Stephen Percy “Steve” Harris is a British musician, famous for being the bassist, casual keyboardist, and lead lyricist of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden.
He remains, with guitarist Dave Murray, the only member who has contributed to all the projects of the group since its creation until today, and who is credited in all albums.
While predestined for football, his discovery of rock and then heavy metal pushed him to embark on a musical career.
He joined two groups, Gypsy’s Kiss then Smiler, before founding Iron Maiden on Christmas Day 1975.
In addition to being the group’s bass player, Steve Harris produced and co-produced the group’s albums and produced the concert videos.
Stephen Percy Harris, called Steve and nicknamed ‘Arry by the group, is the founder and leader of IRON MAIDEN.
To tell the story of Steve’s life is to tell the group, the fruit of the dreams and ambitions of this genius bassist, who is also an author, composer, and even performer when necessary, and whose rigor and intransigence, which go beyond 1.70 m wide, have allowed Iron Maiden to become and remain one of the biggest bands in the heavy metal scene for the last three decades.
Steve grew up in the eastern suburbs of London. He is the oldest of 4 children. His father was a truck driver and his mother, apart from a few odd jobs, was a housewife, raising ‘Arry and his three sisters.
Before falling into the musical pot, Steve Harris devoted himself to sport. Cricket or tennis were part of
At the age of 9, a friend took him to see his first football match, which pitted West Ham against Newcastle (4-3).
For 7 years, Steve will think only of football and his career in the field, playing on the school team, crying when the German Federal Republic opened the scoring in the 12th minute against England during the 1966 World Cup final held in the United Kingdom (for amateurs, final score: England 4 – 2 West Germany after extra time).
But life makes that, growing up, the interests change. A professional football career requires sacrifices that ultimately Steve was not really ready to do.
When asked what he wanted to do with his life, an obvious answer had popped up: Steve would be a rock star!
You’ll believe it or not, but the first music Steve listened to was … reggae. In the early 1970s, apart from the hair he was growing, the future bass player looked like skinheads of the time. But, as he himself admits, “I wasn’t a big fan of it all.
I bought these albums to dance at parties and meet girls. None of us were really into the skinhead stuff it was just that way.
Originally Steve wanted to be a drummer, he reveals in the documentary The Early Days, but since his grandmother lived in his parents’ home, there was not a room large enough to store a drum kit.
A guitar (acoustic), it was easier! But the guitar was just because it had been said that it was the required passage before playing bass and very quickly, the guitar was stored in the closet for a copy of bass Fender.
The After just 10 months of training, Steve suggested to Dave Smith (note the name’s coincidence!) to form a group. Influence was born with Dave and Tim on guitars, Bob Verschoyle on vocals, Paul Sears on drums, and of course Mr. Harris himself on bass.
Apart from fiery rehearsals at Steve’s grandmothers, the band only gave one concert in 1973 at a young talent competition where it placed in second place. But most of all, that day Steve met the contest organizer, a David Beazley, better known as Dave Lights.
Another concert was planned a few weeks later, but at that moment, Steve decided to change the band name which “sounded a little sad” in his opinion. It is thus under the name of GYPSY’S KISS that will be played the 5 following concerts, before the separation of the group for “divergences musical”.
“When you’re 18, you give five concerts and some feel like you’ve done everything, they’re happy like that, but that was not enough for me, I loved to give concerts and I wanted it to be okay.” never stop. “No doubt, he was already the Steve Harris that we know!
The next step for the bassist was to join an already formed band. This group will SMILER, in 1974, consisting of musicians about 26 years old while Steve had only 18. But it was the idea of the bassist to integrate a group with a little experience to learn the maximum.
SMILER had a rehearsal repertoire and played regularly in pubs. But a few weeks later, while the band had an increasingly busy concert schedule, the drummer decided to leave because he did not have the time.
The new drummer will also be an important meeting for Steve. Doug Sampson, born June 30, 1957 in Hackney, will indeed be one of the first musicians to integrate IRON MAIDEN.
