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Steve Harris

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Stephen Percy Harris

(born March 12, 1956 in Leytonstone, London, England) is the bassist and primary composer of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden. He founded the band as a teenager in 1975. Along with Dave Murray, they are the only members of the band that have appeared on all of the band’s albums. He used to work as an architectural draftsman in the East End of London but gave up his job upon forming Iron Maiden. During the mid 1970s he was a youth team footballer for West Ham United. He is a talented football player, and his bandmates say that if he did not play bass he would definitely have had a career in professional football.

Career

A self-taught bass player, Harris’s first bass was a copy of a Fender Precision Bass that cost him about £40 when he was 17 years old. He went on to use a signature Lado “Unicorn” model and a late 1950s Fender Precision with RotoSound strings. He now uses his own signature RotoSound flatwound bass strings. This is surprising because flatwound strings do not sound clanky and bright. In fact, Harris’ signature clanky bass tone comes from the metallic noise of the strings hitting the frets.

Harris has been influenced by other bass players such as Chris Squire of Yes, John Deacon of Queen, Mike Rutherford of Genesis, Geddy Lee of Rush, Andy Fraser of Free and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Martin Turner of Wishbone Ash, Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath, and John Entwistle of The Who. One of his all-time favourite bass players was Pete Way from UFO, who was said to influence Harris’ playing style greatly.

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