Bruce Dickinson and Me

Retrospect can be a cloudy lens.

The modern day Ozzie Osborne is regarded as a kind of fluffy, benign, Uncle Fester. Crumbling British rock stars trade their bus passes for multi millions on the American tour circus and pot-bellied fans spend their children’s inheritance on tickets and merchandise. All seemingly oblivious now, to the edgy past and general shenanigans of their rocky-excessive pasts. Cloudy lens indeed!

I was never a rockery type per se. Well most people I knew fancied  themselves as some sort of misunderstood intellectual, so I shuffled over to that particular camp. Saves a lot of explaining, and you don’t need trendy clothes!

However in the tortured Venn diagrams that link humanity together, I found myself at an intersection with a rock God.

In Venn speak: A ∩ B

Harry ∩ Bruce Dickinson out of Iron Maiden

It must be around twenty five years ago, before the days when such a chance encounter would have led to a million tweets and FB selfies. Back then  it led to people actually talking to each other.

Bruce was a very accomplished fencer and competed, when time and schedule allowed in various tournaments. This, as you may have guessed, was our Venn intersection. Though this was not some World Grade A in Berlin or Madrid, but an Open tournament in Largs, Scotland. Still, you take your fame where you can. Our team were one short for an event so Jim, my mate, asked Bruce Dickinson if he’d step into the breach. The first and only time The Iron maiden frontman was ever at a loose end! Bruce thought about it and for a second was genuinely interested.

“Sorry,” he said remembering something vaguely important, “got a concert in Paris later and we fly out of Prestwick in two hours”.

As excuses go this was a good one. So without a team event we headed for the shower. Jim, Bruce and me.

There are ageing rockers, and then there is Bruce Dickinson. Erudite, well-spoken, talented and personable. Totally charming in a very English way, and so very unlike most of his peers. He bade us farewell, and we wished him well for the concert.

Bruce turned towards Paris as Jim and myself went to the post-tournament bar.

Retrospect was about to get cloudy.




2 thoughts on “Bruce Dickinson and Me

  1. I too, had an intersection with B.D. when I was fencing at an Orange Coast division tournament in Southern California. I was in 12th grade, and he hit it off with team Haacke Und Slaasche as several of my high school teammates were wearing Iron Maiden T-shirts that day (mind you, this was back in 1985). He offered up backstage passes to our entire team for his concert that evening, but alas, our Coach declined, since taking a bunch of high school kids backstage to an Iron Maiden concert was not what our parents signed off for on the permission slips. Yes, he is indeed charming, and what a great memory!


    • Thank you! 😉 What surprised us at the time was that he had a laptop at the tournament. We’d only ever seen super-business men with them. And never out of the workplace.

      Bet you wish you’d gone backstage now. Good memory too!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s