PART II: I Was A Teenage Headbanger
When I bought Number of the Beast, I immediately knew it would make an excellent addition to my collection. Why? Cuz the cover was so friggin cool, that's why. You see, Eddie ruled over the Devil, and the Devil ruled over the people. It worked on so many different levels! My older Ritchie Cunninghamesque brother wasn't as impressed.
"Look at them. They're Satanic!"Yes, my brother thought they were evil, but I think he was just jealous that Chris DeBurgh wasn't cool enough to have Derek Riggs do his artwork.
"No they're not!"
"You just bought it for the cover!"
"What?? You don't know what you're talking about!"
With Iron Maiden began the years of my burgeoning rock-idol worship, which started on March 24th, 1984, when Ozzy Ozbourne signed my circus magazine at an autograph session at The Bay. He was really grumpy and wouldn't talk to me or any of the kids, but I knew by the way he ignored me, that there was a special kinship between us. That night was my very first concert: Ozzy and Motley Crue. First show not withstanding, it was the best show I'd ever seen. Motley Crue said a whole bunch of bad words. I had to go with my older brother 'Ritchie' and although he denies it to this day â?? I saw him give the ol' horned salute before Crue left the stage. Ozzy, needless to say, was the man. This was the Bark At The Moon tour and I was in exctasy. I had always wanted to be a drummer, but when I saw Tommy Aldridge doing that solo with his bare hands, I knew I had found my true calling. So now, even though I had designated myself a drummer, I still knew enough about guitars to know that Jake E. Lee could kick Randy Rhodes' dead ass. And so, even though I was now a 'musician', my rock idol worship continued for years until Slash gave me the finger on May 30, 1988. My faith in senseless idolization wavered, but continued on through many an uncomfortable moment (more on this in Part III).