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Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson talks in Tampa Thursday

Bill DeYoung



Bruce Dickinson joined Iron Maiden in 1981. Publicity photo.

There’s this little-used word in the English language that’s frequently used to describe Bruce Dickinson, best known as the lead singer of the British metal band Iron Maiden: Polymath.

Mr. Webster, of Dictionary fame, defines a polymath as “a person of encyclopedic knowledge.” Or, simply, someone who knows something about a whole lot of things.

Dickinson will be onstage at the Tampa Theatre Thursday in a non-musical role. It’s part of the North American leg of “An Evening with Bruce Dickinson,” in which the legendary screamer talks about his myriad interests. His status as rock ‘n’ roll’s leading polymath.

To wit: Dickinson holds an airline transport pilot’s license, and flew as a commercial pilot for Astraeus Airlines while still recording and performing with Iron Maiden. He piloted the band’s chartered plane during world tours (there’s one planned for later in 2022). He also created an airline maintenance and training company, Cardiff Aviation.

He’s written three novels and an autobiography (What Does This Button Do?)

He is a champion fencer (two World Championship silver medals and two European bronze medals) He was No. 5 at the 2000 Olympics.

He is a genuine beer baron, developing the different brews for Iron Maiden Trooper beer, which has been exported to over 60 countries and in 2021 reached the landmark of 30 million pints sold.

Along with Dr. Kevin Dutton, Dickinson hosts a psychology-based podcast, Psycho Schizo Expresso, on which they interview fellow intellectuals and discuss science, medicine, politics and other world matters.

He appears on 13 Iron Maiden albums (starting with 1982’s The Number of the Beast) and has released six under his own name. It’s estimated that Iron Maiden have sold in excess of 100 million albums worldwide.

There’s more, and he’ll tell the audience all about it, with his inimitable, dry British wit and unassailable gift for gab,Thursday at the Tampa Theatre.

Dickinson talked about the spoken-word tour during a recent interview with a Minneapolis radio station. “It’s hopefully reasonably amusing,” the polymath explained. “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 …

“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.”

Details and tickets here.

Bruce Dickinson website.

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