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What Does This Button Do?

Narrated by: Bruce Dickinson
Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (118 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A long-awaited memoir from the larger-than-life, multifaceted lead vocalist of Iron Maiden, one of the most successful, influential and enduring rock bands ever.

Pioneers of Britain's nascent Rock & Metal scene back in the late 1970s, Iron Maiden smashed its way to the top, thanks in no small part to the high-octane performances, operatic singing style, and stage presence of its second but twice-longest-serving lead singer, Bruce Dickinson. As Iron Maiden's front man - first from 1981 to 1993, and then from 1999 to the present - Dickinson has been, and remains, a man of legend.

But OTT frontman is just one of the many hats Bruce wears. In addition to being one of the world's most storied and well-respected singers and songwriters, he is an airline captain, aviation entrepreneur, motivational speaker, beer brewer, novelist, radio presenter, and film scriptwriter. He has also competed as a world-class level fencer. Often credited as a genuine polymath, Bruce, in his own words (and handwritten script in the first instance!), sets forth many personal observations guaranteed to inspire curious souls and hard-core fans alike.

Dickinson turns his unbridled creativity, passion, and anarchic humour to reveal some fascinating stories from his life, including his 30 years with Maiden, his solo career, his childhood within the eccentric British school system, his early bands, fatherhood and family, and his recent battle with cancer.

Bold, honest, intelligent and very funny, What Does This Button Do? is an up-close look inside the life, heart, and mind of one of the most unique and interesting men in the world - a true icon of rock.

©2017 Bruce Dickinson (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Superbly Entertaining

Bruce has a fantastic life story and an engaging presentation style that made this a thoroughly enjoyable read/listen.

I’m a big Iron Maiden fan and there was more than enough about the band, tours and their creative process for a fan, and this was complimented by his other non-maiden life which most fans would be aware of but not to the detail here.

Was a relief the book wasn’t the rockstar bio trope of a set of anecdotes about sexual conquests and escapades with recreational drugs - if that’s your thing then there are plenty of other rock star biographies out there.

In my view, this book is far more interesting and entertaining

1 person found this helpful

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A true life boys own adventure

Iron Maiden front man Bruce Dickinson has done just about everything boys dream of doing: lead singer for one of the world's most successful bands, airline captain, novelist, screenwriter, movie and documentary producer to name but a few.

'What Does This Button Do' is a thoroughly enjoyable account of Bruce's life, from growing up in a working family, through impoverished uni student days, right through to rock superstar and accomplished pilot. It also contains a honest and thoughtful account of his battle with cancer.

I enjoyed this book immensely and would recommend it to Iron Maiden fans and non-Iron Maiden fans alike.

Also, awesome to have the man himself narrating the audio version of he book.

I'd give this book 5 stars, but it steers clear of anything controversial, as Bruce himself states in the afterward, he's steered clear of anything to do with marriages, divorces or births. The sections on Iron Maiden, while enjoyable, don't really give hard core Iron Maiden fans anything they wouldn't already know. For these reasons I'm taking a star off.

Fair play to the man though, he comes across as a thoroughly likeable and intensely interesting chap, the sort of bloke you'd love to have a beer with in the pub.

1 person found this helpful

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what a man.

i found it weird that he left family, wives etc out at first but it's his story and that's fair enough. what an inspirational man. it took me a little to get used to his reading style but i find nearly every audio book is hard at first. great listen.

1 person found this helpful

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The man!

I really enjoyed this book such a great character of a man. he's right at the end about the story being to long if he included births deaths and marriages into the book.

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Exceptional!

I loved this book from first word to last. What an interesting life! Some moments are truly heartbreaking, and others immensely funny, keeping everything interesting as a whole. This book is one of the better autobiographies I have listened to, and I was never finding myself getting bored with it. Bruce is an awesome narrator to boot! Highly recommend this to read/listen to!

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Rollercoaster ride with a nonconfrmist Rock Star

Dickinson's story is captivating, made more so by his ability to imitate accents so each (real life) character in his book 'speaks for him/herself'. From a small town two-bit band frontman to exhibitionist rock star of one of the world's most successful and enduring heavy metal rock bands, Iron Maiden. Dickinson carries you from his and the band's trajectory from obscurity to superstardom, at the same time learning to fly small aircraft (which gripped him so much he flew the band cross country on tours) to actually becoming a real life airline pilot and captain of heavy metal (airline speak for the largest passenger commercial jets), his story moves along at a high pace, never boring, often humorous and always interesting. Much enjoyed it.

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  • Dee
  • 31-07-2019

Incredibly interesting man!

I have always loved Iron Maiden and also been interested to learn little nuggets of info about Bruce along the way. This book, however, is so incredibly interesting and hilariously knowledgable all at the same time. I've never listened to ones horrific experience with cancer, be told in such a way that I end up laughing. Absolutely brilliantly written and most entertainingly narrated as well. 👏👏 I applaud you yet again Bruce, first two times were in front of you while on stage, this one from my home. You really do freakin ROCK!! 🤘

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Fantastic

I’m a fan so I was always going to be interested. You really don’t have to be though. A wonderful telling of a remarkable life. Metal front man, commercial airline pilot, cancer survivor and so much more.

Well worth the listen.

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A brilliant insight into a very successful mans life

I have listened to the book 3 times and I enjoy it just as much as I did the first time.

Bruce makes the whole story come alive and you just get a real sense of who he really is.

I highly recommended this book to anyone not just Iron Maiden fans.



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The best book ever!

I really liked Bruce’s narrative and different accents that he does :-)
There are plenty of fun stories and details.
I strongly recommend this book... especially if you are fan of Iron Maiden.

