAIDEN’s longtime manager Rod (Smallwood) as well, it’s made my whole year, actually. It was fantastic. It was pretty awesome.”

Paul went on to say that the last time he saw Rod was in 2013 when both he and MAIDEN performed — separately — at Brazil’s Rock In Rio festival.

“I missed the MAIDEN show because I got swamped by bloody press and stuff, so I couldn’t actually do anything to watch the band,” he explained.

Asked if it was “awkward” meeting up with Steve for the first time in 30 years, Paul said: “No. It was great. I wish I wasn’t in this sort of position being in a wheelchair. Yeah, it was quite emotional. If it had been the first time we spoke together in 30 years, it would have been maybe a little bit more weird. But, as I said, we talk about football and stuff like that, and Steve phoned me up a couple of times from his home in the Bahamas.”

Calling himself  and Harris two “happy-go-lucky geezers” from London’s East End, Paul went on to say that he owes Steve dinner “big time, because he looked after my missus and son over in the States on the last MAIDEN tour in Connecticut, in Hartford. He really looked after them — gave them backstage VIP stuff and all of that. It was great. So when I get my legs back, I’ll take him out to dinner.”

According to PaulSteve called him the day after the MAIDEN show in Croatia but he missed his call. “But I did text him back,” Di’Anno said.

Paul also set the record straight about where he stands with respect to his former band, saying: “What annoys me is that everyone’s spreading rumors around that we don’t like each other and stuff like that. I ain’t got nothing against IRON MAIDEN at all. I tell you, the show was brilliant on Sunday — absolutely amazing.”

Di’Anno recorded two classic albums with IRON MAIDEN — a self-titled effort in 1980 and “Killers” in 1981 — before being fired and replaced by Bruce Dickinson. He went on to front a number of other bands, including KILLERS and BATTLEZONE, and released several solo records.

More than a decade and a half ago, Di’Anno told The Jersulam Post that leaving the MAIDEN juggernaut behind was the best thing that ever happened to him, and that he had no bitter feelings toward his former bandmates. “I absolutely have no regrets about leaving MAIDEN — I wasn’t right in the head at that time to be in the middle of all that,” he said. “I was fed up and disillusioned; it would have been cheating the fans and myself if I had stayed. It was easy to walk away from, and I’m very happy the band got bigger and bigger.”

Several years ago, Di’Anno told Metal Thunder Radio that he wasn’t as involved with MAIDEN’s songwriting as he would have liked. “Steve had most of the words and the lyrics to the band’s first album all written. That was some of the bones of contention that we had in the band — that I didn’t get to write as much as I wanted to. ‘Cause I am actually quite a prolific writer, but a lot of my songs were not accepted. ‘Cause it’s Steve’s band, obviously.”

He continued: “That first album was a revelation, I’ve gotta tell you. It was amazing. And the second album, for me, not so much. That’s when I started to lose interest a little bit. But we still had great times — really great times.”

Last month, Paul played his first full solo concert in seven years at the Bikers Beer Factory in Zagreb. The show was filmed and parts of it will be included in a documentary about Di’Anno, to be directed by Wes Orshoski, co-director and producer of the acclaimed 2010 film “Lemmy” about the MOTÖRHEAD icon.

The Zagreb concert was free to attend and was held as a way of thanking Paul’s fans for their help during the most difficult time of his recovery. The show took place just a day before the IRON MAIDEN’s gig at the Zagreb Arena.

Di’Anno recorded two classic albums with IRON MAIDEN — a self-titled effort in 1980 and “Killers” in 1981 — before being fired and replaced by Bruce Dickinson. He went on to front a number of other bands, including KILLERS and BATTLEZONE, and released several solo records.

Di’Anno recently teamed up with several Croatian musicians to form a new project called WARHORSEWARHORSE entered the studio to record three songs, two of which — “Stop The War” and “The Doubt Within” — have been released as a special limited-edition DVD single.

In February, Di’Anno outlined some of the recent health issues he has battled during an appearance on the “Još Jedan” podcast. He said at the time: “I caught sepsis when an infection you already have triggers a chain reaction throughout your body in 2015, and it almost killed me. And I spent eight months in a hospital in England. You’ve got a crucial 45 minutes to get as many antibiotics in you before you die, and they managed to do that, which was great. Then I spent eight months in a hospital, and then another three months in a care home. And while I was in there getting things done, on hospital visits, I caught MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, an infection caused by a type of staph bacteria that’s become resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections) there twice, in the hospital. So that was it. So it kept delaying things and delaying things… And then they took this knee out put this cement thing in. And it was only supposed to be in there for a year. And the first time they put that in, it broke, so they cut me open again and put another in. And that one is still in here. And while it’s been in there this long, it’s going toxic.”

Di’Anno reportedly underwent an operation in 2016 to remove a “rugby ball-sized abscess” on his lungs and required a knee-replacement operation on both knees after getting involved in several motorcycle accidents over the years.

Di’Anno recorded two classic albums with IRON MAIDEN — a self-titled effort in 1980 and “Killers” in 1981 — before being fired and replaced by Bruce Dickinson. He went on to front a number of other bands, including KILLERS and BATTLEZONE, and released several solo records.

More than a decade and a half ago, Di’Anno told The Jersulam Post that leaving the MAIDEN juggernaut behind was the best thing that ever happened to him, and that he had no bitter feelings toward his former bandmates. “I absolutely have no regrets about leaving MAIDEN — I wasn’t right in the head at that time to be in the middle of all that,” he said. “I was fed up and disillusioned; it would have been cheating the fans and myself if I had stayed. It was easy to walk away from, and I’m very happy the band got bigger and bigger.”
 
