It appears that a reunion of metal veteran Bruce Dickinson and his old band Iron Maiden is imminent -- Dickinson is in England meeting with his former band mates this week. But whether the reconciliation will take the form of a one-off concert, a full tour, new studio tracks, and/or a new album is anybody's guess.
Iron Maiden have pegged 1999 as their 20th anniversary. They made their major label debut in 1980 with vocalist Paul Di'Anno, who was replaced by Dickinson in 1982. Dickinson left the group after eleven years in 1993 to concentrate on his own material and was replaced by Blaze Bayley, formerly the singer for Wolfsbane. Sources close to the band say that Bayley is now out of the group regardless of Dickinson's status. Hard Radio reports that Iron Maiden has invited vocalists to audition.
Dickinson has told fans and media in the past that he's not adverse getting together with his former band mates for some sort of 20th anniversary in 1999 and/or millenium celebration,
but sources say he's likely balking at the idea of spending a lot of time in close quarters with Iron Maiden mainstay Steve Harris. Sources also say that any offers may look more attractive to Dickinson if he splits with his current label, CMC. Dickinson reportedly pulled out of his tour with Anthrax due to lack of label support and web reports say he won't be staying with the company.
A spokesperson for CMC tells MTV News that as far as she knows, Dickinson is still with the label, but acknowledges that there has been some dissention over touring issues. Dickinson's official website, meanwhile, lists a tour of South America for April.
Tony Ward, who manages both acts, declined to comment on the situation.