Eddie the Head

Eddie the Head

Eddie, whose full name is Eddie the 'Ead or Edward the Head also known as Edward the Great (see below), is the mascot for the British heavy metal band, Iron Maiden. He is a perennial fixture in the often violent album cover art, as well as ever present in their live shows. Eddie also featured in a first-person shooter video game, "Ed Hunter", and as an unlockable character in "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4".


The very first version of the mask was made by art student David Brown - then at East Ham Technical College. He lived next door to Dave (lights) Beazley and gave him two or three masks that he'd made. It was vacuum formed plastic, made from a plaster cast of the face of another student. By over-heating the plastic before forming the mask it created holes and blisters and looked like a "plague mask".

The original Eddie was just a theatrical mask. It can be seen in the band photos on the first album and on the "Running Free" single picture sleeve. It was a face right next to the band's logo. It was connected to a pump that would eject various kinds of liquids, from food dye to paint, and would drool over Doug Sampson who was the drummer at the time. Fans would also try to throw things into the mouth at gigs.

Eddie's full name is "Edward The Head" ("Edward T.H––" the remainder of his surname is hidden by a clump of soil on the "Live After Death" cover.) Other plays on Eddie's name can be seen in the Video Game (based on him) "Ed Hunter". The name originates from the following old joke:

"Eddie the head was born with no body, no arms, and no legs. All he had was a head. But despite this major birth defect, his parents still loved him very much. So on his sixteenth birthday, his parents found a doctor that could surgically give Eddie a body. When the parents got home, they couldn't wait to tell him that he could finally have a body and be like other normal people. When Eddie got there, they were really excited and said, "Have we got a surprise for you. It's the best present ever!" They showed him, and Eddie said, "Oh no, not another fuckin' hat!"

Iron Maiden gave the name "Eddie" to that mask. The character Eddie was created by Derek Riggs. In the artwork to the single "Running Free", a silhouette of a large, skinny zombie-like creature can be seen. When the band was looking through potential artwork for their first album, they came across the artwork by Derek Riggs that would eventually become the artwork for the self-titled album. The band liked it, and felt that it was what the silhouette actually looked like.

The artwork for the second album, "Killers", was also an original Riggs painting before he started creating bespoke album covers from "The Number of the Beast" onwards. Derek Riggs claimed - in the Maiden documentary "12 Wasted Years" - that the design for Eddie the cartoon was based on what was supposedly a Japanese head he saw on a television documentary, hanging on the side of a burned out Japanese tank from the Battle of Guadalcanal, (Matanikau River engagement), October 24, 1942.

It has been hypothesised that Eddie is an alias of Benjamin Breeg, featured in the song "The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg" [http://www.benjaminbreeg.com/] from the latest album, "A Matter of Life and Death".

Other Artists

Melvyn Grant first drew Eddie for the sleeve of "Fear of the Dark", the first time anyone other than Riggs had designed a sleeve for Iron Maiden in which Eddie was pictured. Grant also worked on the "Virtual XI", "Death on the Road" and "The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg" covers.

Hugh Syme did the cover for "The X Factor", which was a computer-enhanced photograph of an Eddie puppet.

Mark Wilkinson depicted Eddie as a bat on "Live at Donington" and as a Wicker Man on "The Wicker Man" single.

David Patchett illustrated Eddie as The Grim Reaper on the cover of "Dance of Death", but had his name removed from the credits when the band preferred to use the unfinished work instead of a more refined version.

Tim Bradstreet, best known for his cover artwork for "The Punisher" comics, did his interpretation of Eddie on the cover of "A Matter of Life and Death".


*Dark_Avenger, a computer virus from 1988, referenced Eddie in the binary of the executable where it stated "Eddie lives...somewhere in time!".

*Roman Turek - a former NHL goalie with the Calgary Flames - who now plays in the Czech Republic, used Eddie as the main theme in all his masks from the different NHL teams he played with (Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames) which created some very distinctive and interesting masks.

*Jani Hurme, a former goaltender for the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers who now plays in Finland, also had Eddie in Trooper guise on his mask.

*Steve Harris(The bass-player in Iron Maiden) has Eddie The Head (As The Trooper) tattoed on his right arm.

