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I was a bit disappointed with this book. In fairness my disappointment stems from fact that this is not the book I was I was expecting. Reading the Afterword Bruce states he did this on purpose. If he filled the book with stories, anecdotes and other people it would have been an 800 pages book. Really I would have preferred that.
The problem for me with this book is with out all the stories, people and emotions Bruce comes across very robotic. Even from an Iron Maiden fan point of view the book definitely does not deliver. To the point there are not even any many inside stories. An here are a couple of examples, Bruce is asked to join the band he joins the bant on his own terms. Facts/statements not emotions. The impression I got from this book is the band came together for tours then everyone went their own was in between with no talking between each other. I am sure this is not the case bit this is the way I felt it was in the book.
The subjects I thought Bruce was passionate about are fencing, flying and peoples sufering. If Bruce wrote more chapters like these the book would have been much better for me.
A disappointingly different book from what I was expecting and even more disappointing for the fact that Bruce experiences, achievements and in writing about the important things are so much better then the sum of this book.
I love Iron Maiden and love Bruce's vocal style. So when there was a chance to read up on his life, I was licking my lips. We are both the same age and I have followed his career with interest. I've never met him, but have spent some time with Nicko during the Bruce less Maiden years, he warned Bruce can be difficult and very self centered. So I suppose I was warned? I much preferred the early part of the book which is a real hoot. But the mid to later section reads like a pilots log, Bruce skips over decades as though they did not happen. Barely discusses other band members, Dave Murray gets one or two mentions as does 'Harry' Harris. Adrian and Janick fair a bit better with Nicko third. The band split is sketched over which I know was very difficult for the band and the reunion is barely given a paragraph? At the end of the book Bruce states he chose to include no deaths,births,marriages or divorces. So really it not an autobiography more of an account of incidents that are prominent in his life. After reading 300+ pages I really don't know anymore about BD (than I did not know already) other than he in very ambidextrous! All in all I feel I was a bit short changed, Bruce really does not want to disclose his full life which of course is his choice. The cancer chapter at the end is a little more open, but still he very guarded. Very well written which you'd expect from such a very intelligent person, but perhaps he's a bit of a narcissist. If you want the inner workings of Iron Maiden then you won't get it from this book which I think is a real shame!
I’m not an IM fan, though I’m of the same age and have always liked the fact tha, after being dismissed by ‘critics’, they continued to attract huge masses of younger fans while so many of those critics’ favourites rose without trace. I am, though, interested in all aspects of the music industry and the stories of those who at the centre of it.
As many have commented, and seemingly like anything to do with Maiden, BD’s story is very guarded. Admittedly it’s genuinely impressive to read about the main planks of his life that he does let us see. As someone who chews his lip getting a Honda Civic into a narrow old garage I couldn’t fail to be suitably awed by his taming of a troublesome 757 at 5000 feet and so on. And even by the extent of his determination to succeed at fencing. Many would be proud of just having designed a beer that went on to sell millions of pints. He’s less forthcoming on the music. He does nothing to challenge my perception of IM’s music as a series of characterless riffs, with ‘big’ but emotion-free lyrical themes, or even to justify that as a deliberate approach. As for the personal dynamics in the band, forget it. I suspect we can detect the Iron fist in this decision - it’s Steve’s band and Steve’s rules all enforced, literally, by Rod of Iron. You can mention leaving, and rejoining, the band but not why, and not who said what to whom. So no light shed on that one. As for the rest of the band, they are cardboard cutouts that Bruce props up in a corner of his story here and there as scenery.
Stylistically, for me, he can write but he overwrites things a bit - though admittedly accusing modt heavy metal singes of overwriting is a bit like the old joke about the draughts -playing dog never actually winning a game. This doesn’t apply, however, to the section on his dealing with cancer, which is genuinely honest and affecting, or to his trip in Sarajevo - hats off to him and his band and crew for that one.
Like other reviewers, I couldn’t entirely stifle nagging curiosity about his private life, probably more so because it doesn’t come up. Home life is part of how people deal with that particular type of success. However, he points out that it was a deliberate decision to exclude this, after his school years anyway, and does so almost totally. You can see the argument for this but it leaves his story out of balance.
Although obviously this is a Bruce autobio and not going to be just about IRON MAIDEN I am a Maiden fan which is why I bought it, I felt not only did it not tell me anything new about Maiden but also skipped over long periods, talking more about his flying adventures rather than musical. A few interesting stories but would have liked more about Maiden, also doesn't mention anything about his family at all, in stark contrast to Phil Collins's book that I also read recently which is much more interesting tbh.
I love iron maiden and I love Bruce Dickinson but not sure I love this book. Got the audible version so he’s reading it. Dare I say I find it slightly....boring I know they were fairly sensible compared to say guns and roses and the like but ... I don’t know, missing something. Some funny stories but I’m looking forward to getting it finished. Sorry Bruce!
Firstly, I've got massive respect for Bruce Dickinson. He's a brilliant frontman for Iron Maiden, has got a cracking voice, flies jets all over the world, and still finds time to have a go at other massive projects mentioned in the book.
I've given a 3 star review because I felt the book was lacking in a bit of detail on how classic maiden tracks came to be, how Bruce came up with the lyrics, and particularly how Bruce gets on with the other lads in Iron Maiden. I think Dave Murray was only mentioned two or three times in the whole book for example.
Bruce certainly has a unique writing style, maybe that style just doesn't suit me as a reader. The book has a wide scope but maybe not the level of detail that I was expecting.
If you want to know how to fence or how to learn to fly a plane, this is the book for you. If you want to know anything about Maiden falling apart in the 90`s or anything about Bruce`s life outside of the above, don`t bother. It`s more like an edited highlight of his life. Which is fair enough, the guy wants to keep his private life and Maiden`s inter band problems to himself. Well written but just don`t expect a warts and all story.
I was looking forward to hearing more music based stories but got a lot of fencing and flying. Got halfway through and then had to have a break - not my ideal book. None of the stories really go into too much detail and there are lots of bits missing - mentioned at the end of the book, which I skipped to. Never was a Maiden fan and this won't convert me, but he seems a sound guy