Bruce Dickinson “What does this button do?” An Autobiography

October 2017,  Hardcover and Papberback: Harper-Collins Hardcover, Dey Street Books, 384 pages, also audio book and Kindle edition; German version via Heyne

Well, basically I do not really need to review this book – as it is a Must-Have for fans of Iron Maiden or Bruce’s solo projects anyway. And whoever does not like Heavy Metal or Iron Maiden, or music as such, or books – the most positive review won’t help at all…

However, this work of literature is worth to be mentioned, at least with a few words. It does not happen that often I experience LOL moments within the first pages of an autobiography, and it is obvious that someone with serious writing skills is at work here. A skill that does not only include lyrics but also business plans / presentations, movies, games, books for children, a movie – what hasn’t he written yet? And he has indeed a lot to write about, besides the band and life on the road as a Metal singer he’s airline pilot, entrepreneur and cancer-survivor… His style shows plenty of Monty-Python tongue-in-cheek attitude, and I’d bet that even someone who hates Metal would be interested to listen to a couple of Maiden songs just after reading a few chapters. Besides, I bet that there is also a lot of stuff the most devoted die-hard Iron Maiden fan did not know yet.

Summing up, I am not astonished that What Does This Button Do? entered the best seller lists in no time (Sunday Times autobiography No 1) and has been translated to several languages already.

In case you had no idea yet how to make the Metalhead in your family / among your friends happy – this book is a perfect idea for Christmas.  (Klaudia Weber   10/10)


A second opinion by Timo Pässler  9/10

I guess that there is no Heavy Metal fan who does not know Bruce Dickinson. That’s obvious because he wrote Heavy Metal history with Iron Maiden. But he also has an interesting life besides music and it is far away from the typical sex, drugs and Rock ‚n‘ Roll lifestyle image. I guess that most people know about his career as a pilot („Ed Force One“, anyone?) But Bruce is also a talented fencer, screenplay writer and beer brewer, what is unknown to most people. So there is much to tell.

In his autobiography, Bruce Dickinson describes his life from his childhood until the release of „The Book Of Souls“. His experiences with Iron Maiden is only one part of the book. The other part deals with all his other activities. Bruce uses the Iron Maiden discography as an orientation, so readers always know about which period he is currently talking. When talking about the Iron Maiden releases, he gives the one or the other funny story or background information, but he just scratches the surface. If you are looking for detailed information about Iron Maiden history, a band biography would do better. 

Bruce style of writing is quite nice. He writes about his life as he would be talking to a good pal while having a drink or two. Musical facts, private information and funny stories are being told with a portion of humour. He does not take himself too seriously which becomes evident in many hilarious quotes and episodes. This is even the case when talking about serious issues like his cancer treatment.

All in all, What Does This Button Do? is worth reading because it contains much more than only rockstar clichés. In my opinion it could have been a bit longer. Especially the episodes of the split and the reunion are  too short. By the way: Information about his family, children and (former) women are not included. Maybe part 2 will be released one day. I would appreciate it! And now I am in the mood for „Brave New World“… 

  • 9.5/10
    Bewertung / rating - 9.5/10
9.5/10
Klaudia Weber

Klaudia Weber

reckless and merciless dictator, so KNEEL! In other words, editor-in-chief, translator, website and ad admin, "Jane of all trades" - - - addicted to books (everything between Lord Of The Rings & quantum physics) and music, mainly Metal made in Finland. Furthermore, there's painting, drawing, movies, theater... so you can expect some variety on this website too.