AIRFORCE London Rock Music- Chop Pitman and Doug Sampson, ex Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden fan site Legacy Project fans of Iron Maiden

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Since it's inception in 1989 Airforce enjoyed much local success with Chop Pitman on guitar, Doug Sampson ex-drummer of Iron Maiden, Sam "Tomcat" Sampson on vocals (formerly of Sam Apple Pie) and Tony Hatton on bass guitar.  This original classic rock band from London names various artists as it's chief influencers, such as Black Sabbath, Van Halen and Judas Priest, amongst others.  Rolf Promel took over from Sam Sampson on vocals and was responsible for a lot of writing for the band and he was also the vocalist in a live recording.  Chop is quoted as saying, “Why Has It Come To This, Fine Line and Melody In Me stick out as examples of his contribution to the band……..He (Rolf) joined before Keith Haggis and was a big part of Airforce ... great song writer”.  Keith Haggis was added to the line-up as a second lead guitarist.  In 1999 Mick Dietz took over from Doug Sampson on drums until 2001 when the guys disbanded. 

Airforce was reborn when Chop took to the stage once again after being introduced to a bass guitarist in 2008 who, due to work commitments, had been out of the music scene for a while.  The ideal mix was found in 2009 after various drummers and vocalists were considered, finally settling on Dee Dyaz for vocals and Ian Jacklin on drums who had enjoyed stints with Slade, Alvin Stardust, Bay City Rollers and had even had chart success with Fiction Factory in the early '80s.  Dee, sadly, had to be replaced after family commitments became a priority.  Sebastian Bolocan took over for a while but Freddy Ball now fronts the newly invigorated Rock band on lead vocals and bass guitar.  

They may have had a stuttering re-start but this true addition to British Rock Music now works extremely well together and perform some real rocking tracks.  They are writing new songs as well as revamping old material to a higher production standard.  ALL members of Airforce play a variety of instruments and contribute to new material, musically as well as lyrically.  And as a result their melodies are instantly memorable and bass lines are punchy and driven.  Sticking to the the very core of their early influences, Airforce FLY THE FLAG for the London Rock scene.



Chop has done sessions with many diverse artists including Doug Sampson (Iron Maiden) Sam Sampson ( Sam Apple Pie) Alex Faulkner and Jez Coad (Simple Minds ). He formed Airforce with Doug and the others after jamming with Doug and Iron Maidens very own Steve Harris



Kevin has worked with Uriah Heeps drummer and has live and recording experience he is also a talented drum tutor and has worked with cover and original bands since the age of 18.

Amoeba was Fred's first band, at just 15 years old he was a drummer already and by the age of 17 he had met Phil Collen, who was to go on to fame with Def Leppard, they formed bands together and played in several others.  In one he played, he notably played with Tony Miles from GV1 in TUSH.  'Cheap Thrills' was one of the local projects he formed with Phil and tackled songs that were ever complex like '2112' by Rush.  It was about this time that Fred, with Phil, joined 'Mordor', this was a 'prog/rock' band, unusually it had no keyboards.

The Dumb Blondes were originally formed with Fred on drums in 1977, he stayed in the line-up until the departure of his compadre Phil, in 1980, where he left shortly after.  Although whilst in Dumb Blondes, there was a segment on stage where he used to step out from behind his drum kit and take the mic from Jeff Hepting (lead singer), to sing "The Beano Song".  Shortly after Fred joined 'Ocean' a band which featured, ex New Torpedoes, guitarist Rudi Riviere. Steve Gett (of Kerrang rock magazine) took a shine to the pair and asked them to join a band called Sapphire.  Sapphire went on and supported the legendary 1981 UK tour of the one and only Alice Cooper.  They also went on to gig in Europe and release a single.  Fred can be heard on Sapphire's single 'Jealousy' b/w 'Let it Burn' and went on to contribute the backing vocals for Def Leppard's 1987 album 'Hysteria'.  He also formed XFX at this time.

He now brings that experience to Airforce where he plays bass guitar and performs lead vocals.

