Fans of Iron Maiden expecting a biography of the band from Bruce’s perspective will be left very disappointed. Rather, What Does This Button Do? focuses on Bruce’s early life that turned him onto singing, his early bands, passion for fencing, solo career, flying, and finally his battle with cancer. Any mention of Maiden (if any) were relegated to short paragraphs, and he somehow manages to relate them to his fencing and/or flying.
What Does This Button Do? is packed full of anecdotes that leave one chuckling at his dry-witted humour, even through the more morbid sections of his biography like his fight with cancer. Also, we learn about the not-so-glamorous lifestyle of a band as professional as Iron Maiden, and trivia such as the origins of his nickname, the “Air-Raid Siren”.
While Bruce may be known to many as a singer, and for his musical output, What Does This Button Do? shows his path towards a successful fencer, and more importantly, a pilot with a huge passion for aircraft and flying. There are some lessons to be learned by fans, as Bruce shows how the life lessons picked up through his different ventures have affected him and aided his growth as a performer, and vice versa.
As already prefaced, What Does This Button Do? is hardly a book that is about Bruce Dickinson as just the singer of Iron Maiden. There is so much more than that here, and it almost feels as though Bruce gets more excited talking about his flying than his musical masterpieces, giving fans a treat to a different side of his life.