IRON MAIDEN’s ADRIAN SMITH Says Hearing DEEP PURPLE’s ‘Machine Head’ Changed His Life

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IRON MAIDEN guitarist Adrian Smith, who spent his childhood fishing with his father, was asked in a new interview with Blue Fish Radio when he first became interested in becoming a musician. He responded (hear audio below): “When I was about 14 or 15, I was kind of a clueless, your usual type of teenager and I didn’t know what I wanted to do in my life. And I sort of wandered into my older sister’s bedroom to check out her albums, which were normally soul records — THE TEMPTATIONS and [other] Motown [artists]. And then I noticed she had some new records, and one of them was a DEEP PURPLE record called ‘Machine Head’. So I put the album on a little record player, and I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing. That was it, really. It sort of changed my life. I thought, ‘Well, I’d love to be out doing that one day.’ The fishing had kind of tapered off. In those days, I couldn’t imagine my heroes, like Ritchie Blackmore from DEEP PURPLE, and people like that going fishing. So I thought, ‘Well, I’ll give it up and I’ll give all my time to try and make it as a professional musician.’ So that’s what I did.”

Smith‘s memoir, “Monsters Of River & Rock”, was released in September via Virgin Books.

Smith is well known in the community as a fisherman, and a former cover star of coarse-fishing bible the Angler’s Mail (biggest chub of the season, August 2009). In his first, very personal, riverside memoir, “Monsters Of River & Rock”, Smith takes us with him on his incredible journey, through the highs and lows of life on tour, and on the river-bank, as his fishing gear travels with him across the world.

Adrian got hooked on fishing as a child growing up in East London, plundering ponds and bomb craters on the Hackney Marshes for newts and sticklebacks and catching perch from the Grand Union Canal whilst on outings with his father. Things began to get more exotic when the young angling enthusiast grew up to become lead guitarist in one of the most successful rock bands in history, and started travelling the world playing to many millions of fans. But once a fisherman, always a fisherman. The gear went with him, the fish got bigger, the adventures more extreme.

Welcome to the world of Adrian Smith, as he clocks in to his day job furthering the geographical boundaries of hard rock, and clocks off to explore far-flung rivers, seas, waterways, lakes and pools on his fearless quest for fishing nirvana. His adventures range from his first sturgeon, a whopping 100-pounder from Canada’s swirling Fraser River that nearly wiped him out mid-MAIDEN tour, to a close shave with a large shark off the Virgin Islands whilst wading waist-deep for bonefish. Not to mention an enviable list of specimen coarse fish from the U.K.

Charming, funny, and moving in equal measure, “Monsters Of River & Rock” is the ultimate fishing-fantasy armchair read, and is also the story of a rock star in a fast-moving world who seeks peace and tranquillity at the water’s edge — wherever he is.

Smith was born in Hackney, East London, on February 27, 1957. He joined IRON MAIDEN at the end of 1980. Adrian is the bandmember who has collaborated on the most side projects outside of IRON MAIDEN, as well as writing and recording a series of albums in the early ’90s, before rejoining the band. IRON MAIDEN has sold 100 million albums, and tour the world playing to millions of fans. Onstage, Adrian uses Jackson and Gibson guitars. Offstage, he is an avid tennis player. However, his main hobby is fishing. He takes his rod and gear out on tour with him wherever he goes.

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