Iron Maiden Singer Bruce Dickinson: "Civil servants, on some level, are almost institutionally prejudiced against entrepreneurial activity and risk"

At The Wall Street Journal, Anne Jolis speaks to a tenacious British businessman battling against arbitrary government regulation: Iron Maiden singer and "serial entrepreneur" Bruce Dickinson, who recently opened the airline maintenance firm Cardiff Aviation Ltd. Here’s a snippet from her superb profile of the man who went “from heavy metal to heavy industry”:

"Clearly aviation is a highly regulated industry, and it does take time for the wheels to grind," Mr. Dickinson says carefully. At first glance, he almost blends in with the dark-suited bankers milling through the courtyard of the Royal Exchange. Look closer and you'll spot the rocker, his navy suit in pinwale corduroy, the hair a good two fingers longer than City standard.

While governments like to tout their courtship of skilled manufacturing jobs, in practice "civil servants, on some level, are almost institutionally prejudiced against entrepreneurial activity and risk," Mr. Dickinson goes on. "Of course nobody wants to return to the dark ages, no one wants to return to fundamentally unsafe work practices." But he warns that overregulation and the burgeoning "health and safety thing" add up to "an industry that is eating itself, that has been created and is creating an entire industry which will eventually consume manufacturing and retailing."

The result is that Cardiff Aviation, for instance, currently has "five million dollars worth of heavy engineering machinery—we have enough stuff in our hangar to build an airliner, let alone maintain it," says Mr. Dickinson. But the company is still waiting on its certifications for heavy-duty work, and in the meantime, "we can't afford to have people sitting around doing nothing."

Read the whole thing here.

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  • ||

    Here's a relatively recent interview with Bruce where he talks about how taxes suck. Pt1 Pt2

  • ||

    I almost went to see them last year, and it was a nostalgia tour too. DAMN IT

  • tarran||

    Iron Maiden's Age of Innocence

    I can't be compromising in my thoughts no more
    I can't prevent the times my anger fills my heart
    I can't be sympathyzing with a new lost cause
    I feel I've lost my patience with the world and all

    And all the politicians and their hollow promises
    And all the lies, deceit and shame that goes with it
    The working man pays everything for their mistakes
    And with his life too if there was to be a war

    Chorus:
    So we only get one chance can we take it
    And we only get one life can't exchange it
    Can we hold on to what we have don't replace it
    The age of innocence is fading..... Like an old dream


    A life of petty crime gets punished with a holiday
    The victims' minds are scarred for life most everyday
    Assailants know just how much further they can go
    They know the laws are soft conviction chances low

    Chorus

    You can't protect yourselves even in your own home
    For fear of vigilante cries the victims wipe their eyes
    So now the criminals they laugh right in our face
    Judicial system lets them do it, a disgrace

    Despondent public worries where it all will end
    We can't protect ourselves our kids from crime the trend
    We cannot even warn each other of evil in our midst
    They have more rights than us, you cannot call that just

    Chorus

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    The result is that Cardiff Aviation, for instance, currently has "five million dollars worth of heavy engineering machinery—we have enough stuff in our hangar to build an airliner, let alone maintain it," says Mr. Dickinson. But the company is still waiting on its certifications for heavy-duty work, and in the meantime, "we can't afford to have people sitting around doing nothing."


    Seems like a lot of...wasted years.

  • ||

    It looks like Bruce just doesn't want to be a powerslave.

  • tarran||

    He's trying to be a Rainmaker.

    Unfortunately, he can't just be Falling Down; he has to be a Trooper and Duel the bureaucracy - then he can kick back and relax Back in the Village.

  • tarran||

    I just hope he doesn't give up the fight and Run to the Hills.

  • BakedPenguin||

    He might, British taxes are Killers. I can see where he'd prefer to be Running Free rather than wind up being The Prisoner of such stifling laws.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    He won't give up. He'd rather Die With Your His Boots On.

  • Trespassers W||

    No, he believes that only Fairies Wear Boots, because he's an Iron Man.

    Am I doing it right?

  • ||

    No. You seem to be Caught Somewhere in Time. Nonetheless, Never Say Die.

  • ||

    Believe it or not, "Caught Somewhere in Time" just went by on my Pandora.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Way to be a Trooper though

  • AlmightyJB||

    Already done. Doh!

  • SusanM||

    On taxes he does know the number of the beast

  • Coeus||

    "we can't afford to have people sitting around doing nothing."

    His solution? More cowbell.

  • ||

    Wrong Bruce Dickinson!

    Of course both of them, once their pants are on, make gold records.

  • Coeus||

    So I'm to assume that we will not be given gold-plated diapers?

  • Blueman||

    Darn, you beat me to it!

  • ||

    My UPT patch! Reese 90-10

  • JeremyR||

    He worked as a commercial pilot while away from Iron Maiden.

    If there is a more atypical rock star, I don't know of it.

  • ||

    He's also a really, really good fencer. Like, champion or something. Foil, though; The Riker of weapons.

  • Paul.||

    The Dane Cook of weapons.

  • Jumbie||

    Queen's Brian May, University professor and general soft spoken gent?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Or, what about the guy from Iron Butterfly that was a physicist and disappeared mysteriously?

    The guy from the offspring has a Phd in molecular biology, as well.

  • Paul.||

    Fun fact: I rode on the plane back to the states from England with Iron Maiden as they kicked off their World Slavery Tour. They got really drunk.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I knew a lot of aviation students. They were all really drunk.

  • Paul.||

    Before or after takeoff?

  • ||

    Or?

  • Suellington||

    This guy is great. I knew he was a pro pilot, but didn't know about his entrepreneurial activities. He has some great lines in the interview. I especially liked that he "would cheerfully pay the amount of tax I do at the moment if I didn't pay it to the government."

    That is solid gold.

  • Brian from Texas||

    An '80s metal-head with some working brain matter to go with it. Very inspiring.

  • ||

    Bruce Dickinson is fucking awesome. In addition to being an accomplished fencer who's competed internationally, he's also certified as an airline transport pilot, and personally piloted a chartered 757 (Ed Force One) for Iron Maiden's 2008-2009 tour.

  • entropy||

    He also owns and drives a bunch of tanks.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Up the Irons!

  • attractions guide||

    I agree with the opinion

  • Tablet pc||

    This seems so good, i would like to see it.

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