Dennis Stratton was one of the original members of Iron Maiden and he played on the band’s first album, Iron Maiden. Before Killers was released, Stratton and the band parted ways due to disagreements about the management. In a new interview, Stratton sat down with Chaoszine to talk about his time in Maiden and more. Some of the tracks on Killers, Stratton has ties to, but he never got to play them on the record as he was replaced by Adrian Smith after their 1980 “Unmasked” tour. Here’s what he had to say about the departure and Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood:
That was a joint decision. Me and Rod [Smallwood] never saw eye to eye much. I used to travel a lot with a crew because they were funny – Loopy [Steve Newhouse, a member of Iron Maiden’s ‘Killer Crew’], Dave Lights [light and effects tech] and Pete, my guitar tech.
They were fun, you need your bit of space. And Rod didn’t like the idea of me traveling with a crew. He didn’t really like the idea of me having a life outside the band. So it was a few things that clashed. And so it was no problem with the music, no problem with the band. There was no problem with the job I was doing with the band.
It’s just that there were different thoughts about, ‘Well, you should be with the band all the time.’ And I’ll say, ‘Why? I don’t want to be with the band all the time. Not that I don’t like ’em, but I want a bit of freedom.’ It got a bit silly after that, you know. And also he started moaning [about] the music I listened to; I think you should listen to anything you want, really. So anyway, I wasn’t arguing anymore. It was just a mutual decision.Dennis Stratton
Dennis Stratton On Possibly Playing With Iron Maiden One Last Time
Later in the interview, Stratton went over a dream scenario he’d have for one last time with Maiden. He brought up how he still keeps in contact with Steve Harris.
Yeah, of course. It’s on everyone’s bucket list, isn’t it? We were at the O2 [London arena] about 10 years ago, and my daughter was there, and we were all having a drink with Steve and his family. And Rod was there. My daughter said to Steve, ‘Are you gonna get the old man up to do a song tonight, Steve?’ And Steve said, ‘We’ve got three old bastards up there already, we don’t need four [laughter]…
And then not long ago, when we were talking about the Covid zone, I said, ‘Well, everyone’s got a bucket list, Steve. I’ve ticked off most of my bucket list.’ I said, ‘But you know, there’s still one that I need to tick off my bucket list, but that’s definitely your decision.’ So I left it at that. So the question has been put, because I would love to go and do ‘Phantom of the Opera’ or something… [but] I can’t see them finishing because they’ll be going for many years yet, I reckon.Dennis Stratton
Stratton keeps busy with the band Lionheart and has performed with Praying Mantis, Paul Di’Anno, and Iron Maiden. Check out his website here.
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