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2 Minutes To Midnight - Aces High

"2 Minutes To Midnight - Aces High" (1990 EP)

1. 2 Minutes To Midnight
2. Rainbow`s Gold (Beckett cover)
3. Mission From `Arry
4. Aces High
5. King Of Twilight (Nektar cover)
6. The Number Of The Beast (live)
7. Listen With Nicko! Part VI

1. 2 Minutes To Midnight

Kill for gain or shoot to maim, but we don't need a reason
The Golden Goose is on the loose and never out of season
Blackened pride still burns inside this shell of bloody treason
Here's my gun for a barrel of fun for the love of living death
The killer's breed or the demon's seed
The glamour, the fortune, the pain
Go to war again, blood is freedom's stain
But don't you pray for my soul anymore

2 minutes to midnight, the hands that threaten doom
2 minutes to midnight, to kill the unborn in the womb

The blind men shout let the creatures out, we'll show the unbelievers
The napalm screams of human flames, of a prime time Belsen feast...YEAH!
As the reasons for the carnage cut their meat and lick the gravy
We oil the jaws of the war machine and feed it with our babies

The killer's breed or the demon's seed
The glamour, the fortune, the pain
Go to war again, blood is freedom's stain
But don't you pray for my soul anymore

2 minutes to midnight, the hands that threaten doom
2 minutes to midnight, to kill the unborn in the womb

(Solo: Dave Murray)
(Solo: Adrian Smith)

The body bags and little rags of children torn in two
And the jellied brains of those who remain to put the finger right on you
As the madmen play on words and make us all dance to their song
To the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun

The killer's breed or the demon's seed
The glamour, the fortune, the pain
Go to war again, blood is freedom's stain
But don't you pray for my soul anymore

2 minutes to midnight, the hands that threaten doom
2 minutes to midnight, to kill the unborn in the womb's all night
Midnight...midnight....all night!

2. Rainbow`s Gold (Beckett cover)

In the heat of the morning
When your day is still dawning
And your bird, she's singing
Catch your soul, he's willing to fly away

Packed your bags in a hurry
Because your mind's in a worry
Mark my words, you're gonna be sorry
If you ever fly away

Sweet little girl with the Saint Da Vinci-smile
Stares at me with sadness in her eyes
I'm not sure if she's really real or make-believe
Maybe she's a vision that comes to only me

Cause I'm so tired, yes I'm so tired
So tired yes I'm so tired

(3:11-Solo: Adrian Smith)

In the heat of the morning
When your day is still dawning
And your bird, she's singing
Catch your soul, he's willing to fly away

3. Mission From `Arry

Steve: ...anyways, he did not deserve to get a bollocking... ...the time, I know why he got a bollocking, because you, you know, you dunno what the fuck he's goin' on about, but he didn't really deserve it.All he's trying to do is relay a message from me to you, right? And he went the wrong way about it, okay?

Nicko: Yeh, he did go the wrong way about it.

Steve: Well then.

Nicko: Well I'm, I, I, I, I tell you what, I mean it ain't gonna happen again.

Bruce: I don't see where you get steamed, I mean, if the truss was gonna...

Nicko: Why I got steamed up Bruce is because he fucked me right up. And I knew there was a problem, I still didn't know what it was even after he...I, I fucked! I fucking fucked up!

Steve: I know that. Look, it's like...

Nicko: ...and I stopped, and it was like "oh, for fuck's sake!" Come on kids, and I'm looking around... what is he trying to tell me? What's the problem?

Steve: Can't you understand? Can't you understand if I'm trying to get a fucking message through to ya, right?...I'd have'd a been a lot worse. If I, if I had to go me gear it happens, (snaps his fingers) just in the nick of the time I got it done. If I...

Nicko: Yeah, I still didn't get the message.

Steve: I know you didn't. But what we're saying, it didn't... whatever happens if I got him trying to get a fuckin' message to ya. Y'know what I mean?

Nicko: Sure Steve, but the fact is that the guy was not handling it the right way.

Steve: You don't think of things like that Nick.

Nicko: But that's diff... look...

