Thursday, September 06, 2007

Maiden Flight?

I love Iron Maiden. I have seen them seven or eight times and they never let me down. Of course, I skipped their weaker periods in the 90s but think their new album "A Matter Of Life And Death" is genius. And I guess they do too, because they played the whole album end to end on their latest tour, pissing off loads of fans who wanted to hear the hits and classics.

That takes serious balls.

So to reward everyone who put up with this self indulgent exercise, Maiden announced this week a full blown 2008 world tour called the "Somewhere Back in Time Tour." This tour will visit all of the band's classic 80s albums - from Iron Maiden to 7th Son - and will re-introduce the insanely over the top Powerslave stage set (see photo).

And how does a band travel with all of the crew and gear required to put on such a spectacle? Why, in their own jet of course, flown by lead singer/airline pilot Bruce Dickinson. This is not a joke. From the band's announcement:

Comments Bruce Dickinson, "We had the idea last year of converting a jumbo jet into effectively what would be a flying 113 ton 'splitter bus' for touring and we have been working seriously on it ever since. It's pretty complex but in the end we were able, with a lot of help from Astraeus Airlines, to overcome all the technicalities of customising the plane for our purposes.

We are taking out the back 10 rows of seats to fit in a customised cargo hold that we can use again in the future if this jaunt works. This is in addition to all the standard storage holds. By taking band, personnel and equipment in one form of transport it makes all the touring so much easier and overcomes the logistical difficulty of people and equipment going in different planes. We can even work out exactly how big our carbon footprint is and take care of that responsibility! We will be packing as much of the show into the plane as we possibly can for this first leg and intend to give the fans something very special to remember. And it allows me to combine 2 of my greatest passions, music and flying!!

Let's see, how will that work? Bruce will scream "Goodnight Swansea," run off stage, grab a quick shower and a cup of joe, change into his pilot outfit and soon begin shouting at his band mates "Fasten yer seatbelts ya cunts!" This is like some crazy version of Pirates of the Caribbean with wings.

Anyway, I have two wishes, Iron Maiden. 1) That you bring this metal fest to the Northwest, and 2) You play Rime of the Ancient Mariner - all 18 minutes of it.

Yee hoo!


Dr. John said...

Seems to be the year of the mega-reunion tour (Police, Genesis, Van Halen, Maiden). I have never been to one of their shows, but can only imagine the insanity. Your post brings back fond memories of high school and cranking "Powerslave", "Piece of Mind", and "Somewhere in Time". I will have to check out their most recent if you recommend it. I got "Brave New World" and did not particularly care for it in that it sounded like every other Maiden album from the 80's yet lacking in any freshness.

For some cool Dickinson vocals, check out his version of "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" on the album "Nativity in Black", a Black Sabbath tribute album that is pretty good, I think.

Question of the week for the Isorski blog: Whatever the f*&^ happened to Metallica?

Ned said...

This is very crude to say but if that plane were to ever crash the headlines would be pretty unforgiving.

"Band's Jumbo Jet, piloted by lead singer, crashes."

I realize that Dickinson is an accomplished jet pilot but at first read this seems like the pre-text to the winner of the 2008 Darwin award.

Naturally I hope that Dickinson and crew continue to rock into their senior years (when they will actually look like "Eddie.")

Isorski said...

Dr John, Brave New World was bad. Actually, I think everything after 7th Son was bad until this new album. And it's not really a reunion. They never went away. They just sort of sucked for a while.

And Ned, you bring up a good point. But so far I think Keith Richards is in the running for the Eddie look alike contest!