Iron Maiden question - Does anyone know what "Up the Irons" means?

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In their liner notes on most of their albums, Maiden would always end the thank list with the phrase "Up the Irons!"

I was wondering if anyone knew the origin of this phrase....I thought it might be some kind of UK pub toast or something that I'm not familiar with. Of course, it's possible that it's just a little wierd Iron Maiden inside joke...

Matt Helgeson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 5 December 2003 15:55 (11 years ago) Permalink

As I recall, it's a borrowing from UK football slang, specifically Steve Harris's lurv for West Ham and the slogan "Up the Hammers!" Thus...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 5 December 2003 15:58 (11 years ago) Permalink

Aye, what Ned said. I think specifically it's the motto of Iron Maiden FC, whose home pitch is in Steve Harris' back garden.

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Friday, 5 December 2003 16:01 (11 years ago) Permalink

I love how the new single almost made top ten over there. Are Iron Maiden UK pop's own elephant in the room?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 5 December 2003 16:04 (11 years ago) Permalink

The new album is surprisingly good -- Thanks for you help, guys!

Matt Helgeson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 5 December 2003 16:10 (11 years ago) Permalink

Indidentally, the unquestionable highlight of the insane amount of touring I did last year was having a cup of coffee at the BBC with Bruce Dickinson - that big dopey smile on my face is my way of saying "holy shit, I'm standing next to Bruce fucking Dickinson"

( pic too big for me to post it onthread, it's here: http://www.fivetools.com/pix/europe2003/images/P0008247.jpg )

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Friday, 5 December 2003 16:13 (11 years ago) Permalink

Aw, sweet. :-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 5 December 2003 16:15 (11 years ago) Permalink

I love how the new single almost made top ten over there. Are Iron Maiden UK pop's own elephant in the room?

Nail >>> head sir... they *always* almost make the top 10, thanks to exactly the same people buying their singles in the first week of release for the last decade at least.

An "iron" can also mean a male homosexualiser (cockney rhyming slang: iron = iron hoof = poof) so tread carefully readers!

DJ Mencap (DJ Mencap), Friday, 5 December 2003 16:15 (11 years ago) Permalink

The last two decades, surely! I've seen that chart position listing on their site, pretty impressive. I would love Paul Morley to reinterview them.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 5 December 2003 16:16 (11 years ago) Permalink

Haha that picture rules John (by sort-of coincidence someone just came in and took your new album for review not thirty seconds ago)

DJ Mencap (DJ Mencap), Friday, 5 December 2003 16:17 (11 years ago) Permalink

Yay fame! I tell you that John must get Bruce to sing a duet with him on TOTP. Oh, you know it'll happen.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 5 December 2003 16:19 (11 years ago) Permalink

Hey J0hn are your really really tall or is Bruce just kinda short?

(also, my 15 year old self is soooo jealous of you right now....so is my 29 year old self!)

Matt Helgeson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 5 December 2003 16:22 (11 years ago) Permalink

The Irons is an alternative nickname used by fans of Steve Harris' favourite football team, The Hammers. It comes from the days when West Ham were called Thames Ironworks FC.

laticsmon (laticsmon), Friday, 5 December 2003 17:38 (11 years ago) Permalink

>that big dopey smile on my face is my way of saying "holy shit, I'm standing next to Bruce fucking Dickinson"

I have a picture just like that of me with Lemmy.

Also, any NYers going to any/all of Maiden's upcoming four-night stand at the Hammerstein Ballroom? Tickets go on sale to the general public tomorrow, but a couple dates are available in advance if you go to ironmaiden.com.

Phil Freeman (Phil Freeman), Friday, 5 December 2003 17:42 (11 years ago) Permalink

Wow, this thread has been very informative....It's wierd how references that are common knowledge common knowledge in the UK are totally mysterious to Americans. I guess the vice versa equivalent would be "They call Alabama the Crimson Tide" in Deacon Blues by Steely Dan...I could see the college football reference going over UK listeners heads....

Also, just this year I realized that a Wire line off Pink Flag (something about "trying to avoid relegation") was about soccer leagues.

Matt Helgeson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 5 December 2003 17:47 (11 years ago) Permalink

The Irons is an alternative nickname used by fans of Steve Harris' favourite football team, The Hammers. It comes from the days when West Ham were called Thames Ironworks FC.

Ah, this I didn't know at all! Thus a double reference. :-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 5 December 2003 18:18 (11 years ago) Permalink

Steve Harris operates on a level we can only hope to comprehend.

Matt Helgeson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 5 December 2003 18:29 (11 years ago) Permalink

i can say without any irony or sarcasm that matt is otm

Pablo Cruise (chaki), Friday, 5 December 2003 19:13 (11 years ago) Permalink

I'm glad someone agrees! I didn't mean it as sarcastic -- I luvs Maiden!! Up the irons!