Several years ago, Di’Anno told Metal Thunder Radio that he wasn’t as involved with MAIDEN’s songwriting as he would have liked. “Steve had most of the words and the lyrics to the band’s first album all written. That was some of the bones of contention that we had in the band — that I didn’t get to write as much as I wanted to. ‘Cause I am actually quite a prolific writer, but a lot of my songs were not accepted. ‘Cause it’s Steve’s band, obviously.”

He continued: “That first album was a revelation, I’ve gotta tell you. It was amazing. And the second album, for me, not so much. That’s when I started to lose interest a little bit. But we still had great times — really great times.”

At times, Paul has also publicly displayed his anger toward his former bandmates, most notably during a 2009 press conference in Argentina where he was asked about the rumors that his drug use had something to do with his split with MAIDEN. “Where the fuck do you people get this from?” he asked. “I left IRON MAIDEN because they were going too heavy metal, and IRON MAIDEN is a money-making machine, and I don’t give a fuck about it. It was not about drugs; it was nothing like that. Me and Steve… I wrote the song ‘Killers’Steve had what he thought were better songs. I thought his songs were shit. Nothing to do with drugs; nothing whatsoever. Check your facts or otherwise this interview is over… I hate that! I fucking hate that! Because people… You say something but you don’t know. Well, I’m telling you. IRON MAIDEN is Steve Harris’s band. It doesn’t matter about anybody else — whether it’s Dave MurrayClive (Burr), me… it’s Steve Harris’s band and all it is is money, money, money, money — nobody else counts. And I wrote fuckin’ 20-times better songs than his, but I only got one song on the ‘Killers’ album because it’s Steve’s — he must have this. Fuckin’ Adolf Hitler. I’m not interested. So there you go. But you need to take drugs when you’re with IRON MAIDEN because they’re so fucking boring. And the only drugs were aspirin, because Steve (making hand gesture as if someone is speaking into his ear)… Fuckin’ headache.”

Kastro Pergjoni, operations director of the Cart & Horses pub in Stratford, London, England where IRON MAIDEN made its live debut in 1976, who recently raised thousands of dollars so Di’Anno can undergo his long-delayed knee surgery, discussed his fundraising efforts during a 2020 appearance on the “Uncle Steve’s Iron Maiden Zone” podcast. Asked if he has approached the members of IRON MAIDEN themselves to contribute in some way to the Di’Anno campaign, Kastro said: “Myself, no, I haven’t, to be honest, because I don’t wanna put things… What’s the best way to say it now? It’s not up to me to go to them, because I have no connections with IRON MAIDEN themselves. Even when I need to approach Steve, I go through his friends or his sister sometimes or close friends that he’s got to get stuff from him. But to go to MAIDEN for something that is related to MAIDEN, I don’t think that it is me personally, or Cart & Horses, the ones to contact them. I’d love if they come forward and just cover whatever is left or say whatever, but I don’t think it’s down to me to go to MAIDEN. Because Paul’s got friends and he’s got connections with MAIDEN more than I have, so if MAIDEN wanted to, or if somebody else wanted to, they would have done it. But so far, nothing, unfortunately, no.”

Di’Anno played his first solo concert in seven years Saturday night (May 21) at the Bikers Beer Factory in Zagreb. The show was filmed and parts of it will be included in a documentary about Di’Anno, to be directed by Wes Orshoski, co-director and producer of the acclaimed 2010 film “Lemmy” about the MOTÖRHEAD icon.

Di’Anno recently teamed up with several Croatian musicians to form a new project called WARHORSEWARHORSE entered the studio to record three songs, two of which — “Stop The War” and “The Doubt Within” — have been released as a special limited-edition DVD single.

fundraiser for Paul’s upcoming surgery has been organized by his friends and fans coordinated by Pergjoni and Juras, in collaboration with the other members of WARHORSE. All proceeds from the single will be used to cover the costs of Paul’s treatment and related needs.

The full track listing is:

01. Senjutsu (8:20) (Smith/Harris)
02. Stratego (4:59) (Gers/Harris)
03. The Writing On The Wall (6:13) (Smith/Dickinson)
04. Lost In A Lost World (9:31) (Harris)
05. Days Of Future Past (4:03) (Smith/Dickinson)
06. The Time Machine (7:09) (Gers/Harris)
07. Darkest Hour (7:20) (Smith/Dickinson)
08. Death Of The Celts (10:20) (Harris)
09. The Parchment (12:39) (Harris)
10. Hell On Earth (11:19) (Harris)

“Senjutsu” was released on the following formats and available to order/save at www.ironmaiden.com:

* Standard 2CD Digipak
* Deluxe 2CD Book Format
* Deluxe heavyweight 180G Triple Black Vinyl
* Special Edition Triple Silver And Black Marble Vinyl (Details to follow)
* Special Edition Triple Red and Black Marble Vinyl (Details to follow)
* Super Deluxe Boxset featuring CD, Blu Ray and Exclusive Memorabilia
* Digital album [streaming and download]

IRON MAIDEN hadn’t released any fresh music since 2015’s “The Book Of Souls” LP, which was recorded in late 2014 in Paris, France with Shirley.

“The Book Of Souls” was the longest MAIDEN album, clocking in at 92 minutes, with lyrics heavily based in the themes of death, reincarnation, the soul and mortality.

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