Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bruce Dickinson - Flashing Metal With Iron Maiden And Flying Solo

Joe Shooman
Independent Music Press

With a CV that reads like an advert for a renaissance man of runway and rapiers as well as rigor mortis-inducing touring schedules, legendary metal maverick and live wire flight lieutenant Dickinson is definitely not a fence-sitter. Whilst still being something of an awestruck hagiography, 'tis a sprightly tale told in a pally fashion like a collection of anecdotes and asides from the bar, and being unauthorised at least means Shooman scurries around the obstructive stage scenery of the earlier "Run To The Hills" band biog prior to soundcheck and rakes up some bad blood congealed in a thin crust of dirt and ill-feeling behind the famously, and admirably, staunch walls of castle Maiden. Tedious tales of debauchery are laudably left as mere filler to concentrate on the music but, while our valiant author indulges inexplicable bouts wherein he flippantly exercises the privilege of a scribes' prerogative - i.e. "Piece Of Mind" is superior to "The Number Of The Beast"!"£$%^&* - it does read at times like the very thing Dickinson (or Paul Bruce Dickinson as Shooman persists in referring to him as in chapter-end round ups) left Maiden for - that of new year / album / tour with the odd bit of free-time activity thrown in. So disregard the slight back-of-tour-bus air of a This Is Your Life back-slapping session, as an overview of the drive as well as the talent needed to attain even half the dizzying heights of the subject this is a worthwhile book that even a cynic can walk away from with renewed respect for the diminutive dynamo above and beyond his almost self-caricature of impudent public schoolboy brat. Scream for 'im Reverb.

- Stu Gibson

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