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EX Maiden Drummer Doug Sampson Talks Birth Of Iron Maiden @ Cart & Horses Legendary Club

Updated: Jul 29, 2023


Former Iron Maiden Drummer Doug Sampson (Airforce) does a walk though and talks about the legacy of East London's Cart and Horses club where Iron Maiden played in the very early years. Also in the video Cart and Horses manager Kasto Perjoini does a quick history rundown of the club as well.


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Reporting for The Metal Voice in London/ photographer Fernando Bonenfant


Photo credit Fernando Bonenfant


Sampson told The Metal Voice," I first become aware of it (Cart and Horses) when a band called Slowbone first played here and it was a place to come on a Friday night and it was absolutely packed, people were flocking onto the streets. So that was my first awareness of the Cart. When I was about 17 I joined a band called Smiler that was with Steve Harris and we've done our first gig here, that was on a Sunday night and it we went down quite well. So when Slowbone couldn't couldn't make the Friday night spot we was asked to fill for them. After about 30- 40 gigs Smiler had disbanded and Steve decided he wanted to go off and form another band (Iron Maiden). Steve asked me if I wanted to join his new band at the time, I didn't really want to, I wanted to have a break from the music. So I used to come down virtually every week to see him, so I knew the set pretty damn well. I remember them getting such a good crowd, they had to get noticed sooner or later because so many people were coming down it was just amazing. I used to watch him and I always used to think uh yeah I wouldn't mind playing with this band. The Cart was basically everything for the East end, this Pub is like there's so many great bands that have started here and some have gone on to bigger things but there's been some fantastic bands over the years. I mean you could come in here three or four nights a week and see top-notch Talent. "


The Iron Maiden band were originally formed on Christmas Day 1975 by bassist Steve Harris. The band held their first gig at the Cart and Horses Pub and subsequently took up semi-residency in 1976.


Doug Sampson was the drummer for Iron Maiden from 1978 to 1979.


Doug participated in the recording of Iron Maiden's demo, later released as The Soundhouse Tapes, on 31 December 1978, Prowler and other tracks from it appeared in the charts of Neal Kay's Heavy Metal Soundhouse club, published weekly in Sounds. Iron Maiden eventually signed to EMI in 1979, following up by recording further demos, one song from these sessions ("Burning Ambition") was included on the B-Side of "Running Free".


Sampson also played on Iron Maiden's BBC Archives released in November 2002 as part of the Eddie's Archive box set. It is a collection of songs from three live shows and one live radio broadcast, recorded by the BBC between 1979 and 1988. Sampson can be found on the BBC Radio 1 Friday Rock Show, 14 November 1979 disc.


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