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Stratton’s clash with Maiden over Eagles

Former Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton claims being a fan of the Eagles contributed to his dismissal from the band.

He spent a year with the fledgling NWOBHM giants from October 1979. He appeared on their debut album and toured with them in support of Judas Priest and Kiss, before being replaced by Adrian Smith. He’s previously cited difficult relations with mainman Steve Harris and manager Rod Smallwood for his departure.

Now Stratton tells The Garry Bushell Talk Show: “There wasn’t a lot of friendship – there was no bond. I knew my job and that’s what I worked at.”

He believes the band leaders were under a great deal of pressure to deliver results from record label EMI, leading to tension between him and Smallwood, which wasn’t helped by Stratton being a few years older than his colleagues.

The guitarist says one of the crunch moments came when Maiden were touring with Kiss in 1980. He recalls: “I always take a little stereo away with me. The stuff I was playing at the time was Whitesnake, the Eagles, George Benson, Steely Dan – easy-listening music, just to relax to.

“I was playing it in my hotel room and Rod heard it. He came in and started bawling and shouting. He said, ‘If anyone walks past this door and heard the Eagles coming out of this room, it’s going to cause trouble with the band.’

“I went, ‘Don’t be stupid’ – but these silly little things started to niggle him. He would never give me credit for being responsible for my own actions. It went on and on and on.”

In the rest of the interview Stratton discusses why he doesn’t like to mention Paul Di’Anno by name and an uncomfortable experience with TV host and former record label boss Jonathan King.