||THIS IS NO ORDINARY IRON MAIDEN BOOK
Loopyworld - The Iron Maiden Years
Front cover by Derek Riggs, creator of Eddie
Heavy Metal and rock has not always been solely about the music. It's about the stories too, and the whole way of life.
Reading the memoirs of Steve Loopy Newhouse immerses you into this world and describes simply and effectively what it is like to be at the sharp end, living life on the road.
A roadie with Iron Maiden from their early days through to being a huge sensation, Loopy has written a compelling tale which is essential reading for fans of the genre and those who are genuinely interested in having insight into this world.
The written stories started life right here on MetalTalk in 2012 and rightly became one of our most popular columns. The book expands on those columns and also adds much much more, from recently rediscovered diaries and what a find they were. It is fascinating, engaging and often hilarious stuff, with heavy doses of poignancy dotted about too.
It takes a certain type of person to be able to work as crew and these tales of what it is really like to be a road dog bring new appreciation for the required stamina, tenacity and the capacity to accommodate large quantities of alcohol, tedious grind, high jinks and manic periods in quick succession.
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There is an all-star cast of characters here, with many Metal household names making cameo appearances. We get to find out more about Iron Maiden and the band dynamics but the focus always stays on the crew and Loopy's experience, giving "Loopyworld" its USP.
Loopy tells it as it is, for example not holding back with his opinions on manager Rod Smallwood or ex-drummer Clive Burr, however there is no spite here, merely a factual retelling of what he experienced at the time. It's real and honest and there is no shortage of outrageous rock and roll antics.
It's not a perfect book, it must be said. In places it's hard to follow the chronology and context of where we are in the story and the reason for this is explained in the epilogue. The narrative jumps about a bit too, reintroducing characters that have to be scrolled back to for a reminder of who they are and where they fit in and a good many of them appear to be called Paul!
This does not distract from the achievement and the quality of the tale however. Even without editorial polish it is a book that keeps you reading and wanting to know more. A flashback to the heady days when NWOBHM, and Iron Maiden in particular, rose to conquer. The scenes are set so well you can pretty much smell the stale beer and fag smoke from the venues.
The book also contains dozens of colour pictures, flyers, tickets and backstage and production information that is as informative as it is nostalgic. A brilliant curation of this period in history.
This is no ordinary Iron Maiden book. Loopy has pulled off the feat of making the band supporting characters, which in turn enhances their own stories, and has documented important historical and cultural information while being highly entertaining.
One for Maiden fans and anyone interested in what really happened in the engine room of Metal, with the constant hiring and firing, the sometimes brutal reality of the front (and back) line and above all the passion that keeps the show on the road.
A highly recommended read.
To order Loopyworld - The Iron Maiden Years, use PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org. A new website will be available soon, www.loopyworld.co.uk. Although it is very basic at the moment it will contain future reference to new and forthcoming books.