Doogie White Recalls Missing Out on Iron Maiden Membership
Steve Harris’ band wanted to move on after Dickinson quit, and they eventually hired Blaze Bayley. However, White said he believes that Dickinson was always going to return – which he did in 1999.
“I had sent a tape in to Maiden, saying, ‘This is what I’ve done, blah blah blah, and I was ready to go to Scotland,” the singer told the Metal Voice in a new interview. “I got a chap on my door on Friday night and it was Dickie Bell, who was the production manager … and he said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m going to Scotland.’ He said, ‘No you’re not – you’re auditioning for Iron Maiden on Monday.’ So he gave me a cassette, which I’ve recently found. … I think there was about 18 songs on it, mostly from [live albums] A Real Live One and A Real Dead One, and it was mostly that that I auditioned with, and I was first in.”
You can watch the interview below.
Bell had driven White to Harris’s home for the session, which took place with the band set up in a circle around him rather than a standard stage presentation. He remembered singing “Be Quick or Be Dead,” “From Here to Eternity,” “The Evil That Men Do” and “Run to the Hills.” "We ran through it, then we had a cup of tea, then I had a chat with Steve, and I went away and that was it,” White said.
Bayley was eventually chosen over White. “Steve had a definite idea of where he wanted to take the band," White explained. "And he called me back in for a second audition, and my understanding is that they recorded that audition, but I wasn’t aware of it. A couple of weeks later, Steve phoned me up and said, ‘Look, we’ve given the job to Blaze.’ And he’s great – he’s the hardest-working man in rock ’n’ roll and he always delivers. And Steve wanted something different for the band. … He took a brave step."
White noted that "the sum of the parts is far greater than either Bruce being on his own or Maiden being alone. … They are the greatest heavy metal band on the planet, bar none… It would have wound up the same, and I wouldn’t have got to play with Ritchie Blackmore.”
Last year, Dickinson said he was “surprised” when he discovered that Maiden had chosen Bailey as his replacement. “Obviously, they picked somebody different, but that came with its own set of challenges," he noted. "I just wondered whether anybody in the management was really giving anybody any serious words of truth on how hard this could be.”