As a child, we all daydreamed about what we would be when we grew up. Perhaps you wanted to be an airline pilot or world class athlete? Maybe you always dreamed of being a rock star? In the case of one young man, Paul Bruce Dickinson, born in 1958 in Worksop, UK, all of those dreams would be achieved and much, much more. Known to the world as the lead singer for one of the world’s biggest heavy metal bands in Iron Maiden, Bruce Dickinson grew up to live those childhood fantasies out. In his new memoir, “What Does This Button Do?,” Bruce shares his unique story with the world.
The book is an invigorating read as Dickinson tells tales of his early years growing up in the UK and his foray into the British school system. The reader will be both laughing and crying as he recounts hysterical anecdotes including the time he got kicked out of school for mixing his own urine into a pot of beans. Metal lovers will enjoy the chapters dealing with Bruce’s early musical career and his time with Samson as well as how he wound up replacing Paul Di’Anno and became the lead singer for Iron Maiden. Touring around the world is always a massive undertaking but becomes even more complicated when Bruce goes behind enemy lines for a show in Sarajevo that he will never forget. Although Maiden is understandably a huge part of Dickinson’s life and therefore the book, Bruce also takes us into his life outside of Maiden detailing his love of fencing and how he became a world class fencer hitting up local fencing clubs while out on tour. Of course as any true Iron Maiden fan knows, Dickinson is also a world class pilot ferrying his bandmates and equipment aboard Ed Force One but there were a lot of hours spent in simulators, testing, flying, and hard work put in before he could captain his own jetliner. Aviation enthusiasts will appreciate his thoughts and stories on this front. As the years go on, Bruce is the ultimate example of what can happen when you put your mind to something as he battles the ups and downs of the music business, becomes both a brewer and a motivational speaker, and wins his ultimate battle with tongue cancer.
“What Does This Button Do” is a must read not only for fans of Dickinson and Maiden, but for all those who dare to dream big as Bruce takes you through his life story with humor and aplomb. What does this button do? After reading this book, the answer will become clear. I’ll give you a hint. Press it and find out.