Eddie the Head <maiden-mascot-fans>

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The original Eddie was just a theatrical mask. It can be seen in the band photos on the first album and on the "Running Free" single picture sleeve. It was a face right next to the band's logo. It was connected to a pump that would eject various kinds of liquids, from food dye to paint, and would drool over Doug Sampson who was the drummer at the time. Fans would also try to throw things into the mouth at gigs.

Eddie's full name is Edward The Head (Edward T.H?? the remainder of his surname is hidden by a clump of soil on the Live After Death cover.) Other plays on Eddie's name can be seen in the Video Game (based on him) Ed Hunter. The name originates from the following old joke:

Eddie the head was born with no body, no arms and no legs. All he had was a head. But despite this major birth defect his parents still loved him very much. So on his sixteenth birthday his parents found a doctor that could surgically give Eddie a body. When the parents got home they couldn't wait to tell him that he could finally have a body and be like other normal people. They go home really excited and say "Have we got a surprise for you. It's the best present ever!" and Eddie says "Oh no, not another fucking hat!"

The above story is also told by the band's drummer, Nicko McBrain on the CD, found in the first package of "The First Ten Years" singles collection. Here's how it's told by Nicko:

"Eddie was very unfortunate. He was born without a body. So nevertheless his parents loved him dearly, and took him home, and placed him on a mantlepiece one day. Well, his family gave him lots of love and attention, and he always got loads of presents on his birthday, kind of...*augh*...blowing things and, an axe and all that kind of stuff. *Weaugh*, I mean...anyway, one year he was about sixteen, and the hospital contacted his parents and they said to them..um..they said 'look..uh, due to modern technology and all those good things that we can do with, you'now, all this stuff nowadays, we're now.. we're now able to build Eddie a body'. So, with this his parents, they were so excited, they couldn't believe it. And they couldn't wait to tell Eddie, I mean this is it you know, 'Eddie's gonna have a body' *weehaa*. However, as it..as it was..um.. close to his birthday, they decided to tell the doctors to go ahead and build his body. And then they would surprise him, and, you know, it weren't far from his birthday *whispering*, *good birthday present*. Two weeks later, THE BIG DAY ARRIVED!!. YES, Eddie's birthday, so his parents goes up to 'im, and they kinda walk up to the mantlepiece, " 'ello Eddie, how ya doin' "."This year is gonna be the best birthday yet"."Have we got something for you, such a wonderful present". And his Mom's goin' all, "Oh goodness Eddie, we're so pleased". And Eddie's Goin' "*Augh* Oh no", said Eddie, "Not another f***ing hat!!!". (*Hahahahaha*, Oh, the whole thing's so funny, it is it's pretty good i'nt it.) "

Iron Maiden gave the name "Eddie" to that mask. The character Eddie was created by Derek Riggs. In the artwork to the single "Running Free", a silhouette of a large, skinny zombie-like creature can be seen. When the band was looking through potential artwork for their first album, they came across the artwork by Derek Riggs that would eventually become the artwork for the self-titled album. The band liked it, and felt that it was what the silhouette actually looked like.

The artwork for the second album, Killers, was also an original Riggs painting before he started creating bespoke album covers from The Number of the Beast onwards. Derek Riggs claimed - in the Maiden documentary 12 Wasted Years - that the design for Eddie the cartoon was based on (what was supposedly) a Japanese head he saw on a television documentary, hanging on the side of a burned out Japanese tank from the Battle of Guadalcanal, (Matanikau River engagement), October 24, 1942.

It has been hypothesised that Eddie is an alias of Benjamin Breeg, featured in the song "The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg"[1] from the latest album, A Matter of Life and Death.

[edit] Melvyn Grant
Though Derek Riggs is Eddie's primary creator (having worked on all album and singles work for the band's first nine albums, as well as A Real Live One, A Real Dead One, the "Virus" single, Best of the Beast and the album sleeve for Brave New World), Grant is the second major contributor. After his iconic work on the Fear of the Dark cover (the first time anyone else drew Eddie other than Riggs), he has worked on Virtual XI and Death on the Road's covers. These are the most popular non-Riggs pictures after the negative reception for The X Factor[citation needed] and Dance of Death.

[edit] Trivia
Roman Turek - a former NHL goalie with the Calgary Flames - who now plays in the Czech Republic, used Eddie as the main theme in all his masks from the different NHL teams he played with (Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames) which created some very distinctive and interesting masks.