*The cult hit television show Aqua Teen Hunger Force, among its numerous references to rock and roll and metal music, has made reference to Eddie in the episode "Super Sir Loin". After being tricked once again by subliminal messages in the music of his favorite rapper, MC Pee Pants, the character of Meatwad converts from rap to heavy metal and mentions Eddie in the following exchange with another character, Frylock.:Meatwad: Boy I feel like a fool. I ain't never again gonna do what no stupid rap musician gonna tell me what to do.:Frylock: That's a good idea, Meatwad.:Meatwad: From now on, it's only heavy metal bands that gonna boss me around. Them people speak the truth. They got this six-story skeleton named Eddie, and he like opens his mouth all crazy fang-like... He's crazy as hell.

*An Item in the MMORPG "RuneScape" called Edward the Cranium is a reference to Eddie, whose full name is Eddie the Head.

*The 80s Maiden covers "Piece of Mind" through "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" seemed to have a continuity of their own. Most noticeably traces of his lobotomy from "Piece" are featured in every cover from this period. Eddie's cyborg eye (from the "Powerslave"-era single "2 Minutes to Midnight") also appeared on the covers of "Somewhere in Time", "Raising Hell" and "Seventh Son". Some of his cybernetic parts from "Somewhere in Time" remain on "Seventh Son" but obviously Eddie's somewhat odd decomposition makes this link less clear. This continuity ceased for unknown reasons after "No Prayer for the Dying" (though Eddie's non-zombie appearance on "Fear of the Dark" may have been a reason for the change) and has since been largely abandoned. Regardless, traces of the lobotomy still appeared in some artwork associated with the album. Indeed, the cover for "The X Factor" and associated artwork is about the operation that caused this change to Eddie.
*Hugh Syme made the Eddie puppet seen on the cover of "The X Factor". Since the puppet actually exists in physical form it produces a more realistic and gruesome image than the previous covers which had all been oil-paintings.
*Another recurring character in Maiden cover artwork in the early 80s was Riggs' depiction of the Devil, who premiered on the single "Purgatory". Eddie battles him on the single cover of "Run to the Hills" and displays his decapitated head on the cover of "The Number of the Beast" single.
*The CGI Eddie, featured in the late 90s music video "The Angel and the Gambler" as well as in the "Ed Hunter" computer game appears to be based on the Eddie from "Piece of Mind", being bald, showing signs of lobotomy and having the restraint collar with a broken piece of chain hanging from it. This Eddie also has a strange scar on his chest and appears slightly more muscular than other previous Eddies.
*Eddie's image from the "The Trooper" single cover is depicted in several Ulster Loyalist murals across Northern Ireland.

* Eddie was also featured in the tv show "South Park" in the "Imaginationland" Episode III. He is seen briefly at almost 8 minutes in next to Optimus Prime (He appears as he does on the cover of The Number of the Beast). He is believed to be evil in this episode, as around 15 minutes into the show, he can be seen killing Bullwinkle J. Moose in the background, near the Griffin

Video games

*Eddie can be unlocked as a playable character in "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4".

*Iron Maiden made a video game called "Ed Hunter" in which familiar places like "22 Acacia Avenue" are visited. Accompanied with this are a few CDs holding Iron Maiden's top 20 hits.

*Eddie is referenced in the game "" by Cousin Ed in a conversation with Lazlow, who replaced Cousin Ed for his job at V-Rock. As Cousin Ed talks about how he is marginally better than Lazlow for V-Rock, he states, "Do you know who the mascot of Iron Maiden is?" Lazlow replies, "It's a puppy." And Cousin Ed replies, "It's Eddie. Get it? Eddie? Cousin Ed?"

*Eddie is also seen on a poster in the window of "Rock City" in the game "" as the Raising Hell and Fear of the Dark (not the tree monster).

