Steve Harris got the band name from a film of The Man in the Iron Mask. The "Iron Maiden" was a metal coffin with spikes inside. The occupant was than impaled and presumably killed.
In New Year's Eve of 1978, the band was recording "Iron Maiden," "Prowler," "Invasion" and "Strange World" in Spaceworld Studio near Cambridge. It cost them £200, which exhausted their resources and preventing them for actually purchasing the master tape. Two weeks later, when they obtained the tape, they found the music was raw and unmixed, because the master copy had been wiped. They gave this rough copy to DJ Neal Kay, who played it at the Soundhouse to a great reaction. They began playing gigs there and the demo tape found its way into the hands of Rod Smallwood, who became the band's manager.
Doug Samson left the band for health reasons, and was replaced by Dennis Stratton as guitarist. Dennis left because his musical preferences differed with the rest of the band's (although no one took it personally; he remained friends with the band members) and became the manager of The Carts and Horses. Adrian "H" Smith, friend of Dave Murray and former leader of the band Urchin (which had since broken up) took his place. After his solo project, ASAP (Adrian Smith and Project), Adrian decided he wasn't prepared to go back to the band's lifestyle, and was replaced by Janick Gers.
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