Ex-Iron Maiden Guitarist Says He Was Fired for Liking the Eagles
That's the allegation made by former guitarist Dennis Stratton, whose brief tenure with the band lasted just long enough for him to contribute to their 1980 self-titled debut album. Following a series of tour dates in support of Kiss and Judas Priest, Stratton was fired and replaced with Adrian Smith, who joined in time to play on the 1981 follow-up, 'Killers.' As Stratton sees it, it was his fondness for what he calls "easy listening music" that prompted manager Rod Smallwood to call for his dismissal.
"I always take a little stereo away with me," he recalled during an appearance on the Gary Bushell Talk Show (which you can listen to below via Classic Rock Magazine). "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."
That kind of thing was par for the course in a situation where, according to Stratton, "There wasn’t a lot of friendship ... there was no bond," but he still ended up being part of a project in the '90s with his fellow Maiden alum, singer Paul Di'Anno. As he relates in the interview, that attempt at working together also ended in disaster, with Di'Anno allegedly committing an assault that Stratton says he's never forgiven him for -- and is the reason he tries not to even speak his former bandmate's name today.