It’s not a far stretch to say that IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson is hands down one of the greatest vocalists in not only metal but quite possibly the world. And the fact that he belts out classic IRON MAIDEN songs on an almost nightly basis without a teleprompter is something he takes pride in.
For those who don’t know, a teleprompter, or autocue, is a display device that prompts the person singing or speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech or script, and it is usually used by vocalists — including JUDAS PRIEST’s Rob Halford and BLACK SABBATH’s Ozzy Osbourne — who are getting older and perhaps need a little help remembering all the lyrics to such a massive body of work.
Dickinson brought this up during his spoken-word performance on Friday, March 6 at CinemaxX Hamburg-Dammtor in Hamburg, Germany, saying: (see video below): “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.'”
Bruce’s latest comments echo those he made back in 2014 in an interview with The Guardian. He said at the time: “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.”
He continued: “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.”
A few weeks after Dickinson’s The Guardian interview was published, Halford was asked about the MAIDEN frontman’s comments during a chat with Australia’s AndrewHaug.com. Rob said: “Well, the first thing I’ll say about that is Bruce Dickinson is a good mate of mine; I love him to death. I think he’s an incredible singer, he’s a great showman, he’s in a wonderful band, IRON MAIDEN, who are one of the biggest metal bands in the world. And as far as what people say about each other, I don’t think it really means that much, to be quite honest. We say whatever we say, depending on the day and the emotion that we’re at. I know Bruce’s heart is in the right place, and he just said what he said, and that’s all there is to it to comment, in that respect.”