Who is Adrian Smith?
Adrian Smith is one of the main reasons why ‘Iron Maiden’ continues to be a really popular even after almost 4 decades since it was formed. Since a very young age, Smith was heavily influenced by the works of the band ‘Deep Purple’ and ‘Jimi Hendrix’, which led him to pursue music. Adrian turned out to be one of the missing pieces of the puzzle for the members of the band ‘Iron Maiden’, who faced problems with their then guitarist Dennis Stratton. After collaborating with Adrian, the band had a significant growth, and has released several albums and earned numerous awards and accolades ever since. Smith has also been in the news for the wide range of guitars he has used for numerous performances. Prominent among the instruments he used are ‘Gibson Les Pauls’, ‘Hamer Scarab’, and ‘Lado Guitars’. Adrian has been hailed by many for being a musician who is a ‘Songwriter’s dream’, and being capable of doing complete justice to the lyrics. Unlike most other instrumentalists, Adrian has also penned various songs for his band, which garnered much appreciation.
Childhood & Early Life
Adrian was born on February 27, 1957 at Hackney County in East London. His original name is Adrian Frederick Smith. Adrian’s father was a painter and interior decorator. Smith was raised in Camden area of London.
Adrian’s interest turned towards music when he was hardly 15 years old. He started playing the guitar soon, after being inspired by the musician Dave Murray, who had become his close friend around this time.
In 1972 Adrian formed a band named ‘Urchin’ along with Dave Murray, John Hoye, who played the bass guitar, and various other drummers. The band performed several times at John Hoye’s school, and many local competitions. However, the band split eight years after its formation.
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Even while he was busy with the assignments of ‘Urchin’, Adrian received an offer to be a part of the famous metal band named ‘Iron Maiden’ in 1979, which he refused.
Post the split of Urchin in 1980, Adrian was clueless about his future. Dave Murray, who was already a part of ‘Iron Maiden’ gave him an opportunity to join the popular band. ‘Iron Maiden’ was backed by the record label ‘EMI’ at the same time.
The band already had creative differences with their guitarist Dennis Stratton, and soon the latter was replaced by Adrian. After a few gigs with the band during a UK tour, Smith recorded for Iron Maiden’s second album ‘Killers’. The songs of this album, which released in 1981, topped the charts in various countries.
Other than just being a guitarist, Adrian has also co-written several songs such as ‘Gangland’, ‘The Prisoner’, and ‘22 Acacia Avenue’. He even collaborated with British musician Bruce Dickinson for penning Iron Maiden’s fourth album titled ‘Piece of Mind’, which released in 1983.
In 1989, Adrian kept himself busy with the band ‘ASAP’, which was an abbreviated form of ‘Adrian Smith And Project’. The decision of the ‘Iron Maiden’ band members to take a temporary break from their musical assignments led to this development. Adrian even released an album titled ‘Silver and Gold’, but the album failed to garner appreciation from the lovers of heavy metal music.
During the same time as the release of ‘Silver and Gold’, ‘Iron Maiden’ was gearing up for the release of their eighth album titled ‘No Prayer For The Dying’. Adrian was not too happy with the way the album was shaping up, and walked out of ‘Iron Maiden’ during the album’s pre-production. However, he patched up with the band and performed along with them in a 1992 gig at Donnington Park, England.
In the early 1990s, Adrian listened to few songs of the progressive metal band named ‘King’s X’. Inspired by the band’s music, Smith formed his own troupe, in a bid to produce similar music. This new band, which was christened ‘Psycho Motel’ produced several albums such as ‘State of Mind’ and ‘Welcome To The World’, which were released in the mid 1990s.
Adrian collaborated with his ‘Iron Maiden’ band mate Bruce Dickinson on the latter’s 1997 debut album titled ‘Accident of Birth’. The album received good reviews, and the duo collaborated again on the latter’s second album ‘The Chemical Wedding’ which released the following year.
In the 2000s Adrian returned back to his former band ‘Iron Maiden’, and became a part of three albums of the famous outfit which were released during this period, namely ‘Dance of Death’, ‘A Matter of Life and Death’, and ‘The Final Frontier’.
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Though Adrian is credited with several independent musical achievements, he is best known for his work for the metal band ‘Iron Maiden’. Notable among these were his duets with friend and band mate Dave Murray such as ‘2 Minutes to Midnight’, ‘Rime of The Ancient Mariner’, and ‘Alexander the Great’.
Awards and Achievements
Adrian’s contribution to ‘Iron Maiden’ led to the band being nominated for a series of awards and recognitions. Noteworthy among these is a nomination in the ‘Album of The Year’ category at the 2007 ‘Metal Hammer awards’ for the album ‘A Matter of Life and Death’.
The band won the award in the ‘Best Heavy Metal Album’ category for their album ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ at the ‘Metal Storm Awards’ ceremony in 2006.
In 2010, he shared an honour in the ‘Best Video’ category along with his other troupe members for the famous ‘Iron Maiden’ song ‘The Final Frontier’.
Personal Life & Legacy
Adrian Smith is the youngest of the three children born to his parents. He has an elder sister named Kathleen, and a brother named Patrick.
Adrian is married to Nathalie Dufresne Smith, a social worker of Canadian descent, at around the same time when he temporarily quit ‘Iron Maiden’.
The Couple is blessed with three kids named Dylan, Brittany, and Natasha.
Adrian was an ardent follower of football during his childhood. He supported the famous football club ‘Manchester United’, but stopped following the sport once his interest turned towards heavy metal music.
In an interview with the magazine ‘Angler Mail’, this English guitarist revealed that he used to carry ‘Worms and Maggots’ during his musical tours.