There are very few people in the rock, particularly Metal genre that do not recognize the name Blaze Bayley. He really hit the radar when he became the front man, and vocalist for Iron Maiden.

His story is far more compelling that of just Iron Maiden, his first real chance at stardom came from his time with Wolfsbane (84-94), a great band, but they just never seemed to make it to that ‘next’ level. Blaze hit the headlines when he became the vocalist for Iron Maiden in 95, but it was a stormy 5 years. Fans are a fickle group to say the least, and to change the line up in a band always causes a backlash. Loved by many, yet shunned by others, Blaze Bayley continued as Iron Maiden’s front man until 99.

The parting of the ways, while not acrimonious, was hardly cordial, and certainly caught Blaze by surprise. In many ways the Blaze Bayley story is a mirror image of Ken Hensley’s experience with Uriah Heap, or even Jock Bartley and Firefall. I each case the same question had to be answered, what do you do when the spotlight fades? I think Ken Hensley sums it up so well:

There’s a new face up on stage tonight
A new star on the door
A new name on the billboard now
Where mine had been before

Blaze Bayley is no quitter and after Iron Maiden he started his own band BLAZE. BLAZE lasted a few stormy years, somehow success always seemed just outside his grasp. The band went through various incarnations, and maybe it is this fact that is the reason that the top tier eluded him. Fans do not like change. Fans like constants, fans like sameness. Through a combination is bad management, bad label support, and maybe just a little streak of self destructiveness BLAZE quietly and unceremoniously imploded.

The end of Blaze Bayley seemed to be upon us. A once shining star had entered the long middle age of the has been rocker. Indeed, for a period of time Blaze shunned the music world altogether. Like the Phoenix, he has once more arisen from the ashes, his band reborn as the self titled Blaze Bayley.

There is a new biography out Blaze Bayley – At The End Of The Day written by his current drummer Lawrence (Larry) Paterson, a new live double CD, and a DVD.

I have just finished reading At The End Of The Day, and I think it is fair to say that it is a great read. Larry Paterson has done an outstanding job of bringing the Blaze Bayley story to life. I cannot wait to ask Blaze what he thinks about this book. My guess is that he will say something like ‘Hindsight is 20/20’!

Blogger News has been working with Blaze Bayley and we will be featuring reviews of all of these exciting releases in the next few days. I am also hoping to lure Blaze and Larry into doing a radio interview with me.

Stay tuned.

Simon Barrett

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