It’s 5am and I’m about ready to get on the Maiden Bus — a three-hour journey to the city for the first Australia Iron Maiden tour in more than 20 years. The nails are black, the head is partly shaved, and I’m feeling the part.
We’ve been delving into all-things-Maiden, my partner and I, since we bought our tickets nearly six months ago. Who knew there was so much out there? Live and doco DVDs, bootleg CDs, even a comprehensive library.
I thought today, I’d show off some of the best Maiden-based works and heavy metal tomes. For the metalhead in us all…
Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal
by Ian Christe
Considered the definitive history of the first 30 years of heavy metal, this one is filled with interviews with members of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, Kiss, Megadeth, Public Enemy, and others. From the B&N review: ‘Though Christe draws some sharp distinctions between and among subgenres, his basic position is that all heavy metal is good until proven bad. “Though metal is larger than life,” he writes, “it ultimately comes from life: inflaming the intellect, shaking the senses and stroking the libido more completely than any sound before.’
Run to the Hills: The Official Biography of Iron Maiden
by Mick Wall
It’s unauthorized, but my partner tells me it’s excellent. The book charts Maiden’s rise from London’s East End to the biggest metal band on the planet. It covers the band’s highs and gets quite dark when exploring the lows. The best thing about this one, I hear, is it’s humour. It’s quite a fun read, channeling the band’s own style of dry humour.
Bang Your Head: The Rise and Fall of Heavy Metal
by David Konow
Crown Publishing Group
Konow is a Guitar World writer and his metal fandom seems to make him a perfect candidate for exploring all aspects of the genre and its subgenres. From the metal Maiden explosion through the era of the monster metal ballad, hair rock, and all that came after, Konow takes us through it all. I don’t agree with all of his assumptions, and I don’t know if Bon Jovi was ever really a metal band, but there are some fun tidbits here.
Too Fast for Love: Heavy Metal Portraits
by David Yellen (Photographer), Chuck Klosterman (Introduction), Chuck Klosterman
Dave Yellen’s longing for days gone by when metal was huge and metal hair was bigger still is pretty much exactly what we’re experiencing this morning. With word that Maiden are to be performing nothing but hits and other classics tonight, we’re expecting flashbacks that hit so hard and so deep that we may actually go back in time. Yellen’s book makes us feel like we’re not so alone, that perhaps not everyone was oh-so happy to see the spandex era end. There’s a lot to be learned about bands and band politics here, as Yellen wins the trust and friendship of some major metal names.