#739: Aces High

GETTING MORE TALE #739: Aces High

I am fortunate, oh so very fortunate, that I still have my old VHS tapes.  Watching them again, over 30 years down the road, has been the closest I’ve ever come to real time travel.  These tapes were my childhood!  I sat in the basement, remote control in hand, recording as much music as possible from, well, MuchMusic!

The Pepsi Power Hour was in its infancy, with J.D. Roberts in the hosting chair.  One by one, each video rolls out in the order I recorded them.  In many cases that means the order in which I first heard them!

The good fortune that I even have these tapes goes further, back to my parents.  They had pay TV, meaning we had MuchMusic when it first began, not when it became free in the late 80s.  They bought a VCR and pretty much let me monopolise it when the Power Hour was on.  Even though it was the middle of the big “Satan scare”, they let me watch the Power Hour, unlike the Dolphs, the weirdo neighbours across the street.  They didn’t even let their kids watch Dr. Who.  Here I am watching Ronnie James Dio slaying people with his sword in “Holy Diver”.  A few clips earlier, a bathing suit clad teacher was dancing on desks in a Van Halen video.  Then there was Kiss.  Were they really “Knights in Satan’s Service”?  My mom asked me that question, but she didn’t stop me from watching.  That couldn’t have been easy, considering the subject matter of “I Love It Loud”.

So I kept recording videos, and stored the tapes safely, as if knowing that 30 years down the road I’d be wanting them again.  Iron Maiden came up frequently on the earliest tapes, and I can’t help thinking of my dad.

The only Iron Maiden videos my dad liked were “Aces High” and “The Trooper”.  He approved of the lyrics and explained them to me in historical context.  I knew all about the Battle of Britain long before I hit the age that they teach you about it in school.  I knew the Charge of the Light Brigade, what a “Cossack” was, and where it happened.  That’s because of Iron Maiden and my dad!  He used it as educational material.  He really seemed to like those lyrics.

Today, my friend Tom who is a teacher uses rock music in the same way — to teach.

“Aces High” was always a personal favourite.  Not only was it a great song, but also a great video.  The single had some of the best cover art you could find on a Maiden vinyl.  “Aces High” received many spins, on the turntable and the VCR alike.  At that age, my sister was like a little shadow, and copied me with everything.  We watched videos together.  We also went to the same school.  In one class, she and her friends were asked about their favourite songs.  My sister said “Aces High” but they wrote down “Ace Is High”.  Come on, people!  It’s not that kind of song!  She was in the 4th grade.

Now I sit, watching my tapes, reliving old memories fresh and new once again.  What a lucky guy I am.

 

19 comments

  1. Aces High is a great video, most Maiden ones are.
    My personal favourite is interesting, but here are some honourable mentions first-

    Infinite Dreams live- Great song, great rendition, great video
    Lord of the Flies+Afraid to Shoot Strangers- X Factour footage. ’nuff said

    But my favourite Maiden video is actually the alternate video for Futureal, consisting entirely of highlights from Maiden’s soccer games

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bang on with this. Iron Maiden provided much material for school projects back in the day. A pal of mine and I both used The Trooper as a basis for presentations in class and it was useful to be able to quote Winston Churchill speeches in History lessons.

    There were quite a few incidents among the group of friends back then. I used the Magnum song “Don’t Tame the Lion” as a basis for an essay on World War I poetry and my pal Rick was able to do a literature crit on Dalton Trumbo’s “Johnny Got a Gun” and Metallica’s “One”.

    Who said metal was the domain of brain-dead losers? Us metallers knew our shit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Metallica introduced me to Johnny Got His Gun…I had never realized Metal could be so cerebral.

      My dad must have loved hearing Winston Churchill coming from my bedroom!

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      1. I do remember a conversation about Churchill with my Grandma after she heard the Live After Death intro. It must have been a proud thing for someone who was around at the time to hear the younger generation acknowledging such a figure, even if that speech was used as an introduction to some unholy racket with a chap screaming over the top of it! :D

        Like

  3. Great Read..
    Like u Mikey Muchmusic was on pay per view..Summer of 84 I ended up buying a VHS player as my parents had no idea about technology at the time…
    They were awesome that they agreed to get Muchmusic and pay for it monthly…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post Mike. It has been enjoyable watching the videos you have posted. You have done so many, I still haven’t caught up. It sounds like a good time is now being had by all…you and the memories and us, the viewers, seeing some great early era interviews of artists.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The funny thing about the video for Aces High is that Bruce hits all the notes, which is a bit jarring because he never manages that live

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  6. I did that as well, taping videos of Mtv*s Headbangers ball. I used to watch them a lot. I had lists written on back of the vhs tapes of the videos included on the tape. I remember taking a class trip back in the day and I brought along my vhs tapes and those were played on the tv in the bus.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. All Iron Maiden videos aren’t good. There was a bad one for Number of the Beast that had dancers with ugly masks and each had a 6 on their back like they were in a dance contest. Good song, horrible video.

    Liked by 1 person

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