22nd March. 30 Years of the Beast

30 years to the day since the release of this iconic and still my favourite album (both in content and artwork) in the world ever. Thanks for the heads-up Tom.  
The moment I heard those Vincent Price sound-alike tones (it wasn't actually him - thanks Wikipedia) of "Woe to you o earth and sea for the Devil sends the beast with wrath..." I was hooked and still am. 
Of course back then it would have been a nice album sleeve, or in my case a tatty cassette
When Tom tweeted this momentous anniversary I was thrown back to a time of my prepubescent adolescence a time when not only did I like all things Maiden, but also a time where I started birding.  Back then Orgreave was a massive slag heap (apparently the countries largest) and coal mine, with the adjacent coke ovens belching out all kinds of foul smelling gasses. 

My local patch was Catcliffe Flash (where I could guarantee a good lung full of those previously mentioned gasses) and Tinsley Park Steel Works (now a redundant airport). I daren't go to Treeton Dyke, because Treeton was where all the rough boys lived.  That year a pair of Black-necked Grebes bred on Catcliffe. I never saw them - or at least I don't think I did - I and my Prinz 8X30's were a bit rubbish.

Orgreave Coking Plant, as viewed from Catcliffe Flash (mid 1980's) 
We were in the mid-term grip of Thatcher's Tory government, the following term of which saw the end of the aforementioned coke ovens, mine and steel works.  Many thousands of miles away we were fighting a pointless war resulting in many senseless deaths.  

Things haven't changed much. I still more or less bird the same patch area - though those rough boys from Treeton don't scare me these days - and I still very much love most things Maiden, we're fighting a pointless war thousands of miles away and of course we're in the mid-term of a Tory government (because that's essentially what it is).  

My daughter, Beth, is exactly the same age as I was when this metal legend was released, she enjoys birding (and is probably better at it than I was at 13), has all the Maiden back catalogue in her iTunes library (her choice), but doesn't really understand politics yet.  

On The Beast's sixtieth anniversary I wonder what her views and memories will be..... 

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