Bruce Dickinson's Biography
I first saw Iron Maiden live in Gothenburg 2008 on their Somewhere back in Time tour. I was immediately fascinated with Dickinson’s energy on stage and the way he captured the audience so completely.
I have a rather complicated relationship with Iron Maiden. I was first introduced to the band on a road trip in Iceland with my father. I had heard the band before, but one of my favourite relatives, a boy my age, who at the time lived at the end of the world (where I was visiting) put his LP on and let me listen to some Iron Maiden. He was a big fan and led me through the songs with much enthusiasm.
I wasn’t very impressed at the time. I don’t remember what the album was, or the songs I listened to but what did fascinate me then were the album covers. I got impossibly curious at the same time that they terrified me completely. I guess that’s the story of my enthusiasm about all things really.
Later I met J who was and is an Iron Maiden fan. When he suggested we go see them live I jumped at the chance. I hadn’t been to many live concerts in my life (I did get to see Bowie live though - for which I am grateful) and so why not grab the chance?
It’s a very different thing seeing Iron Maiden live to what it’s like listening to their albums on Spotify or on LP back in the days. Suddenly the melody becomes tangible, not just in your body but in your entire being and add the interesting, rather demanding things they sing about, and you have me hooked.
I always loved THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST, but now a series of songs started growing on me. FEAR OF THE DARK, WASTED YEARS, THE RHYME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER to name a few early starters. The song from the 2010 album THE FINAL FRONTIER called WHEN THE WILD WIND BLOWS is a song I recommend everyone to listen to. It’s Iron Maiden with bravado, born in heavy metal with added beauty of growth, experience and maturity. I really love it.
One day before Christmas I was sitting in my car listening to the radio station I always listen to called ROCKKLASSIKER, they play rock music and a lot of heavy metal and Bruce Dickinson was being interviewed there. He’d released a biography.
I’ve only read one biography in my life. I read it off and on for a year and only just managed to finish it in the end. It took me ages and I didn’t read it from page to page but jumped through it haphazardly. I don’t read biographies, they’ve never interested me. That one biography I did get through eventually was I AM OZZY, about Ozzy Osbourne.
But when I heard of Dickinson's book I immediately put it on top of my Christmas wish list that my daughter insisted I write, there wasn’t much else on there to be honest and when I got it I immediately started reading it.
I haven't been able to put it down.
I haven’t read a book with this much enthusiasm since I read BORNE by Jeff Vandermeer sometime during last year.
What surprised me wasn’t that Bruce is an interesting subject to read about, what surprised me was that it’s wonderfully written. He tells his story from the time he’s a kid till today, the story of his musical career as well as his interest in fencing and aviation. Leaving out all gossip about girlfriends, wives and children, which was perfect.
It’s a book about a fascinating human being with an energy I don’t think I could ever even dream of having. It’s Iron Maiden’s story, but mostly it’s a story about someone really creative who grows throughout his life and faces challenges with gusto and learns to harness his voice and his creativity. It’s the life story of someone who can make football arenas filled with screaming fans go wild and still pilots tourists to Alcante. There is a lot of ego in it but also a hell of a lot of humility.
It’s an absolutely fascinating read, not just for the fans of Iron Maiden but for those who are interested in human development, spirit and psyche. I recommend you read it and contemplate What does this button do?
I have Maiden tickets for this summer. It’s on top of my LOOKING FORWARD TO list.