Iron Maiden, W.A.S.P., Dio, Deep Purple, More For Metal Tours

There's no dates booked as yet, but a rep from The Agency Group has confirmed that a heavy metal tour package headlining Iron Maiden is being pitched to promoters.

There's no order confirmed or dates," says Steve Ferguson, "but I can say that Iron Maiden is headlining the tour and that W.A.S.P., Dio, UFO and Yngwie Malmsteen are also part of the package." Ferguson says they're looking at dates in June and July.

Iron Maiden sees vocalist Blaze Bayley in the spotlight these days instead of Bruce Dickenson. The band is releasing a new studio album, "Virtual XI," in March.

Another tour being put together by the agency will include Deep Purple and Dream Theater with a third middle act still pending. A spokesperson says contrary to a report in Performance magazine, Ted Nugent is not confirmed for the bill, although his participation has been under discussion, as has the inclusion of Joe Satriani. That tour is scheduled for August.

Deep Purple will be debuting

their new album, "Abandon," May 22 at a party in Monte Carlo. The current Deep Purple line-up consists of 4/5ths of their most famous lineup: Ian Gillan on vocals, keyboardist Jon Lord, bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice, with the addition of guitarist Steve Morse of the Steve Morse Band in the place of in-again, out-again former bandleader and guitar hero Ritchie Blackmore, who most recently quit the band in 1993.