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Bruce Dickinson Interview
- Are you too old to do the metal god thing?
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"Not in the slightest. The radio show (for BBC's 6 Radio station) takes up two half-days a week. Maiden is doing quite well. Until such time as bits start falling off me, I won't be hanging up my boots."
- Do you still have the same energy as ten or 20 years ago?
"I've probably got more. I was far too involved then in chasing young ladies in what I can only describe as extra-curricular activities. When you're 25, you're more of a hooligan than at 45. Now, with a wife and three kids, when I go on the road, I tend to concentrate on the music. We still have a few beers with the lads but it's nothing mental like it was before."
- Weren't you kicked out of boarding school for peeing in the head's dinner?
"Yes - regrettably. The quantity was so small that, if the CPS had been involved, it's most unlikely that there wouldn't have been anything detectable. It was the thought that counted. The school authority figures were downstairs eating funny tasting green beans and there was no-one to police things in the sixth-form bar. We went up, locked ourselves in for the night and me and the other kid that did it, tongues loosened by the drink, confessed to our other mates. It went round the school like wildfire and out we went."
- What's more representative of Sheffield - The Full Monty, Pulp or Def Leppard?
"They're all elements of living there. Saturday night out in Sheffield was northern soul night. There were clubs where you went and bought a pint and they gave you a knife with it. At the same time, there was the traditional blue collar where-men-are-men-and-sheep-are-frightened sort of things going on. Then there were the metal kids. We used to hang out in one of Richard Branson's first creations, the Virgin store. It was lots of joss sticks and patchouli oil and, funnily enough, aircraft seats to sit on. It may be how Richard came up with the airline idea."
- You said you'd never seen as many drunk men and loose women as you did in the TA. Similar to being in a band?
"I saw quite a few loose women while I was there, but they were never loose enough to do anything with me. But, yes, the Army is similar to being in a band - you spend a lot of time sitting around on your backside doing nothing."
- You were in loads of bands that began with the letter S - Styx, Speed, Shots, Samson - was that by choice?
"No, but I'm glad you pointed that out. It has been troubling me all my life [laughs]. There's something cursed about calling your band something beginning with S. For some reason it has a fatal attraction - something strange happens to them. Take the Stones, but, I suppose they really begin with R."
- How did you get into fencing?
"A workshop teacher turned up to school one day with an Excalibur-type sword he'd made. We were like: 'Cool. Can we make one?' He also mentioned he was a fencing coach and we persuaded the school to buy some kit and I got hooked. If it had been boxing, I would have done that. But I'm glad I didn't - I'd probably have even less brain cells than I have now."
- At one point, weren't you seventh best in the country?
"Yeah... but I'd use caution on that one. It was the year the Olympic team were on holiday. In truth, I would probably have been about tenth."
- You've worked with some exotically monikered people. Ever think about dropping Bruce Dickinson?
"Not really. My full name is Paul Bruce Dickinson. At school, people would take the piss out of me unmercifully for the Bruce and it stuck. When I was in Samson, the management, in a drunken fit of what I think they called humour, wrote out my first pay cheque to Bruce Bruce, as in the Monty Python sketch. But then they decided to put it on the f**king record. Vocals: Bruce Bruce. When I joined Maiden they got me to change it and I concurred happily."
- Have you suffered from years of tight-trouser wearing?
"Not in any way, shape or form - Although I'm not sure how wise it is to wear your socks over your trousers."
- I'm having a slaughter next week - fancy bringing your daughter?
"No. You supply the chicks, I'll bring the chairman of Enron and Stephen Byers.
The Bruce Dickinson Rock Show is on Saturdays 9pm to midnight. For more information on how to get 6 Music, call 08700 100600.