While not an original member of Iron Maiden, guitarist Adrian Smith proved to be one of the missing pieces to the puzzle (singer Bruce Dickinson being the other) early on -- resulting in the band obtaining elite status among the metal masses soon after. Born on February 27, 1957, in Hackney (located in East London), Smith was captivated by such renowned hard rock guitarists as Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore early on, while his sister's boyfriend's record collection only intensified his appreciation of hard rock. It wasn't long before a school chum and guitarist, Dave Murray, convinced Smith that he should take up the guitar himself. Murray and Smith began to play together in bands, and with Smith's decision to pursue music full-time, he opted to drop out before graduation. Smith's first serious band, Evil Ways, eventually evolved into Urchin, a group that Murray would sometimes be a part of as well. But Murray's main focus was his other group, heavy metallists Iron Maiden, who were making quite a name for themselves locally during the late '70s. Smith was even asked to join Maiden at one point during this time, but opted to pass due to his commitments to Urchin.