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Back in the Day

Listen To BRUCE DICKINSON's Spooky First Recording "Dracula" From 1977

Happy Halloween!

Bruce Dickinson
Photo by John McMurtrie

By the time Bruce Dickinson recorded his very first song with local pub band Shots (sometimes seen as The Shots), he had already done some time in a few bands including one named Styx though the band had no knowledge such a band already existed in the U.S. Bruce's version of Styx didn't stick around for very long and while reading Melody Maker one day, Dickinson saw an wanted ad in the paper with the headline "Singer wanted for recording project."

Bruce didn't waste any time getting in touch with brothers Phil and Doug Sivtier who were looking for a vocalist to round out their band Shots. Naturally, since this is Bruce Dickinson we are talking about, Bruce got the gig after sending the brothers a demo tape. When the then nineteen-year-old Dickinson arrived at the brothers studio they immediately bonded over their mutual love for Ian Gillan (Deep Purple), Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), and the God of Hellfire himself, Arthur Brown

Doug Sivtier then remarked that, in his opinion, Bruce's voice sometimes sounded like a "dead ringer" for Arthur Brown's and that they "had to form a band." Bruce was all for the idea and said yes on the spot. Shots would record the song "Dracula" with Bruce who is alleged to have written the lyrics for the spooky jam. Bruce would record another song with Shots "Lone Wolf" (on 8-track with Alan Sivtier on drums and Baz Eardley on guitar) which would show up on a 12" single from another NWOBHM band out of London Xero in 1983 without the consent of either Siviter brother or Bruce. Apparently Xero's manager at the time Gard Gubbins knew they would sell more copies of the 12" with Bruce's name on it as he was now the world famous Bruce Dickinson–vocalist for Iron Maiden. Once Maiden's co-manager Rod Smallwood caught wind of this, "Lone Wolf" was replaced by another Xero track, "Killer Frog" on all new pressings. 

As far as "Dracula" goes, the brooding track shows up on Bruce's compilation The Best of Bruce Dickinson (2001). Add this one to your Halloween playlist and watch your friends flip their lids when they find out it's a teenage Bruce Dickinson's first ever recording. Though keen-eared Maiden fans just might recognize Bruce's soon-to-be-everywhere voice when "Dracula" kicks in. 

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