There won't be any of the twin-guitar harmonies heard in his previous incarnation, although Dickinson says he'll play guitar on a few live songs. "Playing with only one guitarist isn't a problem for me. I used to guess what the guitar players in Maiden were doing and hope they were at the same point in the song that I was at," he says with a laugh. Actually his days spent in the Maiden were the only time Dickinson dickered with dual guitars. While at Queen Mary College in London Dickinson was in a pair of bands, Speed and the Shots. His history finals put the Shots on hold, and the day after exams Paul Samson recruited Dickinson. In 1981, after two and a half years with Samson and the collapse of their label Gem Records, Dickinson joined Iron Maiden, replacing singer Paul Di'anno.
With his new project Dickinson is putting 100 percent into promotion, temporarily curtailing his passion for fencing and flying his six-seat, twin-engine plane. "I've cleared the decks to do this record," says Dickinson. "This is very much the beginning of an entire solo career."
As for his former mates, they've already recruited singer Blaze Bayley, formerly of Wolfsbane. And while Dickinson is running free Maiden is in the studio working on a new release. "In a sense, what Maiden does now is none of my business, but I think Blaze is terrific," says Dickinson. "I hope Maiden fans will give him a fair chance.