Steve: I bollocked...I was shouting at ya, "look, my gear's gone down".

Nicko: It's me that fucked-up.

Steve: Listen...

Nicko: I'm the one out there all on me own...

Steve: I know.

Nicko: ...I'm doing a drum solo. And I've got fuckin' talkin'...

Steve: No I'm the one, I'm only one 'a thinking, I've got fucking like a minute to go before m...,to get this fucking gear right.

Bruce: Yeah, but if somebody gives a message to me...

Steve: No?

Bruce: ...I mean, it doesn't matter who it is, I mean, the message gets through.

Nicko: Bruce, it's different...

Steve: It's a different situation.

Nicko:'s different for you. You're not standing there all on your fucking own having asomebody try to get your attention and talk to you. I'm playin' a drum solo, and the guy'sstanding a yard, or two yards behind my drum riser goin'...

Steve: Yeah, all I'm trying a...

Nicko: ..."fucking anga-yangna-baba"..."wha?"..."BABA-BABA-BABA!"..."WHAAAA???" Fuck! Uhhhhh! By the time I've got that far, I'm fuckin totally fucked. Because I'm p..., I'm not paying attention to my gig...

Steve: Hey, look...

Nicko: ...I'm paying attention to what he's trying to tell me.

Bruce: Yeah, but nobody woulda noticed.

Steve: I complete...

Nicko: I noticed!

Steve: I completely understand that.

Nicko: Fucked me right up.

Steve: But he, he was only doing what I told him to do, and that was get a message to you. Now that the fucking heat of the moment and just, everything on hand... he don't think to fucking tell Bill, he wantsto get the message to you, not to fucking Bill, so he don't think of that, he just tries to get the message to you, right? So, he don't fucking deserve to get a bollocking for that, I mean, alright he got one I know... not sayin that. But I just don't, you know...

Bruce: Attente! Attente!

Steve: ...Bob was a nice guy. He's not like he's, fuckin', he's an asshole...

Nicko: No, no...

Steve: ...or an idiot, or anything like that.

Nicko: Oh no, but he was out of order, because he didn'...

Bruce: He wasn't out of order.

Nicko: He was.

Steve: He wasn't out of order. he was wrong.

Nicko: He was, 'cause he fucked me up by tryin to tell me...

Steve: Nicko.

Nicko: If he'd of come up to the riser...

Steve: Nicko.

Nicko: Look...

Steve: Nicko.

Nicko: ...if he'd of come up to the riser there, I COULDA FUCKIN HEARD HIM!!!

Steve: But Nick...

Nicko: Cunt was standin' behind, I was sittin' down.

Steve: Yeah...

Nicko: ..."bada-bada-ba"

Steve: He was wrong. He made a mistake, but he wasn't out of order.

Bruce: It wasn't deliberate.

Steve: He made a mistake...

Nicko: Now, I know it ain't deliberate.

Steve: ...for fuck's sake.

Nicko: I didn't know that at the time, right? I still didn't know that Steve had a problem with his bass...

Steve: That's what I'm saying.

Nicko: ...luckily enough, by the time I finished the poxy solo, he had his bass working again.

Steve: It was all that fucking grief...

Bruce: All it takes is the guy...

Nicko: The grief was, because I bollocked him up, and I happened to tell ya, and you go "don't bollock him, go out and apologize," right. Fuck him, I'm gonna go and apologize to him.

Bruce: Well all you gotta do...

Nicko: It's not for me to apologize. I bollocked him 'cause he fucked me up. Right there, he fucked me up.

He was wrong.

Bruce: All you gotta he wasn't wrong.

Nicko: He was.

Steve: He wasn't wrong.

Nicko: He did not handle it...he's not even fucking communicating, right?

Steve: Aw! I don' wanna fuckin argue about this, it's fucking stupid... I think you're really out of order, I think...honestly.

Nicko: No bollocks! Oh I am not out of order.

Steve: You are. Your attitude is out of order.

Nicko: it ain't.

Steve: It is.

Nicko: No it ain't. The guy fucked me up.

Steve: I know he did...

