Chop Pitt of Airforce rock band's exclusive interview talking of Doug Sampson Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden fan site Legacy Project fans of Iron Maiden

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Chop Pitman airforce uk guitarist
Chop Pitman has a crazy schedule just lately and his time is limited but we at Legacy Project caught up with him during rehearsals to ask him some very quick questions.

Legacy Project:  Everyone knows you as Chop what’s your first name?
Chop Pitman:  Gary

Legacy Project:  When did you start playing guitar?
Chop Pitman:  My parents bought me a plastic guitar when I was about six. I had to wait until I was older to get my first electric guitar that was a Columbus. I followed that with a Strat which I traded for my dream guitar a Gibson SG. I still have that SG and would never part with it, I then used Charvel’s for years but since I discovered Brian Moore guitars and wouldn’t use anything else.

LP:  What bands inspired you?
CP:  Uriah Heep , Black Sabbath, Stray, The Sensational Alex Harvey band and Deep Purple

LP:  What guitarists influenced you?
CP:  "Zal" Cleminson on the Old Grey Whistle Test that was the moment I had to become a rock guitarist. Also Tony Iommi. They are also the reason I had to have an SG.

airforce uk chop pitman doug sampson
LP:  Where did you meet your old band mate Doug Sampson?
CP:  Through a mutual friend Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris.  Steve knew I was looking for a drummer all three of us met up in a studio and had a jam session we have been mates ever since.

LP:  How did you meet Steve Harris?
CP:  We both worked for Waltham Forest Council and were interested in music.  Steve used to borrow my amp and cab when he was playing at the Cart and Horses.
LP:  What amp and cab did you use back then?
CP:  Marshall Super Lead Model 1959 and a Simms Watt cab.

LP:  What happenned to the amp?
CP:  I still have the Marshall amp Steve used and will be bringing it to the Legacy charity gig for Iron Maiden fans to have a look at and Doug Sampson is bringing the drum kit that he used in Iron Maiden and used on the Soundhouse Tapes I believe so some really historic bits from Maiden’s history.
LP:  Many Iron Maiden fans think Doug Sampson retired after Maiden is that true?
CP:  No he played for Airforce and his brother Sam Sampson from Sam’s Apple Pie joined as our vocalist. Doug doesn’t play for us now but we recorded songs with him as well.

LP:  Do you still have the recordings of Doug Sampson playing with Airforce?
CP:  Yes, all stored safely and in excellent condition.  I would like to release some tracks from our vaults for the fans to hear.  We have some great tracks featuring Doug that may be of interest to Maiden fans.

Doug Sampson Airforce uk Chop Pitman
LP:  Did you attend early Iron Maiden gigs?
CP:  Yes I watched them from the earliest days when Paul Day was there singer they used to play a lot of Montrose and Thin Lizzy covers Jailbreak (Iron Maiden recorded Thin Lizzy’s Massacre as a B-side). 

LP:  There are no known recordings of those earlier days, what was Paul Day like as a frontman?
CP:  Great voice, REALLY GOOD voice but not a great image or stage presence.

LP:  Do you still follow what Steve Harris gets up to?
CP:  I still follow Steve’s work and recently saw him at a British Lion gig. It was great to catch up and he actually signed a couple of bits for the Legacy gig’s Charity auction.

LP:  What does the future hold for Airforce?
CP:  We will continue playing live.  I want to play gigs to real music lovers so quality gigs over quantity.

LP:  Where can people see you perform next?
CP:  We are playing at the Legacy gig at the SINBIN on the 8th of November.  

LP:  Thank you very much for taking a break from your rehearsals and talking with us today.  We look forward to seeing you on the 8th at theSinbin in the Plough and Harrow in Leytonstone.


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