Iron Maiden Fans Have a Unique Relationship With UFO's 'Doctor Doctor'

Support bands exist for a reason. They're there to start the show, to hype up the fans, to get the party started before the headliner comes onstage to blow everyone's minds. Support bands are the warm-up, the hype man for the main act that everyone actually paid their money to see.

The thing is, though Iron Maiden use support bands (that their fans definitely enjoy), at their gigs, they are not truly the warm-up act. Iron Maiden have, for years now, used one song as their true 'entrance music' - UFO's 'Doctor Doctor'.

Those who have been to an Iron Maiden gig will know what I mean when I say that the concert truly begins five minutes before the lights go down and Iron Maiden appear. Without fail, the opening notes of 'Doctor Doctor' are met with a roar as loud as the band themselves will receive, the lyrics are sung and the crowd bounces along with exactly as much passion as they will do to the live songs that will follow it. Outsiders could be forgiven for thinking that Maiden are already onstage and for being confused when learning they're not.

There are two reasons for this insane reaction: one, everyone in that crowd knows that 'Doctor Doctor' immediately precedes Maiden's appearance, and in this way, this song acts as the support band. It lets the crowd know that their heroes are mere minutes away, and so the excitement reaches fever pitch. And two - it's just a bloody awesome song, and clearly one that influenced the band. Catchy, powerful and whole lot of fun, 'Doctor Doctor' is brilliant and features a bouncy rhythm that is not unlike Maiden's distinctive gallop. It's no wonder that Maiden themselves have covered it (albeit in the bleak Blaze Bayley years).

Iron Maiden are not the only band to use a certain song to hype up the crowd. Anthrax used 'I Can't Turn You Loose' for many years, and Metallica have used 'The Ecstasy of Gold' by Ennio Morricone for decades. But the way Iron Maiden fans dance and sing along to 'Doctor Doctor' with as much gusto as they do with 'Aces High' and 'The Trooper' is truly unique. Certainly, I've never experienced anything else like it. To have a set of very dedicated fans respond to another band's work in this way, whilst at their favourite band's gig, is utterly special. No band has nailed their entrance music quite as well.

Perhaps it also helps that the version Maiden use is a live one. Instead of using the studio version, on which the production is actually a bit dead, Maiden ramp up the live atmosphere by using a live version of their entrance music. It's a small detail that makes a world of difference.

Check out a video of it below. The crowd is annoyingly un-bouncy, but there's still a Hell of a lot of love for the song which perfectly demonstrates the love that Maiden fans have for this song - including a very telling roar of appreciation when the song begins.