Adrian Smith ” Iron Maiden”

Adrian Frederik “H” Smith (born February 27, 1957 in Hackney, East London, England) is a guitarist and one of three guitarists/songwriters in the heavy metal band Iron Maiden. He also sings backing vocals on some songs, along with Steve Harris.Here is a clip of Adrian Smith on lead vocals singing “Reach out” with Bruce Dickinson on backing vocals.This was on a Maiden B- side songs.


While at school, Adrian befriended Dave Murray and founded his first band Urchin as lead singer and lead guitarist. Adrian had bought his first guitar from Murray, a Woolworths’ Top 20, for five quid. Murray left Urchin to join Iron Maiden, the new band of another local musician, Steve Harris. Smith continued to front Urchin, with limited success, until joining Maiden in late 1980 for the Killers album (released in 1981), replacing Dennis Stratton. Smith first wrote songs for Maiden on the 1982 album The Number of the Beast, and was the band’s secondary songwriter from then on (often in co-operation with Bruce Dickinson). Smith and Dave Murray combined playing dual lead guitars helping to forge the trademark sound of Iron Maiden. Some notable lead duets are “2 Minutes to Midnight”, “Alexander the Great” and “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. Notable solos include “Wasted Years”, “Stranger in a Strange Land” and “The Wicker Man”.

Adrian’s solos are usually composed rather than improvised. His legato playing is very smooth and fast, and typically even his very fast passages have a musical function and relationship to the chord structure behind the solo, drawing from modes and arpeggios which are more often from blues licks.

Smith released a solo LP with the band ASAP (Adrian Smith And Project) titled Silver and Gold in 1989. Following its release, Smith departed from Iron Maiden in 1990 when recordings for the No Prayer for the Dying album were about to start, and was replaced by Janick Gers. It is widely believed that Adrian left due to his unhappiness with the direction the band was taking: after releasing the experimental Somewhere in Time and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son albums, Steve Harris had decided to take the band back to a more traditional hard rock direction which can clearly be heard on the No Prayer for the Dying album. This album featured one last song co-penned by Adrian with Bruce Dickinson, “Hooks in You”.

Bruce Dickinson‘s comment on Adrian:

“When he left the band in 1990, I think everybody was a bit surprised at how much we missed him and certainly, I don’t think anybody had realized how much the fans would miss him – big time. I wouldn’t have rejoined Iron Maiden if he wasn’t in the band. I just don’t think it would have been complete without Adrian, and now, it’s great having three guitarists.”

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In 1996, Adrian joined forces with former Helloween vocalist, Michael Kiske on Kiske’s solo album Instant Clarity. He plays guitar on a few tracks and co-wrote a few songs.

Later, Adrian formed his alternative rock-influenced band Psycho Motel. This band was a progression from an earlier music project of his, The Untouchables, which had featured some of the members from ASAP and Jamie Stewart. The band recorded two albums, State of Mind (1996) and Welcome to the World (1997). Smith would also play on Bruce Dickinson’s Accident of Birth and The Chemical Wedding albums. The influence of this more progressive direction, as well as Adrian’s heavier rhythm guitar playing, on Iron Maiden’s own performances since he rejoined the band is clear.

On August 22nd 1992 Smith made a brief appearance onstage with Maiden to play “Running Free” during the Donington Festival.

In 1999, Smith re-joined Iron Maiden for the “Ed Hunter tour”, a tour in support of the video game of the same name. Since then, Iron Maiden have released 3 studio albums, Brave New World in 2000, Dance of Death in 2003 and A Matter of Life and Death in 2006. He remains with the band to this day.

In his spare time, Adrian loves fishing, as can be seen on the Rock In Rio DVD.

Adrian has a wife named Nathalie, and three children, son Dylan Smith (born in 1989) and twin daughters Natasha Smith and Brittany Smith (born in 1991).



Smith’s preferred guitar is the Fender Stratocaster, though he has used a variety of others over his career including several different Dean models, a custom built Jackson, Ibanez Destroyer, Gibson Les Pauls, a Gibson Explorer, Gibson SGs and Lado Guitars. On the A Matter of Life and Death DVD he says the first guitar he bought was a Gibson Les Paul Goldtop that cost him £235 when he was 17; he’s still using it, and “it’s still probably the best guitar I’ve got”. He had to work on a building site all summer to pay for it. His current Stratocaster features a DiMarzio Super Distortion humbucker in the bridge position, which is the pickup he uses almost exclusively, and a Floyd Rose locking tremolo system. On the H/S/S strats he has been playing recently he uses the bridge humbucker almost exclusively. Adrian uses gauge 9 strings and has his action set slightly higher than average. Contrary to common belief, Adrian does not use the Seymour Duncan JB Junior pickup, which is favoured by fellow Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers. For his solo work with Bruce Dickinson he has used (at least live) a Jackson King V guitar tuned down to D, providing a darker and heavier sound. He has also used this setup on occasion after re-joining Iron Maiden. In the booklet of their album A Matter of Life and Death, Adrian is shown with a custom made two neck Jackson Soloist. Smith used the guitar, a 6/12 string, for the song “Children of the Damned” during Iron Maiden’s 2007 tour. As of August of 2007, Adrian Smith is being endorsed by Jackson guitars, the first time in over fifteen years since he was endorsed by a guitar company.

* A Fender American Stratocaster with a Floyd Rose tremolo system with a backup Fender.
* A Gibson SG with a backup Gibson.
Adrian has around 30 guitars in his collection find more information on “H”s equipment &amps

most of the Information used from Wikipedia


~ by da|v|ned on October 21, 2010.

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