My life has been strange lately and so a while ago I decided to do something strange and see Bruce Dickinson talk, not sing. Talk. And yesterday was the day.
I bought the ticket in June when I had just seen IRON MAIDEN for the second time in three days. The show is called SPOKEN WORD and revolves around Bruce Dickinson, his life and his autobiography.
I read the book back in January when the weather was cold and my feelings both strange and raw. It was inspiring to read about this man who seems so good at grasping the opportunities life gives and creating his own. I figured this would be a perfect thing to look forward to.
I took the car over the bridge to the concert hall in Copenhagen where it was being held. It wasn’t a huge event, not like what you’re used to when IRON MAIDEN is involved obviously. I got a parking space right in front and my seat was just 5 rows away from the stage. It felt intimate and really fun this “conversation”.
He came on stage with tennis balls, a giant alarm clock, his book, a bottle of TROOPER ale and a remote to be able to control the big display where he showed photographs.
Listening to Bruce talk is inspiring. This man has done so much with his life, always seems so energetic and has lived in a way that seems very true to who he is. Not all people can say that. And he’s obviously accomplished quite a few things to be proud of, things like pissing in the headmaster’s food.
He talks of his life in a way that makes you laugh and sometimes you even find yourself laughing through very serious topics, words that really make you think, like violence against children and cancer.
He is a master showman, so despite the fact that he didn’t have IRON MAIDEN and its scene abracadabra to back him up, he still managed to put on a great show all by himself – without singing. Ok, so he sang a little of LET IT BE, but that was just to proof a point.
I was very excited to study what kind of people went to a thing like this. If you go to an IRON MAIDEN concert you quickly realise that the people there are of all breeds. The age difference is wild and though many are true heavy metal with long hair, wearing the shirt, etc – a lot of them are not. And at this thing? Well, there were many dedicated fans – obviously, but also I found people who just seemed curious about this man who doesn’t mind talking about himself and does it with gusto. I sat in front of two guys, who also came over the channel from Sweden to see the show and they were very enthusiastic. One of them was a good singer I learned as he sang with the songs before the show started. They played things from Dickinson’s solo career. And these guys spoke of MAIDEN and were completely floored by the honesty and closeness of this show. Their enthusiasm was inspiring.
He started by throwing a few tennis balls into the crowd and ended it by asking who got the one he had written “CANCER” on. The mixture of laughter and seriousness was just right.
If this show comes to a theatre near you I can warmly recommend it. It’s different from anything I’ve been to before and it isn’t just for people very enthusiastic about the rock ’n roll legend but for people who are generally interested in people and how they live their lives. And he tells a great story, if you’ve read the book you know this already, but he isn’t just repeating the stories in the book – he has a lot of material to pick from.
And now I have a signed copy of the danish version of his autobiography in my possession. This might very well be the weirdest item I own. I don’t know why this book seems so surreal to me, but I’m quite convinced that despite all the odd things I own this is the strangest item yet. And I don’t know what that means, but it must mean something…
Honestly, for me personally it seems to speak for my life at the moment. Life is weird and I guess if this show and the book he wrote about his life has taught me anything it’s that life takes you into strange corners and if you’re not experience that life is strange, then maybe you’re not in the correct corner…
Bruce came on stage wearing POPEYE sweatpants, a simple t-shirt, big shoes and a baseball cap on his head and he makes you laugh from start to finish while still instilling in you thoughts about life, universe and everything.
What more could you ask for?