IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson spoke to BBC Radio Scotland's "The Afternoon Show" about his upcoming spoken-word gig at Edinburgh's Usher Hall on December 10. Asked if it takes a different type of courage to stand in a front of an audience without a backing band and a huge production, Dickinson said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's terrifying. It's absolutely terrifying. I've got a little carpet that I stand on, which appears… I requested a carpet to stand on. And there's a little table and a glass of water and, more often than not, a bottle of beer. And that's it. I've got some slides and I just riff around the whole thing. There's a bit of physical comedy involved as well, which I won't go into, but if you are of a nervous disposition and don't like talking about drummers in anatomical detail, then you should stay away. And I hasten to add, there are some naughty bits and I'm not shy of using the odd naughty word from time to time that I couldn't possibly say on the radio."
As previously reported, Dickinson will embark on a two-month North American spoken-word tour in January.
Dickinson is considered one of the world's most storied musicians. Aside from decades spent delivering high-octane performances with his larger-than-life persona in IRON MAIDEN, Bruce has lived an extraordinary off-stage existence too. A true polymath, his accomplishments include: pilot and airline captain, aviation entrepreneur, beer brewer, motivational speaker, film scriptwriter, twice-published novelist and Sunday Times best-selling author, radio presenter, TV actor, sports commentator and international fencer… to name but a few.
Split into two parts, the first section of the show sees Bruce taking a humorous and often satirical look at the world from his own very personal perspective, treating the audience to private insights into his drive and ambition, peppered with plenty of MAIDEN anecdotes, and a myriad of other experiences encompassing not just the giddy heights but also the extreme lows, as told first-hand in his inimitable anarchic style, punctuated with photographs, videos and sometimes even erupting into song a-capella, to illustrate a point.
The final section of the evening is devoted entirely to the aforementioned question-and-answer session, with the opportunity to pose questions on any subject whatsoever. As Bruce's answers will all be completely improvised — the more left-field and quirky the question, the more interesting and compelling the response is likely to be.
Dickinson recently told Pablo of the Minneapolis, Minnesota radio station 93X about his current spoken-word tour, which kicked off in his native United Kingdom in August: "It's hopefully reasonably amusing. It's a look at how a spotty kid from the middle of nowhere ended up being the singer in IRON MAIDEN wearing crazy trousers, and all points in between. And it covers the cancer thing. It covers a lot of the early-days stuff, like how I learned to sing, all the weird stuff that happened to me at school and what formed your personality [and] character — all done with a very dark sense of humor, I hope. And then we take a break, and then the last 45 minutes, one hour-ish is basically improv. And so what I do is I take cue cards from the audience they write on the night, and I arrange them into kind of an improv script. Then I do that. That's the show."
Six years ago, Dickinson had surgery to remove a cancerous lump on his throat. The rocker, who had a golf gall-size tumor on his tongue and another in the lymph node on the right side of his neck, got the all-clear in May 2015 after radiation and nine weeks of chemotherapy.
IRON MAIDEN's 17th studio album, "Senjutsu", was released in September via BMG. The band's first LP in six years was recorded in 2019 in Paris with longstanding producer Kevin Shirley and co-produced by bassist Steve Harris.