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Paul Andrews (born 17 May 1958 , in Chingford, Essex), better known as Paul Di'Anno, was the first prominent vocalist in the band Iron Maiden from 1978 to 1981.

In his post-Maiden career, Di'Anno has issued numerous albums over the years, as both a solo artist and as a member of such bands as Gogmagog, Battlezone, Praying Mantis, and Killers.

In the mid-'90s, rumors began to surface that Di'Anno might be rejoining Maiden (after the exit of Dickinson in 1993), but the speculation proved to be false, as Maiden hooked up with former Wolfsbane vocalist Blaze Bayley, before reuniting with Dickinson in 1999.

By the dawn of the new millennium, Di'Anno was living in Brazil , still playing music (releasing his latest solo album, Living Dead, in 2006), and overseeing a hotel/restaurant that he owns in England . He currently lives in Salisbury , England .

Career

Iron Maiden

Di'Anno became the band's singer after the departure of the very unpredictable Dennis Wilcock who had pressured Harris into firing every member of Maiden (including Dave Murray) before becoming fed up himself. According to Iron Maiden's The Early Days DVD he was introduced into the band by drummer Doug Sampson, an old friend of Steve's from his days in Smiler. Their first audition with Rod Smallwood reputedly failed when Paul was arrested for showing off his pocket-knife in public.

1980's self-titled release quickly became a classic, as the band merged punk's energy with metal's riffs and progressive rock complexity, serving as the blueprint for such future genres as thrash metal and speed metal. 1981 saw the release of their second album, Killers, as well as a stopgap live EP, Maiden Japan. Maiden found a replacement in former Samson frontman Bruce Dickinson, which saw the band move away from the raw sound of the Di'Anno albums.

In 1981 he left Iron Maiden after a meeting between him and the band and its manager Rod Smallwood. In Di'Annos words: "It's like having Mussolini and Adolph Hitler run your band. Because it is Rod Smallwood and Steve Harris and that's it. There can't be anyone else and my character is too strong for that so me an' Steve was always fighting".

Di'Anno

Di'Anno was the first project by Paul Di'Anno after he left Iron Maiden. This group was originally called Lonewolf but after certain disagreements with a group already called Lone Wolf, they changed their name and ended up recording only one album under the simple moniker of Di'Anno. On the tour Paul refused to play any Iron Maiden songs (much to the dismay of the crowd), playing only their own songs and a few other covers. After minimal success, the six piece band disbanded shortly after they were done touring. The only other items available from this band are a single of "Heartuser", a single Japanese release of "Flaming Heart" and a Sweden VHS release called "Live at the Palace" (today in DVD as "Di'Anno Live From London").

Gogmagog

In 1985, Di'Anno was to work on a project with a number of hired musicians. The group, called "Gogmagog", was put together by DJ and record producer Jonathan King. Gogmagog was a rock opera project. King brought in Di'Anno fresh from his 1984 self-named album. The idea of Gogmagog had tremendous potential since King was able to recruit well known and formidable musicians (including Clive Burr, formerly of Iron Maiden, Janick Gers from Gillan, White Spirit and eventually Iron Maiden, Neil Murray, formerly of Whitesnake and eventually Black Sabbath, and original Def Leppard guitarist Pete Willis. Russ Ballard was hired to write some songs and a 3 track EP called "I Will Be There" (Ballard's song) was recorded and featured ridiculously titled songs. An interesting point about the EP is that is wasn't released until after the group had disbanded. The three songs are only demos to be part of an album in which many more songs were written but never recorded. It is a rock rarity but much loved and rated by those who are lucky enough to hear it. It is interesting to note Janick Gers played with Burr and Di'Anno, ex-Maiden musicians long before he joined the band itself.

Battlezone

After the break up of his self-titled band, Di'Anno formed Strike whilst in America with drummer Bob Falck (used the name Sid Falck while playing drums in Overkill) and guitarist John Hurley, but the project eventually wound up as BATTLEZONE upon the vocalist's return to Britain.

