Tuesday 6 December 2022

Namesakes #15: Iron Maiden

Last week, you had a choice between ten different Spinners. The group from Detroit were always going to come out on top, but it was heartening to see some of the other guys pick up honourable mentions, even the funky knitwear guys from Saturday night TV.

This week, the choice is much simpler. Which mediaeval torture device do you prefer?



“The Original Iron Maiden” were a bluesy hard rock band formed in the late 60s. Hailing from the rock 'n' roll capital of Essex, Basildon, prominent members included guitarist Trev Thoms and singer Steve Drewett. This Iron Maiden seemed to change their name a lot, having previously been known as Growth, Stevenson’s Blues Department, and – most memorably of all – Bum. Why they decided to change their name from Bum to Iron Maiden, I can not fathom. There’s just no helping some people.


Song-writing bassist Steve Harris formed the second Iron Maiden on Christmas Day, 1975. Just after the Queen’s Speech. He originally called the band Ash Mountain, but nobody liked that, so they went with Iron Maiden instead. Iconic vocalist and obvious nutter Bruce Dickinson wouldn’t join until 1981, by which point the band had burned through more members than the fire at the Crossroads Motel, including future Cutting Crew member Tony Moore and Barry “Thunderstick” Purkis. This Iron Maiden have sold more than 130 million records and smashed into the UK Top Ten on 16 different occasions, despite being rarely played on the radio. I find them amusing in (very) small doses, especially their 1991 Number One Smash Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter. I was co-presenting a weekly chart rundown on local radio at the time. We didn’t want to do a weekly chart run down, but according to our station manager, “that’s what people want on a Saturday morning”. Our ratings went down as soon as we started doing it, but I digress. The point is, he nearly had an embolism when this got to Number One. “But, boss, we can’t do a chart countdown without playing the Number One… that would be crazy!” Heh. Heh. Heh.

(If that's too much for you, can I recommend you listen to the Indelicates cover version which is included on their very amusing covers album from a couple of years back. Download it free here.)

You might consider both today's bands to be mediaeval torture devices… but if you had to pick one?


  1. Not mad keen on either of them but I'll go for No. 2 as I've been to the pub where they played some of their earliest gigs: https://www.cartandhorses.london/iron-maiden/.

    If it isn't too busy the barmaids will, if asked, take photos of groups of middle-aged men posing badly on the stage. Or so I am told.

  2. No. 1 for me, I quite like that proggy noodly sound, not that I'd choose to listen to it for any other reason than this, though.
    Love your radio tale - there are those rare occasions when a chart rundown turns up some noisy surprises (Saturdays in the record shop had a similar caveat, it was chart albums only that had to be played all day), you have to treasure those moments, whatever the band! I remember Steve Harris from IM#2 coming into ours too - he lived not far away. Should've got him to sign some sleeves...

  3. Like C I'm going to go with the band formally known as Bum - with the second lot you know exactly what you're going to get whereas the first lot offered up a few surprises, and they also aren't really what I'd class as a hard rock band.


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