The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Posts Tagged ‘chuck schick

Iron Maiden – Flight 666

with 2 comments

It’s no secret that Iron Maiden is my all-time favorite band and has been since Flight_666___The_49e6eea3d4247Powerslave came out in 1984.  They always possessed a certain kind of power in their music that stuck with me.  I’m not a total fanboy and have been vocally critical of them, as I am with any band that graces my ears, positive criticism or negative.  Maiden’s put out some stinkers: Fear of the Dark, Dance of Death, the 2 with Bayley on vox…But generally they always right themselves.  They really did a great album with A Matter of Life and Death.  To me that was their best album since Somewhere In Time.

Now here we are in 2009.  They finished an ambitious leg of the Somewhere Back In Time Tour by having Bruce Bruce fly the band and all of its crew and equipment all over tarnation while being filmed.  The result of this being the Flight 666 documentary.

I received my copy Friday and watched some of it before going out and finished it over the weekend.  What a power presentation.  I am always blown away by a band’s fans of this magnitude.  worldwide I think that Iron Maiden may be more popular than Metallica.  Since I don’t pay much attention to Metallica I really shouldn’t make such claims, but whatever.  This is my party.

The behind the scenes footage of the band going from city to city, country to country is pretty amazing.  It’s amazing that no one got hurt.   There is one particular scene in the Colombian section where a guy apparently caught one of Nicko’s sticks and he’s standing there in tears after the show with a female friend.  You can just see how much the show in general meant to him and even that much more to being home a piece of it from a supposed hero of his.  I get it.  I really do.  I’ve been to a few shows over the years that were really emotional for me, religious experiences even.  This last tour was one of those experiences.

One of my best friends came to town from Arkansas to attend the show with me and it made it that much more special.  The band was amazing.  Bruce sounded great. Nicko seems to have gotten better over the years.  Dave and Adrian and Steve and the consistent rocks in the band.  I’d never seen them play at such a high level?

…and there’s Jannick Gers.

Since day 1 I have not been a fan.  I never will be.  It pains me to see him playing some of Adrian’s solos with “H” standing right beside him.  I should add how poorly he plays them.  He’s completely sloppy, always.  He was in 1991 when I saw him and he was last year when I saw him.  This video is even more proof of it.  Sure Dave and Adrian aren’t perfect, but their playing is fine.  VH-1 has been running the concert footage from this regularly so I have been able to see it several times now.

But back to Iron Maiden and this great documentary.  My friend Jeff made a great observation about Maiden and it’s best that I quote it instead of paraphrasing it:

And what is the essential element that makes them so successful? Without regard to anyone in the band’s personal politics, the band itself is VERY socially conservative. They don’t have lyrics about getting wasted, f****ng chicks, teenage rebellion, rebellion against society, songs promoting social change, none of that tot. And they’re very healthy, non-destructive, and constructive in their own individual lives.

Up the Irons!

Amen.  Up the Irons!
Flight 666 get 5/5 Stars

Written by The Metal Files

June 16, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Tell me why I have to be a Powerslave…

with 2 comments

Before I get too deep into reviewing old badass metal albums, I am going to start with THE most badass metal album of all time.Powerslave

Yes, by Iron Maiden…like that needed to be said. I guess there are some folks out there who don’t know. Well you do now.

I’ll never forget when I first bought this. It was 1984 and my mom and I were flying into Pittsburgh to visit family for a week. The airport there had a little music store so with some of the spending money I had I bought Powerslave and Bark at the Moon. I had heard some of the Ozzy album on the radio and at that time, Ozzy was still making quality records. Prior to buying Powerslave, Run To the Hills was the only Iron Maiden that I had ever heard. I always loved their album covers but never checked ‘em out. I even remember having the old Hit Parader special edition “Iron Maiden vs. Quiet Riot.” Of course I covered my walls with the QR posters that came with it. Duh. Children!

OK, back to Pittsburgh. For whatever reason, NO ONE in my large family up there had a working cassette player and I didn’t bring my Sony Walkman. Of course their record players and 8-track players worked fine. D’oh. So I ended up having to wait a whole week before I actually heard the damned thing. But once I got back to Virginia, oh man, it was on.

I remember calling Kelz and saying, “Dude, I just got the new Iron Maiden…it’s so fast!” It was also one of the inspirations for me to want to play drums which I started later that year. Now realize that I already considered myself a metalhead and was already into KISS, Crue, Metallica, Sabbath, DIO, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, RUSH, Triumph and a slew of other heavy bands, but Maiden was my missing link.

I wore out at least 6 copies on cassette. A few vinyl copies and have owned 3 versions on CD. The OCD in my head turns on sometimes and says, “Doofus, you must go and find every version of this on CD and have one whole rack dedicated to Powerslave.” You know, it really doesn’t sound that silly, does it? Hmmm…

The album is just brilliant, beginning to end. Every time I play it, I still get goose bumps when I hear the opening riff to Aces High. The transition in to 2 Minutes to Midnight is perfect. I’m not even bothered by the instrumental…and I rarely like Maiden’s instrumentals. I always found it odd that there were 2 songs on there about swords. Sure, Bruce Bruce was a fencer and all, but whatever. Both songs are great. I guess when Dickinson wrote Flash of the Blade, Harris had to get his say and write The Duellists. OK, side 2. I can remember flipping it over in my old tiny boombox that had one 4” speaker. Good times. So now, Back In the Village. Great tune…duh. I’m not sure why I am even mentioning each of these songs since we all know that the album is perfect. But since I am near the end, Powerslave is one of my faves on this record. Just a great groove. Nicko is god. Finally we get to the epic Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Simply brilliant and very well done.

I’ll never forget Mr. Gordon’s 11th grade English class. We were studying Rime in its entirety and of course I was already very familiar with it. When we were starting to break the long ass poem down, I mentioned that I had a shorter version that still captured the essence of the story and asked me to read it to the class. Read it? Shit, g, I had that junk memorized. So I stood up and recited the entire song to the class. I’d pause now and then and Mr. Gordon would ask if I was done. “No sir, just getting through a guitar solo.” So after I completed it, Mr. G thought it was pretty cool. he said something to the effect of “Wow Sean. Good job. But how is it that you can memorize that entire song but you can’t seem to remember to do your homework?” My reply was simple…”That’s easy, Mr. Gordon. I have my priorities.” He just shook his head and the class laughed. Ha! I ruled the wasteland that day.

1984 was a good year. A damned good year.

I filmed this video in San Antonio, May 2008.