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  • Luciano
  • 27-10-2018

A really captivating book

A really captivating book with an outstanding history and reading performance.
On top of that the author and reader is one of the biggest legends of the music industry.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nadja Meyer
  • 23-08-2018

What does this button do? - Let’s find out!!

Mr Dickinson surprised me with this book. Not only is he a talented singer and songwriter but he seems to have a hundred of little talents hidden. I loved his voice and way of presenting his book and I loved the way he told his story. I understand and appreciate he decided to leave out his love life and family. I see it as respecting their privacy and his life is interesting enough without.
As a extra for me having been a pilot for small planes, I loved the view on aviation from a fellow metal head :)

1 person found this helpful

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  • J D'Bones
  • 05-12-2017

Amazing

I loved the story of Mr. Dickinson and, even though first in doubt whether I should go exactly for the audio version, I don't regret it. Now, that I've finished the book, I already miss the voice of a new friend.

1 person found this helpful

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  • hughesthat
  • 28-03-2019

good

Enjoyed every minute of this. An inspiration. Very well written and read. I thought some of the musings ("theatre of the mind") strayed into the Partridgesque, but that may have been my fault as listened to this right after finishing 'Nomad.'

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-11-2017

Dissapointed....

Leaving out all of the personal stuff from family and close friends made this book feel aloof. What is the point of a personal memoir if the really important and learning stuff of life is gone. I think family deserves at least a footnote of space.

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  • Neil Pardoe
  • 19-10-2017

Scream for me Audible

A brilliant audio book. I couldn’t wait to listen to Bruce telling his own story! Wasn’t disappointed.

19 people found this helpful

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  • John Imeson
  • 30-10-2017

A very well written autobiography.

I really enjoyed this book. So often autobiographies are self indulgent, full of rambling anecdotes aimed at self justification, but this is a tight, disciplined book with a coherent and interesting narrative. There is a very nice balance between the music and his other interests and nice bits of travelogue when describing his visits to foreign shores. To be honest the delivery was a bit Clarksonesque but easily forgivable in light of such wonderful story telling. Some parts made me laugh out loud whilst others made me feel sad, but Dickinson never deliberately tweeks the heart strings. All in all a fine piece of work, well worthy of the fascinating life it seeks to portray.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Isobel
  • 15-08-2018

So glad I listened to this!

There was nothing to suggest that I would like this book but the chaps in my household are great admirers of this gentleman both for his music and for his flying exploits so I gave it a try. It was absolutely brilliant! He has had a very interesting life indeed and he writes about it very engagingly. Just a teeny weeny little bit of megalomania maybe when he tells of having finally made it to world celeb status (I could not have told you his name personally before reading this book!) but i found 99% of it very listenable. And I'm old and grumpy and don't like loud music :)

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-01-2018

The Book of Soul

Utterly utterly excellent audiobook. Bruce tells his story like a master storyteller and there were plenty of laughs along the way. I cannot recommend this thoroughly enough for anyone who likes life stories - rockers or not!

3 people found this helpful

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  • chris cleeter
  • 20-11-2017

Interesting even if you're not a Maiden fan

Didn't really know anything about Bruce or Iron Maiden but thoroughly enjoyed his narration and the story.

3 people found this helpful

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  • steven
  • 23-10-2017

Trooper

What a great listen. Lots of good stories of rock n roll life and plenty of humour. Crack open a bottle of Trooper stick your cans on and listen. Highly recommended

3 people found this helpful

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  • Donald
  • 22-10-2017

Funny and interesting

A good autobiography (he admits that he has left certain subjects out) by a highly entertaining polymath - a singer, airline pilot, fencer, writer & broadcaster. This book is entertaining and thought provoking as he details his life in Rock and the trials and tribulations he has faced on the way.

The fact it’s read by the Author himself makes it even more entertaining.

3 people found this helpful

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  • SirChutney
  • 14-10-2018

Eagerly anticipated, but a little disappointed

First things first. I love Iron Maiden, and I think Bruce is a talented, cool guy. However, while this book is entertaining enough it doesn't function all that well as an autobiography. The main problem is that you learn very little about his life. Which, I would suggest, is the subject that people would purchase an autobiography for.

We get a decent amount on his passions for fencing and flying. These sections could have been condensed, in my opinion. What I wanted to hear about is Bruce! His relationships inside and outside of Maiden. His beliefs, political and spiritual beliefs, how he coped with major life events, marriages, divorces, deaths and everything in between. He does explain in the afterward message that he deliberately left these out. Maybe this should have been moved to the front of the book? The book would also have benefited from more rock and roll lifestyle anecdotes. And more details about how each album was written. He could have also included details on his legendary dodgy performances during the Somewhere In Time tour. Plus the bad blood between the band after their split. All of this is skimmed over.

Its polished, superficial and like a huge version of one of his online interviews. Sure it's easy to read but the lack of jucy Maiden details and omission of his personal life means this is "thin" in terms of an autobiography.

2 people found this helpful

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  • HEATHER RUSSELL
  • 22-10-2017

Great book and very entertaining to listen to

Great book and very entertaining to listen to. very interesting account of his and Maidens exploits.

Bruce is a compelling narrator

2 people found this helpful

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  • Andy
  • 17-09-2019

Good book and interesting story.

I would liked to have heard more about his personal journey though, kids etc. It just left me feeling he left enormous parts of his life out. The excuse it would have been too long? well maybe a bit less about being a pilot, nobody bought the book to hear pilot stories

1 person found this helpful