The singer took his three youngsters on the road with the Number of the Beast hitmakers and their early experience of rock 'n' roll hedonism was a valuable lesson.

DICkinson tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "What was great for my kids was when they were growing up and we took them out on the road. I got some cracking questions from five-year-olds, 'Daddy, why is that man doing that?'

"They would be backstage, there would be some idiot who'd done too much coke sweating profusely, teeth chattering. 'That's because he's on drugs,' I'd say. 'Drugs? Are they a bad thing?' And I'd say, 'Judge for yourself'.

"The best possible antidote for people not to take drugs is to go and see a bunch of people who are completely messed up, out of their brains. They got an education in drugs and made good decisions."