THE debut solo album of Iron Maiden frontman Steve Harris, will be released by EMI this month.
It’s a long-awaited album, produced in part by a Rawmarsh musician, whose career was almost wrecked when he was mown down by a car five years ago.
‘British Lion’ showcases ten songs written by Steve with his co-writer Ian Roberts.
Ian also plays drums on the album that evolved between Iron Maiden tours and releases. He believes it will “surprise and delight music fans the world over.”
For the accomplished drummer, pianist and guitarist, it’s the latest in a string of associations with famous friends.
But he has cheated death twice.
Aged 19, his left arm was almost severed in a motorbike accident. It was saved by a surgeon at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital who, regrettably, said Ian, was unable to do the same for Rick Allen of Def Leppard, who had a road accident a year later.
He is 52 now, but in 2006 Ian’s life and career were almost smashed to bits by a hit-and-run driver in London.
He received multiple fractures after being dragged 50 yards down Hampton Court Palace Bridge Road and his shattered body had to be ‘re-built’ at Kingstone Hospital.
He spent two years undergoing countless operations, then faced another year on crutches. But he returned to his drumsticks, and can now joke about his ordeal.
Ian’s early musical prowess developed over five years at Rawmarsh Comprehensive School. The miner’s son started out with the school orchestra, Hoyland Town brass band, then moved on to the South Yorkshire Symphony and then the Halle Orchestra in Manchester.
At school he was known as Ian Stacey the drummer, then took his middle name to adopt the stage identity of Ian Roberts.
Ian said: “I did my growing up in cover bands performing in every working men’s club that was ever built in and around South Yorkshire and the North East.”
His band won a competition to secure recording time in London, that led to a publishing deal with Dick James Music (of Elton John Fame).
Ian said: “I managed to get myself, and the various bands and delinquents I worked with, signed to four major labels, including ZTT and Perfect Songs (of Seal, Take That, Frankie Goes to Hollywood fame.)
He went on to work extensively with Hal Lindes of Dire Straits, and has now signed to Universal Music Publishing to co-write with a clutch of pro-pop writers.
Many people know Ian for his drum clinics in schools. but his portfolio of internationally recorded material plays in 37 countries every day.
Ian added: “Over the years I’ve worked with fantastic musicians.” Among his friends he lists Nail Murray of Whitesnake, Josh Phillips of Procol Harum, Patsy Palmer, Sam Blue of the Streets and Dizzee Rascal, Ian and Tracie Hunter of Mott the Hoople and many more.
n British Lion will be released to the public on September 24.