Curious facts about Bruce Dickinson

Some curious facts about the legendary Bruce Dickinson, singer from Iron Maiden (with a good solo career too), pilot, fencing champion, brewer, TV, radio host, and many many other things...

- He was born on August 7, 1958, and there is a song from his solo repertoire that declares that: it is called Born in '58. Here it is, I post the video here so you can use it as background music while you are reading the other lines of the article.

- As a young man he wanted to be a drummer, but he didn't have the money to buy a drum kit, so he tried with the microphone, almost by accident, at school.

- His first band was called Speed: it was a heavy metal band with the Hammond organ. The band was called like that because it played at immoderate speed.

- The first record he bought with his savings was In Rock by Deep Purple.

- In the days of Samsons, he opened some concerts at the Maiden. He appreciated the energy, but not the music at an absolute level. Despite everything, he wanted to replace a dying, according to him, Paul Di Anno.

- He was nicknamed Bruce Bruce, a nickname inserted in a sketch by Monthy Python. Another nickname he had when he was young was Air Raid Siren, which was attributed to him after a scream that destroyed a glass globe in college.

- He has two degrees (in history and literature), plus an Honoris causa on music, obtained in 2011.

- He is a former fencing champion. He finished in the top ten in the UK. Later he founded the company The Duellist (like the song) to produce and sell equipment for this discipline.

- During the first shows with Maiden he used to move Steve Harris with the microphone stand, because he didn't want him in the center of the stage, that place belonged to him.

- Recording the first part of the song The number of the beast was a tragedy, he didn't understand what the producer was asking and tried to record it for several hours, the scream after the first verse in particular.

- After the 1985 World Slavery Tour, Bruce proposed to Maiden to change their genre by offering them songs in the style of Jethro Tull, but the band disagreed. Bruce wrote very little for the next album of the band, Somewhere in Time.

- In the 90s he obtained his pilot's license and is still an airline pilot in England for Astraeus Airlines, of which he is also the commercial director and he saved the fortunes, intervening economically to avoid bankruptcy. Among some flights, we recall the one with which he brought home two hundred British from Beirut during some civil unrest, the one with which he repatriated a group of pilots from Afghanistan or those carried out to lead the Glasgow and Liverpool Rangers teams to Israel and Naples for some trips.

- The lowest point of his career was the experimental Skunkworks project, which he however defines as fun and very important to understand what he really wanted to do. He always listens to the record with great pleasure. When, as a soloist, he returned to Heavy metal with Accident of birth the record sold almost double the contemporary of Maiden (virtual XI).

- From 2002 to 2010 he presented the Friday Rock Show on BBC radio, also conducting programs on the history of rock and aviation, while in the early 1990s he wrote two books: The Adventures of Lord Iffy Boatrace and the sequel The Missionary Position. In 2008 he wrote the screenplay for the film Chemical Wedding, previously the title of his solo album focusing on the life and works of William Blake.

- He is a television dramas author and he hosted some documentaries for the Discovery Channel and for Sky One.

- He speaks French fluently

- He has been married twice and has three children, the eldest of whom plays in a heavy metal band.

Blaze Bayley recalled Bruce's nice gesture on the occasion of his first show with Maiden: the former vocalist sent him a package with fine beers and a greeting card to his dressing room. 

- In 1992 he recorded an Alice Cooper cover, (I Want to be) Elected, with the TV character Mr. Bean.

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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