Matt Helgeson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 5 December 2003 19:36 (11 years ago) Permalink

Irony Maiden!

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 5 December 2003 19:37 (11 years ago) Permalink

Maiden are many (great) things, but they are never ironic.

Matt Helgeson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 5 December 2003 19:45 (11 years ago) Permalink

Indeed.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 5 December 2003 19:45 (11 years ago) Permalink

As I thought when I saw them this year, they jump around on stage like that precisely because THAT'S WHAT THEY DO.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 5 December 2003 19:46 (11 years ago) Permalink

They're playing AGAIN in NYC in January!!!!

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 5 December 2003 19:47 (11 years ago) Permalink

they mean it when they jump around. Or even if they don't mean it they do it out of a earnest sense of professional pride.

How were they in concert, are they holding up well?

Matt Helgeson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 5 December 2003 19:47 (11 years ago) Permalink

Maiden rule! and that pic with Bruce is great!

jel -- (jel), Friday, 5 December 2003 19:48 (11 years ago) Permalink

I mentioned the January shows upthread: four nights at Hammerstein. I went to look at tickets, though, and they're $67 each plus some service charges. How much were they for the Garden show? (I got mine free because I interviewed Steve Harris for the Cleveland Scene.)

Phil Freeman (Phil Freeman), Friday, 5 December 2003 19:48 (11 years ago) Permalink

I got mine free because I interviewed Steve Harris...

Was he cool?

These shows aren't at the Garden, they're at the comparitively small Hammerstein Ballroom. The Garden tix weren't cheap, but they weren't outrageous (I honestly don't remember, but they were well fuckin' worth it).

If you don't like Iron Maiden....I wouldn't rescue you from a pool of quicksand.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 5 December 2003 19:52 (11 years ago) Permalink

How were they in concert, are they holding up well?

Very well indeed.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 5 December 2003 19:52 (11 years ago) Permalink

They fuckin' earn every damn dime they make and give 200%.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 5 December 2003 19:53 (11 years ago) Permalink

Now I see a scene of Aja and Alex rescuing Iron Maiden fans from quicksand in Ned's upcoming buddy cop film! It's going to be a good scene.

Matt Helgeson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 5 December 2003 19:57 (11 years ago) Permalink

I don't think Aja cares about Iron Maiden.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 5 December 2003 20:04 (11 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I guess she really wouldn't....still she might help save the quicksand-drowning people out of simple decency.

Matt Helgeson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 5 December 2003 20:09 (11 years ago) Permalink

I'm gutted, their show next week is sold out. Guess I'll have to wait another year...

Siegbran (eofor), Friday, 5 December 2003 20:11 (11 years ago) Permalink

And that will be her un-doing.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 5 December 2003 20:11 (11 years ago) Permalink

>Was he cool?

Very cool. Easygoing, answered all my questions with no attitude or obfuscation. I was surprised to be talking to him. Usually Bruce does most of the press, but for the last tour I guess Harris wanted in on it.

Phil Freeman (Phil Freeman), Friday, 5 December 2003 20:24 (11 years ago) Permalink

Well, Bruce has got the mouth, but make no mistake, Iron Maiden is decidedly very much Steve's band.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 5 December 2003 20:26 (11 years ago) Permalink

>Iron Maiden are never ironic

Does that mean they meant every word of 'Bring your Daughter to The Slaughter'. Scary.

laticsmon (laticsmon), Saturday, 6 December 2003 13:03 (11 years ago) Permalink

I thought Scunthorpe Utd. are 'The Irons', not West Ham. Maybe they used to be called that too though...

Football can be most incestuous.

Muppet Boy, Saturday, 6 December 2003 16:27 (11 years ago) Permalink

Scunthorpe are indeed also "the Irons", although I hear they in fact run out to "If the kids are united" by the Sham these days.

But West Ham are still the Irons - you'll still hear it shouted at home games. Plus, of course, you may remember the Cockney Rejects having shouted "Come on you Irons!!" into the Top 40 (and Top of the Pops) back in the 70s.

NB i think "wildest dreams" this yr was Maiden's biggest UK hit for a decade ? It's certainly brilliant.

fletcher dexter, Saturday, 6 December 2003 18:44 (11 years ago) Permalink


They had a number one single in the UK in the post Christmas lull with "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter" quite a while back.

mei (mei), Sunday, 7 December 2003 20:04 (11 years ago) Permalink

6 years pass...

Have no idea why the photo of Dickinson and one of his biggest fans popped into my mind this morning but I'm happy to find it again.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 5 October 2010 14:39 (4 years ago) Permalink


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