Iron Maiden has had an incredibly successful music career since its formation back in 1975. While the band had numerous line-up changes over the years, one person has contributed to the band’s image since the beginning. No, it’s not a band member or a manager; it’s actually their mascot, Eddie the Head.

Since Eddie first appeared on the band’s album covers, live performances, and pretty much everything else related to the band’s projects, it became one of the fans’ favorite things about the band. Whenever Eddie steps his foot on stage with a different-looking outfit, fans go crazy over the giant mascot. But how many Iron Maiden fans know the true story behind Eddie’s look? Let’s dive into this one-of-a-kind and a little disturbing story to see what inspired Eddie’s illustrator in the first place.

‘Eddie The Head’ Is The Most Famous Metal Mascot

Iron Maiden’s mascot Eddie, also known as Eddie the Head, is one of the most well-known aspects of the band. He is present in all the band’s work, appearing in all of their album covers, singles, and merchandise, including t-shirts, actions figures, and posters.

In addition to being an important figure for the band’s artwork, Eddie the Head comes on stage in all of the band’s concerts with multiple looks, such as a cyborg, Egyptian mummy, and lobotomized mental patient. The band’s fans wait for the moment to see Eddie on stage and the new theme the band has come up with.

On top of all of these, the famous mascot was featured in the band’s video game named ‘Ed Hunter,’ the mobile game ‘Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast,’ and a pinball game with the same name. There’s no denying that Eddie is wherever Iron Maiden is, and thus, it would be a good idea to find out the character’s backstory.

Eddie’s Appearance Was Based On A Dead Soldier

Eddie the Head was initially the name of a paper mask used in Iron Maiden’s stage backdrop, and the band transferred the name to an illustration by Derek Riggs, which was used as the band’s debut album cover. Over time, Eddie’s appearance changed, and the mascot gained an identity.

According to the video documentary of Iron Maiden named ’12 Wasted Years,’ when asked about the inspiration behind Eddie, Derek Riggs revealed that it was something he saw on Time magazine. There was a picture of an American army man’s head from the Vietnam War, and Riggs used it as a reference to create Eddie’s peculiar head.

While Eddie’s appearance doesn’t necessarily scream cuteness, none of the band’s fans would expect its look to be based on an American soldier’s skull stuck to a Vietnamese tank. This horrifying detail takes the mascot’s creepiness to another level but doesn’t stop his fans from loving Eddie.

You can watch the top 10 Eddie moments below.