Jimmy Page recalls the time he played with Brian May, Iron Maiden and parody metallers Bad News

Jimmy Page, Brian May, Iron Maiden and Bad News
(Image credit: Jimmy Page / Instagram)

Jimmy Page has taken to Instagram to share a photograph of himself, alongside Brian May, Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, Steve Harris and Dave Murray and British comedy metal band Bad News.

The latter was a parody rock band formed by the comedians Adrian Edmonson, Nigel Planer, Rik Mayall and Peter Richardson an episode of ‘80s TV show The Comic Strip Presents... which followed them in a faux fly-on-the-wall rock documentary. It was filmed in 1982 and broadcast in 1983 – a full year before This Is Spinal Tap’s release. (There were many parallels but the main difference is that Bad News could not play very well at all and argued in a much more anarchic fashion.)

Like Tap, Bad News proved so popular that they soon undertook their own tours and even wound up supporting Iron Maiden on tour in 1986. 

Page and May agreed to appear in a live onstage showdown with frontman and lead guitarist Vim Fuego (played by Edmonson), which was set up to occur after Fuego was found to have been miming to their lines and is forced to bring them out from behind his amp stacks. 

Page explains in his post that things didn’t go entirely to plan, but fortunately – given the setting – it worked out. 

"On this day in 1986, I appeared with Bad News at the Hammersmith Odeon, with the fictional English heavy metal band supporting heavyweights Iron Maiden,” says Page.

“Bad News had two extra guitarists that night, Brian May and I. During their set there was a guitar duel between Vim Fuego (Adrian Edmonson), Brian and myself. During my bit, my amp mysteriously cut in and out but it just added to the comedy of the send up!”

You can hear bootleg audio of the appearance on the YouTube clip below. 

Despite comic appearances to the contrary, Brian May was a frequent collaborator with Bad News and co-produced much of their material. It was a favor the group returned with their legendarily awful Bohemian Rhapsody cover, complete with numerous arguments…

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.