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The Personal Impact of Iron Maiden

Discussion in 'Maiden Chat' started by LooseCannon, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. LooseCannon

    LooseCannon Yorktown-class aircraft carrier Staff Member

    I've been pondering this question for awhile, personally. Some people on this forum are Iron Maiden fans, first, foremost, and always. Some count the band amongst their favourites. Some stay around for the excellent community. But I'm curious what the personal impact has been for people. My Iron Maiden story is multifaceted, and I am going to attempt to touch on some of it here - and I encourage others to share their own.

    How many threads have we seen over the years, asking how someone got into the band? Has to be at least a dozen, and I've shared my story of my best friend playing The Clansman and Alexander the Great one day in the car. It was the beginning of a new musical journey for me - but it was more than that. I've often said it was my best friend, but what I've rarely mentioned is that he was pretty much my only friend. High school wasn't an easy time for me, and I made friends with great difficulty, and I spent a lot of time trying to be someone different - someone more interesting or popular.

    I remember aggressively researching this new band at the speed of dialup, and the way I felt when I stumbled across the Iron Maiden Commentaries for the first time. I've mentioned this recently, but this is when I realized music could be about something more than the type of music I was encountering on MuchMusic at the time - either angsty nu-metal wherein the white guy is mad because...reasons, or flashy pop music about sex. Oh, there were folk ballads about things like history, but they were just that - folk ballads from mostly-forgotten 1950s artists such as Johnny Horton. It was a broadening of my mental horizons in a lot of ways.

    But, similarly, the stories of the band were fascinating. I mean, Bruce Dickinson is an amazing guy. I don't need to list his achievements here. But the really amazing figure of Iron Maiden is Steve. I learned from Steve Harris that is OK to be who you are, and to demand people accept that. When I read about Steve forming his old band because Gypsy's Kiss told him that his music wasn't what they wanted, I realized it was OK to be uncompromising on who you are. When you read about Steve's near-merciless behaviour for early Iron Maiden, the way he cut people loose to make the band better, you learn about what it's like to have a vision and to work hard to make that vision turn real. Steve's attitude in 1981 was the same as it was in 1995; the band might change, but Steve, man. Steve is a fucking constant, a take-no-prisoners son of a bitch who forged the greatest metal band with his bare hands. I admire Bruce for what he does; but Steve Harris is my hero, because he taught me it was OK to be me.

    I could probably go on all day, including using this band as a reason to make some amazing friends, one of whom I consider one of the best, as well as see the world - but I wonder, beyond the music in some ways, how has this band changed you?
  2. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    Music was not something I cared about until the age of 12. My parents always wanted me to play a musical instrument, but I showed absolutely no interest. I did not have a favorite artist or a favorite song. I would go months without listening to a minute of music. Now, I cannot give Iron Maiden the full credit for breaking me into the world of music; they were not my very first favorite band. But I can give them full credit for breaking music into my world. Reading their name on some random forum and curiously typing "Iron Maiden" on YouTube's search box in 2009, leading me to the Rock in Rio version of "Fear of the Dark" changed everything. After months of obsessive listening, I would ask my parents to buy me my first guitar. It would take me a couple of days to figure out the intro to "Dance of Death", and a week to figure out the intro to "Powerslave". Soon enough I started to emulate Steve Harris' galloping bassline on "The Trooper" on the guitar. I obsessively continued to explore into the world of heavy metal, then progressive rock, then everything else. Music became one of the central themes of my life. So much so that I started not being able to get along with people who did not share my obsessive passion for music. Nowadays I'm in my seventh year playing the guitar and the bass, recording music, writing album reviews strictly for my own pleasure, working on my album archive where I provide details like songwriters, years of release and the like to the point of losing sanity. Music tapped into my obsessive-compulsive nature and is engrained into who I am.

    If it weren't for Iron Maiden, my best friend of six years would be a mere acquaintance. I knew him because of our common interest in basketball, but getting him into Iron Maiden was our first bonding experience. I've shared more with him than anyone else in the world and consider him family, the brother I never had. I attended my first concert with him, I travelled across cities for the first time to see him, he's the first person I've had in my house as a guest and he's the first person whose house I've stayed at by myself. When LC says "My best friend, and pretty much my only friend", I know exactly what he means. Being the introverted loner I am, I've always had trouble making friends throughout my life and that remains the case. If it weren't for Iron Maiden, he wouldn't be my friend, either. Not to get too bummed out, I'm not exactly living the life a person my age should. Life is tedious and painful. There are only a few things in life that keep me hanging on. Listening to music is one of them. Playing music is one of them. My friend is one of them. If it weren't for Iron Maiden, who knows which direction I would go.

    And of course, Maidenfans. With the excitement of the first Iron Maiden album due for a release during the time I was a fan of the band looming large, I dared to join an English speaking forum at the age of 14, in July 2010. Looking back on it now, it's ludicrous that I actually thought I would be able to hang with proper English speakers back then. My posts from 2010, 2011 and even 2012 are packed full of broken grammar and weird word choices. I've overshared things, made cringeworthy posts and at times just came on the forum to let my teenage frustration out. I don't speak broken English anymore, I -hopefully- don't make cringeworty posts anymore and I'm not a teenager anymore. Perhaps this post is a throwback to those days, huh?

    This part would ruin that ending, so I'll add it in spoilers. I'm in my third year of university, studying English Translation & Interpretation. I chose to go down this road because of my English speaking and writing ability. And I highly doubt I would be where I'm at if it weren't for Maidenfans.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
    Working Warhurst likes this.
  3. SirRobbins

    SirRobbins Ancient Mariner

    When I heard the Somewhere in Time cassette tape in my Sony Walkman in 1997, it was like hearing music for the first time. It was, after all, the first form of music I discovered on my own, not stuff I always listened to with parents... I paid $5.00 I believe for it and had no idea what I had bought. The guy at the counter told me it was a great choice. Maiden was a hidden passion for years until my parents divorced in 2001. Dad moved out and I was free to enjoy Maiden (though my uncle took me to see them in 2000 and told them it was a different band). :) My uncle was into them in the 80s and was a huge Deep Purple, Rainbow and Sabbath fan in the 70s. He never married or had kids so it was cool for him to have a nephew that loved that music. He's gone to multiple concerts with me over the past few years. We both got first to the barrier in 2016 in Ft. Lauderdale and did the VIP thing in 2017 in Tampa. Maiden has been the shirts I wear, the posters in my closet, the bobbleheads on my desk, the albums framed on my wall, the music in my ipod, my coffee in the morning with my eddie mug, the tattoos on my arms..... it's almost a religion of sorts. People I meet at shows are from every walk of life there is and everyone loves and respects one another (contrary to what the world says)..... the media should go to a metal concert some time. I would not change it at all. Up the Irons!

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