What Does this Button Do? Bruce Dickinson An Autobiography

Bruce DIckinson
Bruce DIckinson

Bruce Dickinson is The Most Interesting Man in Rock, and it’s not even close. In fact, singing for Iron Maiden may be the least interesting thing about him. Full disclosure, I am a totally biased reviewer. I’ve never made any attempt to hide the admiration I have for Bruce Dickinson.  I think he’s awesome. 

Book writer, screen writer, competitive fencer (competed internationally, placing 7th in Great Britain), airline pilot, display pilot (Fokker Triplane) documentary host, public speaker, radio show host, beer brewer, actor, entrepreneur, cancer surviver, and oh yeah, the singer in Iron Maiden. The Dos Equis guy WISHES he was Bruce Dickinson.  

There is so much more Bruce does than sing with Iron Maiden, that if you’re looking for a book that focuses on the inner machinations of Maiden, look elsewhere. This book isn’t that. At all.  Sure, there is stuff about Maiden in the book — there’d have to be. But unlike, say, a book on Lynott, where at least 75% of it will be about Lizzy, I’d say about 10% of this book is about Iron Maiden. Bruce covers joining, and leaving — quite briefly, re-joining, but the album creations, and tours are only covered very cursorily — almost in passing.  The exceptions tend to be the tours where he piloted the planes, but the focus was more on the aviation aspects. There’s almost nothing on the band dynamics — good or bad — other than Steve ultimately leads the band. Again, if you want dirt. Look elsewhere.  What else isn’t covered? Anything about his two marriages, and three children. In this book, they don’t exist.  The Epilog states: 

"Had I chosen to include airships, wives, divorces, children, and enterprenurial activities, this would have been 800 pages long. It would have been the type of book that people use to commit murder, or help change tyres on London buses. One thing is for sure —  it would have been a very unread Christmas present."

So what is the book about?  It’s truly about Bruce himself —  the things he’s interested in, the life he’s lead. And as it’s Bruce, that is more than enough to fill a book with extremely interesting content, as he continues to live a life so full it puts almost everyone else to shame.  The section on his cancer battle was brutally magnificient writing. 

The book is extremely well-written, and not ghost-written. It is quite recognizably Bruce’s voice and full of his humor. If you’re an e-book reader, you can get a version that Bruce narrates himself.  Had I been aware of that, I would have gone that route. But even with plain, old regular reading, this book is pure fun, a lot of laughs, and a thoroughly enjoyable read. 

Overall Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)