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Bruce John Dickinson

 

Full Name?
Bruce John Dickinson

Job Description?
Hmmm I don’t really have one and I Like it like that. But I suppose I still think of myself as a guitar player more than anything else

Birthday?
10/05/68

The way that you live? A day in your life…?
Right now I’m having a great time as I have some free time for the first time in my life. After getting the kids to school and having three very strong coffees to wake up, having a chat with my wife, I have a look at the weather and if the wind is okay I’ll go out in the boat looking for fish. Its cod time of year now- but where I go depends on the seasons. If I’m not fishing I’ll be at home playing guitar, which I’m doing a fair bit of. I stopped playing for many years and although I was always playing stuff in my head or in my dreams , I have been putting the time in the make sure my fingers can keep up.

I like to spend time with my three kids in the evening. My youngest is two and a half and likes to bash the drums and my older ones are playing well – so we might jam a bit. My boy likes to find new music and is always showing me new bands he’s found. My kids like a lot of different styles from dance to indie to rock- so it’s good for me as I tend to listen to music from the 60’s and 70’s.

In the evenings I mull over various plans for the future and I’ll probably speak to my two business partners at some point in the day. They are good friends as well. I might have a glass of wine or two and by 10pm I want to be on the sofa watching some comedy with my wife.

A Brief history – what have you been up to since the Little Angels split in?
I was in b.l.o.w with Jimmy and Mark Rich. That was a good time and I am still proud for the two records ‘Man and Goat’ and ‘Pigs’ – or at least 50% of them.. we did tend to ramble a bit. Things got a bit dark towards the end with that lifestyle - but we all survived! After that worked really hard building up and running the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford but at the end of the day it wasn’t my business. So in 2000 I had to leave to set up Brighton Institute of Modern Music here I have been ever since with Kevin Nixon and Sarah Clayman, until very recently where we have all taken some time out to have some space and enjoy life. I am married very happily and have three kids aged 2 ½ , 12 and 13 and live near Brighton.

Influences?
My guitar playing is quite easy to figure out - Hendrix, Clapton, Peter Green, Gary Moore, Randy Rhoads and a bit of Eddie. I have reverted back to a Les Paul for most of my playing and I see myself in the tradition of British blues players, heavy left hand, lots of stress on down beats, pulling back behind the beat sometimes, and although I love say Billy Gibbons I would never swing or do that Texas shuffle thing. I don’t like it when a British player does that- sounds affected like speaking in an American accent. Other influences have been: playing in a big band when I was a kid- the conductor, Tony Turner, set many people on the path of a musical career. Also Kevin Nixon taught me the value of simple things (especially music) done well, how to design your own life and that is okay to think big and have a crack at something that might look impossible. More and more I am looking at great singers though for inspiration. Etta James for example has the depth that I am looking for and I try to get that weight into my guitar playing.

Artist/Song/Album of the moment?
I always return to Clapton’s beano album with John Mayall time and time again. New music will never resonate quite the same for me unless it's recorded on to tape (not a computer) – I think jack White is our most important contemporary blues artists. He’s the real thing. Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ is a piece of living blues. I don’t like very traditional blues from young artists- this is a living breathing expression and needs to represent our lives today. If this was desert island discs I’d want Axis Bold as Love for sure. Stuff that my kids a play to me that I like include: dead mau5, two door cinema club and Metronomy.

Movies / TV?
Not really bothered about films- but on TV I love Fresh Meat- and isn’t it time for new Mighty Boosh series? I queued up with my kids as they wanted an autograph at a signing in Brighton a couple of years ago- the guys were on tour and looked dead tired – I hope they haven’t got too fried.. I like Frankie Boyle but I fear he’s gone too far into William Burroughs territory recently. He’s got an unrelentingly bleak view of the world – I read his latest book, but I feel like I should dig a small plague pit in the garden and bury it in concrete.

What do you drive?
I really really couldn’t care less, but as you ask it’s an ancient volvo estate which I intend to run until its dead. My car needs to be able to withstand salt water, fishing stuff, amps, dogs, kids and sustained abuse. I must say the old Volvo takes some punishment! I did have a succession of pretty over the top choppers, having seen easy rider as a kid I could never bring myself to have a normal bike. But I had a few near misses, not really being very good at riding at the best of times, and crashing into a white transit on Brighton seafront I retired from biking.

Holiday destination?
I like going to Gambia, West Africa. We have helped set up some sort of home made micro finance projects to help local people start up small businesses. Many of these are still going strong and we have made many friends. I get to fish a bit and it's sunny in February.

First Job?
Little Angels

Unfulfilled ambition?
I would like to live in the moment more than I have done in the past. I am working on that..

3 People you’d like to go for a drink with?
Ozzy – I know he’d be on the orange juice, but he was a big part of my life growing up listening to Diary of Madman And Blizzard of Ozz, Lemmy I have met and spent a day with- he’s good value – I’d do that again. Jeremy Wade is an interesting angler who chases big fish around the world he would have some great fishing stories which are always the best ones...

Get on your Soapbox – What really gets on your nerves..?
I don’t know if ‘gets on my nerves’ is the right phrase, but I am deeply concerned by the approach taken by the present government and the level of vested interest that always hangs round the Tory party like a bad smell.

Favourite Little Angels song/album and why?
I think ‘Don’t Prey for Me’ has stood the test of time, and ‘Young Gods’ too. I like the live Hammersmith stuff that only came out in Japan, but some is on the big bad video.

Favourite Little Angels memory? Too many to list - the first time we had a hit and heard about it live on the radio top 40 run down on the way to a gig stands out. We did an emergency stop and ran round a field – I don’t know why we did that...

Any web links you would like us to check out? Current projects?
I disapprove of the internet (apart from ebay) but I am trying to get to grips with it a bit more and be less grumpy about it. So maybe I’ll add some links when I have something to link to...

A message to the fans?
Well it’s just amazing that you were there back in the day - I am completely blown away that the band is still remembered and can’t wait to see you all. It feels like a big responsibility to not let you all down - but LA all rehearsed last week and musically it felt right after all this time.