*The "Guilty Gear" series character formerly known as Zato-1 is named after this Eddie. Beforehand, Eddie was only the shadowy creature that surrounded Zato-1, until the latter was overtaken by the former.Fact|date=July 2008

*In the music video game "Guitar Hero II", the player visits a venue based on a Vans Warped Tour. The encore effect - A special stage occurrence that enters when the fifth and final song in a tier is played - for this venue is that of a giant, zombie-like puppet bearing a big similarity in appearance to Eddie that appears and dronishly hangs over the entire stage. This effect is also used in "" where the Warped Tour venue makes a re-appearance. Coincidentally, the encore that is being played with the stage effect when progressing through the "Career" mode is a cover of "Wrathchild", from Iron Maiden's second album, "Killers".

*Eddie (along with Iron Maiden) appears as a major non-player character in the Flash adventure game [http://www.genereavventura.com/eng/index.asp The Terrific Menace of the Invaders from Audiogalaxy] .

Appearances - Album and single covers

As a Zombie

*"Iron Maiden", simple frontal shot with Eddie's mouth wide open.
*"Killers", Eddie wielding a bloody axe (the victim still gripping his shirt).
*"Sanctuary", crouching, still axe in hand, over his bloodied victim, now revealed to have been none else than then-conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher.
*"Women in Uniform", about to be ambushed by a submachine gun-wielding caricature of Margaret Thatcher dressed in commando fatigues, waiting for him behind a corner while he's walking in company of two girls, one dressed as a nurse, one as a hostess.
*"Maiden Japan", Eddie is wielding a katana. On the Venezuelan release of the EP, Eddie is holding the severed head of then-lead singer Paul Di'Anno.
*"The Number of the Beast", the devil appears to have an Eddie as a puppet, but in fact the devil is shown to be Eddie's puppet.
*"Run to the Hills", doing battle with Satan.
*"Piece of Mind", displays Eddie in a straight-jacket and screaming as a result of lobotomy. This is the first album cover where Eddie has no hair. This incarnation of Eddie was killed on stage by the band on the last show of the Piece of Mind Tour a.k.a . The World Piece Tour in Dortmund, Germany at the end of the song "Iron Maiden". Lead singer Bruce Dickinson pulled off the top of Eddie's head and ripped the brain out then dragged him down and assaulted him. Bass player Steve Harris kicked the mascot and guitarist Dave Murray smashed and destroyed his Fender Stratocaster and killed Eddie by stabbing him with the remains of his guitar after Dickinson assaulted Eddie.
*"Live After Death", Eddie is being struck by lightning and is rising from the dead. The name H.P. Lovecraft appears as well as Eddie T. H.
*"Maiden England" and "Infinite Dreams", Eddie rides a motorcycle over the crowd while carrying the Union Jack in one hand.
*"No Prayer for the Dying", Eddie bursts from his grave and grabs the gravedigger by the neck (removed in the 1998 re-release) - similar to "Live After Death".
*"Holy Smoke", Eddie stands atop a mountain of burning televisions, all of which are playing Televangelist programmes.
*"Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter", Eddie stands with a Jessica Rabbit lookalike while raising an axe with one hand.
*"A Real Dead One", Eddie is a zombie rocker though now very stylised. On the cover of "A Real Dead One", Eddie is wearing an Iron Maiden "Killers" T-shirt.
*"A Real Live One", Eddie is a zombie ripping through electrical cables.
*"The X Factor", Eddie in the process of being horribly mutilated through surgery.
*"Be Quick or Be Dead", on the cover of that single we can see Eddie, squeezing Robert Maxwell's head.
*"The Early Days", Eddie walks into a back alley outside a studio, reaching for an axe on the ground. The alley walls are decorated with Iron Maiden album and single covers, as well as tour posters. Someone's hand can be seen by the doorway on a small trail of blood.
*"Beast over Hammersmith", Eddie plants the Union Jack on Earth.
*"Best of the B'Sides", Eddie is inside a tour bus mooning the viewer and giving the finger. The words "Up The Irons" are written on his buttocks.
*"The BBC Archives", a giant Eddie destroys the BBC Broadcasting House with a flag pole. The cover art was based on two of Derek Riggs' works with similar themes (one destroying the Capitol Records Building in Los Angeles [ [ Derek Riggs Art: Eddie Destroys the Capitol Records Building] ] and the other destroying the Sony Music Entertainment in New York City [ [ Derek Riggs Art: Eddie Destroys the Sony Records Building] ] ).
*"The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg", Eddie is digging through the grave of Benjamin Breeg.
*"A Matter of Life and Death", Eddie is depicted as a war general, leading an army of Skeleton soldiers proudly into epic battle. He is standing on top of a tank. Although this depiction of Eddie more or less falls under the soldier Eddie category, his facial features draw back to a "Killers" based look.
*"Transylvania" sitting down flipping everyone off surrounded by whores
*"Purgatory" Eddie is smiling with half his face shown as Satan also smiling
*"Flight of Icarus" holding a flamethrower and flying with Icarus falling in the background
*"Man on the Edge" a sideways view of the cover of The X Factor
*"Lord of the Flies' looks like the back of The X Factor with Eddie in a red robe and 2 giant flies at each side by him
*"Rainmaker" Eddie's eyes are glowing red and smiling evilly and a mysterious figure in the background

