Adrian Smith: Monster of River Rock (2020)

Adrian Smith is one of my favorite guitar players/songwriters’s ever. Just check out those Maiden classics like “Die With Your Boots On”, “Two Minutes To Midnight”, “Wasted Years”, “The Wicker Man” that all begin with that Smith trademark opening riff. 

I’m more surprised and if you’re a Maiden fan you could relate to this statement that I was psyched out that Adrian of all the guys in a band decided to write a book!

“Monsters of River Rock, My Life As Iron Maiden’s Compulsive Angler” is the title of Smith’s book, and as you can tell he loves fishing.

When I preordered the book back in July it had a delivery date of early October. By the time I finally got the book it was more like mid-November. 

In between the book being released first in Europe in September the reviews were mixed. Many comments were “there’s not enough talk about Maiden” ” Too much chat about fishing”  “the book is 70-30 % fishing” etc.

I get it folk’s but like his pal, Bruce Dickinson’s book where Bruce talks about his love of aviation and keeps his private life out of it Adrian goes down that same road in talking about his love of fishing but does open up about his private life somewhat.

You can’t really knock Adrian on how he wrote the book. The title says it all and even though I’m not a fisherman myself you can’t knock the man’s passion which is music and angling.

Over the 300 pages, Adrian writes about how his father took him fishing as a youngster every Sunday when he was a young lad, and from there that ruled his life until the young lad came across Deep Purple’s Machine Head and he packed in his fishing rod and picked up the guitar.

Being a Maiden fan I wanted to read about some history in regards to the band that has made itself a household name.

Adrian writes about how he grew up with Dave Murray and the two of them always stayed in contact with each other. When Maiden was looking for a guitar player in late 1979 Dave and Maiden’s main man Steve Harris asked Adrian to join them.

Adrian at the time turned them down saying his band Urchin was making some progress and didn’t want to pack it in. 

As fate would have it a year later Urchin had called it a day. Working at a dead-end job with no money as he couldn’t afford the bus home Smith was walking when guessing who he bumped into?

Steve Harris and Dave Murray were walking coming right towards him and after some small chat Harris told Adrian point-blank that “Maiden was making a guitar change would he be interested?”


Adrian knew this was his last chance as he said he could see Harris with a stern don’t waste my time if your not 110% committed look whereas Murray had a grin knowing that his friend had better say yes!

Adrian said yes and we know the rest. But as he writes imagine if he had enough money to take the bus home that day he would have never bumped into Dave and Steve.


Being a Canuck it was a hoot to read about Adrian’s Canadian Adventure.

Smith writes candidly that after the 13 months Powerslave Tour ended in mid-1985 he and his Canadian girlfriend now his wife Nathalie rented a Trans Am and hit all the fishing lakes around Banff Alberta and as Adrian writes it wasn’t the smartest idea to rent a fast car for dirt roads in which he posted a pic of the car lying on the side of the road in a ditch.

Here’s another cool little story from his book below on another brilliant Smith composition “Stranger In A Strange Land”.

Stories like this are their weight in gold as I had no idea of this taking place and that was back in 1986-7.

Smith does an awesome job of weaving in and out his passion for fishing as well as his timeline of being in and out of Maiden. (Smith left Maiden in 1990 but both he and Bruce returned in 1999)

Definitely worth the read.


20 thoughts on “Adrian Smith: Monster of River Rock (2020)”

    1. If you can look past the fishing angle which everybody focuses on it’s an interesting read. Adrian admits he did all the coke and booze on those tours so lets check that off and get on with it. I would reread this book again.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. the Reviews “Too much chat about fishing” … It is called My Life As Iron Maiden’s Compulsive Angler LOL… No I know how they feel. I picked up a Neil Young book and it was all about cars and his then new music format that failed PONO…just bits about his music. Like you…I did like it because I found some cool music stories mixed in with his other loves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adrian seems like a great guy to have a lager with. People want all the juicy Maiden bits but that ain’t happening as that is the book Smith wrote. As a fan of course I would have loved more but I can’t knock the guy on his second passion which is fishing. Fishing Musician!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the fact that Adrian and Bruce aren’t all about music, much like a lot of musicians. The fact that Adrian enjoys fishing, makes me respect him even more because he’s just a regular dude who happens to play rock ‘n’ roll! We all have our hobbies and that’s cool!

    Liked by 1 person


    This sounds awesome — the kind of stuff I like to read. Didn’t know about that Stranger in a Strange Land story. That song always confused me because some articles (wrongly) stated it was based on the book. So when I bought Stranger in a Strange Land and read it, it was about a Martian. LOL

    Who knows this book might even get me to try my hand at fishing.


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