While my love of music now spans many different genres (many more than when I was growing up), I've come to realize that my traditional musical tastes do fall into a predictible pattern: Hard rock/metal, with a nod towards razor-sharp instrumentalism, and a tight forceful rythum & bass line. It's predictible because its fandom is made up overwhelmingly of geeky white guys. Not a lot of females (with any self-respect or dignity, for the most part) have their iPods loaded up with the likes of Megadeth, Anthrax, Rush, DLR-Era Van Halen, or Dream Theater (Anyone? Anyone???? Yeah.....didn't think so).
Go ahead and put Iron Maiden in that category, as well. Blame it all on my older brother, but my disdain for terrible, cliched, bubble gum pop, glam rock, and anything written by Def Leppard was formed early on with my access to his 80's rock album collection. Still one of my all-time favorites was the 1985 Maiden classic Live After Death, a compilation of the best recordings of their now legendary 4-night set at the Long Beach Arena. It was a non-stop world tour that lasted over two solid years, all of which were sold out. In the States, this was done without hardly any mainstream rock radio airplay....a feat almost unheard of before that time.
So what could have possibly been (or still be) the appeal of this band? They were absolutely nothing to look at, other than a dizzying assortment of spandex, stringy, unconditioned, wispy long hair, and bad British teeth. It was the music, maaaan. The engrossing frontman stylings of THE Bruce Dickinson, the crushing, relentless bass work of Steve Harris, and the precision dual guitars of Adrian Smith and Dave Murray. They had a sound more musical than Metallica, more ballsy than their British metal counterparts, Judas Priest, and in 1985, they were THE metal gods of the entire world.
One of the classic traits of Geeky Guy Metal Fan is the costume....the insanely obnoxious black t-shirt with hideous, ridiculous artwork and graphics covering it. Fortunately, I've never owned one of these. However, I was always on the lookout for something more refined, but yet still able to proudly show where my roots lie. Finally, I came across it. The iconic Maiden font, just their name emblazoned across a plain black t-shirt. Your hand instantly forms the devil horns when it slides through the sleeve. ROCK.
For my fellow metal geek bretheren, here's the classic song of their same name from one of those classic Long Beach shows. Their ever-present mascot, Eddie, makes his grand appearance at the 2:35 mark. Keep in mind, this is 1985....but the stage show is still just as timely today. A true classic. Enjoy. Or don't. I don't really care.