As other

*Pharaoh, with a monument erected in his image on the cover of "Powerslave" (often depicted as a mummy in related artwork, retaining his zombie look). Also featured on the foreground of the cover of ""
*Fighter pilot, on the cover of "Aces High". He staring through the gunsight of a Supermarine Spitfire wearing a flying helmet and goggles as he participates in the Battle of Britain.
*Cyborg, on the cover of "Somewhere in Time" and all associated artwork. Also appears in "Somewhere Back In Time - The Best Of: 1980-1989", as he bursts out of the pyramid behind the Pharaoh Eddie monument.
*Tree monster, on the cover of "Fear of the Dark".
*Bat, on the cover of "Live at Donington".
*Satan, on the cover of the "Hallowed Be Thy Name" single. He impales lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson from behind with a trident.
*Steve Harris, on the cover of "Raising Hell" and the "Fear of the Dark" single.
*Wicker Man, on the alternate cover of "The Wicker Man" single.
*A Terminator like robot in the "Visions of the Beast".
*Bruce Dickinson, on the cover of the "Run to the Hills" 2002 live single.
*King, on the cover of the "Edward The Great" compilation album.
*The Grim Reaper, on the cover of "Dance of Death" and the alternate cover of "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter." He appears similarly on the cover of "Death on the Road".
*Soldier, on the cover of "A Matter of Life and Death". He is standing on top of a tank wearing a leather helmet with aviator goggles and holding a Thompson submachine gun. On the cover of "2 Minutes to Midnight", Eddie is wearing a bandana and eyepatch, and is carrying an Enfield EM-2. On the cover of "The Trooper", Eddie is wearing uniform from XIX century, he is holding sabre and British flag with broken flag-staff as he participates in the Crimean War. Eddie is also seen as a British soldier in an orininal drawing endorsing the song paschendale
*Gambler on the cover "Stranger in a Strange Land" with cigar in mouth and match in hand with the clock on 11:58 PM as a reference to "2 Minutes To Midnight"
*Robe On "The Assassin" cover similar to "Dance of Death" looking like the Death
*Warrior on the single cover of "The Clansman" holding the Scottish flag with English flag in the background
*Organist on "Phantom of the Opera" surrounded by mountains playing the organ in an angry fashion


* "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son", a sliced Eddie floats above a psychedelic Arctic scene holding a womb (suggested to be his own), with his head cracked open and in flames. Also showing are some of his cybernetic parts (right eye and throat) from the previous cover, also the snow-figures (at the back-cover) all represent Eddies of previous covers. Also ground has cracks, and fissures under ground which make it look like ice. On the other hand there is some liquid dripping from Eddie, which make ground splash, and look like water.
* "Virtual XI", the head, shoulders and left hand of a gruesome looking Eddie are set against a desolate, red background with the sole exception of the bottom left-corner that shows a green football/soccer field, against a blue sky, and a boy with a virtual headset.
* "Brave New World", Eddie's face is formed in the clouds above what appears to be a futuristic representation of London. Theme re-used for accompanying "Rock in Rio" DVD cover.
* "Rock in Rio", while the DVD cover depicts Eddie from stage view, the album cover displays the stage. As the clouds form Eddie's head, the stage forms his mouth.

Depictions through the years

See also

* Derek Riggs
* Melvyn Grant
* Iron Maiden
* Set Abominae
* Vic Rattlehead
* Snaggletooth


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