Fourteenth installment in a series exploring very important people in my life.
Let me start explaining how this will work: I listed 65 idols of mine. Every Friday (with the exception of those reserved for the Rock Chain posts) I’ll draw one of the names (following a system that it’s really not important to be explained here) and talk about it.
Therefore, the order in which the names will appear doesn’t necessarily shows where they rank in my preference.
As a final introductory note, this is also not a biography article. I’ll just write how I feel about people represented in it, their talent and their importance in my life.
Ever since I was teenager until my early twenties, I have no doubt in saying that Bruce Dickinson was my greatest idol. He was instrumental in influencing me to be a Rock/Metal writer.
Paul Bruce Dickinson was born August 7th 1958 in Worksop, Nottinghmashire (ENG). His first band was Samson where he already showed glimpses of what he would become, but it was with Iron Maiden that he blossomed.
Simply put, Bruce Dickinson alone transformed a great NWOBHM band into a Rock behemoth and quite possibly the greatest Heavy Metal band of all time.
Hugely influenced by the way Ian Gillan sings in Deep Purple’s In Rock (and here’s a case where the student by far surpassed the master), Bruce crafted a way of singing all of his own and went on to be copied and admired in the same measure ever since.
As a matter of fact, Bruce Dickinson is THE Heavy Metal singer. His tone, his range or quite simply the beauty of his voice is unmatched.
I can clearly remember watching in awe the video of Live After Death and thinking: “I never thought somebody could sing like that”. That was a moment of revelation. I can safely say that from that moment on, Bruce Dickinson changed my life and became one of the most important people in it.
However, it’s not only as a singer that Bruce exceeds. He is also one hell of a frontman and an even better songwriter. “Two Minutes To Midnight”, “Flight Of Icarus” and “Powerslave” are just three examples of his songwriting dexterity and I’m not even considering his brilliant partnership with guitarist Adrian Smith.
But if there was still any doubts about what Bruce represented to Maiden and to Metal in general, as soon as he left the band it was clear. Iron Maiden without Bruce sank like the Titanic. The first album without him was only average and the second was deplorable, a true shame in an otherwise flawless discography.
And while Maiden floundered without Bruce, he managed to thrive without them. His first solo album (“Tattooed Millionaire”) is wonderful, his second (“Balls To Picasso”) is good, his third (“Skunkworks) is his only misstep, a horrible record. However, his last two solo albums before returning to Maiden (“Accident Of Birth” and “Chemical Wedding”) are Metal masterpieces showing what was lacking in his former band at the time.
There was no doubt in the Maiden camp that Bruce needed to be called back. He came back and helped the band reclaimed its crown. And he brought such prestige with him, that he earned the right to record yet another solo album while still in Maiden, the good “Tyranny Of Souls”.
If all of that wasn’t enough he is an airline pilot, author and radio and TV broadcaster. And he was once interest in fencing and practiced it professionally.
That’s it Bruce. You don’t have to be a Powerslave, but you’re sure as hell must get in to the Hall Of Idols, welcome.
Waylon Jennings – Honk Tonk Heroes
Joe Bonamssa – Black Rock
Imelda May – Mayhem
The Simple Art Of Murder – Richard Chandler
Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal”.
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