Is there anything Bruce Dickinson can't do?
Pilot, fencer, cancer survivor, author… As you’ll find out from his new autobiography, there’s much more to Bruce Dickinson than just fronting one of the biggest bands on the planet
Bruce Dickinson would like you to know that when it came to writing his autobiography, What Does This Button Do?, he didn’t need any outside help. “People ask: ‘So who was your ghost writer?’ and I go: “Actually, I did it myself,’” he says proudly. “I physically wrote 180,000 words, and all of it was on WH Smith pads in actual handwriting, proper old-school.”
Writing an entire book by hand is a very Bruce Dickinson thing to do. The Iron Maiden singer is seemingly a man who can turn his hand to pretty much anything: flying aircraft, fencing, fronting one of the most successful bands of the past 40 years. The exception is swimming: “I am one of nature’s sinkers,” he says.
What Does This Button Do? is a genuinely fascinating and funny look back at Dickinson’s life. From his early days growing up in the Nottinghamshire mining town of Worksop (where he was raised by his grandparents until the age of six) to his roller‑coaster 40-year music career, it paints a candid picture of a life well lived.
Today Dickinson is in characteristically voluble mood, expounding on everything from the torrid time he had in the British educational system to his successful battle with cancer.
“Writing a book forces you to look at yourself and what you’ve done,” he says. “It’s an education.”