I grew up thinking that cross-stitch and embroidery were restricted to Jesus-related sentiments or Home Sweet Home motifs (and I am not referring to the Motley Crue song on the much loved Theatre of Pain album). At some point I realized just about anything can be stitched, and for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to go completely metal and spend three years of my life stitching Eddie from Iron Maiden fame (Derek Riggs, I salute you).
Looking back on my teen years, I should have been an Iron Maiden fan. Their music is more than just headbanging metal. It is intellectual, often historical and poetic in nature, and nerds have pontificated on this subject for decades. I should have been a fan, but I was too busy rocking out to Skid Row (I’m not embarrassed, mind you. It was probably time well spent considering my cohorts were listening to Bad Company). Although I was aware of Iron Maiden during that time in my life, they were too scary for my teenage self to get into. The burnouts who congregated in the cemetery across the street from school were the type who listened to Iron Maiden, and I feared such music would make me OD, get knocked up, or turn in my homework late.
Luckily, I shack up with someone who is a longstanding fan, and my eyes have been opened. I still don’t pull out “The Trooper” for a spin on the turntable as I sit down with a box of wine after a hard day. However, “The Number of the Beast” is on my ipod, and certain moments absolutely require it as a backdrop for my life soundtrack.
That leaves the question – was it worth the hundreds of thousands of stitches to make Eddie? You bet.