Black Bart Blues (Harris, Dickinson)
This is a light-hearted little song about an incredibly annoying groupie nerd who gets on Maiden's
tour bus, and whom the band introduce to Black Bart. The question is, what is the 'Black Bart Blues'?
Black Bart was a stagecoach robber in the American West who would take the loot and leave
a poem in its place. But Iron Maiden's Black Bart was actually a suit of armour that rode
at the back of the Maiden's tourbus.
The song itself is fairly average for a B-side, but included at the end of the song is a whole sequence
of short clips of Nicko that were taken during the recording of the
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son album. These clips are very funny and prove without
anymore doubt that Nicko is stark raving mad!
Here is the real story of the infamous Black Bart, as told by Bruce Dickinson himself on his
"Black Bart was a moment of madness. We were driving with our tour manager in Florida
in about 1983, living the American Dream in an open-topped Ford Thunderbird. Suddenly we passed
this petrol station with three suits of armour standing outside. I went: 'Stop! We have to get that suit of
armour!' It was totally surreal – a petrol station with a suit of armour for sale. Of course,
I went in and found the thing was all welded together, was as cheap as shit and didn't move,
but I wanted it even more cos it was so tacky!
"I left Black Bart in the back lounge of the bus where I used to sleep. The back lounge, of course,
is where most of the nefarious shagging went on in the middle of the '80s, so that's how 'Black Bart Blues'
(Maiden B-side) came about. He saw the lot. The line was, I think: 'Suspenders and suspension/Medieval
(k)nights in Tennessee'."
This was a song written about Bruce's suit of armour called Black Bart, which was kept
in the back lounge of the tour bus! Great songs are made of