It was way back in 2005, I borrowed a MP3 Music CD from a friend of mine. It had good 100 or so songs in it, but there was one which stood out. Back then, I was completely ignorant about music and didn’t have a clue about Heavy Metal or any genre for that matter. For me I was just listening to some random English song which was titled ‘Fear of the dark – Iron Maiden’. Now when I look back it makes me think that if it hadn’t been for that song I would probably be a totally different human being. Next song I heard was ‘Dance of the death’ and then I knew I couldn’t leave this stuff. I started collecting all the tracks that had iron maiden to it. I didn’t knew much about the songs or the lyrics or even Iron Maiden but it was something worth listening to. I use to wait for the guitar solos to come in all the time, and then there was this captivating vocalist who engulfed me all the time. As time passed by I started to know more about myself, the world around me, the people, Music and Maiden. By 2007 I was a METALHEAD.
Music became awfully important to me and it kept me sane when my life was going upside down. I started to relate myself to the maiden community. Heavy metal is the stuff weird kids tend to listen more and with maiden it was like all those weird kids were in the same place. It was a very tribal thing. It’s always good to know that you ain’t the only one, with maiden I never felt left out. It was something bigger than I could ever be. I realized that on the night of 1st February, 2008. I came to know that Iron Maiden was on the first leg of their Somewhere Back in Time World Tour between February and March 2008. And the first City in their list was – Mumbai. It was unreal – my hometown, you can’t be serious. I started to collect money for the concert tickets and I managed to get one too. I had no one with me, none of my friends were maiden fans so I was on my own but I didn’t give a damn. I was going there to listen to my metal gods and I knew I wouldn’t be alone. The Metal scene in Mumbai is fucked up but it’s getting better and better which is a good sign. I was a bit late for the concert, it was my first metal concert so I came in only 4 hours before the show and I was pretty much behind the stage but it didn’t matter. The excitement was evident from all the fans present at the MMRDA grounds, BKC. For me it was a very personal thing and I knew I was going to explode and fountains were going to gush out of my eyes the moment Bruce was gonna hit the stage. When I was there in the pit and maiden were about to start with their classic ‘Churchill Speech Intro’ everything that was fucked up in my life flashed right in front of me and the moment ‘Aces High’ began and Bruce sang ‘there goes the siren….’ everything just went away.
Those few hours were the best I ever experienced and to this day that night that concert is the highlight of my life. The concert ended with my favourite Maiden song ‘hallowed be thy name’ which always gives me an eargasm. The next day my neck and vocal cords gave up on me, it took me quite some time to recover from that but it was worth it. The society was giving me a lot of problems, the people around me thought I was screwed up (which I was). The long hair, the piercing and the leather jackets were giving a huge amount of concern to my parents. But then I knew, it not about following textbook, so I got rid of the all that making my parents happy for sure but more than that I still was the same metalhead. I was into a lot of stuff by that time spending hours to be a hat and also was on my way to become and engineer. There was a different thing that bugged me about my existence which forced me into learning stuff from cosmology and astrophysics which were way beyond my age but it was what I wanted to know and whenever there was a time I just couldn’t take it anymore maiden was there to sort it all out for me and get me on the right path.
There was a phase in my life where I wanted something more heavy something more expressive so I deviated from maiden and got into death and black metal but I realized that wherever I went I just thought maiden were better. Every time I use to wind up back to ‘The Ghost of navigator’ or ‘The phantom of the Opera’. I found more relevance with maiden than any other band. There was a sense of belonging and a feeling of me being a part of something so big and something which I know wouldn’t let me down. And I’m not a casual guy, none of the metalheads are. The music and the bands we listen to are very personal. Metalheads are widely misjudged in the society just like the hackers; I have the luxury of being both. But the thing is ‘We don’t give a shit’. If you don’t understand how important my music is for me then, f**k off, you don’t deserve to understand it in the first place. We are weird, we have been through shit and we don’t care if the mediocre society you live in don’t understand anything about us. And We ARE MORE THAN YOU THINK.
Iron Maiden is that one thing which keeps me sane. It’s a release, an outlet for me. It’s something I believe in through and through. Bruce, Steve, Dave, Janick, Adrain and Nicko are my metal gods. Maiden is my Religion.
UP THE IRONS!!!!!