You may recall the story from last week about the guy who started an online petition to make the Swedish band Ghost disband because they’re not metal enough to suit his taste. You may also recall that Ghost fans fought back with a petition of their own to ask the group not to disband.
Now comes the story of American Iron Maiden fan Derek Tigner, who has started a petition that actually makes a bit more sense and might actually stand some chance of making a difference. Tigner is petitioning metal giants Iron Maiden to re-enlist the services of artist Derek Riggs who worked with the band for the bulk of their early career, creating the band’s iconic mascot Eddie and drawing him for several album covers and countless items of merchandise.
Riggs, 56, originally created Eddie for a punk album cover that never materialized. When Iron Maiden’s management was flipping though his portfolio, they came across the drawing entitled “Electric Matthew Says Hello.” They asked Riggs to add hair to the figure and the image was used as the cover of the first Iron Maiden record.
Riggs would go on to be the sole artist for Maiden for the next dozen years up until the 1991 album Fear of The Dark. The band decided to start accepting contributions from other artists and Riggs’ contributions to the band’s projects were greatly diminished.
Tigner’s plea on the petition reads:
“It is important to countless fans all of the world because Derek Riggs artwork and visual direction is second to none. Many fans view his artwork to be as influential as the music IRON MAIDEN produces. Things haven’t been the same since he stopped being IRON MAIDEN’S exclusive artist, so we plead with the band to bring him back for any future artwork needs.”
As of this writing, 1,602 people have signed the petition out of the 2,500 that Tigner is shooting for. Who knows, maybe this whole petition thing will give metalheads something constructive to do with their time instead of bitching and calling each other names in the comments section of every YouTube video… ever. One can only hope!