Iron Maiden is donating proceeds from the sales of the concert T-shirt that would’ve been available at a pair of cancelled Tokyo concerts to the Japanese Red Cross to aid victims of the March 11 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Maiden was scheduled to play the Saitama Super Arena in Japan’s capital on Saturday March 12 and Sunday March 13. After playing Seoul, South Korea, on Thursday, March 10, the group was aboard band airliner Ed Force One the next morning and was actually on approach to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport when the full force of the earthquake struck. Ed Force One was re-routed southwest to Nagoya, Japan, where the band spent the night before departing Japan on March 12.
The T-shirt that was made for the cancelled Tokyo concerts is now available on the online store section of the Iron Maiden website; it depicts band mascot Eddie in traditional Japanese samurai garb astride a fiendish-looking steed (see photo).
Further, Maiden will also donate the proceeds from the sale of the stock of all event shirts currently in Tokyo (e.g., the shirts with the tour dates on them). Details on where these shirts will be available are forthcoming.
In the immediate wake of the devastation of March 11, Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris issued a statement on behalf of the band to its fans in Japan “and all who have been affected by this terrible disaster.”
“We are extremely saddened by the calamitous events of the last day or so which led to the cancellation or our two shows in Tokyo,” Harris wrote. “Our deepest sympathies go out to everyone affected by this disaster—our fans in Japan; the people of Japan and those in many other places suffering from the tsunami. We are also aware that a number of fans flew into Tokyo from various parts of the world to see a Maiden show there, and we hope you guys are safe and sound. We have had a long relationship with this wonderful country and have always been made to feel most welcome—this would have been something like our 16th tour. Our sincerest condolences to all those who have suffered and to the families and friends of those who tragically lost their lives.”