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Publisher's Summary

A long-awaited memoir from the larger-than-life, multifaceted lead vocalist of Iron Maiden, one of the most successful, influential and enduring rock bands ever.

Pioneers of Britain's nascent Rock & Metal scene back in the late 1970s, Iron Maiden smashed its way to the top, thanks in no small part to the high-octane performances, operatic singing style, and stage presence of its second but twice-longest-serving lead singer, Bruce Dickinson. As Iron Maiden's front man - first from 1981 to 1993, and then from 1999 to the present - Dickinson has been, and remains, a man of legend.

But OTT frontman is just one of the many hats Bruce wears. In addition to being one of the world's most storied and well-respected singers and songwriters, he is an airline captain, aviation entrepreneur, motivational speaker, beer brewer, novelist, radio presenter, and film scriptwriter. He has also competed as a world-class level fencer. Often credited as a genuine polymath, Bruce, in his own words (and handwritten script in the first instance!), sets forth many personal observations guaranteed to inspire curious souls and hard-core fans alike.

Dickinson turns his unbridled creativity, passion, and anarchic humour to reveal some fascinating stories from his life, including his 30 years with Maiden, his solo career, his childhood within the eccentric British school system, his early bands, fatherhood and family, and his recent battle with cancer.

Bold, honest, intelligent and very funny, What Does This Button Do? is an up-close look inside the life, heart, and mind of one of the most unique and interesting men in the world - a true icon of rock.

©2017 Bruce Dickinson (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about What Does This Button Do?

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A really captivating book

A really captivating book with an outstanding history and reading performance.
On top of that the author and reader is one of the biggest legends of the music industry.

1 person found this helpful

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What does this button do? - Let’s find out!!

Mr Dickinson surprised me with this book. Not only is he a talented singer and songwriter but he seems to have a hundred of little talents hidden. I loved his voice and way of presenting his book and I loved the way he told his story. I understand and appreciate he decided to leave out his love life and family. I see it as respecting their privacy and his life is interesting enough without.
As a extra for me having been a pilot for small planes, I loved the view on aviation from a fellow metal head :)

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Amazing

I loved the story of Mr. Dickinson and, even though first in doubt whether I should go exactly for the audio version, I don't regret it. Now, that I've finished the book, I already miss the voice of a new friend.

1 person found this helpful

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a great listen

what an interesting intelligent talented guy. I would love to hear all the rest of his story. like submarine trips for example... 😉

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Absolutely hilarious

An amazing tale, full of hilarious anecdotes (but also its fair share of drama), all impeccably performed and told by Bruce himself.

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good

Enjoyed every minute of this. An inspiration. Very well written and read. I thought some of the musings ("theatre of the mind") strayed into the Partridgesque, but that may have been my fault as listened to this right after finishing 'Nomad.'

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Dissapointed....

Leaving out all of the personal stuff from family and close friends made this book feel aloof. What is the point of a personal memoir if the really important and learning stuff of life is gone. I think family deserves at least a footnote of space.

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  • Neil Pardoe
  • 10-19-17

Scream for me Audible

A brilliant audio book. I couldn’t wait to listen to Bruce telling his own story! Wasn’t disappointed.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Jeeves
  • 10-30-17

A very well written autobiography.

I really enjoyed this book. So often autobiographies are self indulgent, full of rambling anecdotes aimed at self justification, but this is a tight, disciplined book with a coherent and interesting narrative. There is a very nice balance between the music and his other interests and nice bits of travelogue when describing his visits to foreign shores. To be honest the delivery was a bit Clarksonesque but easily forgivable in light of such wonderful story telling. Some parts made me laugh out loud whilst others made me feel sad, but Dickinson never deliberately tweeks the heart strings. All in all a fine piece of work, well worthy of the fascinating life it seeks to portray.

15 people found this helpful

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  • SirChutney
  • 10-14-18

Eagerly anticipated, but a little disappointed

First things first. I love Iron Maiden, and I think Bruce is a talented, cool guy. However, while this book is entertaining enough it doesn't function all that well as an autobiography. The main problem is that you learn very little about his life. Which, I would suggest, is the subject that people would purchase an autobiography for.

We get a decent amount on his passions for fencing and flying. These sections could have been condensed, in my opinion. What I wanted to hear about is Bruce! His relationships inside and outside of Maiden. His beliefs, political and spiritual beliefs, how he coped with major life events, marriages, divorces, deaths and everything in between. He does explain in the afterward message that he deliberately left these out. Maybe this should have been moved to the front of the book? The book would also have benefited from more rock and roll lifestyle anecdotes. And more details about how each album was written. He could have also included details on his legendary dodgy performances during the Somewhere In Time tour. Plus the bad blood between the band after their split. All of this is skimmed over.

Its polished, superficial and like a huge version of one of his online interviews. Sure it's easy to read but the lack of jucy Maiden details and omission of his personal life means this is "thin" in terms of an autobiography.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Isobel
  • 08-15-18

So glad I listened to this!

