Australian Guitar - - Cover Story -

Only two mem­bers of Iron Maiden have ap­peared on ev­ery one of the band’s al­bums – founder and bassist Steve Har­ris, and gui­tarist Dave Mur­ray. So when you’re think­ing of the sound of Maiden, Mur­ray is the six­string bedrock from which their multi­solo flights are launched – and, as Har­ris told UK jour­nal­ist Mick Wall, their re­volv­ing door of sec­ond gui­tarists in the band’s early days were largely a re­sult of no one match­ing Mur­ray’s ta­lent.

That changed when Mur­ray fi­nally con­vinced his child­hood friend Adrian Smith to join in 1980, cre­at­ing what All­mu­sic ac­cu­rately called “the most for­mi­da­ble twin­gui­tar at­tack in heavy metal”. The Smith­Mur­ray axe axis is the sound in your head when you think of the “new wave of heavy metal”.

But after a decade, Smith grew in­creas­ingly un­com­fort­able with the band’s di­rec­tion – he felt they were re­ly­ing too much on key­boards – and quit in 1990 dur­ing pre­pro­duc­tion for No Prayer For The Dy­ing, re­placed by the tech­ni­cally bril­liant Jan­ick Gers.

Smith’s solo ca­reer was side­lined when front­man Bruce Dick­in­son quit Maiden in 1993 and tapped Smith to be his gui­tarist. Hap­pily for ev­ery­one, both Smith and Dick­in­son re­joined Maiden in 1999, where they re­main to this day. And Gers stayed put too, giv­ing the band a three­gui­tar front­line – you can never have too many so­los, right?

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