Bruce Dickinson Shares Pete Townshend’s Eye-Opening Observation About Rock Stars

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Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson recently joined an interview with Psycho Schizo Espresso and discussed being a world-renowned rock icon. Dickinson revealed that the Who’s Pete Townshend‘s observation about rock stars’ power helped him understand how he should act.

Pete Townshend came to the fore in the music scene as the guitarist and principal songwriter of the Who. Besides writing more than 100 songs, he played multiple instruments while recording the band’s albums, including guitar, keyboard, and accordion. He reached a broad audience by collaborating with other names and his works with the band.

As a name who experienced the peak in the rock scene, he closely witnessed the lives of rock stars which shaped his perspective in life. Townshend became interested in spirituality and read the Indian spiritual master Meher Baba’s writings which even influenced the Who’s fourth studio album ‘Tommy.’

The guitarist analyzed how the lifestyles of rock stars changed with increasing popularity and was also against the usage of psychedelic drugs. He passed on his knowledge to future generations, and Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson was one of those inspired by his ideas.

In a recent interview, Dickinson discussed the ‘groupie’ concept in the rock world, remembering what Townshend said to him. The Iron Maiden singer revealed that the rockers were known for their relationships with groupies, especially in the ’80s. As he said, he was enlightened when Pete Townshend noted that the breaking point occurs when the rock stars realize the power in their hands.

Bruce Dickinson said the following:

“We toured with bands who were like that, and they’d look at us like we were just weird. Yeah, obviously, we all had girlfriends, and sometimes you had girlfriends who were temporary girlfriends. But I don’t like it when there’s this undercurrent of abuse. It was Pete Townshend, who knows a bit about abuse, I think, because he underwent quite a lot of it, and he said — and it clicked for me — he said, ‘The big moment is when you realize that you can manipulate people because of who you are.'”

The Iron Maiden icon discussed Townshend’s words further and said that the rockers initially do not understand people’s willingness to sleep with them due to their fame. According to him, when well-known people realize that they can influence people this way, it becomes a situation that can significantly affect their own lives.

The musician said that when they recognize this ‘power,’ it can turn into something that will harm them, and gave some names from the Hollywood scene who are convicted as sex offenders. He added that when this ‘power’ is combined with drugs, the person becomes astray.

Bruce Dickinson continued:

“Because when you first start out, you don’t have any realization that people might want to sleep with you because you’re onstage. You think they want to sleep with you because they want to sleep with you, because it might be nice and because they like you. And often, that’s true. And yes, there are some people that want you as a notch on the bedpost, just as some guys have that same thing with women, and, yeah, we’ve all been guilty of it, no doubt.

But there comes the point, which is incredibly corrupting and corrosive, in which you suddenly go, ‘Hang on a minute. You can actually kind of click your fingers and make things happen.’ And that’s a really scary moment, to realize that that power exists. And that’s why Harvey Weinstein and all the rest of it, and the whole Hollywood thing.

So that awareness of that, that’s when it becomes corrupt. I mean, the guy… What’s his name? R. Kelly, who’s been convicted, I think. It’s the same thing for actors as well. And then when you throw in a bucket of mood-altering drugs into the equation, then the wheels really come off the bus.”

You can check out the interview below.