Dave Murray (born David Michael Murray on 23 December, in Edmonton, London) is an English guitarist and songwriter.
Dave is best known as one of the original members of the Iron Maiden. He joined the band just two months after their inception in 1975.
As a boy, Murray was a fanatical football (soccer) player and fan as well as a keen cricketer. But his family was poor – his father was disabled and his mother worked part-time as a cleaner – and the family never settled anywhere long enough for Murray to establish himself in any of the schools' teams he could have played for. By his reckoning, he had been to a dozen different schools by the time he left for good at the age of 16.
Murray developed an interest in Rock music when he was 15 after hearing "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" by Jimi Hendrix on the radio. He got his first guitar and being such a keen guitarist, he would practice up to 7 hours a day. He formed his first band, a trio called Stone Free. This band also included Adrian Smith (Guitar/Vocals) who would later become a member of Iron Maiden.
From there, Murray had played with a number of different bands before meeting Steve Harris and joining Iron Maiden for the first time in 1976. He briefly left the band following an argument with then vocalist Dennis Wilcock. Murray rejoined Smith in a band called Urchin. During this short tenure with the band he recorded one single titled "She's A Roller". Following the single Murray left Urchin and returned to Iron Maiden as Wilcock had left the band during Murray's hiatus.
Murray's guitar style throughout his career has been mainly of the legato based solo variety. This can be seen in songs from their first self titled album, such as "Phantom of the Opera", to the watery solo from "Lightning Strikes Twice", to songs from their 2006 release A Matter of Life and Death, such as its lead single "The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg". Murray's sound and style can be distinguished from Janick Gers' and Adrian Smith's style, mostly because of his frequent use of the neck pickup. Murray is noted for having naturally strong fingers and frequently using hammer-ons and pull-offs. Murray has also written for the band, though less often than other band members. Usually leaving lyrics to someone else, he occasionally co-writes songs, with "Charlotte the Harlot" being his sole composition released.
Murray and Harris are the only members of Iron Maiden to have appeared on every one of the band's albums.
In his spare time Murray is an avid golfer, as seen in the Rock in Rio DVD. Murray and his wife Tamar have one daughter named Tasha.
Throughout his career, Murray has used and endorsed Marshall amplifiers and has used Fender Stratocasters almost exclusively. His black 1957 Stratocaster previously owned by late Free guitarist Paul Kossoff (used from circa 1976-1990 and made by Fender as an Artist Signature model since 2009 - http://www.fender.com/products//search.php?partno=0118802806) now resides in a glass case at his home. Although he has been occasionally seen with various Dean, Gibson, Ibanez, ESP and Jackson electrics as well as his acoustic guitar arsenal, Murray's primary instrument has been a Stratocaster. He used the DiMarzio Super Distortion and PAF in his Strats before switching to Seymour Duncan JB's and Hot Rails in the 1990s. He also occasionally uses Seymour Duncan SH-11 Custom blade-coil humbuckers.
- 3 Fender Stratocasters with Floyd Rose systems.
- Some Jacksons on past tours.
- Ernie Ball Strings (.009, .011, .016, .024, .032, .042)
- Seymour Duncan Hot Rails humbucking pickups
- "Original" Floyd Rose Locking Tremolo Systems
- His black '57 Stratocaster sports a HSH configuration - DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 (bridge), American Vintage '57/'62 (middle), DiMarzio PAF DP-103 (neck) - with 3-way switching and American Vintage hardware.
Guitar Effects, Controllers and Processors
- Dunlop Wah Controller
- Rocktron All-Access Foot Controller
- Marshall 1960B Straight Cabinet / 4x12 300-Watt Loaded with Celestion 12" G12T 75 Watt Speakers
- Marshall DSL100 tube heads (rack gear plugs into power amp section via FX loop).
Units and Tuners
- Boss Tu-12H Digital Tuner
- Peterson 490 Autostrobe Tuner
- Shure U4D UHF Wireless Unit
- Dunlop DCR-1SR Rack CryBaby Wah
- Custom-Built Pete Cornish Routing and Power Supply Units
- Marshall JMP-1 Valve Midi Preamp
- Marshall JFX-1 Effect Unit
Reference: Guitar World (January 2007)
- Iron Maiden
- Main article: Iron Maiden discography
- 1980: Iron Maiden
- 1981: Killers
- 1982: The Number of the Beast
- 1983: Piece of Mind
- 1984: Powerslave
- 1986: Somewhere in Time
- 1988: Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
- 1990: No Prayer for the Dying
- 1992: Fear Of The Dark
- 1995: The X Factor
- 1998: Virtual XI
- 2000: Brave New World
- 2003: Dance of Death
- 2006: A Matter of Life and Death
- 2010: The Final Frontier
- 2015: The Book of Souls
- 2021: Senjutsu
- Guest appearances
- Hear 'n Aid (1985) – "Stars"
- Psycho Motel (1997) – "With You Again"