Friday, December 29, 2006


There's a line in an old Helloween song that goes "You better believe all the troubles you have will pay you someday." That sums up the last eighteen years of my life as a persecuted Iron Maiden fan. Man I have taken so much shit growing up from all directions for staying true to the Iron Maiden lifestyle. Even the childhood friend who first got me into Iron Maiden back in '87 called me a poser for liking it. Then after he broke me in to the world of Powerslaves and hookers from the East End, the mainstream Maiden fire kind of cooled down and even once friendly record store employees gave me crap for not adapting to the new cool trends in metal and hard rock, most of which involved the incorporation of flannel shirts and/or rap music. I even stayed with Maiden after I heard the Pope declared them satanic and banned them from the Catholic "must listen" music list.

From day one of my fandom when clear cassette tapes were all the rage through the late eighties when CDs were sold in longboxes and through the nineties as I was using record magazines to order Maiden through the mail, I kept the Maiden fire alive. I faithfully collected every Maiden album and single on some format, mostly CD. I wore the shirts as a teenager and I bought Maiden guitar tab books in Korea and I was downloading tabs I didn't have from the OLGA and all the guitar related adventures that being a fan of this band entails. I stayed with them through the multiple lineup changes and I even supported them when they released that god awful video for Holy Smoke that MTV refused to play on the grounds that it was too amateurish. Still I stayed pointlessly and moronically true to the band and to this day I still buy their crap and follow their side projects, all mostly in secret now because I can't really justify telling anyone about what I'm into. It's just not that interesting to others. As a good cover in awkward social situations I do have knowledge of what the kids are into nowadays, namely Rob Thomas Band and James Blut.

So guess what has happened down here in the last place on earth I would ever expect to find another Maiden fan? Two of my coworkers have got bitten HARD by the Maiden bug. These guys are admittedly new to the scene but they are totally batshit crazy about this band. What a bizarre turn of events. How is it possible that they've lived their whole lives and only now at this precise moment they pick this band to devote their souls to? It's mind blowing. I hope that their Maiden fire burns strong and I've tried to supply them with as much material as I could, as have other people down here who are only casually aware of the band. The birth of a new Maiden fan is always a beautiful thing, and in this instance I'm witness to twins. It's possible of course that being in Antarctica for six months takes a toll on one's sanity and this is just a passing fad in the lives of people living here right now. I also believe this situation is proof of my theory that all existence is a physical manifestation of a dream I am having and I'm actually ten years old right now and in a coma. There can be no other explanation for the Maiden mania that is currently consuming the space station.

Finding three people into the same band in one place is usually not that big of a deal. But when those people are in Antarctica and that band is Iron Maiden, you MUST believe that Steve Harris is a prophet and his songs are prophecies of future happenings in the affairs of mankind. Repeat with me now and know that it is true-"Oh well, wherever, wherever you are, Iron Maiden's gonna get you, no matter how far." You want to know how intense it is down here? My two friends went to Christmas dinner dressed in Iron Maiden shirts they bought using internet. Usually the single guys use Christmas dinner at McMurdo to impress the ladies with their finest clothes in the hopes of getting laid. But so strong is Eddie's grip on my friends that they overcame the natural urge to find mating partners in favor of impressing everyone with their scary shirts, effectively ensuring that no females would find them attractive and eliminating their genes from the pool.

Seeing two freshly minted rivetheads has had an affect on me, too. I've found their enthusiasm contagious and it has rekindled the wanting to outwardly express my fandom as well. But instead of wearing shirts or sleeping with Iron Maiden bedsheets as they do, I did what I've done since 1988 and drew a picture of Eddie. But this Eddie is a morphing of the Maiden mascot and the world famous Ivan the Terrabus. Ivan is a six wheel drive, 33 ton, 48 foot long offroad bus with 66 inch tires that takes me and other people to work out on the airfields here at McMurdo. Ivan embodies the Antarctic experience for many of the people who live down here as is evidenced by all the pictures people take of him when they come down. I put my drawing on the shared drive so that all of McMurdo has access to it from thier compruters. Now wherever I go, people are giving me secret nods and winks and calling me sir and telling me they can neither confirm nor deny the existence of said picture.

I am Jack's smirking revenge on the Pope and MTV.


smurfwreck said...

I never got into Iron Maiden. Some dude down the street let me borrow a copy of one their CDs, but I didn't have the heart to tell him that I only have a tape player. I wanted to seem cool.

I was into Metallica pretty hardcore back then, doing pretty much the same types of things you did, and even had the friend (who got me into them) turn on me and say, the day I moved away from that city no less, that Public Enemy was way better than Metallica.

The Eddie bus is pretty damn snazzy man, btw.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Wow Shawn, the same thing happened to me when the guy who got me into Maiden later became heavy into AC/DC. I looked up to him a lot but I couldn't understand why he was totally dumping one band for the next and trying to get me to do it, too. It seemed like all the stuff we had in common and everything I admired my friend for was thrown out the window.

It's weird but I identified my friends by what band they were most strongly a fan of. I had an Iron Maiden friend, a Metallica friend and a Megadeth friend. Amongst our group we respected each other accordingly, as if we were actually IN those bands. I really admired the other guys because my favorite band, Helloween, was nowhere near as cool or popular as their bands were.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Ivan, my name's Ivan (18) too, I'm a biiig Maiden's fan and I live in Belgrade, Serbia. So, if you wanna talk or something, you can find me on or on my facebook account by the name 'Ivan Ćorović'. You got a lot of things on your blog, so I'll occupy myself on reading it. Hope hearing from you! I..I,


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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.