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Nicko McBrain

He has a child's smile, a comedian's sense of humor, and a nickname of puppy bear, but make no mistake, every drum beat of his bounces the clocks at the seismological stations around the globe.


His name is Nicko McBrain and he is celebrating his birthday today. So let's tell you a little bit about him.


1. He was born in the suburbs of London on June 5, 1952, as Michael Henry "Nicko" McBrain.


2. The nickname "Nicky" was given to him by his parents after the bear Nicholas which he had as a child.


3. Already at the age of 10 he began drumming on an improvised drum set he had assembled for himself at home from pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils.


4. A year later his father bought him his first drum set and he began teaching himself to play when he drummed songs by "the Beatles" and "the Rolling Stones".


5. At the age of 14 he had already started playing in pubs with local bands.


6. After high school he began studying engineering at "Southgate Technical College,.


7. He financed his rent during his studies when he served as an employee session player in studios.


8. The first serious band was "The 18th Fairfield Walk" which later changed its name to "Peyton Bond", it was a cover band.


9. The first recording he participated in was in 1973, it was a single called "Cockerel Chorus' Nice One Cyril".


10. That same year he participated in his first serious recording. It was on English guitarist Gordon Giltrap's debut album.


11. Nico continued to accompany Gordon on his subsequent albums as well and in 1978 he recorded an album with him called "Fear Of The Dark" (just like the band he would later join).


12. The font used by Giltarp's "Fear Of The Dark" album is very reminiscent of the font in the, Iron Maiden" logo. See here:


13. In 1975 he joined the band "Streetwalkers" with whom he released two albums, "Downtown Flyers" from 1975 and "Red Card" in 1976.


14. He later joined the band of Canadian guitarist Pat Travers and also released two albums with him in 1977.


15. In the same year he released with the band "Blazer Blazer" a single "Cecil B. Devine".


16. Nico continued his international tour when he joined the French hard rock band "Trust" and released with them the album "Marche ou Crève" in 1981.


17. In December 1982 he received an offer he could not refuse. Replace drummer Clive Burr in "Iron Maiden".


18. This was not the first time he played with the band. He replaced Clive during a TV show held in April of that year, as Clive did not feel well. At that show, Nicko put on Eddie's mask, apparently, so he would not recognize as a replacement drummer.


19. Since then he has been a regular member of the band and has released 13 studio albums with it, one of which is a double.


20. Already in the first song from the first album he recorded with the band from the album "Piece of Mind", his amazing drumming ability was revealed. He refused to play with a double bass drum, and did it all with one base drum and fast tam-tam passes.


21. In the album "Piece of Mind", his sense of humor was revealed. At the end of the song "The Trooper" and before the "Still Life" track, there is a short speech that is played backward, which was created as a mockery and contempt of the band for those who accused them of Satanism, after the release of the album "The Number Of The Beast". In the segment, Nico is heard trying to sound like the British actor, John Byrd, who imitates the dictator "Idi Amin". In the recording, McBrian says the following words, as they are played backward: "What did she say the t'ing with the three 'bonce,' do not meddle with things you do not understand"


22. McBrain has never used double bass, except for one case, in the song "Face in the Sand" from the album "Dance of Death".


23. Nicko wrote one song for "Iron Maiden". it is called "New Frontier" and it appears on the album "Dance of Death".


24. In 1991 he released an instructional video for drummers called "Rhythms of the Beast".


25. In 1991 he participated in the supergroup project "WhoCares" with Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi, and more.


26. You may be surprised to find out, but Nico McBrain also has a pilot's license not only Bruce Dickinson.


27. He's crazy about Jaguar cars. In 2012 the company created for him a special model according to his specifications and requirements.


28. In 2018 he opened a drum shop in Manchester called "Drum One".


29. When not on tours with Maiden he maintains his side project called "McBrain Damage" also known as "The McBrainiacs" along with bassist Dave "The Beast" Spitz who played with "Black Sabbath" on the album "Seventh Star" and was part of the lineup of "Great White".


30. He owns a restaurant in Florida, USA, called "Rock 'N' Roll Ribs".


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