Nicko: Well then that's out of order...

Steve: ...He didn't mean to.

Nicko: LOOK, I'M NOT SAYIN HE FUCKIN' MEANT TO 'ARRY!!! The fact is that he was a dummkopf, 'cause he don't know how to fuckin communicate with me onstage...

Bruce: But he's not a dummkopf.

Nicko: Aww!

Steve: He's not fuckin' stupid.

Nicko: Well, he fuckin' certainly did a good job out there this afternoon, didn't he?

Steve: He made a mistake, because I...

Nicko: What do you mean "He made a mistake"?

Steve: Because I...

Nicko: You sent him. How could he make a mistake?

Steve: That's right.

Nicko: How did he make a mistake?

Steve: Well, he made the mistake by not sending Bill first, right?

Nicko: Well, well he made a mistake, right?

Steve: Yeah.

Nicko: Well, why?...

Bruce: There's a difference between making a mistake...

Steve: Well that's what I'm saying.

Bruce: ...and a difference between making a human error...

Nicko: Right, so he made a mistake, right?

Steve: Yeah!

Nicko: And I'm griefed up cause he fuckin' made me make a mistake. Now that he... now I can
understand what he was talking about after the fact... it remains to be seen, he was on a mission from you.

Steve: Aw, I'm not gonna argue about it.

Nicko: Right? Fuck my old boots, it just... I can't... I can't handle that situation when people grief, and it's important to me to get a message like that...fucking hell! How can I get some... get, get... when I also fucked as well... I would'na minded if I'd have gotten what it was happening straight. Like, on the end "all right, 'Arris got his bass fucked, right I'll carry on and do something else", then that's fine, if I didn't fuck-up... but he made me fuck. It totally threw me right out, and he wasn't...

Steve: I know it did.

Nicko: ...He didn't know how to talk to me about it. And, and I've, I've told him "don't do that again."

Steve: Because, see, it's not, it's not, it's not fair relaying a message to people. He was just...

Nicko: And he never turned 'round.

Steve: ...look, it coulda been anybody. It was just that he was the first one on hand.

Nicko: 'Arry.

Steve: He was just standing there.

Nicko: He never turned around, he never even turned around afterwards and said "Listen, did you?...I'm sorry , but you didn't understand what I was saying right?"

Steve: Well why should he?

Nicko: Well then, then, then because...

Steve: He got a fuckin' bollocking.

Nicko: ...He woulda stood up for himself because he knows he was gotten a bollocking wrong, because he was on a mission from you.

Steve: He was probably...

Bruce: No.

Steve: He was probably fuckin upset...

Bruce: He's probably a bit upset.

Steve: ...because you gave him a fucking bollocking.

Nicko: Well, rightly.

Steve: You gave him up far as he's con...

Bruce: No, not rightly.

Nicko: Rightly, yeah.

Steve: But no, it's not rightly.

Bruce: No!

Nicko: I told him "DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN!"

Steve: No.

Bruce: That's crazy.

Steve: But what?...

Bruce: What happens if the lighting truss is gonna fall down on your head? Does he go?...

Nicko: Well then somebody drags me out of the fuckin' way, or else I'm dead, right?

Bruce: Yeah, but don't... I mean... you know.

Steve: I think your attitude is totally fucking out of order.

Nicko: No it ain't. No it ain't.

Steve: Yes it is.

Nicko: No it ain't. If I'd have known... now I'm the fuckin' cunt all of a sudden.

Steve: No, you're not the cunt.

Bruce: You're not a cunt.

Nicko: Because I told him he was out of order, and I didn't know he was on a mission from you to tell me that his bass, your bass was FUCKED!

Steve: I know you didn't.

Bruce: All you've got to do Nicko, is just go to the guy and say...

Steve: You didn't know, and he didn't know, alright?

Bruce: "Sorry about, sorry about shouting. It was a misunderstanding. But in future, tell Bill" that's all you gotta say.

Nicko: No. No.

Bruce: And that way, he's a fuckin' proud geezer...

Steve: What's, what's the matter with ya?

