Veteran rockers Iron Maiden once inadvertently upset the MAFIA, after their security guard took exception to a member of the audience molesting female fans.

Singer BRUCE DICKINSON says the band were confronted the following day by armed mobsters after the unfortunate incident in Italy.

He says, "We had a few run-ins with the Mafia. In Naples, we had a security guy who was lifting girls who had fainted over the barrier.

"There was a bloke in the pit whose hands were wandering onto parts of these girls where they shouldn't have been going.

"Our security guy gave this Italian a couple of warnings and then thumped him.

"The next day we turned up at the venue in Naples to find that the bloke was the promoter there. He had just come out of hospital with his jaw wired up.

"He was with a lot of men in black suits with guns in the back of their car. Through his sewn-up mouth he said, 'Where is he, I kill him.'

"We hid the security guy in the bay of the bus for about eight hours."

15/12/2003 17:24