Book Review – “What Does This Button Do?” Bruce Dickinson Autobiography (2017)

Book Review – “What Does This Button Do?” Bruce Dickinson Autobiography (2017)


Martin Adil-Smith

“What Does This Button Do?” is the autobiography of Bruce Dickinson, frontman of the NWOBHM behemoths, Iron Maiden, world-class fencer, airline pilot, and master brewer of the pale ale. The man is nothing if not busy.

Spanning some sixty years of history, from a less than successful stint in bordering school through to the dizzying heights of playing some of the world’s biggest stadiums, Dickinson gives equal balance to his myriad of interests and an insight in some of the highs and lows of being in the one of the world’s biggest metal band.

I say some because what is lacking are tales of debauchery and groupies. This is a fine literary effort if all you are interested in is the music, the fencing and the airlines, but there is not even a mention of his two marriages or kids, much less hi-jinx that comes from endlessly touring.

That’s not to say this isn’t a good read – it is. Dickinson has a great conversational style, the moves along at a fair clip, but it at times feels more like an extended magazine interview where everything is great and rosy.

Perhaps the grittiest subject – Dickinson’s battle with cancer – is left until the end and it is in these stark moments that we really see the man.

For all the lack of tales of depravity, this is a fun easy read that will appeal to Maiden fans new and old, and offers insights into just how much hard work it takes to stay at the top of your game.

Up The Irons!

“What does this button do?” is available from Amazon and all high street retailers