Doug Sampson
Doug’s first band was Smiler a band he joined as its third drummer with future Iron Maiden members Steve Harris and Dennis Willcock. Dennis took the 17 year old Doug under his wing while Doug gained valuable experience playing live at the Cart and Horses. In 1978, after attending Dennis Willcocks last gig at the Bridge House, Doug was asked to re-join Iron Maiden by Steve Harris and toured extensively with the band before recording the Bands earliest self-financed single The Soundhouse Tapes. Doug left Iron Maiden in 1979 but it is his drumming on Burning Ambition the B-side to Running Free the band’s first commercial release and has since had other recordings released by the band. After helping his ex-Iron Maiden bandmate Tony Parson set up the band Press Gang Doug later became a founder member of Airforce recording the as yet unreleased Never Look Back EP. 

Sam Sampson

Sam Sampson joined as the first vocalist after leaving the legendary Sam Apple Pie. Sam Apple Pie were a British blues-rock band, of the late 1960s and 1970s, Formed in Walthamstow, London, where they ran their own club 'The Bottleneck Blues Club', Sam Apple Pie soon attracted a large live following, with a mix of goodtime blues and boogie, interspersed with humour.  In October 1969 they played the Amougies Festival, in Belgium, where Frank Zappa jammed with them. They wrote all but one of the songs on their first album Sam Apple Pie (1969) which featured lead singer Sam "Tomcat" Sampson with Mike "Tinkerbell" Smith and Steve Jolly on guitars, bassist Bob "Dog" Rennie, Malcolm Morley on keyboards and Dave Charles on drums. In 1970 they played the first Glastonbury Festival, after which Morley and Charles left to form Help Yourself and Steve Jolly to join Procol Harum offshoot Freedom. After several more line-up changes, the band recorded their second album East 17 in 1973, with Sam Sampson and Bob Rennie from the first album supported by Andy Johnson and Denny "Pancho" Barnes on guitars, and Lee Baxter Hayes on drums. They disbanded in 1974, but reformed the next year. During the hiatus, from mid 1974 to February 1975, the band members performed with Vincent Crane as Vincent Crane's Atomic Rooster. Further line-up changes included bassist Gary Fletcher, who subsequently joined The Blues Band, keyboard player, Steven Golick and drummer Martin Bell. The band continued into the late 1970s

Rolf Prommel Airforce singer songwriter
Rolf joined his first band, Pegasus in 1983 as a keyboard player and was introduced to Heavy Metal music in South Africa by the lead guitarist. It wasn’t long before he left Pegasus and started his own Heavy Metal band called Bannish, which started gigging in and around Johannesburg. One evening the lead vocalist of Bannish didn’t arrive and Rolf was pushed to the front and sang the lead vocals at a music festival. The vocalist was fired, the band changed its name and from that gig onwards, Rolf became the lead vocalist of South Africa’s premier Heavy Metal band - Black Rose.
Black Rose was invited by South Africa’s top radio station ‘Radio 5’ to appear at a prestigious Music Festival in 1983. This led to the band being signed to Team Music in South Africa and the subsequent recording of an album called ‘Live By It’ in 1984. After the release of the album in the same year, the other band members, who were British, decided to fly to the UK, whereupon arrival they interviewed for a new Bass Player. Black Rose supported several top bands in the UK i.e. Thin Lizzy and Great White and also headlined the Marquee in London on several occasions.
The band eventually split up and Rolf interviewed for Airforce with drummer Doug Sampson and Lead Guitarist Chop Pitman. Together they wrote and recorded several songs which included; Melody in Me, Fine Line, and, Why has it come to this?

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HEROES - AIRFORCE (full track)

Melody In Me
Featuring Doug and Rolf Promel

Why Has It Come To This 
Featuring Doug and Rolf Promel

Featuring Doug and Sam Sampson

Label Me 
Featuring Vocalist Dee (Dolores) Dyaz

Nuclear Warfare 
Featuring Sebastion Bolocan on vocals

The Silence 
Featuring Sebastion Bolocan on vocals

Fine Line 
Featuring Sebastion Bolocan on vocals

Featuring Sebastion Bolocan on vocals


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