At the time he auditioned for Iron Maiden, Bruce Dickinson was a mere 23-years-old vying to replace Maiden vocalist since 1977, Paul Di'Anno. Steve Harris and Maiden had finally tired of Di'Anno's attachment to drugs and booze (Di'Anno says otherwise) and kicked him out after their show in Copenhagen on September 10th, 1981.
The members of Maiden had already been preparing for Di'Anno's involuntary departure by meeting with Dickinson somewhat covertly previously in September. During their respective early days, Dickinson's band Samson often opened shows for his future bandmates. The Di'Anno/Dickinson transition was impressively swift and on October 26th, 1981, Dickinson would perform his first live gig with Iron Maiden in Italy.
Dickinson's ex-mates in Samson (pictured above) weren't happy with the turn of events and after getting lawyered up, successfully prevented their old pal Bruce Bruce (Dickinson's strange Samson moniker) from being credited as a contributor on Iron Maiden's colossal 1982 album Number of the Beast. Dickinson and Maiden started work on new material immediately after getting together and by the end of the Killer World Tour were already performing a few of their new jams live as the tour concluded in London at the end of the year. Songs which Dickinson has confirmed he helped pen including the atomic leviathan, "Run to the Hills." Anyway, since we all know things turned out more than all right for Bruce and Iron Maiden, let's have a listen to Dickinson ripping a hole in the sky with his sublime four-or-so octave range in 1981.
Bruce Dickinson's 1981 audition tape for Iron Maiden.