Iron Maiden: Flight 666 The movie  

Posted by Praveen in , , ,

Those who have seen Iron maiden's Rock in Rio 1985 live concert video won't have any doubt if they are asked the question, 'Which is the religion having most number of followers in the world?". The concert which happened 25 years ago was attended by 3 lakh die hard fans. And when they came back there in 2001, they still had 2.5 lakh fans waiting there. The band which started 34 odd years back, when our parents were still in college has now grown into a worldwide religion. There's not a country on the face of the earth without a sizeable population of Iron Maiden fans. All this was achieved with not even a single article in mainstream newspapers or a single song of theirs being played in any mainstream radio station. So, when they started their latest world tour titled 'Somewhere back in time' with songs from their heydays in 80s, they decided to visit previously unvisited places like Costa Rica, Colombia and Puerto Rico. And, following the band on the first leg of this world quest is Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, the guys behind those path breaking documentaries 'Metal:A headbanger's journey' and 'Global metal'.
The route of the tour
Maiden with their Boeing-Edd force one

The documentary starts off with the staple concert starter 'Aces high' and halfway through it cuts back to the preparations prior to that. The first leg of the tour itself is hectic and mammoth, covering 23 cities around the world in 45 days. And, this almost impossible schedule is made possible by their own Boeing 747, titled 'Edd force one' and with that magic number 666. They also needn't pay for the pilot because Bruce Dickinson, their brilliant vocalist is a man who rides boeings for fun. The plane carried all their equipments and stage props. The tour starts off from our own Mumbai. Its looks as good as any international rock venue. From there, its a whirldwind ride as they travel around the world to play for their fans. Their versatality is proved in the scenes where they are shown engaging in sports as varied as tennis, golf and football in their spare time. And they have guys like Wimbledon champion Pat Cash to play along. Compared to the other 2 documetaries of his, Sam Dunn has relegated himself to the background and let the band run the show. The narrations are few and far in between. The band comes off as a down to earth, easy to approach bunch of gentlemen who stays away from drugs and doesn't booze much. Posers who do drugs and drinks just for the sake of that age old slogan should try to learn from these seasoned campaigners.
The allrounder-Pilot and Vocalist Bruce Dickinson
Bruce doing what he does best-Commanding the crowd
The real spirit of what Maiden means to the fans is revealed in the South American leg of the concert. There were crowds matching Rio De Janeiro in Mexico city, San Jose and Bogota. The scene in Columbia where the fans came and lived in tents near the concert venue even 1 week before the concert made for great viewing. It was a country where Maiden was banned sometime back for their supposedly Satanic lyrics. Only the fans know that its anything but supporting Satan. A guy called 'Father of Iron Maiden' with 100s of tattoos all over his body amused everyone. It was also a great sight to see legendary artists like Kerry King, Lars Ulrich and Tom Morello queuing up like fans to meet them. Life on the road touring is not as easy as we think whatwith these people having to brave injuries, ill health etc and come on stage with all their energy as usual. Talking about energy, I don't think there's a more energetic band that too at the tender ages nearing 60.

Watching Maiden in a movie theatre was a different experience though it was nowhere close to being in a concert. Only a handful of people were in the theatre and most of them were swaying their heads when the songs were being played. This docu made me understand the enormity of the historical concert we all watched live some months back in Bangalore. It was a fitting finale for a well made documentary with 'Hallowed be thy name', a song which has served as an introduction to many of us to the phenomenon that is Iron Maiden. I sometimes wonder about the people who have never listened to a Maiden song or seen a Maiden concert. How many have died without ever hearing their name. Aren't we all fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the magic of Maiden? So, if any of you who is reading this, have never experienced what Maiden is, its time. You been losing out on something. Get in the bandwagon before its too late. Even if you don't, its ok. Because, as Sam Dunn says, 'We all are doing just fine without you'.

PS- The journey to the theatre was an eventful. Me and Nikhil rushed from office to home, jumped on the bike and sped to Fun cinemas, the location of which was still a mystery to us. We made it a point to get stuck at almost all the red lights in between our home and the multiplex about 15kms away. At a point, we almost gave up hope. Then I told him, 'Bruce God(Maiden vocalist Bruce) will help us'. It was a miracle that we reached the theatre right in time just as the screen flashed the name Iron Maiden. Before that, I had to hastily answer a security lady who asked me, 'where did you get that Iron Maiden T shirt?'. An Iron Maiden poster was given free with the tickets and it is now waiting to adorn the walls of my room.

your crusader Praveen

This entry was posted on Friday, May 15, 2009 at Friday, May 15, 2009 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


I read about flight 666 a few days ago! Happy you could make it for the concert, knowing how much it meant to you!

Have a good weekend!

10:25 AM

Though u love rock heavy metal, i was very much sided towards black sabbath n deep purple...... i didnt see iron maiden, bt i am definitly gonna check out... spcly after such a great writing frm ur side..

5:39 PM

I have absolutely no understanding of rock music and rock bands :P
so its nice to learn so much frm u..

Praveen, one question- when do u work? :P

7:48 PM

do watch it if u want to know more about the phenomenon..

@devil incarnate
oh..I dint know tht u do listen to rock..gr8...start the Iron Maiden journey with 'Hallowed be thy name', 'fear of the dark', 'aces high', '2 minutes to midnight', 'number of the beast' etc..

gr8 to know that someone's finding my rock posts useful :D

well...about working..its from 9 to 5...I've the rest of the time to myself..and yea, I sleep real lotta time on my hands for all this..

9:37 PM

whoa!! u really keep track of this stuff, dont u?

good post...nice going! keep 'em coming! :-)

1:11 AM

should have been an experience in itself...

any articles on country music /hawai/classic stuff coming up?


8:39 AM

sorry dude... maiden sucks.. they're barely musically talented.. all of their songs can be categorized into two or three standard riffs and tempos... they're nowhere close to sabbath, megadeth, metallica, or even grunge bands for that matter...


2:39 PM

sorry dude... just wanna say


2:39 PM

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