Short Biography

Iron Maiden was formed on Christmas day, 1975 by Steve Harris, who recruited guitarists Dave Sullivan and Terry Rance, drummer Ron Matthews, and vocalist Paul Day. Day, who lacked stage presence, was quickly replaced by Dennis Wilcock. Rance and Sullivan were dropped when Dave Murray was found, as neither of the former could play lead and the latter clearly could. Bob Angelo came in to complement him, but ended up trying to upstage him continuously, so was fired in late 1976. He joined Praying Mantis.

Dave Murray left in the spring of 1977 after getting in an argument with Dennis Wilcock, and was replaced by Terry Wapram on guitars. Ron Matthews also left, and in came Thunderstick, aka Barry Graham. Finally, keyboardist Tony Moore was brought in. This lineup lasted one gig, before everyone realized that keyboards were a no go. Tony was fired, and Terry left out of solidarity. Dave Murray returned, and Dennis Wilcock again decided he had enough, and this time he took Thunderstick and left. Dennis formed V1 with Terry and Tony, while Thunderstick popped up in Samson (Gbr) a bit later.

Deciding to continue, Steve and Dave found drummer Doug Sampson, and vocalist Paul Di'Anno, in mid 1977. This lineup, a four-piece, recorded the first demo, The Soundhouse Tapes, on December 31th, 1978. Then, Paul Cairns was brought in on guitars, and he lasted for about three months before leaving of his own volition. Paul Todd played two gigs, before his girlfriend told him to either choose a tour with Maiden, or her; Paul was in Maiden for precisely two days in September, 1979. Tony Parsons came in in early September (the live recording from September 10th, 1979 has him on guitars), and lasted until just about the end of the year, before leaving due to his unhappiness at being surrounded by far more talented musicians. He was replaced by Dennis Stratton. In January, 1980, Doug Sampson fell ill and quit after a tour. Clive Burr arrived, and the first album was recorded.

Dennis Stratton went to Lionheart in October of 1980, citing a love of classic rock as opposed to metal, and was replaced by Adrian Smith (Urchin) in September, 1980. Paul Di'Anno had constant drinking problems and was once arrested before a show, forcing Steve Harris to take over on vocals (February 8th, 1980), and thus he was replaced by Bruce Bruce of Samson (Gbr), who reverted to his non-repetitive almost birth name of Bruce Dickinson. (His full name is Paul Bruce Dickinson, but the band had had enough of singers named Paul!) Bruce's first gig was October 25th, 1981, in Italy. Burr left the band at the end of 1982, on good terms, since he wanted a break from the music business and all the touring. He would crop up in various projects over the years. In came Nicko McBrain, formerly of Trust. This lineup lasted until January, 1990, when Adrian Smith left and was replaced by Janick Gers.

Bruce Dickinson left the band in 1993, wishing to concentrate on his solo career. Blaze Bayley (real name: Bayley Cook, Blaze was a school nickname) from Wolfsbane took over on vocals for two albums. Then, both Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith returned in 1999, and toured for a video game, Ed Hunter. The tour was monstrously successful and the band put out a new album, Brave New World, and a new live album as well, Rock in Rio. Blaze went to form his solo project, Blaze (Gbr).

Former drummer Clive Burr was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2002, so the band held a benefit for him, and released a single, Run To The Hills, featuring live tracks from 1982 with Clive on drums.

Michael Kenney (not to be confused with Mick Kenney of Anaal Nathrakh) plays keyboards for Iron Maiden on tour (and contributes some studio work too).

Trivia: Iron Maiden were the first heavy metal band to ever be featured on MTV during its first day - August 1,1981. "Iron Maiden" was music video number 16 and "Wrathchild" was number 33 out of the first 62 videos to ever be played on MTV during its first day.

Birth Dates:

  • Steve Harris (12 March 1956 London, England)

  • Dave Murray (23 December 1956 London, England)

  • Adrian Smith (27th February 1957 England)

  • Bruce Dickinson (7th August 1958 Nottinghamshire, England)

  • Nicko McBrain (5th June 1952 London, England)

  • Jannick Gers (27th January 1957 Hartlepool, England)

  • Dennis Stratton (9th November 1954 London, England)

  • Clive Burr (8th March 1957)

  • Paul Di'Anno (17th May 1958 Chingford, England)

  • Blaze Bayley (29th May 1963 Birmingham, England)
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