The cult hit television show Aqua Teen Hunger Force, among its numerous references to rock and roll and metal music, has made reference to Eddie in the episode "Super Sir Loin". After being tricked once again by subliminal messages in the music of his favorite rapper, MC Pee Pants, the character of Meatwad converts from rap to heavy metal and mentions Eddie in the following exchange with another character, Frylock.

Meatwad: Boy I feel like a fool. I ain't never again gonna do what no stupid rap musician gonna tell me what to do.
Frylock: That's a good idea, Meatwad.
Meatwad: From now on, it's only heavy metal bands that gonna boss me around. Them people speak the truth. They got this six-story skeleton named Eddie, and he like opens his mouth all crazy fang-like... He's crazy as hell.
An Item in the MMORPG RuneScape called Edward the Cranium is a reference to Eddie, whose full name is Eddie the Head.

[edit] Appearances - Album and single covers

[edit] As a Zombie
Iron Maiden, simple frontal shot with Eddie's mouth wide open.
Killers, Eddie wielding a bloody axe (the victim still gripping his shirt).
The Number of the Beast, the devil appears to have an Eddie as a puppet, but in fact the devil is shown to be Eddie's puppet.
Piece of Mind, displays Eddie in a straight-jacket and screaming as a result of lobotomy.
Live After Death, Eddie is being struck by lightning and is rising from the dead.
No Prayer for the Dying, Eddie bursts from his grave and grabs the gravedigger by the neck (removed in the 1998 re-release) - similar to Live After Death.
A Real Dead One and A Real Live One - Eddie is a zombie rocker though now very stylised. On the cover of A Real Dead One, Eddie is wearing an Iron Maiden Killers T-shirt.
The X Factor, Eddie in the process of being horribly mutilated through surgery.
Be Quick or Be Dead- on the cover of that single we can see Eddie, squeezing Robert Maxwell's head

[edit] As other
Pharaoh, with a monument erected in his image on the cover of Powerslave (often depicted as a mummy in related artwork, retaining his zombie look).
Fighter pilot, on the cover of "Aces High". He staring through the gunsight of a Supermarine Spitfire wearing a flying helmet and goggles as he participates in the Battle of Britain.
Cyborg, on the cover of Somewhere in Time and all associated artwork.
Tree monster, on the cover of Fear of the Dark.
King, on the cover of the Edward The Great compilation album.
The Grim Reaper, on the cover of Dance of Death. He appears similarly on the cover of Death on the Road.
Soldier, on the cover of A Matter of Life and Death. He is standing on top of a tank wearing a leather helmet with aviator goggles and holding a Thompson submachine gun. On the cover of The Trooper Eddie is wearing uniform from XIX century, he is holding sabre and British flag with broken flag-staff as he participates in the Crimean War.

[edit] Ambiguous
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, a sliced Eddie floats above a psychedelic arctic scene holding a womb (suggested to be his own), with his head cracked open and in flames. Also showing are some of his cybernetic parts (right eye and throat) from the previous cover, also the snow-figures (at the back-cover) all represent Eddies of previous covers. Also ground has cracks, and fishes under ground which make it look like ice. On the other hand there is some liquid dripping from Eddie, which make ground splash, and look like water.
Virtual XI, the head, shoulders and left hand of a gruesome looking Eddie are set against a desolate, red background with the sole exception of the bottom left-corner that shows a green football field, against a blue sky, and a boy with a virtual headset.
Brave New World, Eddie's face is formed in the clouds above what appears to be a futuristic representation of London. Theme re-used for accompanying Rock in Rio cover.

