IRON MAIDEN vocalist Bruce Dickinson‘s autobiography, “What Does This Button Do?”, landed at No. 10 on the New York Times “Hardcover Nonfiction” best sellers list. It was released in the U.S. on October 31 via Dey Street Books (formerly It Books), an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Dickinson told New York City’s Q104.3 about his autobiography: “The book is about stories and my life and the things I’ve done, and it’s a celebration of life. It’s not getting down on people; it’s not salacious and tiddle-taddle.
“I’m not that crazy about biographies that are written by other people — by ghost writers. If you’re going to write a book, I think in an ideal world, you should write it yourself, so literally, it’s your own voice coming through.
“I wanted to tell my story but in a way which was uplifting. That’s kind of who I am. I’m not interested in ‘the dark side’ — I might write songs about it, but that’s not me.
“I wrote fifty percent of the book in the pub. I’d go down to the pub, I’d sit in the corner, I’d have a couple of beers, make it last two-three hours, and at the end of that, I’d have 1,500 words.”
Regarding the inspiration for the book’s title, Bruce said: “My dad… one of the great things he did for me was say, ‘You should have a go at everything. Just try it — whatever it is, when you’re a kid, if you get a chance to do something, whether it’s a school trip, whatever it is, just have a go.’ The other thing that he was very big on was, whenever you start something, finish it. When I did things and discovered things that I thought, ‘Well, I like doing that,’ [I thought,] ‘Let’s see where it goes.’ If you’re going to squeeze the lemon, do it until the juice runs down your leg.”
Dickinson told The Guardian that he “really enjoyed writing” “What Does This Button Do?” “It was nice to be able to tell stories and give an insight into how the world looks from your perspective, in a way that is not going to be edited by strangers,” he said. “So you could get a real feel for what it was like to be viewing the world through my eyes as it were. It’s only a short step from that to fiction, I suppose. But this book is obviously not fiction. I tried to write it so it would read like a really good page-turning story. And, fortunately, Jack Fogg, my editor, thought the same way and he edited the book, in his words, ‘like a novel,’ which I found interesting.
“My memory was good — I remembered things quite graphically in vivid detail,” he continued. “We could have had a 600-page book but it would have been very unwieldy. And, in fact, had I completed all the various other bits and bobs in my little notebook, we’d have had an 800-page book and I’d still be writing it at Christmas. You have to have discipline about things. Fortunately, we’ve kept the book really tight.”