IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson was interviewed on the December 1-3 edition of Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the Podbean widget below.
Asked how facing mortality following his cancer diagnosis three years ago made him even more enthusiastic about everything he does, Bruce said: "Well, I think the interesting bit is the 'facing mortality' bit, because, actually, that's the bit that has had the least amount of influence in what my life approach has been after getting over the cancer thing. Because the idea of being scared of dying is a pretty straightforward one, because it's gonna happen anyway at some point. So having had a little thought, when you get diagnosed [with] cancer, 'Oh my god, I might die.' But then you just take a step back and go, 'Do you feel sick?' And the answer is, 'Not very. Not right now.' You're not gonna die tomorrow, and you're not gonna die next week. So, in fact, what really has changed? Not a whole lot — except that you have this disease and you're gonna try and get rid of it. So, having got rid of it, I then really took the approach that it wasn't dying that was the issue, it was living. [Laughs] And living becomes even more important, because it's so amazing."
He continued: "When I got the diagnosis, I was surprised. I didn't think I would be… I thought I would be really worried about possibly never singing again, but, actually, I wasn't; it didn't concern me in the slightest. 'Cause I realized that life — all aspects of it: life, kids, family, getting up in the morning and looking at the sunshine, smelling the dead leaves in the autumn; all that stuff — was so much more precious than anything to do with work or job or anything. So, yeah, I think you just try and live every minute."
Dickinson's autobiography, "What Does This Button Do?", landed at No. 10 on the New York Times "Hardcover Nonfiction" best sellers list. It was released in the U.S. on October 31 via Dey Street Books (formerly It Books), an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Dickinson told The Guardian that he "really enjoyed writing" "What Does This Button Do?" "It was nice to be able to tell stories and give an insight into how the world looks from your perspective, in a way that is not going to be edited by strangers," he said. "So you could get a real feel for what it was like to be viewing the world through my eyes as it were. It's only a short step from that to fiction, I suppose. But this book is obviously not fiction. I tried to write it so it would read like a really good page-turning story. And, fortunately, Jack Fogg, my editor, thought the same way and he edited the book, in his words, 'like a novel,' which I found interesting.
"My memory was good — I remembered things quite graphically in vivid detail," he continued. "We could have had a 600-page book but it would have been very unwieldy. And, in fact, had I completed all the various other bits and bobs in my little notebook, we'd have had an 800-page book and I'd still be writing it at Christmas. You have to have discipline about things. Fortunately, we've kept the book really tight."