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Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson captivates audiences with his stories

Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson travels across North America to do a spoken word tour, centered around his 2017 autobiography "What Does This Button Do?"
Bruce Dickinson at Rockwell Hall (Inside Buffalo State College) Buffalo, NY 2-1-22. Photo by Gus Griesinger

Bruce Dickinson at Rockwell Hall (Inside Buffalo State College) Buffalo, NY 2-1-22. Photo by Gus Griesinger

By Gus Griesinger

There isn’t much Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson hasn’t seen or done. A few years ago, Dos Equis had characterized the most interesting man in the world. That title and spokesperson easily could have been given to Dickinson. His interest and talents far exceed the stage where he and his band Iron Maiden have been performing for well over 40 years. Dickinson’s other activities include fencing, writing, beer connoisseur and an aviation pilot just to name a few. Over the winter, Dickinson will be travelling across the United States and Canada to do a spoken word tour. One of his stops was to Rockwell Hall at Buffalo State College this past Tuesday. This show was an interest to me not only because I’m a fan of Dickinson but as this was the College I graduated from way back in 1995. This was the first event I witnessed in-person inside Rockwell Hall (at any time).

What Does This Button Do

Dickinson took to the stage at around 7:35pm and gave an exiting two-plus hour dialogue about everything from his early childhood to his upcoming tour with Iron Maiden and everything in between. He appeared to a standing ovation. Appearing behind him was a screen and a few slides that rotated throughout the spoken word. The meat of the talk circled around his 2017 autobiography What Does This Button Do? Stories of how his Uncle Frank inspired his initial interest in aviation to his plans in April to go into the studio to start to work on his next solo album were some of the focal points of Dickinson. Of course, there was lot of humor, too, to where he talked about wanting to look older in one of his school photos so he ended up drawing a mustache with a blue marker. Lots of chuckles were had were he imitated his friend and drummer Nicko McBrain on a flight he took with him a few years back. That got his juices flowing to actually learn how to fly. He eventually took off the same runaway his uncle took of during WWII. He had many funny quotes throughout too. He talked about politics and how he referred to it as “Rock and Roll for ugly people.” Another quote was how when he first became interested in music he wanted to be a drummer. He remarked “Drumming is Tourette’s for the soul.” One other funny note was that a real live bat intermittently flew around the entire show. At first, Dickinson joked that the bat was sent by Sharon Osbourne (google reference 2005 tour with Ozzy). At first it was hard not to pay attention to it but being the pro that he is, he didn’t let it distract him for the rest of the show. Dickinson took about a 25 minute break. As he left the stage, a video for the first single “Writing on the Wall” from Iron Maiden’s current release Senjutsu played for the audience.

A 3-LP set of Iron Maiden's new album, Senjutsu.

A 3-LP set of Iron Maiden's new album, Senjutsu.

Dickinson returned from break as this portion of the spoken word was answering handwritten questions. Fans had a chance to write a question on a card before the performance started for a chance for him to answer during this session. I would have to say, most questions were silly. One example was “Have you ever done a “Dutch Oven” on your partner?” He didn’t even know what that was (google it if you don’t know) and had to ask someone backstage. He then proceeded to say.. we call it burglars by the way. He then showed how he did it. It was another funny moment for sure. Another question was did he do any nosedives or fake turbulence on his bandmates when he was flying them? He quipped “I was quite dull and professional during all of my flights with the band.” He did answer a question that we submitted on his recent trip to Tanzania in East Africa. He talked about his wonderful it was and learned how lions mated…every 30 minutes for about a week he stated. One great question was what was his most memorable encounter with a celebrity. He said meeting Johnny Cash after soundcheck at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto a while back. He said he was the man dressed in black and portrayed that to a t.

Bruce Dickinson at Rockwell Hall (Inside Buffalo State College) Buffalo, NY 2-1-22. Photo by Gus Griesinger

Bruce Dickinson at Rockwell Hall (Inside Buffalo State College) Buffalo, NY 2-1-22.

This show is intended for everyone. Its not intended for just Iron Maiden fans but anyone who likes a great storyteller and to laugh, which Dickinson provided both.

  

David “Gus” Griesinger is the CEO of Backstageaxxess.com, an independently run company created in 2009. Griesinger and his team of talented professionals from around the globe bring you closer to the bands you love, featuring concert reviews and exclusive photos.