You have to love the reddish/orange skin color that british people get when they drink too much and are left out in the sun too long.
A few years ago, I was meeting up with a friend in the streets of Manhattan. It was an incredibly cold day, and I didn't have any gloves on. One of the things you have to love about New York (and there aren't many) is that you can basically go out into the streets nude, and within five seconds you can buy an entire outfit, a wallet, gold chains, a fake rolex and a Louis Vuitton purse for about $5...all from street vendors.
On that day, I went up to a street vendor who looked to be Middle Eastern, and asked him how much he wanted for a pair of gloves. "Five dollah for glove. But for you my friend, four dollah. You need lady gloves." Okay, I should tell you that I'm a rather short man, a manchild if you will. People often think I'm a good bit younger than I am...and now this guy was saying I needed women's gloves because of my size? Oh, hell no. After he said it, he chuckled a bit. I was insulted. I mean, is there anything lower than a street vendor? I was getting made fun of by the lowest form of life. I disregarded his comment, and tried on the men's gloves in order to show him that my man-sized hands needed man-sized gloves. Sadly, he was right. They were gigantic on my small child-like hands. With my tail between my legs, I gave him four dollars and took the smaller, women's gloves.
Why on earth am I telling you this story? Because much in the same way that a street vendor once made fun of me, the other lowest form of human life that exists on this planet also made fun of me once...and in a very inventive way. I am talking, of course, about Dave Murray of Iron Maiden.
Can you tell which of the pictures above is of the Cryptkeeper and which one is of Dave Murray? I sure can't.
Dave Murray, or the Crypkeeper as I like to call him is a dick. Let me tell you why. Some years ago, Mr. Awakening (a founding member of M.I. who is now too good to post anymore) and I went to see Iron Maiden. We had pretty good tickets, and were excited to see the show. As we walked around and looked for redneck metalheads to make fun of, we were elated to find an unusual surprise in the midst of the audience. There, for no reason at all, walking around the crowd was none other than Rick Ta Life. This was unusual, as this concert was not taking place near New York City, New Jersey or any other places were such creatures are often seen in the wild. It was as majestic as seeing a cheetah in its native environment.
Nice bullet proof vest, I guess. I wonder if he knows that it looks like he's an umpire behind home plate, or that he's wearing an apron so he can get some baking done at his mom's house.
Okay, so let's put Rick To Life aside for a minute, because that's not what this story is about. There we were, enjoying ourselves, listening to Motorhead play from afar. I was talking to some people, showing them my new phone. I was a relatively late adapter of cell phone technology, and was rather proud of my Sony Ericsson handheld device. In retrospect, the phone was a piece of crap, and Mr Awakening had the same phone as I did...only he kept and used his until last year! The phone looked a bit like this one, but crappier and older.
The one function I loved the most about the phone was its camera. This being a long time ago, the camera was actually not integrated into the phone. Weird, I know. The camera was actually a small device that you plugged into the phone in order to take pictures. Anyway, as I was showing off my cool new phone, I saw an unmistakable sight off in the distance. I saw a tall man with a huge orange pumpkin face. The pumpkin-faced man had a head as round and large as a tortilla, and he proudly wore what looked like lace-up boxing boots and spandex pants. I asked myself, who is this man? Spandex? Pumkin face? Is it Lance Armstrong with a pumpkin on his head getting ready to box someone? I was confused by this dadaist creature. As I looked more closely, I saw that it was certainly Dave Murray of Iron Maiden. His dried up hair resembled straw, and his crater-like acne scars were visible all over his disgusting pumpkin face.
Who knew that british guys in metal bands were into Tommy Bahama clothing? If you like Dave's shirt, please look here, for more great fashion statements courtesy of Tommy Bahama.
Since I was so excited about my new camera phone, I told everyone that I was showing my phone to that I was about to go get a picture with Dave. I started to walk up to the toritlla-faced cryptkeeper. I should tell you that I was doing this as a bit of a joke, being that I also have pictures with the likes of Manowar and Danzig. Anyway, as I went up to him, I clearly saw his backstage passes, his Maiden shirt, his receding hairline, and finallyl got a better view at his huge jackolantern face. I saw him there, standing quietely, looking off into the distance. He was drinking a beer by the hot dog stand, looking bored. Wasting no time, I went up to him and said "Hey, can I get a picture?" I showed him my awesome Sony Ericsson phone, to clarify what I meant. Quickly, and without much thought he responded in a British accent with a slight lisp (another clear sign that it was indeed the pumpkin faced Murray.) "No mate, I'm not Dave from Iron Maiden." At first, I thought he was joking. I hadn't even said who I thought he was, and yet he knew I wanted a picture with "Dave from Iron Maiden." I said "Ah come on. I have a new phone, I want a picture." He looked at my phone and said "Nah, everyone thinks I'm Dave Murray...but I'm not. Sorry mate." Perhaps he was offended by my crappy phone? I didn't know what to make of his response. Did all British people seriously say "mate" that much? I was confused.
At this point, there was little I could do. The people I was with were looking at me from afar, wondering what was going on. I had to walk away, and forget the whole thing. So I did, or at least I tried to. As I left the large shadow that his huge head created (sans picture), I heard a female voice say "Oh my god, are you Dave Murray!", I then heard Dave respond "Oh yes I am!" I turned around to see Dave hugging two forty-something moms in leather pants, posing for a picture with them. I stood there in disbelief. Apparently Dave was not aware of the motto that all men should abide by. Bros before Hos. After he posed for a picture with them, he talked to them briefly and took them through a gate into the backstage area. Although I fully understood that he had a sudden man-urge and needed to be with these aging metal mamas, I was also aware of how badly I had just been blown off. I briefly pictured the aging women kissing his acne scars, as well as the crackling sound that his brittle hair made as the leather clad rednecks ran their hands through it. I was pissed. When I got back to our group of friends I retold the story, and they all laughed at me. Perhaps what made it worse was that I wanted the picture as a joke. I was not a mad fan who had to have a picture with Mr Tortilla face, I just wanted a funny picture I could send to friends. Half an hour later, Maiden hit the stage...and there was Dave Murray, wearing the Maiden shirt, spandex pants and boots I had just seen him wearing as he escorted the ladies into his love lair.
To this day, when I see a picture of Dave Murray I recoil in horror, and not just because of his Garbage Pail Kids-like bulbous face, his acne scars or his receding hairline. I recoil because like the street vendor, he managed to mock me for no reason at all...when in reality I'm clearly higher up in the food chain than both of them. I mean, aren't I? Perhaps not. Perhaps both stories actually prove that I'm below both of them in the grand scheme of things...and maybe that's why I'm so pissed.
Because I'm still confused about this ordeal, and I don't know how to end this post, I will leave you with this video of the "manualist" playing some Maiden. He's really just an extra from The Sopranos sitting on his camouflage couch in Jersey, but perhaps he can help us all reach some closure. Enjoy.