Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Maiden Summer

Well, it looks like this has turned into the Summer of Iron Maiden for Umlaut. Maiden Brazil.. Maiden OzzFest... Maiden vs. Sharon Osbourne.. Who woulda thunk?

For lack of anything else to rant about, Umlaut's Liberal Agenda will continue to run with Maiden for now.

Back in 1983, Maiden endeared themselves to S.F. Bay Area Metalheads when Steve Harris wore a Record Vault shirt in a widely-circulated band photo:

The Record Vault (aka The Vault) was THE epicenter for the underground Bay Area Metal Scene in the 80's. The Vault was located at 2 different locations during its time, both of them on Polk St. in San Francisco.

The Vault was the type of place where you could get the latest Venom single and get laughed at if you asked for the latest Twisted Sister record (because, despite what VH1 says, Twisted Sister were NEVER Metal..).

An ad for Mercyful Fate's in-store at The Vault - 1985

An appropriate postscript to Maiden Summer is the new Iron Maiden Collector's Edition of Metal Hammer [click for link]! Unfortunately, it's only available at WH Smith stores in England.. A 154-page, perfect bound publication with a classy glossy cover. Tons of photos, new interviews with all of the band, and articles written by such Old School British Metal journalists as Geoff Barton. A Maiden Geeks wet dream and the type of music publication that only the English know how to do right.

Even after all these years, Umlaut still learned something new in these pages. Maiden's connection with West Ham United is legendary... but who knew that Dave Murray is actually a Tottenham supporter and Adrian Smith supports Fulham!?

"Iron Maiden's gonna get you... No matter how far.."

THANKS to Skychick for running this back from London for Umlaut.

ADDENDUM: Submitted by Lauraloha

When I was just a young Antioch Metal chick, complete with frosted mullet and Firebird Formula 405, I would drive to San Francisco looking for fags to yell at and wonder why everyone was dressed like Rob Halford. Man, this city sure has a lot of Judas Priest fans! We would make the holy grail to Polk Street and wander the aisles of The Record Vault touching all the import records in plastic sleeves wondering what kind of place Europe was and where these bands came from. It was all a galaxy away from Antioch.

So one day while we were out being homophobic teenagers on the hunt, James Hetfield and Cliff Burton walked into The Record Vault while we were in there. This was waaaaay back in the day when no one really knew who Metallica was outside of Ruthie's and The Stone. I was so excited I ran up to him and yelled "You're James Hetfield!" He answered quite frankly and a bit seriously, "No I'm Not." Not knowing what to say and bit thrown off by the growl, I slunk away. Then the store clerk, James and Cliff all had a big laugh at my expense. I still remember that laugh today. It was my formative years and probably one of the incidents that led to my 10 years of drug abuse and heroin addiction.

That's what I get for yelling at fags and listening to Metal when everyone was still waking up from ELO and Donna Summer.

Fast forward almost 20 years later and, alas, it is I who had the last laugh. (another story.....)

And, hey UMLAUT, don't forget the East Bay version of The Vault.....Record Exchange, downtown Walnut Creek. When there was no more Record Vault, we all gathered at the Record Exchange for even more Metal. That's where I started selling speed. (yet another story.....)

P.S. from Umlaut:

Umlaut spent many afternoons in The Record Exchange... Although I didn't score drugs there, I did play the owner an advance cassette of the 1st Slayer album before it was released.

Misty, watercolored memories... of the way we were.