Live Metal, Lift Iron

Although heavy-metal doesn’t enjoy the almost-breaking-into-mainstream popularity it did in back the 1980s (remember MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball?), I make it no secret that I’m a HYOOOGE fan of the genre and if I have anything to say about it, metal is here to stay. As far as I’m concerned, Iron Maiden is THE ultimate band – heavy metal or otherwise. I often say I have Iron Maiden in my bones (which would have to mean that I possess the ultimate skeleton.) I’m not just a fan of their music, but their unwavering “we will prevail” attitude. My home-gym/office is a mini-museum filled with books, videos, concert tickets, rare vinyl including the holy grail of Maiden collectors, an original copy of their ‘before they were famous’ demo EP, The Soundhouse Tapes and other Iron Maiden memorabilia.

Just a small sample of my Iron Maiden collection

As the story goes, before signing their first recording contract in 1979, Iron Maiden had a gig lined up at a west-London pub. The singer (at the time), Paul DiAnno, got into a little trouble just before the show, as he was prone to do. Cops discovered he was carrying a knife so they dragged him off to the police station.  Rather than cancel the show and wait for things to be “perfect”, bassist Steve Harris deemed it unacceptable to miss this opportunity to perform – especially because Rod Smallwood, the man who would become their manager and help them land their first record deal with EMI was in attendance – so he took on vocal duties himself. Since the beginning, Steve has written most of their songs, so it’s not like he didn’t know the lyrics – though if you ever heard any of Iron Maiden’s live performances where Steve’s background vocals are a bit too heavy in the mix, you’d know that there’s a VERY good reason he has someone else singing lead vocals.

Fortunately for the entire heavy metal genre, NOTHING was going to stop Steve from hitting the stage with everything he could bring. He looked the audience straight in the eye and sang his arse off. It might not have been the way he wanted the gig to go, but he attacked each song as if he WAS the lead singer. Through lineup changes, “artistic differences”, etc., more than 30 years later, Iron Maiden still delivers this same level of intensity in every album, interview and concert I’ve seen.

Steve Harris (left) and the band

If you’re not seeing the connection to fitness training yet, here it is in a nutshell: RARELY will everything be perfect. The gym will be closed, equipment will be out of order, you’ll get stuck working later than expected. So what? You can still take what you DO have and give it that same intensity and purpose as an Iron Maiden concert. If you WANT to prevail, look your training plan in the eye, turn the amplifier up to 11 and treat every workout like it’s your chance to ‘be discovered’.

‘cause ya’ know what? It is.


One Comment

  1. I don’t think you need to go much further than the chorus to one of my favorite Maiden songs:
    No point asking when it is,
    No point asking who’s to go,
    No point asking what’s the game,
    No point asking who’s to blame.
    ‘cos if you’re gonna die, if you’re gonna die,
    ‘cos if you’re gonna die, if you’re gonna die,

    If you’re gonna die, die with your boots on.
    If you’re gonna try, just stick around,
    Gonna cry, just move along,
    If you’re gonna die, you’re gonna die.


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