The year was 1975 when Steve Harris, who used to perform with Smiler, thought about forming a new band. Although, he was only 16 at that time, he never hesitated, and went on to create his own band, Iron Maiden, with the band’s name being inspired from the film, The Man in the Iron Mask. The original line-up consisted of Paul Day (vocalist), Dave Sullivan (guitars), Terry Rance (guitars), Ron Matthews (drums) and Harris (bass).
However, the original line-up did not last very long, and Day became the first member to be kicked-off, as he lacked the energy and charisma onstage. Dennis Wilcock became the new vocalist while Dave Murray was recruited as the band’s new rhythm guitarist.
Bob Sawyer was also brought on board as another guitarist, but his arrival ensued tension in the band. Murray and Wilcock, who were used to be good friends, were pointing fingers at each other with the later almost convincing Harris to dismiss Murray.
A new line-up was yet again put together by Harris, with Tony Moore on keyboards, Terry Wapram on guitars and Barry Purkis on drums. However, a bad performance at Bridgehouse in November 1977 led to the replacement of Purkis with Doug Ssampson. In addition, Harris asked Moore to quit the band, as he felt that keyboards were not fitting the band’s sound.
Early in 1978, Wilcock decided to quit, as he considered that the English band was going nowhere, and Harris immediately brought back Murray into the band, and his arrival provoked Wapram to leave.
Harris, Murray and Sampson spent the whole summer and autumn of 1978 together, and rehearsed while continuing their search of a vocalist. In November 1978, a meeting at Red Lion pub evolved into a successful audition of Paul Di’Anno.
From that point onwards, Murray continued as the band’s sole guitarist while Harris never ended his pursuit of luring another guitarist in the band, who could match Murray’s sound.
Continued in ‘Iron Maiden: A journey from 1975………………… (Part II)’