The band's initial line-up comprised of Dianno, guitarists Hurley and Darren Aldridge, bassist Laurence Kessler and Adam Parsons on drums. The latter had gone under the stage name A.D. Dynamite whilst in "Aunt May". However, Parsons left shortly after to form the London based Glam troupe "Belladonna" and Falck reappeared on the scene in time to record the band's first album "Fighting Back". 1986 also saw the enrollment of former Lonewolf and Tokyo Blade guitarist John Wiggins.

Battlezone performed a club tour of America in 1987 to promote the debut 'Fighting Back', but musical differences, arguments and physical fights within the band led to the departure of John Hurley and Bob Falck after the first tour. According to Dianno's book "The Beast", Hurley had become an "egomaniac" and the drummer Falck a "liability", so they were thrown out the band. Their places were taken by ex-Persian Risk members Graham Bath and Steve Hopgood respectively following the tours completion.

The second album to be released was entitled "Children of Madness" and achieved considerable commercial success. The video for "I Don't Wanna Know" was played in rotation on MTV in the US. Drugs and infighting again put a strain on an already burnt out band. Toward the end of the final tour, most members had quit, leaving Dianno to complete the tour with a scratch band in order to fulfill his contract.

Following the break up of Battlezone, Dianno and Hopgood formed Power Metal band "Killers" releasing four albums. Hurley would later join "Lo Girls". 1990 also found Dianno fronting Praying Mantis for a tour of Japan and the subsequent 'Live At Last' album with ex-Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton. Wiggins joined a reformed Tokyo Blade in 1995. Dianno was to release a series of solo albums both before and after Killers.

By 1998 Dianno had resurrected the name Battlezone. Joining him were Wiggins and fellow ex-Tokyo Blade members bassist Colin Riggs and drummer Marc Angel. Second guitars were supplied by Paulo Turin. This line up cut the 'Feel My Pain' album, released by the fledgling "Zoom Club" label. The band undertook a sell out Brazilian tour in January of 1998 with erstwhile Killers colleagues bassist Gavin Cooper and guitarist Nick Burr joined him on this South American jaunt.

The band toured Brazil in the same year playing a three week tour to sold out audiences up to 6000 fans a night. Being brought back down to earth Battlezone upon their return home put in a gig at the Walthamstow Royal Standard with an audience of only a hundred or so and a gig at JBS Dudley in the West Midlands attracting fewer than a dozen fans. A live track from the Walthamstow gig later appeared on a compilation of all three Battlezone albums, entitled "Cessation of Hostilities". Ex-Battlezone bassist Gavin Cooper joined Lionsheart in December 2004, then moved onto Statetrooper in May of 2005. The bassist subsequently joined the ranks of Magnum singer Bob Catley's solo band for UK dates in April 2006.

Killers

Killers was formed back in 1990 or in 1991. Cliff Evans was living in New York with the manager of Fastway. Steve Hopgood, who played in Battlezone with Paul called him and said Lets get something together. Paul was contacted and he flew over to New York from LA where they formed a band.

Within a few days they had hired John Gallagher (from Raven) to play bass on a short-term basis and an American, Ray De Tone, on second guitar. Within a few days, a live album called "Assault on South America" was recorded, featuring a number of Iron Maiden and Battlezone tracks and covers of "We Will Rock You" and "Smoke on the Water". This was recorded primarily for the South American market, as a South American "money guy" was involved who was interested in backing a tour in the region[2]. "Recorded in Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela in Summer of 1993" is splashed on the back cover. However, according to John Gallagher, the South American tour fell thorough so the entire album was recorded on a mobile recording truck in New York. [3]. Later, a Canada-based record company called Magnetic Air Productions was to issue a pirate release worldwide, under a different cover, with no royalties being paid to the band.

Killers then played a showcase for several major record companies including Virgin, EMI, Sony and BMG. Representatives flew into New York from all over the world to see Killers play. They played only Iron Maiden songs because the band hadn't written any material. Maiden songs played included Phantom Of The Opera and Wrathchild which evidently impressed a BMG representative enough to give the band a $250,000 contract. BMG were unaware that these songs had been recorded previously.

Once Killers had the record deal they started to write the first album entitled "Murder One". The band moved to a studio upstate of New York "in the middle of nowhere". They stayed in a motel in which the owner had a set up rehearsal studio. The album was written in about in two weeks. It took only a further month to get it recorded. The album was given finishing touches at The Powerstation in New York.

