David Michael Murray is an English guitarist and songwriter best known as one of the earliest members of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Along with the group's bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris, Murray has appeared on all of the band's releases.
Growing up in various areas of London, Murray became a member of a skinhead gang before he took an interest in rock music at 15 and formed his own band, Stone Free, with childhood friend Adrian Smith. After leaving school at 15, he regularly answered advertisements which appeared in Melody Maker before auditioning for Iron Maiden in 1976. A short while later, Murray was sacked following an argument with the group's lead vocalist, Dennis Wilcock, and spent six months in Smith's band, Urchin. In Spring 1978, Murray was asked to rejoin Iron Maiden following Wilcock's departure, in which he has remained to this day.
Throughout his career, Murray has used and endorsed Marshall amplifiers almost exclusively, other than on the Somewhere in Time (1986) and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988) albums and their respective tours, when he instead used Gallien-Krueger amps. He has used Fender Stratocaster guitars almost exclusively as well. His black 1957/63 (the body is from a '63 and the neck is from a '57) Stratocaster, previously owned by the late Free guitarist Paul Kossoff, was used from circa 1978-1990. Murray states that he "bought it from an ad in the papers," and was later used as a template by Fender to manufacture an Artist Signature model in 2009, while the original now resides at his mother's home.
In addition to Fender guitars, Murray has occasionally performed with various Dean, Gibson, Ibanez, ESP and Jackson electric models. During the Dance of Death World Tour 2003-4, Murray used a Gibson Chet Atkins acoustic guitar for live performances of the song "Journeyman".
In his spare time, Murray, along with band-mate Nicko McBrain, is an avid golfer as seen in the Rock in Rio DVD and Iron Maiden: Flight 666, revealing in 2002 that he tries to play "a couple of rounds in each week" and his handicap "can be anywhere from 15 to 24." Murray and his wife Tamar have one daughter named Tasha (born 1991).
We wish this legendary artist a very Happy Birthday!