This weekend, Great Britain has been celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The Queen has reigned for sixty years making her the second longest reigning monarch in British history, Victoria is the longest. Now, I'm not a royalist, far from it. As an American, I remember reading about the struggle my forefathers had against what they saw as royal oppression and haven't forgotten that. I know in reality, it was really Parliament who was taxing the colonies up the wazoo, but this isn't the point.
What does bother me is that today is the Jubilee concert and from what I can see, there's going to be performances from great British acts like Paul McCartney and Elton John as well as Austrailian born Kylie Minogue. What I don't see is any metal acts on the bill. Now before anyone starts wagging a finger at me and saying they don't need to play such bublegum events, I have a good argument why they should. You see, the jubilee is about celebrating things British and heavy metal is definitely that. With the exception of Jimi Hendrix, four of the five founders of heavy metal are British and so were many of the metal influences from the 70s. Therefore, it is only fitting that this great contribution to music gets its due credit in the celebrations of all things British.
The above album is another reason. You see, last week, "The Number of the Beast" album by Iron Maiden was voted the best British album in the last 60 years. That means it beat out the classic great albums from Led Zepplin, The Who, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, plus all the Stock, Aiken and Waterman crap as well as all the other bubblegum pop acts. It is only fitting that Iron Maiden should perform at the jubilee.
There are other reasons why Iron Maiden should be allowed to play at the Diamond Jubilee. They represent British metal to a tee. I can think of at least two songs of theirs off the top of my head that are about British history. "Aces High" is about the Battle of Britain and "The Trooper" is about the charge of the light brigade. Both are significant events in the country's history. Furthermore, Iron Maiden is one band who are definitely proud to be British! Therefore, not letting them play the jubilee is somehow wrong.
Looking at the reverse here, if Iron Maiden were to play the Jubilee concert, some metalheads would accuse them of selling out. I don't agree here. This is about the Queen and being British and not some bubblegum pop event arranged to line the pockets of opportunists like Simon Cowell. I wouldn't think any less of Iron Maiden if they took their rightful place on stage today. As I said earlier, Iron Maiden celebrates all that is great about British metal.