Somewhere in Time Figure

Michael Kontraros SKU: DLB-MKC-IRON-75-SOME1
Somewhere in Time Figure
Somewhere in Time Figure
Somewhere in Time Figure
Somewhere in Time Figure
Somewhere in Time Figure
Somewhere in Time Figure
Somewhere in Time Figure
Somewhere in Time Figure

Somewhere in Time Figure

Michael Kontraros SKU: DLB-MKC-IRON-75-SOME1

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75mm scale resin kit. Sculpted by Michael Kontraros. Boxart by Angel Giraldez. Kit includes 9 kit parts.

There are so many details on this album cover, especially on the back side, that makes it so interesting to discover!

Derek Riggs, getting into the details: "Somewhere In Time was a complicated picture, but I never felt that the actual picture... it was so complicated, it all gets lost; it falls down a bit there. All the jokes are my idea, like the reflection in the window that says 'This is a very boring painting.' Occasionally someone would come up with an idea for an actual picture, but the brief for this one was, we want a city more like the Blade Runner city rather than something like Star Wars. They wanted a science fiction city. So l worked with that brief and created a picture. I had put in a bunch of well-known starships like the U.S.S. Enterprise, but they didn't want to get sued so I had to take them out. But I did manage to squeeze in Batman — this is three years before the movie came out. He's on the back, standing on a ledge, which is just above the Powerslave cartouche."

Derek continues his tour of Somewhere In Time's frenzied profusion of detail... "Webster's — that's for Charlie Webster; I'd forgotten all about him. He was the art director at EMI, when we were doing this cover. This Cyrillic above the words Pizza Hot, I think it says sour milk in Russian, if I recall correctly (note: this might also refer to yogurt, or something short and to the point to designate a store that sold milk and other dairy products, in Russia). The Chinese there... I copied it from a Chinese or Japanese magazine, and it was an advert for zit cream. I copied it, I wrote it down, and a friend of mine, who is Chinese says, Why did you write that in there?' I said, 'I got it out of a magazine.' And he says, 'Do you know what it says?' And I said no. And he translated it for me, and said — because a lot of Chinese is based on context — As far as I can tell, that says: Danger, yellow bikini.' (laughs)."

"And Eddie's got a nuclear-powered willie," continues Derek, pointing out the biohazard sign on Ed's crotch-plate. And the cramped hand rising from the lower right? "That's a joke! It goes way back to Creature From The Black Lagoon. Now, the Creature From The Black Lagoon, the original black-and-white thing, was done in 3-D. He comes out from the lagoon and he kind of rips up somebody's tent and kills them. That shot, from the Black Lagoon, all these victims, they've all got one hand like that. They're lying on the ground and they've all got one hand sticking up like this. And it's a joke amongst horror fans — always that hand. So that's what that is. And Eddie's actually in the pose that toy soldiers take up. That pose was always used by soldiers or cowboys. I never really knew why they were standing like that, because they weren't actually doing anything. Why is he pointing his gun at the ceiling, dad?' 'I don't know, son.'"

And that space age toaster trailing Eddie? "That's his spaceship; it's what he rides around in. It looks just a bit peculiar — I just wanted a little buggy."

 Adds Derek on the busy text seemingly everywhere, "I just wanted lots of logos. If you go around town, it's all company logos. So I had to invent company logos, in order to make it look like a town. Bradbury Towers, that's a statement, not the name of the building — Ray Bradbury Towers. See, in Blade Runner, the building that he's in, I think it's called Bradbury Villa or something like that. It's referring to that; it's a science fiction joke."

Eddie is posed next to a street sign which partially reads Acacia, a reference to The Number Of The Beast song 22 Acacia Avenue and below that, "That's the very first Iron Maiden poster there. And right in the middle on the front, that's the lamp post from the very first cover, complete with sign and garbage can. It all feeds back on itself. Icarus is falling off the top of that building on the back. There's some Jewish — it's God written in the shape of a man, deep mystical stuff; Jews pick up on it. That would be Caballic stuff."

And Herbert Ails? "There's a song on Piece Of Mind called ‘To Tame A Land’, and it's about Dune. They phoned up Frank Herbert and asked if they could call the song Dune, and Frank Herbert said, 'No, you can't call it Dune. And you can't do anything based on my book, because I think rock 'n' roll is decadent and corrupt.' So they put Herbert Ails, as in, Herbert's not very well (laughs).