As time passed, Steve began to consider writing texts himself. There will be a first version of Innocent Exile and Burning Ambition. Meanwhile, the group had been looking for a “real” singer and it is still a known name, Dennis Wilcock, who made its appearance in the life of Steve.
However, Steve’s songs began to displease SMILER. There were “too many tempo changes in there”. That’s when the bassist thought he’d have to form his own band because he thought his songs were pretty good. And that’s what he did, forming his own band … all by himself.
Finally, until he starts using his contacts and recruiting musicians. On December 25, 1975, IRON MAIDEN was born with Dave Sullivan and Terry Rance on guitars, Ron “Rebel” Matthews on drums and Paul Day on vocals, not to mention Steve Harris and his bass.
IRON MAIDEN, it is of course Steve who chose the name of his group, inspired by an instrument of torture of the Middle Ages, sort of coffin with nails inside where we placed a person until death ensues, seen in the movie The Man with the Iron Mask (1939), we always say.
On the human side, Steve is one of those few people you can meet and in which you can have complete confidence.
He will not betray you, he will not break sugar in your back; he is very straight. You can confide in him, he will not make any detour and will not take your say for hogwash.
He has the ability to sit there and watch a situation from every angle, but if he is convinced that he is right, he will argue with all the fibers of his body and will not change his mind, which is, I think, a good course of action. He has a very strong mind.
In cases where other groups would have collapsed, which allowed Iron Maiden to continue doing what they do best, it’s Steve, because he has this faith, he believes that what he is right.
Steve has a very vivid imagination and a very simple way of writing lyrics. These are not intellectual texts, it’s deeper than that. He writes things as he sees them and you really feel like the words are coming out from within. Whenever I play the title Blood Brothers, I shudder so it just falls.
He lost his father while he was on tour and when that kind of thing happens to you, sometimes you find yourself in the bottom of the hole – everybody has experienced that – but being able to write it is another thing.
When you read his words, there is an honesty that comes from it and he does a lot more than he would in a conversation.
This is a great football player and he had the choice between becoming a professional footballer and playing music as a child, but I think he made the right decision. I do not think he could have fallen into the discipline of football life at the time, when you’re a teenager and you start meeting people and making music.
But he does not drink much and he pays attention to his body, it’s very important to him. Being a sportsman, he thinks that if your body is healthy, then your mind is too, and I think it helps in the group because you do not fit into that stupid rock and roll lifestyle party every night “.
He’s a special bass player. He plays his bass in a way that no one can actually copy. People say it sounds like a solo guitar but not at all.
He has a way of hearing things and a sound that is not normally associated with a bass, it’s more like a rhythm guitar.
He and Nicko are the pulse of Iron Maiden, the body of the band. You copy it at your own risk because Maiden’s sound is built around Steve’s way of playing the bass and the only band that can work in it is Maiden.
On December 29, 1983, Steve Harris married his childhood sweetheart, Lorraine. The couple had 4 children, Lauren, born on July 6, 1984, singer of the group first named quite simply LAUREN HARRIS then Six Hour Sundown.
Kerry then arrived, followed by Faye and George, lead guitarist in BURN IN REASON, Then the raven age. His Difficult Divorce In 1993 Is Partly Blamed For The Dark Vibe Of The Album The X Factor.
Shortly after his separation from Lorraine, Steve will meet Emma, who will give him a new son, Stanley, then a little Maisie. Steve is passionate about cinema and literature, which are his first source of inspiration for the lyrics of his songs.
The prisoner for example is directly inspired by the series The prisoner while the source of To tame a land is none other than Dune, which he did not have permission to take the title for the piece, The clansman comes from Braveheart movie.
Steve wrote the title Blood Brothers, which is on the album Brave New World, as a tribute to his father, who died while the bassist was on tour.
We can see Mr Harris driving a tractor in the crazy video of Holy Smoke in which we also note the little Lauren, 5, trying to play on the bass dad.
Full name: Stephen Percy Harris
Date of birth: 12 March 1956
Birthplace: Leytonstone, Essex, England
Profession: Guitarist, Musician
Height: 1.90 m
Weight: 85 kg
Net Worth: 30$ million