As former Iron Maiden singer Paul Di'Anno prepares for his last-ever concert, he now realizes the band was right to fire him in 1981, only two albums into its career.

“I don’t blame them for getting rid of me," Di'Anno told Metal Hammer. "Obviously, the band was Steve [Harris]' baby, but I wish I’d been able to contribute more. After a while that got me down. In the end, I couldn’t give 100 percent to Maiden anymore and it wasn’t fair to the band, the fans or to myself.”

Di'Anno was let go after the tour in support of Killers concluded. Five shows in Germany were canceled because the singer needed to rest his voice. It's been rumored that Di'Anno's substance-abuse issues were ultimately responsible for the sacking; he was also unhappy with the regimented manner with which Harris was running the band.

"I was relieved," Di'Anno said in the 1998 book Run to the Hills: The Authorized Biography. "I was sad too [but] I didn't get into rock 'n' roll to keep schedules and make sure I get my eight hours' beauty sleep every night."

He was replaced by Bruce Dickinson, and the band went on to greater global fame over the next decade. Despite his brief time in the spotlight, Di'Anno recognizes his contribution to metal history.

“The two albums I made with the band were pivotal," he said in the new interview. "Later on in my life, when I met Metallica, Pantera and Sepultura and they told me that those albums were what got them into music, it made me incredibly proud.”

Di'Anno's farewell show will take place at the Beermageddon Festival in Bromsgrove, England, on Aug. 30. He's assembled a band called the Ides of March that consists of three ex-members of Iron Maiden, all of whom were out of the band by the time of its 1980 debut album. The new group also includes a bassist from a tribute band.

 

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