Iron Maiden’s famously surly vocalist Bruce Dickinson let the crowd know at a pair of the band’s recent shows that he feels smoking weed in the front row disrespectful. Policing his group’s performance space may be the stage veteran’s prerogative— but the rock community was not willing to let his anti-pot rhetoric slide.
On September 21, during a show at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, the vocalist went in: "I don't know what it is," said Dickinson, as captured in a video posted by YouTube user Tanya Neely. "There's so many fucking people smoking so much fucking dope down here, I'm amazed you can even see.”
Per usual, the vocalist laid some of the blame for his outburst on bassist Steve Harris, who apparently cannot stand cannabis.
“Poor old Steve,” continued Dickinson. “I don't know if you know, but he absolutely fucking hates marijuana and the smell of it, alright? So, when he's trying to play bass, it fucks him up. It fucks me up. I'm a singer, alright? So, duh.”
Apparently, Dickinson would prefer if you left their concert to light up.
“I would just ask for a tiny bit of respect,” said the singer. “If you want to go get completely stoned out of your fucking mind, go out the back and do it. Alright? Otherwise you're going to end up like this fucking knucklehead here going 'uhhhh.'"
(Yes, that last line was delivered in a stereotypical “stoner” voice.)
Then on September 29, as reported by the site Blabbermouth, Dickinson was at it again at Maiden’s show at Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena.
“Oh, I love the smell of sweaty human fucking bodies,” he said, once again, mid-set. “It's the weird shit that you smoke that fucks me up. And the bass player. We fucking hate it. Please, if you're gonna go get fucking wrecked, fucking wreck yourself out the back and then come back, all right? 'Cause we are having a fucking great time up here and I wanna enjoy every minute of it. I don't wanna do [adopts stoner drawl], 'Where the fuck am I, dude?'"
The rock community did not let the tirades go unnoticed. On Monday, Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta took to Twitter to let Dickinson know he was being a tool.
Bruce Dickinson if you read this. Hi. You’re a great vocalist/frontman. We took your son’s band on tour. Hope you are well. Just so ya know. Lots of people like to smoke weed at outdoor concerts. WHAT DOESN’T ANNOY YOU BRO?!?! Besides flying planes? lol you might need a puff or 2— Jamey Jasta (@jameyjasta) October 24, 2022
"Bruce Dickinson if you read this. Hi. You're a great vocalist/frontman. We took your son's band on tour. Hope you are well. Just so ya know. Lots of people like to smoke weed at outdoor concerts. WHAT DOESN'T ANNOY YOU BRO?!?! Besides flying planes? Lol you might need a puff or 2".
Dickinson’s weed-induced rage is not the only high profile anti-cannabis-at-events rant that’s taken place this year. Back in August at the US Open, tennis star Nick Kyrgios protested that the fans who were smoking weed in the stands ran the risk of exacerbating his asthma. He even went so far as to complain to the line judge, mid-competition — in a stadium named for stoner jazz legend Louis Armstrong, no less!
Cover image via