Bruce: He goes...

Nicko: Look...

Steve: 'Cause if this is some sorta pride thing or what?

Nicko: I bollocked him... no it ain't pride. It's, it's not fuckin' pride.

Steve: Well what's the matter with ya?

Bruce: It is pride.

Nicko: Oh bollocks!

Steve: What's the matter with ya?

Nicko: The guy was wrong to have been fuckin' there to do what he done.

Steve: I know. All I'm, all I'm gonna say is that when you're going up tomorrow...

Bruce: No it isn't wrong. What's he supposed to do? Turn around...

Steve: ...this is a different attitude, 'cause this is fucking stupid.

Nicko: I told him straight out not to do it again.

Bruce: What's he supposed to do? What's he?...

Nicko: I'm not gonna go out and apologize for saying that to him...

Bruce: He's NOT!

Nicko: ...He was outta fuckin' order.

Bruce: He's not out of order.

Bruce: what happens...

Nicko: Bruce.

Bruce: ...if I fucking go and tell somebody to do something, he goes "No, fuck off! I'm not gonna do that."

Nicko: Listen, Bruce...

Bruce: Then he's out of order.

Nicko: Bruce...

Bruce: But he goes and tells him to go and do something...

Nicko: ...I'm not concerned with, with, with, with, with other people that can't fucking talk to me on stage, who don't know how to fucking communicate with me...

Bruce: But he's not out of order trying to do it.

Nicko: ...He did not know how to communicate with me.

Steve: Some cunt's recording this!

4. Aces High

There goes the siren that warns of the air raid
There comes the sound of the guns sending flak
Out for the scramble we've got to get airborne
Got to get up for the coming attack

Jump in the cockpit and start up the engines
Remove all the wheel blocks there's no time to waste
Gathering speed as we head down the runway
Got to get airborne before it's too late

Running, scrambling, flying
Rolling, turning, diving, doing it again
Running, scrambling, flying
Rolling, turning, diving...

Run, live to fly, fly to live, do or die

Run, live to fly, fly to live, Aces high

(Solo: Dave Murray)
(Solo: Adrian Smith)

Move in to fire at the mainstream of bombers
Let of a sharp burst and then turn away
Roll over, spin round to come in behind them
Move to their blind sides and firing again

Bandits at 8 O'clock move in behind us
Ten ME-109's out of the sun
Ascending and turning our spitfires to face them
Heading straight for them I press down my guns

Rolling, turning, diving
Rolling, turning, diving, doing it again
Rolling, turning, diving
Rolling, turning, diving, doing it again

Run, live to fly, fly to live, do or die

Run, live to fly, fly to live, Aces high

5. King Of Twilight (Nektar cover)

(Crying in the Dark)

I've been trying, trying so hard
I've been crying, crying in the dark
Don't forsake me, the time of mine is near
Don't ever break me and the world that brought me here

Sick and lonely, waiting for the dawn
Sick and lonely, wondering what to do
Can you hear me, when I say to you
You give me your hand, I'll give mine to you

(King of Twilight)

When the king of twilight shows me
I will take ten steps to see
Forty leaves I pay for freedom

For a chance to be free,
For a chance to be free

When the king of twilight calls you
Take a step and you will see
We all need a quick solution

For a chance to be free,
For a chance to be free

When the king of twilight shows me
I will take ten steps to see
Forty leaves I pay for freedom

For a chance to be free,
For a chance to be... FREE

6. The Number Of The Beast (live)

I left alone, my mind was blank, I needed time to think, to get the memories from my mind
What did I see? Can I believe that what I saw that night was real and not just fantasy

Just what I saw in my old dreams, were they reflections of my warped mind staring back at me
Cos in my dreams it's always there, the evil face that twists my mind and brings me to despair

Night was black was no use holding back, cos I just had to see was someone watching me
In the mist dark figures move and twist, was this all for real or some kind of hell

666 -- the number of the beast
Hell and fire was spawned to be released

Torches blazed and sacred chants were praised, as they start to cry hands held to the sky
In the night the fires burning bright, the ritual has begun Satan's work is done

