What Does This Button Do?
A long-awaited memoir from the larger-than-life, multifaceted lead vocalist of Iron Maiden, one of the most successful, influential and enduring rock bands ever.Pioneers of Britain’s nascent Rock & Metal scene back in the late 1970s, Iron Maiden smashed its way to the top, thanks in no small part to the high-octane performances, operatic singing style, and stage presence of its second, but twice-longest-serving, lead singer, Bruce Dickinson. As Iron Maiden’s front man—first from 1981 to 1993, and then from 1999 to the present—Dickinson has been, and remains, a man of legend.But OTT front man is just one of the many hats Bruce wears. In addition to being one of the world’s most storied and well-respected singers and songwriters, he is an airline captain, aviation entrepreneur, motivational speaker, beer brewer, novelist, radio presenter, and film scriptwriter. He has also competed as a world-class level fencer. Often credited as a genuine polymath Bruce, in his own words (and handwritten script in the first instance!), sets forth many personal observations guaranteed to inspire curious souls and hard-core fans alike.Dickinson turns his unbridled creativity, passion, and anarchic humour to reveal some fascinating stories from his life, including his thirty years with Maiden, his solo career, his childhood within the eccentric British school system, his early bands, fatherhood and family, and his recent battle with cancer.Bold, honest, intelligent and very funny, his memoir is an up-close look inside the life, heart, and mind of one of the most unique and interesting men in the world; a true icon of rock.

What Does This Button Do? Details

TitleWhat Does This Button Do?
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 31st, 2017
PublisherDey Street Books
ISBN-139780062468130
Rating
GenreBiography, Music, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir

What Does This Button Do? Review

  • Ian
    January 1, 1970
    Bruce Dickinson's autobiography doesn't tell your usual rock'n'roll story. There's little in the way of hedonism here, Bruce is a man who'd rather learn how to fence, pilot a jumbo jet or write a best selling novel in his spare time. As the lead singer of best selling heavy metal band Iron Maiden he's accomplished an awful lot and it's all well told with a good sprinkling of humour here.He writes at his most passionate when discussing aviation, with memories of his first flights and hair raising Bruce Dickinson's autobiography doesn't tell your usual rock'n'roll story. There's little in the way of hedonism here, Bruce is a man who'd rather learn how to fence, pilot a jumbo jet or write a best selling novel in his spare time. As the lead singer of best selling heavy metal band Iron Maiden he's accomplished an awful lot and it's all well told with a good sprinkling of humour here.He writes at his most passionate when discussing aviation, with memories of his first flights and hair raising trips. For me there was a lot less Iron Maiden than I'd have liked, often new albums and tours are brushed over in a paragraph. I was hoping for some more band anecdotes, and thoughts on the albums themselves. He's chosen to leave out his most personal details, there's nothing here on his marriage, divorce or children and frustratingly little on the relationship with the rest of his band, particularly the fractious time around the early 90s when he left Maiden. He hints at being displeased with the band's direction but I always got the impression from the media at the time that there was a little more going on. So don't expect much dirt to be dished (perhaps not surprisingly considering they're all happily together again now!).That said, it's a very entertaining read. The best chapters are the time he performed in war torn Bosnia and towards the end, as he battles and overcomes throat cancer. Whilst this may not have given me everything I wanted it is what it is and that's a well written, funny account of a man who has led a fascinating life.
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  • Michael Legge
    January 1, 1970
    Shame he dies in the end.
  • Geoff
    January 1, 1970
    Rock biographies can be patchy things, often written quickly for the hard-core fanbase and released just before Christmas as a cynical cash-in. For rock autobiographies this counts double, with the added risk that the author is a neanderthal with just enough writing skill to avoid a ghost writer, but nowhere near enough to make for a good book.The result in most cases is a lot of self-indulgent tosh, but no doubt acts as a good pension plan for the author.This book is not one of those. I should Rock biographies can be patchy things, often written quickly for the hard-core fanbase and released just before Christmas as a cynical cash-in. For rock autobiographies this counts double, with the added risk that the author is a neanderthal with just enough writing skill to avoid a ghost writer, but nowhere near enough to make for a good book.The result in most cases is a lot of self-indulgent tosh, but no doubt acts as a good pension plan for the author.This book is not one of those. I should state here that I am a huge fan of Iron Maiden and Dickinson's other musical work, so I was looking forward to the publication of this book immensely.But there's plenty here for everyone. The author writes well, and avoids the normal pitfalls of streams of largely similar on-tour anecdotes about drink, drugs, and ephemeral romantic entanglements, choosing instead to write about a whole range of subjects, most of which he appears to be an expert in. Apart from rock music, he is utterly passionate about fencing and flying, and quite well versed in other media, notably books and films.If you like reading about interesting lives, you will enjoy this book, whatever your taste in music. Highly recommended.
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  • David Pain
    January 1, 1970
    Bruce is a great bloke. This book does not detract from that. It's not that scintillating a read, though. The odd chortle or revelation (see what I did?) here and there but not essential reading by any means. I'm a huge fan of Bruce so I did enjoy it but would be hard pushed to recommend it to anyone but a big Maiden fan.EDIT: I've just started Robert Webb's autobiography following this and it's clarified what i felt about this one. There's not much of Bruce in his biog, oddly. Mainly a dry set Bruce is a great bloke. This book does not detract from that. It's not that scintillating a read, though. The odd chortle or revelation (see what I did?) here and there but not essential reading by any means. I'm a huge fan of Bruce so I did enjoy it but would be hard pushed to recommend it to anyone but a big Maiden fan.EDIT: I've just started Robert Webb's autobiography following this and it's clarified what i felt about this one. There's not much of Bruce in his biog, oddly. Mainly a dry set of facts. For the most part, there's no emotion in it. Almost nothing about family/friend/band relationships at all.There's no deeper insight into Maiden either. I think I learned almost nothing new. It's clear that revealing anything about the inner workings of the band was pretty much off the table. I guess this was a condition of him publishing it.The writing style is pretty uninvolving too. I didn't feel connected to it. In short, this was adequate but fell way below what I had hoped it would be.
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  • Robert Rojo
    January 1, 1970
    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I must admit that I have been an Iron Maiden fan since youth. I really enjoyed the special attention Bruce put into his childhood and Samson. I was disappointed though with the way that the early Maiden Albums that Bruce was involved with didn't have that much impact within the book. I suppose that there is a limit to the amount of word/pages that an autobiography can go. This is also acknowledged by Bruce at the end. Awesome stuff!!!!.
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  • Sam Wainwright
    January 1, 1970
    An amazing story of own of rocks finest vocalists. A great insight into the life and mind of Bruce Dickinson.
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