[edit] Notes
Eddie is frequently remembered for his distinctive evil grin, which first debuted on the cover of Killers. Other common expressions are to have Eddie screaming or snarling, but occasionally with his mouth entirely shut, making his appearance more meditative.
The 80s Maiden covers Piece of Mind - Seventh Son seemed to have a continuity of their own. Most noticeably traces of his lobotomy from Piece are featured in every cover from this period. Eddie's cyborg eye (from the Powerslave-era single "2 Minutes to Midnight") also appeared on the covers of Somewhere in Time, Raising Hell and Seventh Son. Some of his cybernetic parts from Somewhere in Time remain on Seventh Son but obviously Eddie's somewhat odd decomposition makes this link less clear. This continuity ceased for unknown reasons after No Prayer (though Eddie's non-zombie appearance on Fear of the Dark may have been a reason for the change) and has since been largely abandoned. Regardless, traces of the lobotomy still appeared in some artwork associated with the album. Indeed, the cover for The X Factor and associated artwork is about the operation that caused this change to Eddie.
Hugh Syme made the Eddie puppet seen on the cover of The X Factor. Since the puppet actually exists in physical form it produces a more realistic and gruesome image than the previous covers which had all been oil-paintings.
Another recurring character in Maiden cover artwork in the early 80s was Riggs' depiction of the Devil, who premiered on the single "Purgatory". Eddie battles him on the single cover of "Run to the Hills" and displays his decapitated head on the cover of "The Number of the Beast" single.
The CGI Eddie, featured in the late 90s music video "The Angel and the Gambler" as well as in the Ed Hunter computer game appears to be based on the Eddie from Piece of Mind, being bald, showing signs of lobotomy and having the neck-brace with a broken piece of chain hanging from it. This Eddie also has a strange scar on his chest and appears slightly more muscular than other previous Eddies.
Eddie's image from the "The Trooper" single cover is depicted in several Ulster Loyalist murals across Northern Ireland. His battleworn Union jack is meant to represent that the Loyalist people will never give up in their fight. On the death on the Road tour Bruce Dickinson waved the United Kingdom's flag in front of a picture of Eddie in his trooper uniform and on it's shoulder was a tag with the number 666, reference to "The Number of the Beast".[citation needed]

[edit] References

[edit] Video games
Eddie can be unlocked as a playable character in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4.

Iron Maiden made a video game called Ed Hunter in which familiar places like "22 Acacia Avenue" are visited. Accompanied with this are a few CDs holding Iron Maiden's top 20 hits.

[edit] See also
Derek Riggs
Melvyn Grant
Iron Maiden
Vic Rattlehead

[edit] External links
SpongeEd - SpongeBob as Eddie
[hide] v ? d ? e Iron Maiden
Bruce Dickinson � Dave Murray � Adrian Smith � Janick Gers � Steve Harris � Nicko McBrain
List of past and present Iron Maiden members
Studio albums Iron Maiden | Killers | The Number of the Beast | Piece of Mind | Powerslave | Somewhere in Time | Seventh Son of a Seventh Son | No Prayer for the Dying | Fear of the Dark | The X Factor | Virtual XI | Brave New World | Dance of Death | A Matter of Life and Death
Live albums Live After Death | A Real Live One | A Real Dead One | Live at Donington | A Real Live Dead One | Rock in Rio | The BBC Archives | Beast Over Hammersmith | Death on the Road
EPs The Soundhouse Tapes | Live!! +one | Maiden Japan | No More Lies
Compilations and box-sets The First Ten Years | Best of the Beast | Ed Hunter | Edward the Great | Eddie's Archive | Best of the B'Sides | The Essential Iron Maiden
Videos and DVDs Live at the Rainbow | Video Pieces | Behind the Iron Curtain | Live After Death | 12 Wasted Years | Maiden England | The First Ten Years: The Videos | From There to Eternity | Donington Live 1992 | Raising Hell | Classic Albums: The Number of the Beast | Rock in Rio | Visions of the Beast | The Early Days | Death on the Road
"Running Free" | "Sanctuary" | "Women in Uniform" | "Twilight Zone" | "Purgatory" | "Run to the Hills" | "The Number of the Beast" | "Flight of Icarus" | "The Trooper" | "2 Minutes to Midnight" | "Aces High" | "Running Free (live)" | "Run to the Hills (live '85)" | "Wasted Years" | "Stranger in a Strange Land" | "Can I Play with Madness" | "The Evil That Men Do" | "The Clairvoyant (live)" | "Infinite Dreams" | "Holy Smoke" | "Bring Your Daughter...To the Slaughter" | "Be Quick or Be Dead" | "From Here to Eternity" | "Wasting Love" | "Fear of the Dark (live)" | "Hallowed Be Thy Name (live)" | "Man on the Edge" | "Lord of the Flies" | "Virus" | "The Angel and the Gambler" | "Futureal" | "The Wicker Man" | "Out of the Silent Planet" | "Run to the Hills (live '01)" | "Wildest Dreams" | "Rainmaker" | "The Number of the Beast (2005)" | "The Trooper (live)" | "The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg" | "Different World"

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