Steve Harris Iron Maiden

If you are familiar with Iron Maiden or if you are into Metal most of the fans know who Steve Harris is. Steve “arry” Harris is the legendary bassist and founder of the iconic British heavy metal band “Iron Maiden”.Its wise to say Steve Harris is Mr Maiden himself regardless of who your favourite Maiden band member is…


Stephen Percy Harris (born March 12, 1956 in Leytonstone, London, England) is the bassist, band leader and primary composer of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden. In addition, he plays keyboards, sings backing vocals. He founded the band as a teenager in 1975. He and Dave Murray are the only members of the band to have appeared on all of the band’s albums, and Harris is the only member to remain in the band throughout its duration. He used to work as an architectural draftsman in the East End of London but gave up his job upon forming Iron Maiden. During the mid 1970s he was a youth team footballer for West Ham United. He still is a talented amateur football player and often has the crest of West Ham on his bass,and he has stated his first ambition in life before music was to become a professional footballer.


Harris is a self-taught bass player. His first bass was a copy of a Fender Precision Bass that cost him £40 when he was 17 years old. He went on to use a signature Lado “Unicorn” model and an early 1970s Fender Precision with RotoSound strings. He now uses his own signature RotoSound flatwound bass strings. The strings that Harris uses, SH77, have a brightness not usually associated with flatwound strings. The Bass has no Tone control and Steve taps his head or body to cue the tech for treble or bass adjustments.

Harris’s influences include such bass players as Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, Chris Squire of Yes, John Deacon of Queen, Mike Rutherford of Genesis, Geddy Lee of Rush, Andy Fraser of Free and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath, John Entwistle of The Who, John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin and particularly Pete Way from UFO.

Harris’ first band was named first Influence then Gypsy’s Kiss. He later joined Smiler, of which all the band members were several years older than he was. He ended up leaving, as the members of the band made it clear that they did not care for a bassist who leapt around the stage and wrote songs. After Smiler, Harris went on to create Iron Maiden, getting the name from seeing an iron maiden, a type of torture instrument, in the movie The Man in the Iron Mask.

Steve Harris is Maiden’s principal composer and lyricist. His songwriting typically showcases his trademark galloping bass patterns (see below) and features long songs with epic lyrics that feature many tempo changes, influenced by 1970’s progressive rock bands like Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. Harris frequently writes lyrics about mythology, history or topics inspired from books and movies.

Steve Harris is often considered among the best and most influential heavy metal bassists. He is most known for his “galloping” bass lines – usually an eighth note followed by two sixteenth notes at fast tempo (e.g., “The Trooper”) or eighth note triplets – which he plays with two fingers. Before playing, Harris often chalks his fingers, to make these fast patterns easier to play, as shown on the bonus DVD for the A Matter of Life and Death album. Besides this he is very adventurous on the bass and plays intricate accompaniment in many of Maiden’s songs. He also uses power chords, which are unusual on bass, on several songs. Harris has also stated that he never uses a pick and that he never warms up before a show.

He plays a specially-painted bass guitar which has been featured on every Iron Maiden album. The guitar has gone through three colour changes since construction. Originally black, it was then changed to blue, then white.


  • Harris designed Iron Maiden’s first logo which used the current Maiden Font, seen in all of their album-releases, as stated in The Early Days
  • Given that Harris had been the centre of attention in Maiden’s early gigs the addition of Bruce Dickinson to the band’s line-up originally caused small scuffles between the two as they both wanted to be at the centre of the stage. Bruce mentioned in The Early Days documentary that Harris occasionally elbowed him away, and he returned the favour by causing Harris to trip on his extra-long microphone stand.
  • His eldest daughter, Lauren Harris, is also a singer and has released her debut album, Calm Before the Storm. She supported Iron Maiden on their A Matter of Life and Death tour as well as the Somewhere Back In Time World Tour.
  • His son, George Harris plays lead guitar in a band called Burn In Reason  who take a heavy influence from Iron Maiden, and also from bands such as Killswitch Engage, Funeral for a Friend and Underoath.
  • In 1998, Harris had a signature bass sold by Fender. It was the Steve Harris Signature P Bass. It has a basswood body colored in lake placid blue, with a maple neck and Basslines pickups. It is no longer made and very hard to find.
  • Harris’ favourite pub is in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden an dis called is Paddington’s. Prior to a concert in the city he always pays a visit and helps serving beer amongst the regular staff.

Here are some pictures of Steve Harris and a couple of vids where you can know more about Steve’s world class writing skills and check out his Gallop sound!you will know its Steve Harris  if you are into Maiden.

Steve Harris Bass influence can be found on these songs you can view them by clicking on them

Steve Harris bio used from Wikipedia


~ by da|v|ned on August 18, 2008.

3 Responses to “Steve Harris Iron Maiden”

  1. I was lucky to to be there in Bangalore last year when Iron Maiden performed for the first time in India. It was an awesome, mind blowing experience.

  2. I was there too i also have the concert T-shirts..kool!

  3. Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I’ve read – edc by ESPRIT Damen Shirt/ Langarmshirt N42713, Gr stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this web site.

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