Adrian's Axes

  • Thread starter Deleted member 7164
  • Start date

Deleted member 7164

In my opinion, you were. I'd say that guitar really looks like Lado, but we can't be sure because we don't see the headstock.


Ancient Mariner
Zare said:
The beginning, before the first verse.

He's not playing Drop D; he's only playing single notes.

H is like SRV; he has a strange aversion to fretting with his pinky finger.


Ok, ive got some info. Ive recently been chatting to a trader who kindly sent me a bootleg of the Psycho Motel show Ive been looking for all these years. Anyway, he has some live Psycho Motel pictures, which he cant find at the moment, and he says he seems to remember them showing Adrian with his Les Paul Gold Top and the three tone Fender Strat, so there we go Zare. I suppose we should just treat it as a rumour until we see some pics, but its better than nothing.

Deleted member 7164

First to say, GuineaPig was right, Adrian used exclusive drop D on the Goldtop and standard E on the Stratocaster for Bruce Dickinson stuff on AOB tour, and on CW tour he used Goldtop in E tuning, Jackson KV1 in drop D and Dean Baby ML also in drop D. Read it in the interview.

Next, i think we should really do Dave's Axes thingie, cause i ran into several facts from two very nice sources : Ross Halfin photos and Live After Death DVD!

Note to moderators : these are low-res photos, free to view from Halfin's website, and it's a direct link, thus no violation.

Here's a Lado custom Stratocaster of Dave's, World Slavery Tour;


On the Nuts&Bolts section of the LAD DVD, there are 11 guitars listed in Murray's gear :

'57 Fender Stratocaster, black with white pickguard - played constantly in the '80s, retired in the 1990, as explained in recent article that Forostar posted.


'64 Fender Stratocaster, black - with Gibson-alike pickup plates, played alot in the Di'Anno era, check out the Woman In Uniform promo.


Source Fender Stratocaster, white - also early years guitar, and by the look of it, the white Strat on RiR III doesn't look "new", so it might be the same axe.


It also lists two Ibanez Roadstars (pics needed!), Dean V (POM tour stuff, pics later), two Lado Strats (the other one is a bit earlier in this topic), two Gibson SGs (one Junior and one Standard, pics later). Also, check this out;

Q: I hear that one of your guitars belonged to Paul Kossof. How did you come about owning it?

DAVE: I bought it from an ad in the papers. [Other than that, I have] three Fender Stratocasters and an Ibenez Destroyer I picked up on tour.

The Paul Kossof guitar is the '57 Strat, of course. The other two are the full black and the full white one, any info about the third? Anyways, later on that tour he must have picked Roadstars, Gibsons and Dean V, and Lados before the World Slavery Tour. Some ESPs and atleast one Jackson Strat, and probably another (n) Fenders until this day. So we have some stuff to begin with.

Back to Adrian, Nuts&Bolts on the DVD lists stuff we already know, but there are two things : Hamer Scarab is there, so even if there's no pic, that guitar is confirmed, and the black Charvel Stratocaster which can be seen on Wasted Years promo was available for the World Slavery Tour, so that guitar was acquired before i presumed (i pointed out to SIT era).

Two more Jacksons, i mentioned one earlier, the unlabeled one from SSOASS era;


And this one;


Look again, it's not the SIT and SSOASS fame white-black Jackson. This one has a white-painted headstock, while the famed one has "unpainted", natural-wood colour headstock.

So it looks like Maiden were a big users of Lado in the '84-'85. Smith had two Earths, Murray had two custom Strats, and Harris had two Lado basses (the signature Unicorn and the Super Falcon, again sourced by N&B section of the DVD). They dropped them right after that tour, don't know why...Adrian has at least two more, the Laser and the white custom Strat, first used very rarely on the SSOASS tour, second never used AFAIK. By the looks of it, and by the fact that it isn't listed in World Slavery Tour equipment, it seems to have it's roots in '86-'88 period.

@Ardius, seems like H used sunburst Strat and Goldtop exclusively in the mid-'90s, both for Psycho Motel and for AOB tour. Goldtop remained constant throughout the '90s, he played white-black Jackson Strat with ASAP and Untouchables, then KV1 for the CW tour. At least live, he used five guitars in the '90s, the fifth being Dean Baby ML.

BTW, does anyone have more info about the "Skeleton Crew" project of his?


^Thanks for the confirmation of Adrian guitars used in the early 90s.

