Say It's Your Birthday: Iron Maiden's Paul Di'Anno

Today is the birthday of Paul Di'Anno of Iron Maiden. From their

origins as a bar band in the mid '70s to the present, England's Iron

Maiden has become one of the most imitated bands in heavy metal. The

man who has held the group together through the rough times is bassist

Steve Harris. Some of the theatrics were somewhat tacky in the early

days, but by the late '70s they were already gaining a respectable

following. EMI released their self-titled debut album in 1980,

featuring Paul Di'Anno on vocals and Dave Smith on guitar. The band's

second album helped them gain a huge following all over Europe and

America, but within the band there were problems. Out went Di'Anno and

in came Bruce Dickenson, former vocalist for the band Samson. Another

change was the addition of guitarist of Adrian Smith (replacing Dennis

Stratton), and it was this lineup (along with drummer Clive Burr) that

took them over the top. The band's impact has been immense, selling

millions, and their unique, slightly gothic heavy metal has

distinguished them from other metal bands. Di'Anno formed Paul

Di'Anno's Battlezone after he left the band in 1981.

It is also the

birthday of Taj Mahal, Jordan Knight (New Kids On The Block), Bill

Bruford (Yes/King Crimson/Genesis) and Jesse Winchester.