Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Maiden Musings


  During the concert, I've had time to gather my wits and let my ears stop ringing somewhat.  There were a lot of unusual happenings during the Iron Maiden concert in Denver last night.  One of my biggest concerns was the mysterious organ player to whom Bruce Dickinson was announcing, "He has the gift of the second sight, he is the chosen one.."  The individual looked like Ozzy's dad, or maybe Benjamin Breeg's dad (aka Eddie's father, aka The Courtship of Eddie from Iron Maiden's Father).  He appears during the song Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.  This morning I've done exhaustive research to determine who the HECK this guy is!

  During the sequence, Bruce is dressed up like Sinister from the X-Men to add to the confusion and concern.

  One could quote from the story, The Monkey's Paw to which one reads, "Be careful what you wish for.."  Well, I needed to know, and.. horrifyingly, I found out...
  Apparently, the character is known as, The Count.  There is no reference to any Iron Maiden song involving him whatsoever, and I consider myself an Iron Maiden expert (compared to most) and a fan, having unreleased albums, songs, parodies, etc.  The Count is actually Michael Kenney who started with Iron Maiden back in 1988 during the 7th Tour of a 7th Tour.  He's Steve Harris' bass guitar techie and has played live keyboards since then. 

  Eventually he was upgraded to primary keyboardist starting with the next album No Prayer for the Dying and has been so ever since.  He's the unsung, unknown, secret Iron Maiden 7th player (hence the 7th son).  I knew they had studio keyboardists but I never knew it was always him.  If Steve Harris vouches for him then he's okay in my book, as Steve on bass is the nicest guy and lets the crowd play with his bass in between sets.  Iron Maiden generally loves their fans and is real cool about everything.  Interestingly, Eddie never messes with him.

  So now that that's settled.  I was quite amused that Bruce Dickinson called-out a guy smoking weed in the audience, chastising him and pretty much telling him he was an idiot for being doped-up, "..you won't even know when the set is over.  You obviously don't care about the music."  It's true.  There's very few that smoke pot in concert venues these days (except for the genre of reggae, where I think it's required).  I remember in the early '80s there was a haze.  Being in their late 50s and 60s, it's nice to see they're saying no to drugs, as does Rush.  It's not that they're setting an example or on some clean-living kick, it's just that they're wiser now (unlike David Lee Roth recently in Denver.. who, by the way, is an expert dog trainer as he let us know three times, though doesn't have any bumper stickers on his truck [though personally, I'd have a Diver Down bumper sticker if I were him]).  Iron Maiden like Rush has most certainly "been there, done that" and through experience have decided it was a bad choice.  One could argue it opens mental avenues, but then again, one could argue it closes them.  Imagine if The Beatles didn't smoke hashish when they made a pilgrimage to India in February of 1968!  One could argue it would make their future albums such as Let it Be, The Beatles, and Abbey Road would not be so good, but if you listen, those three albums weren't all that great compared to 1967's Sergent Pepper, Revolver, and Magical Mystery Tour which, yes, was before they went to India to which after was all peace, love, and understanding to some degree, and honestly, probably started around 1964 after A Hard Day's Night.  Maybe drugs in India are more potent?  Regardless, they've learned the error of their ways and their music was very good last night.  Harmonizing three guitars is no joke, live.

  Another concern I had was Eddie being in the form of General Custer.  The flag Eddie was carrying had a star pattern that had four corner-stars in the American flag blue field, followed by a circle of stars inside.  Doing some research, I found out that Iron Maiden (again, being a thinking-man's metal) was using none-other than the Colorado joining the Union flag of 1877!!!

  This occurred right after the Battle at Little BigHorn to which General Custer and his men of the 7th Cavalry Regiment were slaughtered one year later in Montana.  This actually makes sense, as a reincarnated Eddie could assume the body of Custer after his death, waving the flag of Colorado.  Of Custer's attitude and pride, he'd probably think his defeat was still monumental in the colonization of Colorado and that his efforts led up to Colorado being the 38th state.  It's appropriate that Iron Maiden chose this, as, yes, they were in Colorado for this tour, and yes, it's around the time of the death of General Custer, and it fits when he comes out at the song of Run to the Hills.  You don't see other bands getting it that right, now do you?  Well done, sirs!

  Eddie was anamatronic throughout most of the set. 

  Pretty much the concert of the year.  Enjoy the song, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (live)...


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