Get the cake! It’s Bruce Dickinson’s Birthday!
Today is August 7th and that is significant if you are a metalhead of any kind. Today is the birthday for one Bruce Dickinson, the legendary front-man for the equally legendary Iron Maiden. The man was born 55 years ago today, on August 7th, 1958.
He began his career in the band Samson before joining Iron Maiden in 1981, after they fired their original vocalist Paul Di’Anno. What happened next was that Iron Maiden and Bruce went on to define heavy metal, bringing the world such monumental albums such as The Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind, Powerslave, and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. He left briefly in 1993 after the Fear of the Dark album to pursue his solo career, replaced for two albums by Blaze Bayley in a period that is regarded as Iron Maiden’s darkest, but was actually quite good for Bruce.
He then rejoined the band in 1999 to make the astounding Brave New World album, and they continue to make fantastic albums right to this very day, selling out shows all over the world and amassing an army of fans and followers.
Bruce’s voice remains nearly intact even at his considerable age (for a metal vocalist), which is an amazing feat for any singer, let alone one who is legendary for his amazing range as Bruce was. His vocals, along with Rob Halford of Judas Priest, set the tone for metal in the 80′s, with their soaring, air-raid siren quality. Amazing for a guy who never received any formal vocal training The scream in the song “The Number of the Beast” is one of the most iconic in metal and rock, and his stage antics will always be remembered, be it donning a military uniform and waving a British flag for “The Trooper“, to fighting a giant version of mascot Eddie, to being supremely energetic in general, he is the prototypical frontman. Iron Maiden has always been one of the best stadium-filling live bands on the planet, releasing several top notch live albums and DVDs in the past, and Bruce is a large part of that, as much for his stage banter as for his voice.
His interest in literature helped shape Iron Maiden’s lyrical style, with notable songs based off poetry and novels as well as film and television being “Flight of Icarus“, ”The Wicker Man“, “Back in the Village“, “Brave New World“ and “Revelations“. His songwriting prowess is not limited to Iron Maiden, as his solo albums carry some excellent material as well, with The Chemical Wedding being an absolute gem. Bruce’s son Austin followed his father and sings lead for the band Rise To Remain.
Outside of music, Bruce is a world class fencer, a certified pilot who flies the band around on their tours on their own personal chartered jet, as well as a few other high profile passengers such as a group of the British Royal Air Force, civilian refugees from Lebanon during the Israel/Hezbollah crisis, and a couple of football (
soccer REAL football) teams.
Additionally, Bruce is a published author with two books and a script-writer, having helped to write the script for the movie Chemical Wedding (no relation to his solo album, he had his own BBC radio show for eight years, called Bruce Dickinson’s Friday Rock Show, he hosted a series about heavy metal on Discovery channel, and he is a brew-master who just recently enlisted the aid of the excellent Robinson Brewery to create a line of Iron Maiden brand beer, which now has worldwide distribution. There’s not much this man can’t do, and not to mention that, by all accounts, he is a damn cool dude.
Even if you dislike Iron Maiden, you must respect what Bruce has done both with his band and on his own, so let us here at The Monolith celebrate the birthday of the singer for one of the most famous and influential metal bands, and the most metal man on Earth. Happy birthday Bruce!