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Eddie: The Face of Iron Maiden
If your an Iron Maiden fan, "Eddie the Head" is no stranger to you. Appearing on every Iron Maiden album cover, Eddie is as iconic as the band itself.
The idea of Eddie came from a paper mache mask that was given to Iron Maidens lighting director. The band liked the mask as decided to use it as a part of their backdrop. They ran a pump through the mask's mouth that they used to shoot fake blood all over drummer Doug Sampson and whoever else got close to it. Soon after the live use of the mask, their lighting director created a much larger mask out of fiberglass. The new mask had eyes that light up and a mouth that bellowed out smoke.
Eddie on Paper
Derek Riggs was a self thought artist responsible for the design of Eddie during the 80s and 90s. The Iron Maiden band members looked through his portfolio and selected a character that looked similar to their Eddie mask. The picture was titled " Electric Mathew Says Hello" and was originally intended to be a puck album cover. The band had him add hair to the figure to better fit the metal atmosphere. This resulted in the picture that was used on their debut album "Iron Maiden".
The Many Faces of Eddie
Over the years Eddies style has changed to fit the different album themes. Originally a "zombie-like" creature, Eddie has transformed into anything from a soldier to a pilot, a psychopath to an ax wielding killer. Giant inflatable Eddies or people in Eddie costumes have been featured in almost every Maiden tour. If Eddie wasn't present somewhere on stage, he was the main subject of their back drops.
Eddie Meets Controversy
Some of the artworks featuring Eddie have been know to stir up some controversy. The "Sanctuary" album depicted Eddie standing over the corpse of Margaret Thatcher, The prime minister of Britain at the time. Needless to say this upset a good amount of people, forcing Iron Maiden to censor out Margaret's face on the album cover. A large amount of controversy also came from "the Number of the Beast" album. On the cover Eddie was pulling the strings of a satanic marionette. The title track along with the album artwork lead to Iron Maiden relieving the label of satanists. This encouraged Christian groups to buy and burn their albums. This gave Iron Maiden free publicity and increased their record sales.
The Ultimate Mascot!
Eddie has been the face of iron maiden for many years. Not only is Eddie the star of all of their album covers and backdrops, but he is also apart of all of the Iron Maiden merchandise; from t-shirts and hats, to posters and coffee mugs. Eddie even has his own action figures. Wherever he can be found, Eddie is always flying the heavy metal flag. In my opinion, you can't find a better representation of what metal music stands for.