STEVE HARRIS BIOGRAPHY
Steve Harris, known as 'Arry to his friends, was born on 12th March, 1956 in Leystone, England. Steve was raised in London's East End with his three sisters.
He started to show interest in football at an early age, and being a devoted fan of West Ham United, he joined them at 14. However, he didn't last more than 9 months, after he had found that he was a bit disillusioned in it.
After listening to a friend's records, Steve had become interested in music, and in playing music. He wanted to be either a drummer or a bass player. However, a bass guitar takes up less space than a drum kit, so Steve opted for the bass. He bought himself a Fender copy for 40 quids only when he was about 17. Steve was influenced by Wishbone Ash, UFO and the early Genesis. He got together with a couple of school friends, and they called themselves the 'Influence', but shortly after that they changed their name to 'Gypsy's Kiss'. Even though the band didn't last long, Steve didn't give up and he joined another band called 'Smiler'. After he had realised it wasn't the real thing, he formed his own band so that he could make whatever music he liked. You've guessed it - it was Iron Maiden. The played their first gig in the 'Cart and Horses' pub in 1976.
As for the name 'Iron Maiden', it is named after a particular medieval torture device called the 'Iron Maiden'.
Arry had to keep his job as an architectural draughtsman until the band has become professional. He also designed Maiden's logo. It is due to Steve's insistence that Maiden could establish themselves right in the middle of the punk movement, and that they are still around after more than 20 years.
Steve was introduced to Dave Murray by Dennis Wilcock (the guy who also played in 'Smiler' with Steve), and that was when real history has begun. Maiden played gigs in the East End pubs with a new line-up almost every week, when Paul DiAnno got auditioned for the singer's position in 1978. In 1979 December 30th Maiden managed to record their famous demo 'The Soundhouse Tapes', which is now the most hard-to find and most expensive collector's items. The record and the band has become very popular when DJ Neal Kay started to play in a this disco called 'The Soundhouse'.
Steve has always busy in doing Maiden, and practically being the leader of the band, he hasn't had time for many outside projects. The only project I know about is that of former tennis star's John McEnroe's. Steve and Nicko jammed with him and recorded an EP under the name called 'The Full Metal Rackets' in 1991. The song title is "Rock And Roll" and the original was recoded by Led Zeppelin. Pat Cash and Roger Daltrey took part in the project.
Today, Steve is not only a bass player for Maiden, but also a keyboard player (!) (on the Virtual XI album), a producer (he produced/ co-produced every album since 'Fear Of The Dark'). Steve has got his studio now called the 'Barnyard', and the last 4 studio albums were recorded there. He has recently started 'Beast Records' to help up-and-coming British rock bands. (The first band signed to his label are Dirty Deeds who support Maiden during the Virtual World Tour, the second are 'Kick'.).
A man with many interests, when not taking care of his 5 children (3 daughters and 2 sons), Steve likes taking photographs and he has even got a dark room at home. Apart from playing football, which he still does, he likes playing tennis. And yes, he is as loyal to the Hammers (i.e. West Ham) as ever!
There is a bar in Portugal called 'Eddie's bar' which is a nice place to visit for tourists and/or true Maiden believers as well. The presence of this bar, needless to say, is due to Steve Harris. Steve also has a summer house there and he has taken up the Portuguese language recently to improve his communications ability!
Steve's influences included: Chris Squire (from Yes), the early Genesis, Wishbone Ash and UFO.
The name Steve derives from the Greek 'Stephanos' (Stephanos) and it means 'crown'.