Bruce Dickinson is a legendary artist that has marked hard rock and heavy metal music like only a handful people in those genres. The fact that he is also a really nice and multi-talented bloke made the purchase of his autobiography even more essential. Up until the point where the postman delivered the book at my house, I had read numerous reviews and all of them were raving! So I had absolutely no reason to worry about the quality of the book…or should I?
Let’s get one thing straight: I bought “What Does This Button Do?” so as to learn more about the personal life of Bruce Dickinson and why not a few untold stories and details about Iron Maiden. I got neither of them! You see…I don’t belong to that “eclectic” group of readers who want to know everything about piloting an airplane or dwell into the mystic art of fencing! My inner warning…button was pushed after the first 70 or 80 pages where Bruce describes his early, school and university years. The facts and episodes of his life that he chooses to share with us are absolutely indifferent! One light of hope shines when Bruce starts to get into music with his first bands, his joining Samson and later on Iron Maiden. As a matter of fact, the chapters regarding “The Number of the Beast” and “Piece of Mind” create hopeful expectations as they are really good. But this is far as we go as Bruce decides to not pay almost any attention to the seminal albums like “Powerslave”, “Live After Death” and “Somewhere In Time” while he only dedicates a couple of lines (yes…lines!) on “No Prayer For The Dying” and “Fear Of The Dark”.
And it was really a miracle that he focus just a bit on his solo career and we learn more about those 90s obscure years (both in the studio and on the road). Definitely, Bruce is a modern renaissance man and he has thrown himself intensively into such areas as fencing, piloting, writing, radio etc. But 99% of the potential buyers will buy the book simply because he is the frontman of Iron Maiden. That’s an undeniable fact.
I am not sure if the fact that I had just finished the impeccable autobiography of Phil Collins when I got my hands on the Dickinson book but I was rather disappointed of “What Does This Button Do?” as I expected far too many things…that I didn’t get from it.