Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith Talks Eddie Van Halen, Influences was a top 20 story of Feb. 2020: Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith says that he missed an opportunity to meet Eddie Van Halen at the NAMM show back in the 1980s and also revealed that Eddie was more of a peer than an influence on him.
Smith has influenced a wealth of hard rock and metal guitarists with Iron Maiden and he shared about some of the music that inspired him to pick up the instrument while attending the NAMM show last month in Anaheim, Ca.
Adrien recalled a previous NAMM show in 1980s during a chat with Andertons Music Co, and that Eddie Van Halen was also at the event. Smith said, "I wanted to meet him, but he was surrounded by about a hundred people at all times" .
He was then asked if Eddie had any influence on him as a guitar player and he responded, "Not really. I'd already been playing a few years before he came out, so your style gets kind of set, but he influenced a lot of people."
This led to a discussion about the band that did inspire him to get into music and he shared, "First bands I listened to, that got me into music, were [Deep] Purple, 'Machine Head' era, Free, 'Free Live' [with Paul] Kossoff, Humble Pie, going back a bit now.
"All sort of English raucous kind of bands. When started out playing, played The Stones and Beatles, 'cause they were a few chords; it was easy. And twelve-bar blues, that's how we started."