Why Dickinson became a pilot; Bonzo voted number one; plus Jack Black, John Corabi, Shinedown, Great White, AC/DC and Korn

Bruce Dickinson

Flight fight: Bruce Dickinson

Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson says he became a commercial airline pilot because he’s not rich enough to own a jet plane. He reports: “I never intended to become a professional pilot. But, not being John Travolta, I realised the only way I was ever going to fly one was if I got a job.” The customised Boeing 757 used by Maiden would cost $80m to buy.

Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham is the number-one sticksman of all time, according to Gibson. The guitar makers say: “He was famous for his speed, intensity and swift right foot, but above all he was a soul drummer – in the end he was simply a groover.” The company’s top ten continues with Neil Peart, Keith Moon, Dave Grohl, Lars Ulrich, Mike Portnoy, Ginger Baker, Josh Freese, Stewart Copeland and Ringo Starr.

Jack Black says he has no plans to make a sequel to 2003 movie Shool of Rock – because it would be unlikely to match the quality of the original. “It’s my favourite,” he comments. “It was tailor-made for me, and so brilliantly written and directed. It was a great experience. I’m pretty sure School of Rock 2 would be the film to go on my tombstone.”

Former Motley Crue and Ratt singer John Corabi is set to release an acoustic album which, he says, includes “old songs, new songs and a sample of things to come.” He’ll tour an acoustic set in support of CInderella over the summer.

Shinedown singer Brent Smith says the band refuse to be rushed into releasing the follow-up to 2008′s The Sound of Madness. Smith explains: “The beautiful thing is the journey, and finding out where you are in your life, how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown. It’s crucial for us that the fourth record is as strong as possible, so we take our time.”

Great White guitarist Mark Kendall has confirmed the band’s current singer Terry Ilous is just standing in for Jack Russell: “Jack’s had a ton of health issues that’s made it literally impossible for him to perform. He was doing it with the aid of stools and we were getting ridiculed. He’s working with a trainer and wants to come back, but he has to get himself a little more mobile before we take him out. In the meantime Terry is doing great – he still has all his range, while Jack has a few notes missing from the past.”

If AC/DC tour again they won’t stage a two-year extravaganza, says frontman Brian Johnson – and in fact, they didn’t intend to do so with their Black Ice world trek. “It just got bigger and bigger, and we were like, ‘What the hell is happening?’” Johnson reports. “We enjoyed every minute of it, but I don’t think we could do two years again. It was really brutal.”

Korn bassist Fieldy says his bandmates have been surprisingly noncommittal about his side-project Stillwell, who are opening on the nu-metal outfit’s current tour. “They watch us every night, but they don’t seem very animated about things,” he comments. “They’re not coming up to me like, ‘Dude, that is so dope,’ but I’ll see Jonathan Davis watching from the side of the stage, and I saw Munky watching us from the soundboard the other night.”

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