666 -- the number of the beast
Sacrifice is going on tonight

(Solo: Dave Murray)
(Solo: Adrian Smith)

This can't go on I must inform the law, can this still be real or some crazy dream
But I feel drawn toward the evil chanting hordes, seem to mesmerize, can't avoid their eyes

666, the number of the beast
666, the one for you and me

I'm coming back I will return, and I'll possess your body and I'll make you burn
I have the fire I have the force, I have the power to make my evil take it's course

7. Listen With Nicko! Part VI

(drumming and singing in the background)...
Oh..Oh! You cheeky! You slimeball! What did you do that for, you rotten terror Dave? You f'king put my
own voice and verbals in the... you know, they've heard me trying to sing this f'king song now.
Well how ya doing out there, you lot? Eh? Welcome yet again to Nicko's "not alot of people know that, or
knew that, or still don't... I don't know, whatever it is now days... number six." You are absolutely
devastatingly spoiled, the lot of ya. You're out there in your greasy sweaty debauched horrible stinking little
palms and fingers and all those horrible little bits and pieces that go on your hands... Are now the proudest
of possibly the most amazed Iron Maiden fans to own 2 Minutes To Midnight, Rainbow's Gold, Mission
From 'Arry... hoho! We shall talk about that later... And as you heard, that rotten Dave there will be tiddling
the knobs in the control room, decided to wack the microphone on... Aces High, King Of Twilight, Number
Of The Beast live! Oh you gosh, you've got such a package there! How can you still be sane, after this? I
mean, goodness gracious, listen to me, I've been playing it for six years! Hahahaa! Anyway, no!
Oh gosh, (sings) two minutes to midnight.... cha! Released the 6th of August 1984. My third single with the
band. I guess that must make the band's eleventh or tenth single, whenever. Don't write in and say, "Nick
I've got it wrong." or else I'll... (hits the microphone)... give you some of that! And, it got to number 11 in
the charts and this great British... oh by the way, earlier on I was thinking of trying to think... you know we
had the Bleeding Bojack Company, which we all know who that is by now, right? Now there was another
company that I sort of mentioned prior to this little speech I'm giving to you now, and I won't actually tell
you who it was, but the kind of... the... the abbreviation of this I suppose you'll get it from, but I though we
could call them the Mighty Tight Veg, what do you think? I mean, they haven't got any clue, have they?
You know, I mean, nevertheless! Hahaha! Now then, we all know who they are, cause they've wimped out.
Nevertheless, we still got to number 11 in the great British charts thanks to you guys again, and girls, and all
them little guyettes and guygirls and znznzn... all them people sort of whatever out there... First released
single off the Powerslave album, and yet again this album was recorded in the Bahamas. Yes sir, mmmm
hmmm! Now, as we all know, 2 Minutes To Midnight, great song, good video... the first story format that
the band had ever put out on a video rather than just sort of crazy stuff and... and... the norm, you know.
Rainbow's Gold was a song written by some friends of the band's, a guy called Terry Sles... Slesser, sorry
Terry I didn't mean to get it wrong... Terry Slesser and a guy called Kenny Mountain who ah... in a band
called Beckett together, I do believe. I might have go that wrong... so f'king hell what if I have! You gonna
do something about it? Huh huh? Come over here!
Anyway, now then, on the butt end of this here single was a track called Mission From 'Arry. See? Now,
those of you out there, still to this day some of you think that this was a coreographed piece of entertainment
for all you guys and girls. Well I can tell you it f'king well was not. It was in fact the, if only, the very f...
only argument I've ever had with Steve Harris. We were onstage in Allantown Pennsylvania one evening...
this was on the Piece Of Mind tour... when... although it was released on the back of a Powerslave single, it
was actually recorded on the Piece Of Mind tour. And, I was doing a drum solo... you know, new boy in the
band, do a drum solo Nick... get on with it. So in this period of time, Steve would go off to the back of the
gig and change his... if he had a dodgy bass string, or he... normally he would... but what happened on this
