Run To The Tills: Inside the enduring appeal of Iron Maiden's merch

Run To The Tills: Inside the enduring appeal of Iron Maiden's merch


Global Merch Services chairman/owner Barry Drinkwater has worked on Maiden’s iconic merch for decades. He explains the appeal…

What role does merch have in Maiden’s world?

It’s been key in their ethos as a band, the persona of the band. It’s a badge of allegiance for the fans. It’s not what the band’s about – the band’s about the music – but there’s more to it with the entity of Eddie and how he’s portrayed on the merchandise which makes them more than just a band. Metallica are a band, they’re a great band, and they’ve got half-decent merchandise. Most bands have OK merchandise. Maiden are exceptional and unique in the fact that the merchandise embraces the fans.

How much do their T-shirts play into complementing the vision of the music?

It totally does. Rod will hate me for saying this, but it’s because of him – it’s his vision. Yes, he works with everyone else, but it’s really Rod’s mental anguish – and he anguishes about this – over the details of every little aspect, he looks at every piece of merchandise and colour. Which again is incredible. No acts have a manager like this, and I’ve worked with hundreds and hundreds of artists over the years. Nobody is on it like he is. And it shows.

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