My first reaction to news of the upcoming documentary, Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (due in April): [Throws up the devil horns]: “Maiden. Frickin’. RULES.” My reaction when I read it would be an “intimate and revealingportrait” of the rockers: “Please, not another Some Kind of Monster.” Now, I loved that Metallica documentary as much as anyone. But that enjoyment was derived from the way it portrayed the mighty rockers as a group of whiny, dysfunctional millionaires battling through middle-age crisis. Metallica, of course, brought it on themselves, having cashed in their greasy-haired metal roots for a Load of eye-liner, alt-rock, and Seger covers in the 1990s. But Maiden is different. Purer, if you will. They never reached the level of popularity Metallica did (though they came pretty close), but one could argue they are even more influential — Metallica may have perfected thrash/speed metal and taken it to new heights, but they didn’t invent it in the same way as Maiden and the other New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands introduced a dramatic, non-blues-based operatic quality to metal music. The trailer (embedded here) has me cautiously optimistic that the “intimate” portrait merely refers to insight into their lives as golfers, soccer players, and airline pilots — as well as musicians still worshiped by their fans.
So I’m down for a movie that shows the human beings behind the metal gods I see on stage alongside a giant skeleton man. But I’ll be mighty pissed if instead of celebrating Iron Maiden and their contributions, this movie in any way paints them as a weak, washed-up joke.
Whaddya think, PopWatchers? Has that Metallica documentary made me too paranoid, or does that “intimate” description justify my concern? I think I’m gonna dig out some old Maiden records tonight and hope for the best. Number of the Beast is still my fave — what’s yours?