Where to begin on this one. This is by far the most expensive record that I have ever bought and definitely the most valuable thing in my collection. In fact they don’t get much bigger than this. The most insane thing about getting this is that I’m not really a maiden collector. I was big time as a kid in the 80’s but when I discovered hardcore I stupidly sold my collection cheaply to the local store (No Ebay then) and I still regret that now. Although I’ve no desire to aim for a complete collection again I still have a hard-on for the early stuff and this of course was their first ever record. Back in the mid 80’s this still went for big money-around £125+ which to a schoolboy over twenty five years ago was definitely out of reach. It was safe to say that apart from owning a crappy looking bootleg that I never envisioned myself owning a copy. Ever. Skip forward a quarter of a century later and I’ve finally managed to bag an original copy. Not just that but this was actually autographed by the band, some members of Praying mantis and the DJ for the metal for muthas tour at a gig in St Andrews, Scotland on February 3rd 1980. This is a real piece of music history. Not only that but it’s in great condition too which makes it even more valuable as the some of the copies I’ve seen go for big money have been a bit tatty. This is a bonafide original too. There are a lot of boots out there but having spent ages online on various fan and maiden record expert sites I’m convinced it is the genuine article. Verifying that fact was a chore in itself also was the actual purchase after I won this off eBay. The record was poorly listed and had a high starting price so after a retraction by someone else I ended up being the only bidder. However after the auction the woman selling this on behalf of her husband claimed he wasn’t happy with the sale and that it had started a domestic. She then tried to pull the sale but I wasn’t going to back down after finally getting this close. Anyway in the end she honoured the sale and sent the item. Just hope I’m not responsible for any divorces.
Of course Maiden fans will know the history behind this one-they recorded the demo in 1978 and in 1979 pressed this up independently on their own ‘Rok hard’ records imprint to give fans a taste of what was to come. They already had a following back then and the 5’000 copies went quick. That seems a lot compared today but back then when music was the main scource of home entertainment and vinyl was the main format it actually wasn’t. The tracks ‘Iron maiden’, ‘Prowler’ and ‘invasion’ have more of a punk feel to them than the versions that wound up later on their EMI records.
It feels almost surreal owning this item. Part of me feels that I should give up record collecting but we know that won’t happen. Although I’ve never really had a set limit to how much I would pay for a record I’ve certainly paid more for this than anything ever previously but all things considered I do believe that I got a bargain. The only thing is now that I’ve crossed a line who knows where I’ll go from here for shelling out for future rarities