March 12, 2010
His handsome, weathered face, framed by a pair of long curly curtains, grins out at the ocean of fans. His left leg, brightly enspandexed, is braced against a whacking great stage monitor. He lifts his bass guitar up to his chin and peppers the crowd with a fusillade of impossibly chunky bass bullets. Between bars, this cheeky hard-rock Cockney might pause for a split second to mop his brow with one of his West Ham United wristbands. STEVE HARRIS (born 1956) is the brains and brawn behind Iron Maiden, whose eponymous debut album in 1980 helped launch the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and whose name — over the course of 30 years — has become a byword for all things metallic. As a teenager, Harris played football with the West Ham youth team; he was probably good enough to turn professional. But thank Eddie (Maiden’s zombie mascot), he took up the bass instead. As Steve himself might say of Bobby Moore, West Ham footballing hero and captain of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup: “Cor blimey! What a bleedin’ legend!”
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