On August 27, former IRON MAIDEN frontman Paul Di’Anno played his first show since serving time in a U.K. prison after he falsely collected U.K. government benefits by claiming he suffered nerve damage to his back that prevented him from working. Fan-filmed video footage of the concert, which took place at the Festa Della Birra Di Fabrica in Rome, Italy, can be seen below.
After serving his jail term this past spring, Di’Anno issued a short statement in which he thanked his fans for their support and claimed that he “managed not to drop the soap” during his stint behind bars.
Di’Anno, 53, was sentenced to nine months for swindling £45,000 (approximately $72,000) in benefits. He was told he would serve at least four and a half months of the sentence behind bars before being released on conditional bail.
D’Anno was reportedly busted when investigators at Department Of Work And Pensions (DWP) received an anonymous tip that he was still singing. They then found videos and pictures on YouTube and the rocker’s own web site of Di’Anno “energetically leaping around on stage, singing to fans around the world.”
Di’Anno completed his first North American tour in early 2010, 17 years after he was deported following a prison term for guns and drug offenses.
“In 1991 I did a couple of stints in jail for guns and drugs,” Di’Anno explained in a 2010 interview. “I was stupid. But after I’d done my stretch they still treated me like a criminal. And I was — but I wasn’t that bad. So I didn’t feel good about America. The government, not the people.
“Prison was tough, but I’m tougher. I was nobody’s bitch, put it that way. You’ve got to do it; otherwise people will walk all over you.”