Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson embarks on a spoken word tour
NEW YORK (AP) — Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has worn many hats and even “incredibly ridiculous pants,” as he puts it. Rock star, airline pilot and cancer survivor are part of what defined him. Now he can add a spoken word performer.
Hot on the heels of fellow rock star turned performance artist Henry Rollins, Dickinson is set to resume his American spoken word tour. On stage, he talks about his life, being a rock star and a host of other topics, including his battle with throat cancer.
Then, after a short break, he’ll load Iron Maiden’s plane – a 747 called “Ed Force One”, named after the band’s iconic demonic mascot, Eddie – and embark on a world tour of festivals, arenas and stadiums.
Recently, the 63-year-old rocker and licensed commercial airline pilot spoke to The Associated Press about the joy of switching gears with spoken word performances, his fanbase and whether he’ll be flying the band’s plane, as he did in the past.
AP: What are spoken word shows like?
DICKINSON: There’s no scripting, to speak of, and there’s no auto cueing or anything like that. I have some images… I start telling stories around the image and then you take a tangent to how I learned to sing and how I didn’t become a drummer and the weirdness of being in a English boarding school where you might have met Boris Johnson in another life and how I ended up wearing the world’s most ridiculous pants on stage with Iron Maiden. It’s like, “How did this happen?” So it’s a bit like this story.
AP: Is it like stand-up?
DICKINSON: I use kind of stand-up techniques and a bit of physical comedy, impressions of people and stuff like that. But that’s not my main modus operandi… As a host, as a performer, I want to use all the little tricks I can to give people a good night and not lose sight of the work of day to which I return in May, which will occupy me until Christmas.
AP: Are you talking about really personal things?
DICKINSON: I make everyone laugh about cancer. Because cancer is a big taboo. You know, about 50% of us are going to get it in our lifetime and we’re scared of it. The very word sends us into a tailspin, as you know. And of course, I had my battle with throat cancer, as thousands of men around the world do every week. So that doesn’t make me special, but what I try to bring to it is my individual vision. You know, “How do you handle that?” Well, I don’t know how you handle it, but here’s how I handle it.
AP: How intense does it get?
DICKINSON: It can get quite literal and quite graphic in terms of some of the descriptions of some of the very, very embarrassing and ignominious things that you have to do when you’re on cancer treatment… So, yeah, you’re getting some people rolling, hopefully Tell him about it and come away with a positive statement.
AP: Some rock stars got their pilot’s license, but I can’t think of one who flies for a commercial airline, or the Boeing 747 the band uses for their tours.
DICKINSON: What’s even more interesting than Ed Force One is how the hell did I end up being an airline pilot in the first place? And secondly, how do you become an airline pilot when you sing in a rock’n’roll band? I have more crazy airline stories than rock ‘n’ roll stories because, trust me, the airline era was way more rock ‘n’ roll than Iron Maiden was. is on stage. Well, offstage, rather.
AP: Speaking of round the world, are you flying Ed Force One again?
DICKINSON: Oh, no, no, no, no. We’ll fly and I’ll be in the back. Hey listen, I’m 63 – I’m 64 in August. You know, when you get to 65, if you’re an airline pilot, they take you out from behind and shoot, right? So I’ll be sitting in the back as the backseat driver.