Also, the only thing I know about the Skeleton Crew is that they are featured on the "Maiden Family Tree" featured on the interactive Maiden CDs. You should be able to find a member lineup there, I think. Thats it though, Adrian has only fleetingly mentioned it, it was merely a band leading up to The Untouchables. No recordings by them or anything, possible that most of the songs written at the time were the same ones for The Untouchables, however, and this is a big however, each of Adrian's projects have always written their own songs, most of them never carrying over (The Untouchables never played any Urchin or ASAP songs, Psycho Motel never played any Untouchables songs or ASAP, Urchin, etc). So, it may be fair to assume they probably wrote at least early versions of The Untouchables or Psycho Motel songs as well as a couple of tracks we dont know of.
According to the Adrian's Lair website, it was the exact same line-up as The Untouchables, so I reckon it was just an earlier name for the band.

Oh, and there was yet another band that Adrian was in before Skeleton Crew I think, because Adrian mentioned playing with Jamie Sterwart of The Cult very early on in the 90s, this was mentioned in the Psycho Motel album sleeves, as he refers to the many 90s bands as just one big lead up to Psycho Motel (which it basically was). Im not sure if the Maiden Family Tree mentions this or not, because it mentions the name of the band I think.


for those who did not know Dave is playing lado
guitar who wants to see his photos
those guitars just opened an LP cover
Live After Death album and the guitar will be seen that
resembles but is not stratocaster stratocaster.

Link a picture in which Dave plays his guitar Lado

Deleted member 7164

I'd like to apologize for the disappearance of pictures. Old hosting server went down together with my data.
But, here is one more confirmation from the latest material I acquired;


It's a Lado white superstrat, same one from the "display" picture that I've posted in the original run. Now we know for sure that Adrian really used it.
And some more. By the looks on this blurry video, it's a Fender David Gilmour signature model;



Ancient Mariner
Hello my first post here B). Very cool forum.

As a guitarist and hard Adrian Smith and Iron Maiden fan i thought I should write on this.

Urchin and the early years of Iron Maiden (-1981)
-Adrian's main guitar is 1975 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe goldtop, which he bought he was 17. At that time it's going through various changes (mini humbuckers to soapbar pickups) and it ends in 1981 with a white Dimarzio in bridge
(see NOTB tour photos from america).
-His backup in the early early days was some kind of Hamer Explorer sunburst.
-When Iron Maiden travelled to Japan Adrian bought an Candy Apple Red Ibanez Destroer II, which he really liked. He changed bridge humbucker to Dimarzi SD and it was his main guitar on The NUmber Of the Beast Tour.

On World Piece Tour his main guitar was still Ibanez destroyer with added white sripe and changed neck pickup. As a backup was used adn sunburst Dean Baby ML. On later shows an early 70's Gibson SG witth Bigsby tremolo started making apearances. His Gibson Les Paul Deluxe was played by Bruce during Revelations.

Adrian started using Lado guitars. In the begining his main guitar was a Black Lado Earth. As the tour went on he played more and more on the Gray Sunburst Lado and his trusty Goldtop.

Grover Jackson of Jackson Guitars custom bulit an Jackson Superstrat with a Floyd Rose tremolo and HSH magnet configuration. This guitar became his main guitar till 1995. He also had 2 midi guitars (a white jackson and lado laser to control synths). Other various Jacksons were used on stage by that time.

The main guitar for standard tuning was a sunburst American Hot Rod Stratocaster with an Original Floyd, his drop D guitar was his Goldtop.

For Chemmical Wedding tour he used Hot rod strat (standard tuning), Jackson KV2 (drop d), Goldtop (Both tunings) and Dean Baby ML as a bass string guitar for Chemmica Wedding.

KV2 - drop d, Hot rod strat - standard tuning

Hot rod strat - standard tuning, old Vintage White strat with Schaller tremolo (drop D), and a black Gibson Les paul Custom

Hot rod strat - standard tuning and another Sunburst Hot Rod Strat for Drop D (second one has two screws by the bridge pickup).

Both guitars from previous tour plus SG from Early 70's with bigsby removed after first few shows. Of Give me Ed tour.

All guitars used since 2000 except Les paul custom.

Two Ebony Adrian Smith Jacksons (Standard), two maple Adrian smith Jacksons (Drop D) and SG (Drop D)

Same guitars plus his Goldtop has made a return as a Drop D guitar on TNOB and Sanctuary.

His Goldtop become his main guitar again and is used in both tunings. One of the Adrian Smith Ebony Jacksons is replaced with custom bulit Jackson Superstrat from 1986 with swapped pickguard to resemble his signature model.


Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Hi welcome and thanks for all the info!

One thing I want to point out is that he used the Black Les Paul in 2003 too. At least on the Give Me Ed Tour, not sure about the Dance of Death tour though.