What’s Iron Maiden’s ‘The Number of the Beast’ Devil Doing on a Motley Crue Shirt?
A Motley Crue shirt being sold by Crue's official website, and by Hot Topic, bears an extremely close resemblance to Iron Maiden’s iconic artwork for The Number of the Beast. The devil caricature from The Number of the Beast appears to bear a striking resemblance to the devil character placed in the pentagram from Motley Crue’s Shout at the Devil album cover.
There are noticeable similarities between the Motley Crue shirt and Iron Maiden’s artwork from 40 years ago. The devil’s pose is the same, as is the placement of the arms, legs and tail, while the right hand is making the same “puppet strings” gesture as The Number of the Beast. The pitchfork from the Maiden devil has been replaced by an impaled skull on the Crue shirt, while the Crue devil has been given fangs instead of normal human teeth.
Even the musculature in the shoulders and left leg are identical, and of course, the background smoke and the fire at the feet of the devil can both be found on the original Number of the Beast cover. Though there seem to be some minor adjustments, the devil characters are strikingly similar.
The shirt, as of this posting, is featured in Motley Crue's official web store. A description reads, "The Mötley Crüe Shout At The Devil Vintage Pentagram Tee features an illustrated design complete with the iconic pentagram. The tee reads 'SHOUT AT THE DEVIL' and is finished with the classic Mötley Crüe logo at the top." No mention of Iron Maiden is made.
The shirt on Hot Topic’s website is called “Motley Crue Shout at the Devil Boyfriend Fit Girls T-Shirt.” Like Crue's website, no mention of Iron Maiden is made.
Of course, it's unknown how this shirt design came to be or if Iron Maiden or the original artist were involved, but as the shirt is an officially licensed piece of merchandise, Motley Crue teams were almost certainly involved in approving the design.
Loudwire has reached out to Motley Crue and Iron Maiden and for comment on the similarities.