As a musician and music lover, I’ve been a fan of Iron Maiden since I was 12. One of the first pieces of music I ever taught myself how to play on the guitar was Phantom of The Opera (remember the classic Daley Thompson Lucozade advert) from their 1985 “Live After Death” album. While my musical horizons have expanded over the years, I still regularly come back to Iron Maiden and listening to this 33 year recording still provides the same visceral blast it did all those years ago. I expect it always will.
And so it was with genuine astonishment that, stood with friends at a rammed to the rafters Manchester Arena last week, I witnessed the band unveil their staggeringly detailed (and staggeringly beautiful) stained glass stage set. This Cathedral of Iron Maiden makes up just one of numerous interlocking “worlds” that form the jaw-dropping backdrops to the bands 2018/19 Legacy of The Beast Tour. It features their ever present mascot Eddie the ‘Ed in a number of classic album/single cover incarnations including The Trooper, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, The Number of The Beast and Powerslave along with a large central rose window. Drummer Nico also unveiled his new Sonor SQ2 “stained glass kit” complete with rose window bass drum.
While there have been others, Eddie’s creator Derek Riggs is the artist most famously associated with bands mascot and is credited with creating many of his most iconic incarnations. As mentioned, adaptations of many of these feature in the stained glass artwork for the tour but, despite a thorough search, I have so far been unable find any further information about the artist or group responsible for creating it.
I wish I could say it had been us!
Our images include a crowds eye view of the stage I snapped at Manchester and a promotional shot of Nico with his new kit.