To celebrate Bruce Dickinson’s excellent autobiography, What Does This Button Do?, we caught up with the Iron Maiden legend during his recent visit to New York City. In this all-encompassing interview, Bruce discusses his entire Iron Maiden career with blunt honestly, punctuating all of his highest and lowest points.

One revelation fans learn about in What Does This Button Do? is the moment Dickinson realized he was going to replace Paul Di’Anno in Iron Maiden. Interestingly enough, the singer knew he had the job secured during his first meeting with Maiden manager Rod Smallwood. “You didn’t need to have the tea leaves read to go and figure out what was probably gonna go on,” Dickinson says. “I wanted to make sure that I was exactly the sort of guy he wanted … I made it quite clear that I had opinions. If you don’t like them, then you can argue about them, but you’re going to have to tolerate the fact that I will come up with ideas and opinions.”

Fans may be surprised to hear that Bruce suffered serious health setbacks during his first year or so on the road with Iron Maiden, including herniated discs, paralysis of limbs, laryngitis and bacterial bronchitis. “You’re just extremely young and full of piss and vinegar,” the vocalist said about persevering through those times. “You’re 22, 23 years old. You’re unstoppable.”

Though Dickinson left Iron Maiden in 1993, he was actually contemplating quitting almost a decade earlier during the Powerslave cycle. “Off you go, there’s 300 shows. So what exactly do I get out of each show?” Dickinson explains his mindset. “After the first 100 or so, what are we doing extra? Yeah, you’re making money. That’s great, I suppose, but there’s more to life than just that, and it’s getting the balance right. At the end of Powerslave, I just thought the balance was way out of kilter for me.”

Watch Bruce Dickinson talk about his life in Iron Maiden in the exclusive interview above. If you haven't already grabbed What Does This Button Do? click here to get your copy.

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