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RANT 12

The Mighty Maiden Touring Machine

Bæleron

When touring in North America, Iron Maiden traditionally follows the same route across the continent. They begin the tour somewhere on the East Coast, often in Canada. Then they work their way down the eastern seaboard hitting the big cities like Boston and New York, after which they begin to zig-zag westward across the continent, ending the tour somewhere in the west. Once or twice they have actually made it to the end. The most recent time that the Maiden Touring Machine made reached the San Francisco Bay Area was in July of 1992 on the Fear Of The Dark Tour. Although no one knew it at the time, it was a special show. Soon Bruce would be gone, and with him the last vestiges of Heavy Metal from the American mainstream. But Maiden had ruled the Metal world for a decade. They would be back. Nothing could stop them.

After three long years of turmoil from inside and outside the band, the Maiden Touring Machine again set out to conquer the world. With Blaze holding high the torch of Metal, the Maiden Machine once again began their trek across North America. Not man nor beast could stop them, and although the crowds were smaller the fans were still enthusiastic and many drove hours to see their favourite songs performed. Neither man nor beast could stop them. But pollen could, and the tour was cut short. But the Bay Area could wait, for Maiden would be back again.

More years passed, a new album was released, and another tour begun. As the tour snaked its way across the land, fans in the Bay Area once again grew excited with anticipation. Maiden was coming! This time nothing could stop them! Up The Irons! One particular fan, who by this time had started an Iron Maiden Commentary in tribute to his favourite music, was granted an interview with the band. To meet Iron Maiden was a dream come true, and he spent hours thinking of the perfect questions which hadn't been asked before. Not earthquake, flood, or fire could have kept him away from that concert. But pollen could, and the tour was cancelled again. A couple of the "important" shows were re-scheduled... Los Angeles was of course too vital to miss. But the Bay Area could wait, for Maiden would be back again.

Another year passed. Bruce and Adrian returned to Iron Maiden, and there was great rejoicing. With the renewed sparks of interest in Heavy Metal seeping back into the American consciousness, this would be the tour that re-ignited the flame! Once again, the mighty Maiden touring machine embarked on their customary path across the country. Montreal! Toronto! Boston! New York! Chicago! The press reports were ecstatic! Shows were sold out! Maiden was back! One particular fan in the Bay Area could hardly contain his excitement. He had been given another interview and a backstage pass! All the disappointment from the previous tours was forgotten. He would finally speak with Iron Maiden, see their show, and revel in the power of his favourite music! He had an awesome set of questions to ask the band, questions which had never been asked before. As the Maiden machine rolled closer, his excitement grew. Nothing could stop them, neither man nor beast. This time not even the almighty pollen could keep them away! As he arrived at the concert venue, he knew that it was really going to happen. This was it! Then he saw the yellow tape across the entrance to the venue. Cancelled! There would be no concert.

In a daze, the Iron Maiden fan wandered toward the back of the venue. He saw the road crew taking down the stage and loading up the trucks. It was really happening. With only a few hours left to go, defeat had been snatched from the jaws of victory. But surely they would re-schedule the show! Of course they would remember the disappointment of the previous tours. They would spend the extra effort for the loyal fans! But then he remembered that the "important" gigs on the tour had already happened. Once again the Bay Area could wait, but would the Mighty Maiden Touring Machine ever be back again? Sadly he dropped his interview questions into a nearby trash can and began the journey home.

Bæleron
2nd August 1999

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