Bruce Dickinson admits he gets nervous before Iron Maiden concerts: ‘I Keep A Copy Of The Lyric Sheet Backstage’

Author Jad - 27.1.2022

During an appearance on a recent episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast, hosted by FOZZY frontman and wrestling superstar Chris Jericho, Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson admitted that he still suffers from stage fright.

I get nervous right before I go on stage with Iron Maiden, especially at the beginning of a tour. Once you’re sort of, like, five or six, seven shows into the tour, you’re kind of back into the routine. So you kind of know what’s gonna happen. But the big fear, especially for a singer, is that you walk on stage and open your mouth and garbage comes out, or nothing at all. And that’s irrational, but it’s valid. So just own up to it. I mean, I keep a copy of the lyric sheet backstage. I never look at it, but if I knew it wasn’t there, I’d freak out. Then every tour, once I get to, like, six or seven shows in, the training wheels come off and I leave it in the wardrobe case. But the one-man show’s a bit different because it’s just you, and if you stop, it all stops. If I forget the words [while performing with Iron Maiden], the band carries on

Bruce Dickinson

Two years ago, Dickinson called out singers who use teleprompters during live performances, saying:

I don’t use an autocue on stage. A lot of singers now, they just have the words there: ‘Breaking the law, breaking the law, breaking the law, breaking the law, breaking the law, breaking the law, breaking the law.’ Breaking the what? ‘Breaking the law. Breaking the law.’

Judas Priest‘s Rob Halford and Black Sabbath‘s Ozzy Osbourne are known to use teleprompters on stage to assist with remembering all those lyrics from all those songs.

I never realized that people were using autocues. What the fuck is that all about? People pay good money and you can’t even remember the sodding words.”

The daftest one I ever saw was [Judas Priest‘s] “Breaking The Law”. It’s on the fucking autocue. ‘Breaking the law, breaking the law/Breaking the law, breaking the law/Breaking the law, breaking the law/Breaking the law’ — guess what? — ‘breaking the law.’ It’s ludicrous.”

The now-63-year-old vocalist in a 2014 interview with The Guardian

Check out the Talk Is Jericho podcast episode here.