night, he was changing the battery on his remote, or his... should I say his transmitter. So, he sent this guy
around to tell Mike my drum tech to tell me to extend my drum solo, cause he weren't ready. But he didn't
tell my drum tech, he told this guy who was sitting at the back of the gig who was one of the riggers, a guy
called Paul who's no longer with the band, I wonder why? No, anyway, he said to him, "tell Nick to extend
his drum solo." So I'm playing... (makes drum noises).... and all that shit, and I gets a tap on the back and
this guy says "Ooy!" I go, "What!" "Ooy! Blahahaey!" I go "What!" He's going "Heyheyhey ehey!" and he's
pointing to Steve. I'm going, "EH?" He's going, "ah ah heyheyhey!" I'm going, "WHAT!!!" He's going,
"WAHEHAAHAHAYYY!" I said, "FUCK OFFFFFF!!!" Hahah... Jesus Christ, he made me FUCK!!! Oh!
Anyway, what could I do?
I stopped, I gone absolutely wally, so I've come off the gig anyway... and cut the... to make a long story even
longer, I've come off the gig and I gone in the dressing room and I said, "That f'king geezer at the back of
the gig! What the f'king hell does he think he's doing? There he is, he's giving me all these verbal signs and
all this stuff right?" I said, "I couldn't understand him, he was about three feet behind me instead of coming
up and shouting in my lughole." Harris said, "I sent him." I went, "You what?" He said, "I sent him." I said,
"What the f'king hell you doing sending him around to give me messages?" He said, "Well, I... you know...
play a bit more and you know, need a bit more time to change my bass thing-a-me-bob." And I said, "I
f'king care about that, this geezer made me fuck!" He said, "Well look, you better go and appologize to
him." And I said, "F'king right I am! I f'king appologizing to him, he made me fuck!" He said... hahaha!
That's the argument. We argued about fifteen twenty minutes, and it all calmed down, and Bruce came in
and he got a bloody cassette in his back pocket, and he said, "Oy Nick, what would happen if he tried to tell
you the lighting truss was going to fall on your head?" And I said, "Don't you f'king well start!" And 'Arry
said, "yeah, he's got a good point, doesn't he?" So we started the argument again and Bruce recorded it. And
then at the end of this Mission From 'Arry you'll remember this... 'Arry says... he grabs the tape... just before
he grabs it, he sees this tape in the pocket and he's going "some (beep)'s recording this!" Hahahaha! So he
got the tape, and that's basically how that all happened. But anyway, after this extravaganza, we thought it
was so funny we had to let you guys hear it. And that's the only serious argument I've ever had with Steve in
my life... or my life.
So, that just about gives me enough time in this little "not alot of people know that number six, part six, or
whatever", to tell you just a tad about Aces High, which as you know has got King Of Twilight on it, and
Number... NOB! of.. Number Of The Beast live. This song was released 22nd of... no it wasn't... heh! It was,
it was released 22nd of October 1984. Chart position 20 that got to. Now, at the time we were rehearsing the
Powerslave album, Steve was writing this single, I started to learn to fly airplanes in Jersey. And, I'd come
home from the aerodrome, and I'd have the old... you know, twisting the old ends of the mustache, twiddling
the old various bits and pieces... the hat and the goggles and the scarf... "Woah, tally-ho Biggles! You've
bandits at six o'clock low, coming out of the sun, 12 o'clock high! Watch out, full power, bomb's away
Biggles!" You know, all that good stuff. And I think it sort of slightly influenced Steve to write this song,
you know, about those 2nd World War spitfire pilots and those guys. Hey, shhh... just between you and me,
Steve... he doesn't like to fly. He hates it, he think's I'm an absolute nut case! But, you don't tell him I told
you, will you, because he'd be very upset.
Anyway, Aces High, King Of Twilight.... great! What a package this one is for you! I wish I had more time
to explain some more of the stories on 2 Minutes and things like that, around that time. But I really do have
to go now, I'm running out of time. Oh yes, just a little joke for you before I leave. Have you heard the one
about the two queers? The were fighting over a manhole! Hahahahah! See ya, I'm off! Bye!


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