Nicko McBrain, the creativity behind the success of Iron Maiden

Nicko McBrain is a long-serving drummer with vast experience in different types of music. He hasn’t shown signs of aging despite performing for many years. Nicko is still performing in many bands day and night, and his music is still good to hear. He is among the most influential players ever and a heavy metal premier technician. He is the funniest man in rock, and that makes him gain a large group of audiences. However, let us get back to his early life and career.

Michael Henry ‘Nicko’ McBrain is an English musician and drummer born on the 5th day of June 1952 in Hackney, London, England. He is a musician and a songwriter involved in three music genres; blues-rock, heavy metal, and hard rock. He began his drumming career in 1966, and he is still hitting the drums now. However, this love for drums started when he was a young boy. The inspiration came after watching Joe Morello performing on television with a band known as ‘The Dave Brubeck Quartet.’

Nicko Mcbrain
Nicko Mcbrain

Nicko McBrain started playing drums when he was 10, and he did not have all the required instruments. Therefore, he used pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils to make his kit complete. However, his parents later discovered that their young boy was even using a gas cooker with a pair of knives. This made his father buy him the first drum kit when he was eleven or twelve.

Nicko later obtained an engineering degree from Southgate Technical College, but he did it because his parents needed him to do it. However, after completing the degree, he did undertaking session work to pay his rent, and at the same time, he joined a band called ‘The 18th Fairfield Walk.’ This local band couldn’t go anywhere as it used to perform only at local pubs. The band could only perform Otis Redding, The Who, and The Beatles covers.

This made McBrain leave that band and join The Wells Street Blues Band, which was later renamed ‘The Axe’ in 1969. However, this band did not last because it was dissolved after an argument between the guitarist and the singer. Nicko began playing with some band members, and they later recruited other members to make the band complete.

In 1973, Nicko performed on a single ‘Nice One Cyril‘ done by Cockerel Chorus. He also played a self-made album by guitarist Gordon Giltrap, and it was his debut album. He later began playing with Streetwalkers, Pat Travelers, singer Jenny Darren, and McKitty.

Nicko Mcbrain Picture
Nicko Mcbrain Picture

However, he started playing with a French band known as Trust, where he met Iron Maiden for the first time. In 1982, one of the drummers playing with Iron Maiden left, and Nicko was called to replace him. Nicko made his first public appearance with Maiden on German TV. He had a good relationship with the bassist Steve Harris, which defined the band as complete.

Several members have now left the group, but Nicko is still a vital member working with new members joining the group. When not working with Maiden, McBrain usually does some side projects that include McBrain Damage that plays Maiden covers. He has also produced the first and only album and received songwriting credits in two singles.

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Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

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