Maiden's Dennis in the Pink
CANNING Town-born former Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton hasn t stopped working since he left the legendary heavy metal band in 1980. This week he looks forward to fronting a Pink Floyd tribute gig at The Bridgehouse II, just around the corner fro
CANNING Town-born former Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton hasn't stopped working since he left the legendary heavy metal band in 1980.
This week he looks forward to fronting a Pink Floyd tribute gig at The Bridgehouse II, just around the corner from where he grew up in the 1950s.
The Iron Maiden line-up chopped and changed from when the band was first formed on Christmas Day 1975 by founder member Steve Harris, but Dennis was in place when the group landed their major record deal with EMI in 1979.
Their eponymous debut album was a UK No 4 hit, in the days when you needed to sell hundreds of thousands of pieces of vinyl to get that high, and the band went on to support Kiss and tour with Judas Priest.
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He appeared in the home video recording, Live At The Ruskin, from early 1980 - released in 2004 as part of an Iron Maiden 25 Anniversary DVD box set.
Dennis, 55, said: "There were disagreements and arguments and when you're young you make your choices, but I have no regrets. There were other guitarists before me and there have been several others since.
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"When I left in 1980, I joined a band called Lionheart. We signed to CBS and spent four years touring America. Later, in the '90s, I was in a band called Praying Mantis and spent 15 years between the UK and Japan.''
And Dennis certainly likes to travel. When I spoke to him on the phone he was in South Africa, performing in a national tour.
He jetted back this week for The Bridgehouse II gig tomorrow (Thursday) before flying to Italy for a weekend of shows and Iron Maiden conventions.
These days Dennis lives in Saffron Walden, but his love affair with east London in unquestionable. As well as his obvious connections to The Ruskin Arms in Manor Park, where Iron Maiden plied their early trade, Dennis played many times in his various guises at The Bridgehouse over the years, playing the closing night of the original venue with another of his outfits, Remus Down Boulevard.
A former pupil at St Helen's Primary School and then at St Bonaventure's Comprehensive School, he is also a regular performer at The Prince Albert pub in New Plaistow Road.
"It will be great to do all the old Pink Floyd stuff. I've got a great affiliation with Canning Town and the surrounding areas. I grew up behind the original Bridgehouse venue, Clarence Road, and that place was a life-saver for us as grew up. It was where we learned to play guitar, after all!"
Tickets for The Whole of The Moon tribute show are �9 on the door. Tickets are also on sale for the Remus Down Boulevard show there on May 26, priced at �5.
- MATT TROLLOPE