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What's one thing that really pisses off Bruce Dickinson? The Final Countdown being played badly on the saxophone, of course

Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden
(Image credit: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

If you were one of the lucky ones, lockdown wasn't a totally heinous experience. Although we were all confined to our homes with the threat of a deadly virus looming overhead, for some, the enforced time out from "real life" meant a chance to finally attempt some much-needed relaxation.

The word 'attempt' is doing a lot of heavy lifting here, however, as recent revelations from Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson have shown. Dickinson has shared that the "novelty" of lockdown wore off pretty quickly due to one unexpected – but pretty amusing – factor. He was plagued by the unending sound of a saxophonist repeatedly playing Europe's cheese-rock anthem The Final Countdown in a nearby apartment. 

In conversation with Rolling Stone over Iron Maiden's new album Senjutsu, the frontman explained that at the start of the pandemic, he was rather enjoying himself, as he was staying at his girlfriend's apartment in France.

"The sun was out for the first part of it, and it was like a novelty at first," he explains. "I was stuck in Paris in my girlfriend’s apartment, and the worst thing was we have a very small balcony, and there was a guy in the apartment above us who insisted on practicing his saxophone every five o’clock in the afternoon, doing the world’s worst The Final Countdown. It’s like waking up by a shotgun, you know?" 

Honestly, it could have been worse Brucey, and besides, The Final Countdown makes for one hell of a motivational song to wake up to. 

Elsewhere in the interview, the Maiden leader opens up about his annoyance with it comes to stumbling across incorrect information about himself on the internet. When referencing the fact that it's been some 40 years since he first auditioned to front Iron Maiden, he says, "‘According to the internet’ … well, there you go. I looked at my net worth the other day, and I was like, 'Holy shit, I’m worth four times what Steve Harris is worth. I must have written a whole bunch of songs I never knew about.’

"So, no, a lot of it’s bullshit. But they are okay on dates sometimes. So yeah, it is probably around 40 years.”

Speaking of the two auditions, Dickinson explains “The first one was just in a rehearsal room. They asked me to learn four songs, and I thought, ‘Well, they’ve only got two albums. I’ll learn them all.’ … And then they had to go off and do some gigs with the old singer [Paul Di’Anno] in Sweden. So I thought, ‘Well, that must be kind of difficult because they just had this kind of very fun day with me.’

“And then they came back and said, ‘Okay, well, we fired him, and so now we want to give you a test in a recording studio just to make sure we’re not hearing things.'

"So we all went down to a UFO concert, I think, at a theater somewhere, and drank a lot of beer. And then the rest is history. The hard work actually began the next day.”

Iron Maiden's Senjutsu album is out now, and Iron Maiden are currently on the cover of Metal Hammer magazine (opens in new tab).

Liz Scarlett
Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music. '10 bands that rip off Black Sabbath but get away with it' is her favourite article she's written with Louder so far. When not writing, Liz enjoys various creative endeavours such as graphic design, as well as reading about rock’n’roll history, art and magic.