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Bruce Dickinson Hater Gave Singer His Nickname

Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson revealed that he got his nickname “The Air-Raid Siren” from a complaint letter written by an angry fan after his first shows with the band.

While discussing his recently published autobiography What Does This Button Do? with Eddie Trunk on SiriusXM, Dickinson recounted how manager Rod Smallwood responded to an early form of trolling after Iron Maiden’s first concerts with the newly hired Dickinson, who replaced Paul Di’Anno in 1982.

“Obviously you didn’t get trolled like you get trolled now on a professional basis on websites and things, ‘cause there weren’t any,” Dickinson said. “But you did get letters of complaint, which was similar to a troll. So this guy saw me doing the show at the Rainbow Theatre when I just joined Maiden, and we did five warm-up shows, culminating in one in London. He wrote a letter saying, ‘I hate this new singer. It’s like listening to all my favorite songs being played through an air-raid siren!’ And so Rod went, ‘Brilliant! The human air-raid siren!’ And that was how he invented the name.” You can check out the video above.

In another clip, which you can watch below, the singer recalled Iron Maiden’s attempts to secure horror-movie icon Vincent Price to speak the vocal introduction to the title track of The Number of the Beast. Dickinson said a representative of the actor told them, “Mr Price doesn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000.” So they decided to book another performer.

“It’s an actor who used to read the ghost story on a radio station in London,” Dickinson recalled. “I said, ‘Why don’t we use this guy? He sounds kinda like Vincent Price.’ And he was like $300. … The guy came in and I was there when he was doing it. He did like 10 takes and every single one was gold, and Martin [Birch, producer] just said, ‘Thank you very much, here’s $300, see ya!’”

What Does This Button Do? was published last month. Iron Maiden will release The Book of Souls: Live Chapter on Nov. 17. The concert film is set to premiere for free on YouTube on Nov. 11.

Next: Top 10 Iron Maiden Songs

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