Can I Play With Madness

Well heading out to Manchester to catch the brutal death metal double header of Vader and Immolation tonight failed miserably. 

At one point today I was ahead of myself thanks to a distinct lack of parents taking their prima donna kids to the school just around the corner from their house. Shortly after that it took me a good ninety minutes to make four deliveries. That was the point I knew I’d be confined to the house. 

I got home just before 4pm, the gig didn’t start for at least another three hours or so. All fine and dandy if you have gainful employment that starts at a decent time of day. When I’ve already been up for a dozen hours with less than two hours before I had to get a train I had no time for a power nap. Yes, I’m getting old and decrepit! 

I’ve been a bear with a sore head as it is this evening – as my significant other can attest too – with out the added burden of a couple of train trips and some death metal thrown in to the mix. I’d just get frustrated, over tired and wouldn’t enjoy myself. And a knock on effect would be carrying over my dark mood into another day. 

As a consolation prize I’m giving Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son album a spin. Today (or probably yesterday by the time anyone reads this) marked the twenty ninth anniversary of one of the band’s finest hours. 

By the time this rolled out in 1988 I’d been listening to them for a little while and already gathered their back catalogue. Seventh Son was the first release that I actually purchased myself as close to its release date as I could. I’m not going to go all egotistical and say I was first in line at Lotus Records, obviously as a fourteen year old I was probably in school on that particular Monday morning. For some reason though I’m thinking it still could have been the Easter holidays. 

I have it secreted I my mind that I snagged my copy of the 12″ picture disc vinyl, with the wall banner, and I can recall opening it and playing it at my grandparents house and they lived a good ten miles away and we always had to travel their on bus. I don’t know why things like that are lodged in my brain, but I have a fair few memories of them both surrounded by some of my musical landmarks. Having to swap buses just over half way in the town where Lotus Records, Mike Lloyds Music and Our Price was on my way there could have been a factor too. 

Can I Play With Madness was the debut single from the album and reached number three in the UK charts. When this came out you knew it wouldn’t be long until the album was in your sweaty palms. The video to this was filmed on location at Tintern Abbey on the Welsh side of the River Wye. It also features Monty Python man Graham Chapman as the unlucky teacher in what was to be one of his last TV appearances (he passed away in 1989). 

I don’t think the band ever went on chart flagship programme Top of the Pops to promote it and I distinctly remember the video being show, mainly because they cut a fair chunk off the end of it. It’s always the small things!

The glorious Derek Riggs single artwork was also the design on my very first Iron Maiden shirt. I might have it tucked away somewhere, but now it is more holes in ratio to material. 

Roll on May for some live Maiden worship. 


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