Iron Maiden’s Eddie is one of the most iconic mascot characters in music. Since debuting in 1980, Eddie has graced the artwork of countless Iron Maiden T-shirts, album covers, and of course, posters. Constantly redesigned through the years, Eddie’s look rapidly evolves to match the themes of the band’s latest work. This has resulted in many different versions of the same character appearing on concert posters – though he always stays instantly recognizable. In this article I will showcase a few standouts from Iron Maiden’s long touring career, leading to their latest tour – “Legacy of the Beast”.
In 1983, Iron Maiden released their “Piece of Mind” album and embarked on their corresponding “World Piece Tour”. Many posters from this tour use the artwork from the album’s single, “The Trooper”. This art by Eddie’s original designer, Derek Riggs, is one of the most popular versions of the character. The band’s bassist, Steve Harris, even has it tattooed on his forearm.
1984’s massive “World Slavery Tour” saw Iron Maiden touring in support of their “Powerslave” album. This provided another one of Eddie’s most memorable designs – a giant Egyptian pharaoh statue.
Like many of the posters in this article, the art was carried over from the album cover by Riggs. This tour is famous for being one of the band’s most massive and exhausting, with 189 shows in 331 days.
Keeping with the theme of ancient Egypt, a different design for this tour shows a mummified version of Eddie, which became another fan favorite depiction. This Mummy Eddie also made appearances on stage during performances throughout the tour.
The art for Iron Maiden’s “Somewhere in Time” album and 1986-87 tour featured a futuristic Cyborg Eddie. This art, again by Riggs, was inspired by the film “Blade Runner”, and matched the album/tour’s sci-fi and time themes. During this tour, a giant inflatable Cyborg Eddie appeared on stage during performances with band members playing in his hands.
Cyborg Eddie (along with Pharaoh Eddie) would later feature again on the artwork for the band’s 2008 greatest hits album and tour, “Somewhere Back In Time”.
Final Frontier Eddie
Another sci-fi version of Eddie comes from the band’s 2010 album and tour, “The Final Frontier”. This depiction created by artist Melvyn Grant strays from the usual Eddie design and shows him as a giant alien monster. There is actually some debate as to whether or not this is actually Eddie or some other creature. Grant has indicated that this is not Eddie, however, according to the band, it is. Iron Maiden’s website even sells merch with this version, specifically referring to it as “Final Frontier Eddie”.
In 2018, Iron Maiden embarked on their “Legacy of the Beast” tour, which celebrated their entire career and discography. To complement this legacy theme, the tour poster art showcased many different stages of Eddie’s life as a mascot. Trooper, Mummy, and Pharaoh Eddie can be seen in the art’s stained glass windows, as well as Number of the Beast Eddie and Aces High Eddie. Besides these, the tour also received its own variant- Beast Eddie. This giant demon Eddie was a large part of the live shows, as he appeared on stage during each performance. It is interesting to note that the rest of the poster’s art was also recreated in various ways (including stage design and special effects) throughout the show.
Many more Eddies out there…
These are just a select few of the numerous unique Eddie designs that can be found on albums and tour posters. Though they’re all the same character, each depiction has its own aesthetic feel and helps support the corresponding themes of Iron Maiden’s many projects. If you have a favorite version of Iron Maiden’s classic mascot, let me know in the comments!