Twenty-seventh installment in a series exploring very important people in my life.
Let me start explaining how this will work: I listed 65 idols of mine. Every Friday (with the exception of those reserved for the Rock Chain posts) I’ll draw one of the names (following a system that it’s really not important to be explained here) and talk about it.
Therefore, the order in which the names will appear doesn’t necessarily shows where they rank in my preference.
As a final introductory note, this is also not a biography article. I’ll just write how I feel about people represented in it, their talent and their importance in my life.
In the mean world of music business, talent is not enough to make you succeed. One is also requested to have iron will and fierce determination. And if you’re looking for someone with those characteristics, you need to look no further than Steve Harris.
Stephen Percy Harris was born March 12, 1956 in Leytonstone (ENG) and went on to form one of the very few Metal bands that transcended the genre and became staples of Popular Music in the world: Steve is the founder, leader and all-around commander-in-chief of Iron Maiden.
Steve is definitely one of the most driven individuals that ever walked the face of the planet. He never compromised the vision he had in his head of the ultimate Metal band, even if for that he had to take a stand against what the majority thought it was the best thing to do.
Steve didn’t flinch when he was adamant that Maiden wouldn’t lip sync on Top of the Pops and demanded the band played their first Top 10 British single, “Running Free”, live. The show had to cave in and Maiden played live.
There was another time when his stubbornness didn’t pay off so well. His poor choice of replacement for Bruce Dickinson tarnished the band’s reputation he worked so hard at achieving almost beyond repair. However, he did what he wanted and not what anybody else’s. Besides, he may be stubborn but he isn’t stupid. When he noticed he committed probably the greatest mistake of his life, he called Bruce back.
Steve is also a talented footballer (or soccer player), but he made the wise choice of becoming a bass player. Playing football (or soccer), as well as he plays, he would probably become good, at the very best. As a bassist he went on to be hailed as the best in the world, or at least the best in the Metal world.
In a more personal note, I must say that the one aspect in which Steve had the greatest impact on me was his lyrics. The very first thing I ever translated in my life was the lyrics from “Children of the Damned” second track on the seminal The Number of the Beast album. From then on, I can safely say I had a love affair with Steve’s lyrics: “Invaders”, “Hallowed be thy Name” (I even used that in an essay I wrote in high-school), “Aces High”, “Where Eagles Dare”, “The Trooper”, “To Tame a Land”, “Heaven Can Wait”, “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”, “Alexander The Great”, “Infinite Dreams”, “Tailgunner”, the list goes on and on…
And no, I didn’t forget the greatest of them all I just left a paragraph just for it. “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” transcends a mere lyric and it is a work of art. Till this day, I can’t understand how he did it. He transformed one of the cornerstones of British literature (the eponymous Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem) in the greatest Heavy Metal lyric ever, including some full verses of the poem itself. It’s one of the most fascinating lyrics ever written and if Steve had done only that, it will be already worth his whole career. I even bought a Coleridge poems book, just to read the poem in its whole.
Therefore, as a lyricist Steve Harris influenced me as a writer, although what I write has nothing to do with his. But reading his lyrics made me want to write something, I just didn’t know what it was at the time.
Thus, Mr. Harris, won’t you come into my Hall of Idols? I wanna show you all my wares!
The blog is taking a well-deserved break until January 07. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2015 full of joy, good health and happiness.
Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal” winner of the NABE Pinnacle Awards 2014 Fall edition.
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