The origin of Eddie (see the original Eddie here!)

A

Anonymous

Guest
Just received my signed Run For Cover - The Art Of Derek Riggs book....totally awesome!
I read again the story of how Derek came up with the idea of drawing Eddie (whose original name is actually Matthew) from an old army propoganda picure of a decapitead head on an army tank.
Anyway, I gathered in this day & age with the internet at my hands that maybe I could trace this picture down...& I did!.....but just to be sure, I even emailed Derek & he confirmed that I had found the picture of the same head he used as inspiration to draw Eddie.

Eddie_inspiration.jpg
 

Natalie

Insect of Terror
Staff member
Astonishing! Nice work for finding this, its really incredible to see the inspiration behind Eddie. No need for Maidenfreak's edit, I think we can all see the inner Eddie.  :ninja:

P.S. Even the gruesomest things can have a positive influence.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Just out of curiosity, how did you track that picture down?
 

Raven

Ancient Mariner
Quite a nice find.  I'm wondering, though, whether that head was real, or a fabrication for propaganda purposes.  I can see why Riggs chose it, though...it is pretty gruesome (although not as bad as some Cannibal Corpse or Torsofuck albums...they just go beyond the realms of decency)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Raven said:
Quite a nice find.  I'm wondering, though, whether that head was real, or a fabrication for propaganda purposes.  I can see why Riggs chose it, though...it is pretty gruesome (although not as bad as some Cannibal Corpse or Torsofuck albums...they just go beyond the realms of decency)

I would think that back in 1980 Eddie had about the same effect as the imagery of the bands you mentioned...
 

Raven

Ancient Mariner
Perun said:
I would think that back in 1980 Eddie had about the same effect as the imagery of the bands you mentioned...

It's just a pity that bands these days try too hard to 'out-gross' each other in terms of extremity.  In their lyrics, in their artwork, in their stage presence (I'm looking at you, Mayhem...)...while the image of Eddie may have horrified some, it's certainly moderate compared to some artworks I've seen.  It works the same way bands try to be 'heavier' than everyone else.  As Stev said in The Early Days, 'Nowadays, compared to some of the bands out there, we may seem commercial...but back in the 70s, we were playing really heavy stuff.'
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Raven said:
Quite a nice find.  I'm wondering, though, whether that head was real, or a fabrication for propaganda purposes.  I can see why Riggs chose it, though...it is pretty gruesome (although not as bad as some Cannibal Corpse or Torsofuck albums...they just go beyond the realms of decency)

In my search, I was lead to believe that decapitating Japanese heads & proudly displaying them was a fairly common practice in WW2....apparently, quite a few soldiers even went as far as boiling them down to the bone & sending them home to loved ones.

Now to answer the question of how I tracked the picture down......Derek mentioned that it was a decapitated dried up head on an army tank (& he believed it may have been a propaganda picture)...so I simply googled decapitated head tank propaganda & there it was...as simple as that!
It was actually a charred Japanese soldier's head....but it looked right to me & I felt very confident it was the one & the same Derek was talking about.
So then I emailed Derek with the picture attached & waited for his reply....I wasn't sure if I would get one, let alone that I only had to wait less than 24 hours to receive it.
This was his reply:
Hi it's Derek Riggs
I think that is the picture. although there may have
been another one of it also, because I remember it
being with the head straight on.
this is not a maqjor issue, after all if i found that
head on a tank I woul have taken several photos of it
from all sides. so it's quite likely there is another
pic or two.
all the best
D


I also found the photo was taken by Ralph Morse & he was a pretty famous photographer around that era so his photos featured quite a lot in magazines etc so it's very likely any sort of photo that fitted that description would be the one Derek had come across.
Derek seems confident enough to me & I'm confident he is right in saying there may have been several shots of it so now I am going to be vigilant in finding a head on shot that Derek remembers being the exact photo he used.
I haven't had much of a chance yet but knowing Ralph Morse was the photographer should go a long way.
And for you collectors.....this picture featured in LIFE Magazine Feb 1 1943 (I've already got mine on the way)...apparently it's a full page picture.

If anyone comes across a head on shot, PLEASE let us all know.

I think it's an exciting piece of Iron Maiden/Derek Riggs/Eddie trivia to come across so I hope some of you other fellow Maiden fans have found it interesting too.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Well, due to the racial connotations of combat with the Japanese, it seems apparent that the mutilation of the corpses of those often decried as "monkey", "Nip", "slant-eye", and "Jap" would become prevalent with invading soldiers, especially considering the extreme distaste for surrendering soldiery the Japanese soldiers of the Second World War held.  It is sad, but there it is.

(That sentence is really verbose.  I'm in paper-writing mode.)
 
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