I hope Eddie's insurance through Iron Maiden Corp. includes dental coverage...because eating those letters made of stone can be hard on enamel.
Eddie IS Iron Maiden. Eddie could probably go on the Home Shopping Network and sell Maiden jackets and bandanas with ease. He's the embodiment of the metal spokesperson. I imagine his voice being soothing, with a pleasant but not overbearing British accent. I'm sure he'd have his moments of anger on camera while on the Home Shopping Network...perhaps if he didn't know which camera to show the bandana to...but aside from that, he'd be a pro.
Over the years, other bands have tried to jump on the spokesman bandwagon, trying to create an identifiable brand that would create continuity in their artwork and stage shows. Eddie's versatility over the years has been truly amazing. Even though the guy seems to have no brain, and only two screws hold his skull shut, he's been able to play a mental patient, a pilot, a soldier...the list goes on and on. The guy is like the Sean Connery of metal. In a shockingly postmodern/self-referential turn, Eddie has even been asked to play a member of the very band he represents! Amazing, I know! I should tell you that I object to the fact that Maiden has fired Derek Riggs, the man who created Eddie. Looking at the current work he's doing, however, perhaps it's for the best. Take a look for yourself. By the way, did everyone see that awful video a few years ago where members of the band were racing cars inside Eddie? I think the animation was done by students at DeVry.
Backpatch worthiness: 7
Total MSM score: 21
Could someone please explain to me what the background behind Sergeant D's head is supposed to be? Why is his head floating? Is his head mounted on a wall like a deer or something? Did Charlie just take so long to draw the face that after he was done he just said "Ah, fuck it, I'll just draw some crap as the background, I'm tired"
Sergeant D was a fictional character that members of SOD made up. I've heard them explain it as him being a "funny fascist character" before. I don't know how funny fascism can be, maybe Mr. Gene Hoglan's Balls can ask his Italian family members and let us know. I know when I think "funny", I think "fascist". Don't you? Anyway, the character was drawn with felt-tip markers (you can see it very clearly, along with the ballpoint pen lines on the LP) by Charlie. I've never understood what the background behind Sergeant D is supposed to be. Are those two metal swords with a wooden fence behind them? Why is Sergeant D's head floating magically? It also took me forever to realize that the thing in his mouth was a cigar. Charlie's foreshortening needs some work...or perhaps I need glasses. Also, if he's a "fascist" why does he have an anarchy sign on his helmet? I would say that an oppressive, totalitarian state is kinda' diametrically opposed to the concept of anarchy. No?
SOD has continued to use the character, even going as far as having him replace Eddie on the cover of one of their horrible albums. Billy Milano went on to use the same character, more or less, for MOD. And why wouldn't he? He already stole the name and the concept of the band to keep himself from starving to death. Okay, so the band name is one letter off. As I've said before, that would be like Dave Mustaine starting a band called Netallica after being kicked out of Metallica.
Evilness: 9 (He's a fascist/nazi corpse! That's plenty evil in my book.)
Backpatch worthiness: 9 (I had a small patch of the cover on my jacket, back before I knew English. Imagine my surprise when I learned English and figured out what the patch said!)
Total MSM score: 24
Is he flying around space in his refrigerator spaceship? Damn, Germans have ALL the cool technology!
I don't know a whole lot about Tankard's drunken alien. Partially inspired by the movie Gremlins, this fun loving character appears to enjoy alcoholic beverages from planet earth, kinda like ALF and cats. The idea of having a cute spokesman like this for your metal band is ridiculous. I get it, you're a fun German band made up of fat drunks...but having a Gremlin on your covers really ruins the whole concept as far as I'm concerned.
Evilness: 1 (I guess I'd be kinda' scared if I woke up and saw a German Gremlin going through my fridge)
Backpatch worthiness: 0
Total MSM score: 2 (*Mathematical error noted)
Angry Army Dude
While many thrash bands in the 80's were big fans of pseudo political content with slight lefty leanings, Laaz Rockit chose to keep it real by making an insane American army dude their spokesperson. USA! USA! USA!
Never one to innovate in any way, Laaz Rockit jumped into the spokesman arena with their angry, army guy. Clearly influenced by Rambo, this american lunatic is out to make things right for the USA. The character was seen on a few record covers and even made an appearance in Rockit's seminal video for "Fire In The Hole". In that video, the character was apparently played by the same buy who played Drago in Rocky V. I should also mention that Laaz Rockit, like Helloween, had some branding issues. At one point the band tried to change things up by going with a mad scientist whose insides were made out of toxic goo as their spokesperson. This direction didn't last. By the way, what the hell was it with thrash bands in the 80's being obsessed with toxic waste? Look for a post about that in the near future.
Backpatch worthiness: 2
Total MSM score: 13
Fun Pumpkin/Faceless Robe Guy
Like so many things about Germany, Helloween's spokesperson schizophrenia expresses the duality of a country still coming to grips with its political past.
Helloween tried two different directions when it came to choosing a spokesperson. First, they went with the creepy faceless dude wearing a robe. This certainly made them seem scary and magical in a way...kinda like Lord Of the Rings or something. Then, a change happened. The band wanted to be more fun, perhaps influenced by members of Anthrax wearing shorts. They wanted to have the audience sing "Happy Helloween" to the tune of "London Bridge Is Fallin' Down" in the I Want Out live EP. As a result of this change in direction, the creepy dude simply didn't cut it. So they went to the fun pumpkin guy. Personally, I like the faceless dude more...even if it's a mismatch for their musical output. I will judge both combined.
Evilness: 4 (faceless guy is cool, but the pumpkin takes it right back down)
Backpatch worthiness: 5
Total MSM score: 14
Flying Skull/Bat Thing
I don't know why that dude is hiding from the flying skull with bat wings, but he better watch out! That thing is shooting godamned lasers out of its eyes!
Perhaps best known for its appearance in the the Hello From The Gutter video, and thus subsequently being referenced by Bevis and Butthead, Overkill's flying skull thing has been a mainstay of Overkill's artwork from the band's start. In order to educate our readers, I should tell you that Overkill's spokesperson (not mascot damnit, these entities are integral parts of the band's brand), is named "Chaly", I don't know why. Wikipedia says:
The band also has a notable mascot (named Chaly), a skeletal bat with a skull-like face, bony wings, and green eyes. It has appeared on most of their album covers.
I'm not sure exactly how a human skull can have bat wings which are themselves not bones, but have flesh on them. This apparent mutation is exactly the type of thing that can only happen in Overkill's home state of New Jersey.
Evilness: 8 (You can laugh all you want, but if you were being chased by a flying skull...you'd agree that this thing is pretty evil)
Backpatch worthiness: 4
Total MSM score: 18
On Monday, part 2 will be posted. It will feature the likes of Sodom , Sacred Reich, Voivod, Anthrax, Megadeth, Quiet Riot, and even Rumble Militia. Stay tuned.