Ex-Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton surprised with Rock Hall nomination

Stratton was in Iron Maiden for less than a year and recorded on their debut album.

Dennis Stratton onstage

Photo: Virginia Turbett / Redferns

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Ex-Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton has said that he was surprised to learn about his inclusion in the band’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame nomination this year.

In an interview with Totalrock.com, Stratton admitted he wasn’t expecting the nomination at all, and only found out about the news through someone he currently works with. “The first reaction, I’ve gotta be honest with you, is that I thought, ‘It’s not going include me’,” he said. “Funny enough, I got a message on the Lionheart group message from [the person] who does all our graphics, the artwork, and he said to me, ‘Have you looked online? You’ve been nominated with the band.’”

Stratton was Iron Maiden’s guitar player from 1979 to 1980 and recorded on the band’s self-titled debut album before being replaced by long-running guitarist Adrian Smith. Since his departure, he has been performing with British hard rock outfit Lionheart.

One former member of Iron Maiden, however, was not as fortunate. Blaze Bayley, who took over Bruce Dickinson as frontman from 1994 to 1999, was the lone member of Iron Maiden’s recording lineup excluded from the nomination, despite singing on The X Factor and Virtual XI.

Regarding the Rock Hall’s decision to exclude Bayley from the nomination, Stratton commented, “When I saw that, I thought, ‘Well, that’s got to be down to the organisers of this event’. But when I found out it involves certain years, they have to draw a line somewhere, don’t they? They make the rules, so I don’t know.”

Despite the nomination, Stratton isn’t even sure if Iron Maiden will take part in the ceremony, noting critical comments Dickinson gave on the institution in the past. In 2018, Dickinson called the institution “An utter and complete load of bollocks” during a live Q&A session for his autobiography.

“I’d be surprised if we get involved with it,” Stratton admitted. “Because after a couple of [derogatory] things that Bruce has said [about the Rock Hall], I’m a little bit sort of like thinking, ‘Well, you know, are they going to look at them quotes? And are they going to punish us?’”

The other nominees for 2021’s Rock Hall induction ceremony include Mary J. Blige, Kate Bush, Devo, Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, Jay-Z, Chaka Khan, Carole King, Fela Kuti, LL Cool J, New York Dolls, Rage Against The Machine, Todd Rundgren, Tina Turner and Dionne Warwick.

Learn more at rockhall.com

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