And they've got the football scores there, and Live After Death and Blade Runner showing at the cinema; Phantom Opera House, as in Phantom Of The Opera. Ruskin Arms, that's the pub they used to go to, and Rainbow, that's The Rainbow pub in LA. L'Amours is in New York. Hammerjacks is a nightclub in Baltimore they used to go to. There's the TARDIS from Doctor Who. Doctor Who flies around in a time machine called a TARDIS (time and relative dimensions in space). The time machine had a chameleon circuit to make it blend in with the background, but he landed in 1960s London, and it disguised itself as a police phone box, which were around in 1961 or something. But the chameleon circuit broke and it got stuck as a phone box. So he's flying around in a time machine that looks like a 1961 phone box."

"There's Fireball XL5, which most people don't remember — this had all the spaceships in it, didn't it? Jerry Anderson had Thunderbirds and Stingray, and one his early ones was called Fireball XL5 and it was a rocket ship. The one before that was called Supercar. You have to get one of the DVDs; they were brilliant, better than Star Wars (laughs). And that big thing there, that's a pyramid, and we've got death floating around, and there's the Tyrell Corporation in the background. That's the name of the corporation in Blade Runner. They're the company that makes the clones that Harrison Ford is trying to shoot. The Mekong Lives In LA. is written just to the right of that. The Mekong is in Dan Dare, a science fiction comic book from the 1920s, 'Dan Dare, pilot of the future.' You don't know Dan Dare, pilot of the future?! Good God, man, culturally deprived! (laughs)."

 Continuing the tour, Derek points out that, "this is whiskey in Yiddish and that's Bruce with a brain. They told me to paint portraits, and they complained because they didn't look exactly like them. Hello? They're inches tall. They're the size of postage stamps (laughs). The whole painting would have been about 15 inches high by about 32 inches long. Powerslave is 23 inches, I think, because that's as big as a sheet of board as I could get, so that would have been probably 23 x 26, and we would have had to trim it down to make it square, or just paint blue at the top or something. But yes, there's Sanctuary Music Shop. There's an HMV store, because they were signed to HMV. There's Gypsy's Kiss, which was Steve's first band. There's the Spitfire from Aces High, so there's the Aces High bar over there. That's a flying saucer, a UFO..."

"And with Eddie," says Derek, getting back to the core of the busy shot, "the whole concept was that it carried on from one album to the next, which is why he kept the artificial eye and all the things that happened to him. I just like rolling him on like that, seeing what you could do with him next, which parts you could keep."

Other interesting tidbits include the clock set at two minutes to midnight, the football score with West Ham naturally ahead, a namedrop for Philip K. Dick, who wrote the book Blade Runner was based on, Nicko's Iron What? T-shirt, the Eye Of Horus, the cat with halo, the Asimov Foundation building, and Tehe's Bar, the place where the band copped some backup vocalists for use on Heaven Can Wait.

"For Somewhere In Time, Eddie is stripped down as a robot. Now this was a difficult single, this Wasted Years. We had to have something that had Eddie in it somehow, but we didn't want to preempt the album look of Eddie. Because it would take the shock away from what we did to Eddie, right? We didn't want to give away the game before we started. So we were stuck, for what we could do. You try illustrating Wasted Years. What do you do? If you put four guys on there playing guitar, and you put the title, Wasted Years, it looks like they've been wasting their time playing guitar. If you have a picture of Eddie chopping people up, it's like, he's been wasting all these years chopping people up; what can you do? Whatever you do, it turns it into a negative."

"So we said, we couldn't use Eddie too much, because it was such a radical change to Eddie, that even giving a bit of Eddie away, wed kind of blow it. So, I think, Rod said what about using him as a reflection in something, so you could only see part of his head. So you can't really see what's going on, but it's still got Eddie on it. So we played with that for a bit, and we said, what about a time machine? You know, wasted years/time machine. And that was the only idea we could find that could work properly, and fulfill all the specifications of what we needed to do with it. It's got a TARDIS in it again, that spaceship that looks like the police phone box. So it's a duffer. It's a technical illustration of a keyboard of a time machine (laughs), with Eddie reflected in the window, because it was the only thing we could think of, that wouldn't give Eddie away, which fit Wasted Years, without becoming a kind of self-defeating illustration."

Text Courtesy of Micheal Kontraros Collectables

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