NICKO McBRAIN BIOGRAPHY
Michael Henry McBrain (aka Nicko 'The Boomer' McBrain) was born on 4th June, 1954 in London.
He started to play drums at the age of 10 or 11, when he started to play on his mother's cooker with everything he found suitable for that, including a pair of knitting needles! It wasn't until he was 15 when he got his first real drumkit, and started to play in school bands.
When he left school he continued to play in various smaller bands and he also kept on working because playing wasn't enough for his to make his living. He even studied mechanical engineering to have something to fall back on.
When he was 20, he joined the band 'Streetwalkers', which was his first professional band. It lasted a year and a half, but after two albums ('Downtown Flyers' and 'Red Card') and a US tour he left the band and joined the Pat Travers Band in 1977. Having recorded two albums ('Making Magic' and 'Putting It Straight'), Nicko had had enough of them, especially of Pat Travers, and moved on to the French band 'Trust'.
Trust has been considered by many people the best French heavy rock band of all time. Nicko played on the albums 'Marche Ou Creve' and 'Savage'.
Trust supported Iron Maiden in Brussels in 1980, and that was Nicko's first gig "with Maiden"! Trust also supported Maiden later, during the UK leg of the Killers tour in 1981.
In late 1982, former drummer Clive Burr had left the band for personal and health reasons. Nicko By that time Nicko had got disillusioned in his old band 'Trust' and in their musical direction, so when he was asked whether he wanted to join Maiden, he didn't think twice!
His first album with Maiden was 'Piece Of Mind', and he made his first video appearance for Maiden by starring the 'Flight Of Icarus' video (he's the monk figure standing on the hill).
Nicko often shares his experience with other young/old etc. drummers by holding drum clinics where others can manage to learn some of his licks as well. Nicko has turned out to be a good teacher, and a very entertaining one!. However, not everyone can afford to attend these drum shows, so Nicko put out a video called 'The Rhythms Of The Beast' in 1990. In this video, you can learn some basic patterns, learn how to tune your drums and find out how cymbals are manufactured. At the end of the video, you can see Nicko, Davey and some other remarkable musicians like Mike Moran play the song 'The Rhythms of The Beast', which he and Dave Murray wrote. It was also released as a single, with the B-side being 'Beehive Boogie', another song Nicko and Dave have written together.
Nicko also joined Steve for a short project for John McEnroe, the former tennis player who also plays music. Steve and Nicko jammed with him and recorded an EP under the name called 'The Full Metal Rackets' in 1991. The song title is "Rock And Roll" and the original was recoded by Led Zeppelin. Pat Cash and Roger Daltrey took part in the project.
In 1990 Iron Maiden re-released all of their singles in a CD-series called 'The First Ten Years', which included all the B-sides as well. the final track on each CD was the 'Listen With Nicko' series, where Nicko discussed the tracks with himself in his usual style, and told some funny stories about the past.
Nicko used to learn to fly aeroplane and there was a time when he flied a lot. He used to be a goalkeeper a couple of times he played football with Maiden, but he quit after a bad back injury. When Maiden take a break, Nicko plays in a 3 piece band with his friends Phil Hilbourne (guitar) and Andy Frost (Bass).
Nicko was nicknamed by the keyboard player of 'Streetwalkers' a long time ago, when the guy mispronounced his name. He has been called 'Nicko' ever since.
The name 'Michael' is derived from the old Hebrew, and it means '(somebody) Who is like God'.