Piece of Mind pays tribute to Iron Maiden, but only the versions fronted by Bruce Dickinson. After their August 1999 debut, they became regulars at clubs like Canes in Pacific Beach, where lead guitarist Anthony Ciullo played his first-ever gig with the group.
“I was 17 years old and popped a string on the first song. I didn’t have an extra guitar and ended up missing three songs…the manager of Canes lectured me after the show. I was so disappointed and embarrassed, but I have never gone to a show without backup guitars since.”
Ciullo reports that band members — most of them single — see their fair share of groupies. “One time,” he says, “a female fan grabbed [lead singer] Ron’s dick while we were playing. He quickly removed her hand from his crotch, and she instantly grabbed me. She pulled me down and licked my face and almost yanked me clear off stage.
“L.A. is a better venue for hooking up after a show. Everyone at our shows in San Diego always seems to have a husband or boyfriend.”