Adrian Smith, the legendary lead guitarist of 100-million- album-selling band Iron Maiden, is well known in the Maiden community as a celebrated angler whose fishing gear travels with him as he tours across the world. In his first, very personal riverside memoir, Monsters of River & Rock, Smith takes readers along with him on a journey through the highs and lows of life – both on the road and along the riverbank.
“If you’re a trout fisherman, there’s a bit of trout fishing in there,” Smith explains. “There’s a lot of course fishing. There’s some sea fishing, fly fishing. There’s a lot of different kinds of fishing.”
Adrian got hooked on fishing as a child growing up in East London, plundering ponds and bomb craters on the Hackney marshes for newts and sticklebacks, and catching perch from the Grand Union Canal while on outings with his father.
Things began to get more exotic when the young angling enthusiast grew up to become lead guitarist in one of the most successful rock bands in history and started traveling the world playing to millions of fans. But once a fisherman, always a fisherman; the gear went with him, the fish got bigger, the adventures more extreme.
“I could have written a straight-out fishing book,” Adrian elaborates, “I thought, to make it different, it would be good to include some music stories.” It is fishing that helps keep him balanced during a rigorous tour schedule. For him, the book illustrates “why you look forward to going fishing when times get a bit hard.”
His adventures range from his first sturgeon, a 100-pounder from Canada’s swirling Fraser River that nearly wiped him out mid-Maiden tour, to a close shave with a large shark off the Virgin Islands while wading waist-deep for bonefish. Not to mention an enviable list of specimen coarse fish from the UK that made him a cover star of the course-fishing bible Angler’s Mail (biggest chub of the season, August 2009).
Adrian Smith joined Iron Maiden at the end of 1980. The legendary heavy metal band has sold 100 million albums, and tours the world playing to millions of fans. Watch the trailer for Monsters of River & Rock at vimeo.com/447854831.