Happy Birthday today (June 5) to drummer Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden. He’s 66. Also celebrating is bassist Aaron “P-Nut” Wills of 311 (44).

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Iron Maiden was formed in 1975 out of east London by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The band were pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and achieved initial success in the early 80’s, and have had several platinum and gold albums in the UK and U.S including 1982’s Number of the Beast.  Nicko McBrain played with the Pat Travers band before joining up with Iron Maiden in time to debut on their fourth studio album Piece of Mind in 1983. He’s been with the band ever since. McBrain is often considered among the best and most influential had rock/metal drummers of all time. I got to see Nicko McBrain in a small club (The Loft in The Chance, Poughkeepsie NY) 14 years ago with his band McBrain Damage playing Iron Maiden classics. It was great to see the legendary drummer up close and personal in front of about 100 fans. I will never forget that show along with the many times seeing him with Iron Maiden live over the years. Up the Irons and cheers to Nicko on his birthday today!

Check out ‘The Best of Nicko McBrain courtesy of Youtube below.