After the release of Murder One, Paul married an English girl whom he flew in to New York. Drink and drugs took their toll and the marriage quickly fell apart. Paul left New York and moved in with his new American girlfriend in LA. A fight between him and his new girlfriend involving a knife alerted the attention of the LAPD, who came into the apartment and arrested him for spousal abuse, cocaine possession and firearms offences. After a court appearance, he was sentenced to 4 months in the LA County Jail. It was here that Di'Anno began writing songs for the next Killers album and posting them over to the UK, where the band were now living.

Paul Di'Anno returned to the UK after being deported. It was here that he signed the band to Bleeding Hearts records located in Newcastle and they recorded their second studio album. It was entitled "Menace To Society" after a comment made by the LA Judge. However, with a Pantera-like style it was poorly received by many critics with the exception of Metal Hammer magazine in Germany who voted it as the "Best New Album" for that year.

By 2003, Paul and Cliff were to tour as the only original members of Killers remaining. Paul then hired new musicians who he remembered from touring in Germany and Austria. Marcus Thurston was to join the band as second guitarist, Darayus Kaye took over bass duties and Pete Newdeck on drums. Steve had to retire as he developed tinnitus in his ears. The guitarist Graham Bath damaged his hands from playing so much over the years and developed arthritis. [4]According to Di'Anno he had wanted Clive Burr (ex-Iron Maiden) to drum but he couldn't get to rehearsals in time. However, later on Clive was to become severely ill from Multiple Sclerosis.

The Beast

Di'Anno has released a critically acclaimed biography titled The Beast (ISBN 1-904034-03-9) and has allegedly had interludes with various drugs. At one stage he was imprisoned for manslaughter, though many observers believe he should receive a full pardon at this point.

Religion

Di'Anno is an atheist, and has a tattoo that says "666" and "GOD = SUCKER" on the back of his head. According to his autobiography, he converted to Islam in the 1990s after reading the Koran. However he has subsequently admitted:I think religion kills everybody. I dont believe in it. ... No, my father was a Muslim, I must admit. But I dont give a fuck. [5]. In later interviews Di'Anno clarifies that he never was a true Muslim, that he never stopped drinking, but tried to become a better person by applying some of the Muslim philosophies to his life. According to his autobiography, he has claimed to be Muslim, Catholic and even Aborigine.

Discography

Albums with Iron Maiden

* Iron Maiden (1980)

* Killers (1981)

Albums with Di'Anno

* Di'anno, 1984

"Flaming Heart", 1984

"Heartuser", 1984

* Nomad, 2000

Albums as Paul Di'Anno

* The World's First Iron Man, 1997

* Beyond the Maiden (The Best Of), 1999

* The Masters, 1999

* The Living Dead, (a re-release of Nomad with bonus tracks), 2006

* The Maiden Years - The Classics, (a re-release of Paul singing old Iron Maiden tracks), 2006

Albums with Battlezone

* Fighting Back, 1986

* Children of Madness, 1987

* Warchild, 1988

* Feel My Pain, 1998

* Cessation of Hostilities, 2001

Albums with Killers

* Murder One, 1992

* Menace to Society, 1997

* Live, 1997

* New Live & Rare, 1998

* Killers Live at the Whiskey, 2001

* Screaming Blue Murder - The Very Best of Paul Di'Anno's Killers, 2002

Albums with Gogmagog

* I Will Be There EP, 1985

Albums as Paul Di'Anno & Dennis Stratton

* The Original Iron Men (1995)

* The Original Iron Men 2 (1996)

* As Hard As Iron (1996)

Other projects and compilations featuring Paul Di'Anno

* Metal for Muthas, 1980 (with Iron Maiden)

* All Stars NWOBHM, 1990

* True Brits, 1993

* True Brits 2, 1994

* True Brits 3, 1995

* Killer Voices, 1995

* Metal Monsters, 1996

* Metal Christmas a.k.a The 21st Century Rock Christmas Album, 1996

* The Almighty Inbredz, 1999

* Classic Rock, Classic Rockers, 2002

* "Tribute to Van Halen," 2006

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