There was nothing to suggest that I would like this book but the chaps in my household are great admirers of this gentleman both for his music and for his flying exploits so I gave it a try. It was absolutely brilliant! He has had a very interesting life indeed and he writes about it very engagingly. Just a teeny weeny little bit of megalomania maybe when he tells of having finally made it to world celeb status (I could not have told you his name personally before reading this book!) but i found 99% of it very listenable. And I'm old and grumpy and don't like loud music :)

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  • steven
  • 10-23-17

Trooper

What a great listen. Lots of good stories of rock n roll life and plenty of humour. Crack open a bottle of Trooper stick your cans on and listen. Highly recommended

4 people found this helpful

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  • Malcolm
  • 08-14-19

What a bore fest!

So ridiculously boring, even if you are a diehard maiden fan. Avoid this one folks.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-11-18

The Book of Soul

Utterly utterly excellent audiobook. Bruce tells his story like a master storyteller and there were plenty of laughs along the way. I cannot recommend this thoroughly enough for anyone who likes life stories - rockers or not!

3 people found this helpful

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  • chris cleeter
  • 11-20-17

Interesting even if you're not a Maiden fan

Didn't really know anything about Bruce or Iron Maiden but thoroughly enjoyed his narration and the story.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Donald
  • 10-22-17

Funny and interesting

A good autobiography (he admits that he has left certain subjects out) by a highly entertaining polymath - a singer, airline pilot, fencer, writer & broadcaster. This book is entertaining and thought provoking as he details his life in Rock and the trials and tribulations he has faced on the way.

The fact it’s read by the Author himself makes it even more entertaining.

3 people found this helpful

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  • PETER RUSSELL
  • 10-22-17

Great book and very entertaining to listen to

Great book and very entertaining to listen to. very interesting account of his and Maidens exploits.

Bruce is a compelling narrator

3 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 06-19-18

Superbly Entertaining

Bruce has a fantastic life story and an engaging presentation style that made this a thoroughly enjoyable read/listen.

I’m a big Iron Maiden fan and there was more than enough about the band, tours and their creative process for a fan, and this was complimented by his other non-maiden life which most fans would be aware of but not to the detail here.

Was a relief the book wasn’t the rockstar bio trope of a set of anecdotes about sexual conquests and escapades with recreational drugs - if that’s your thing then there are plenty of other rock star biographies out there.

In my view, this book is far more interesting and entertaining

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jugger
  • 11-05-17

A true life boys own adventure

Iron Maiden front man Bruce Dickinson has done just about everything boys dream of doing: lead singer for one of the world's most successful bands, airline captain, novelist, screenwriter, movie and documentary producer to name but a few.

'What Does This Button Do' is a thoroughly enjoyable account of Bruce's life, from growing up in a working family, through impoverished uni student days, right through to rock superstar and accomplished pilot. It also contains a honest and thoughtful account of his battle with cancer.

I enjoyed this book immensely and would recommend it to Iron Maiden fans and non-Iron Maiden fans alike.

Also, awesome to have the man himself narrating the audio version of he book.

I'd give this book 5 stars, but it steers clear of anything controversial, as Bruce himself states in the afterward, he's steered clear of anything to do with marriages, divorces or births. The sections on Iron Maiden, while enjoyable, don't really give hard core Iron Maiden fans anything they wouldn't already know. For these reasons I'm taking a star off.

Fair play to the man though, he comes across as a thoroughly likeable and intensely interesting chap, the sort of bloke you'd love to have a beer with in the pub.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-31-17

what a man.

i found it weird that he left family, wives etc out at first but it's his story and that's fair enough. what an inspirational man. it took me a little to get used to his reading style but i find nearly every audio book is hard at first. great listen.

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  • Michael Quinn
  • 04-21-22

A good tale well told.

Great story of Bruce’s life. It’s an in-depth look at all the different aspects - fencing, singing, pilot, solo career, brew master, recording, friends - without going into all the nitty gritty stuff. Plenty of iron maiden stuff, just not a track by track blow by blow of every album. Great work.

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  • Paul Kerr
  • 01-06-22

Press it and find out!

I must admit I've been a Iron Maiden fan for many, many years. I have read this book in the paperback format as well. so the story isn't new, but having it read by Bruce is just brilliant. It allows a perspective that you just can't get by reading it. First Class.

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  • Robert
  • 06-09-21

Amazing.

To put it simply. Amazing!
There is zero fat in this autobiography every word and sentence serves a purpose to tell Bruce's life story

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  • Troy Weber
  • 04-20-21

Love Maiden, admire Bruce..

he's true inspiration to get off your arse, change your attitude and grab life by the balls.. Awesome!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-16-21

I really hope Bruce put out another book

Bruce Dickinson's narrative skills really sold the book for me.
I couldn't put it down
UP THE IRONS !!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-02-20

Amazing

Bruce is a true story teller. It's amazing hearing about the journey he had to go through and all the adventures along the way

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-01-20

Fun romp. Interesting guy.

I knew Bruce to be interesting, fun and not your typical drugged out rocker. I thoroughly enjoyed the story despite not knowing anything about Iron Maiden. As a regular reader of bios, I found it odd that he completely ignored his relationships but I understand and respect the creative choices. There’s more than enough meat to keep anyone interested and how he fits it all in, I have no idea. Recommended.