Dennis William Stratton (born 9 October 1952 in Canning Town, East London, England) is a guitar player who is best known as a former member of the British band Iron Maiden from December 1979 to October 1980.
Born in Canning Town, London, Dennis Stratton showed early promise as a footballer and was briefly on the books at West Ham United until age 16, when he took up guitar. A keen fan of the London East End music scene, he joined his first band Harvest (later known as Wedgewood) in 1973. Two years later, Stratton formed the band Remus Down Boulevard, which toured in support of Rory Gallagher and Status Quo, and recorded a live album with music producer Jonathan King.
In December 1979, Steve Harris invited Stratton to join Iron Maiden after witnessing a Remus Down Boulevard performance. The band was also in need of a new drummer, and recruited Clive Burr on Stratton’s recommendation. Stratton played on the group’s first studio album, Iron Maiden, which was released in April 1980, and on the non-album single “Women in Uniform”. Stratton also appeared in the home video recording “Live at the Ruskin” (recorded in 1980 and released in 2004 as part of The History of Iron Maiden – Part 1: The Early Days DVD set), and in the band’s first British television appearance, when they performed “Running Free” on Top of the Pops. Stratton was with the band during their first European tour, supporting Kiss.
Dennis Stratton left Iron Maiden in October 1980, and has stated that he left due to conflicts with Steve Harris and band manager Rod Smallwood. Officially, the band stated “musical differences” as the reason for Stratton’s departure. He was replaced by Adrian Smith. After his departure from Iron Maiden, Stratton played with bands such as Lionheart and Praying Mantis, with which he recorded nine studio albums from 1990 to 2003. He officially left Praying Mantis in 2006. In 1995 he formed a project called The Original Iron Men with another former Iron Maiden member, singer Paul Di’Anno. The duo released three albums. More recently, Stratton still performs locally in the East London area, sometimes with a reformed version of Remus Down Boulevard, and occasionally tours Europe with various cover bands that play classic Iron Maiden songs. Stratton is endorsed by Caparison Guitars, from his tenure with Praying Mantis.