Look, don’t give me that. For one thing, if they can still fill arenas over here in the States, somebody likes ’em, and more to the point, scratch just about half of the bands who currently make up the power-pop-punk-nu-metal mob here or there or wherever and you know they’re all Maiden fans — hell, they even say so in a few cases like that Sum-41 bunch — it was them, wasn’t it? — that covered “The Number of the Beast” on MTV. And then there’s the whole supposed emo fascination for them but please, they were ALWAYS emo, it wasn’t like emo reclaimed them, no matter what those designers of Weezer metal logos think. You think I kid? Mr. Morley from Ask talking about a clutch of fans in Germany circa 1982 or so: “stringy hair covers their ears, their pale faces are streaked with light fluff and red blotches, blue denim is saturated with patches and badges, each single one of them assumes a plaintive toughness.” Goddamn, THERE are your All-American Rejects and Good Charlottes and Dashboard Confessionals or at least a good amount of the fans of same, and this clutch of people were from Deutschland and are in their late thirties by now!

And listening to Maiden, a top touring act in America — once more! — you could be all dusty and dry and suck on a pipe and scratch your tweed and conclude, “Hrm, yes, a modern Deep Purple with a bent for the literary image and currently obviously very dated — *cough* — can I have tenure plz?” It’s more like all wailing vocals and RRRRRRRIFFS and having good times partying down the road — even if it is partying down to your Del Taco at 2 am because everywhere else is closed and they also closed the Denny’s the other day the FUCKERS — and when you take it in the ‘aw MAN all the fucking jocks at school are all beating my ass again’ sense then these bastards are heroes now to the eternally cheesed off, except for some the jocks are all hiding in an office somewhere and you’re wondering if they actually read the resumé. To heck with all the stuff about Icarus and seven sons and all that, that was for people who actually read the lyric sheet. I only knew some of the singles that turned up on this new Edward the Great (ho-ho) compilation but that was enough to demonstrate that you don’t need mock metal heroics to justify your angst, you can go for THE REAL THING.