In a recent interview with “Nights With Alice Cooper” producer Katherine Turman, IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson, who was in New York City on September 11, 2001, recounted his memories of the tragedy exactly fourteen years since the terrorist attacks on 9/11. You can watch the clip below.
Dickinson told Travel Trade Gazette back in 2012 about his experience that fateful day: “I’d just completed my line training and was all signed off to fly, and was in New York with the band. It was a really sunny day, and I was sitting on the roof of the hotel by the pool. I had a Boeing 757 manual on my lap, reading up, when a little old lady walked up to the pool attendant and asked if it was true that a plane had flown into the twin towers. I thought it must have been a small private plane, and went back to my reading. Then more people arrived, and someone said it was some sort of airliner, and I thought, ‘Oh boy…'”
The singer described to “Nights With Alice Cooper” the scene he witnessed shortly after the World Trade Center towers came down. He said: “It was strange, because there was no panic of anybody. Everybody was just… There was just an air of ‘unreality.’ There was no traffic. It was a lovely day — a beautiful day — and I was just walking around and looking at people. People were drinking at bars, having a beer. And it got to the evening, and it was obviously pretty somber. Nobody was cracking any jokes; there were no funnies about this one. And to this day, I can’t think of any.”
He continued: “I wandered around the next day and I thought, ‘I don’t know what to do now. I’ll go and give some blood.’ So I had a wander around and found some way to go and give blood. And it was queuing around the block. And all they were doing was the guy was coming around saying, ‘Okay, here you go. Come back tomorrow. We don’t need any blood. There are no survivors.’ So I went and wrote a piece of paper saying, ‘If we need your blood, we’ll give you a call.'”
Dickinson went on to say: “Then the wind changed. And this, kind of, pall of gray shit started slowly advancing up towards Midtown. And up ’till then, upper Manhattan up by Central Park, you couldn’t smell it. And I was out taking a walk, just walking around, because there was nothing else to do. And I could smell this acrid smell and I thought, “I’m not sure whether or not being in an air-conditioned building is better for you or it makes no difference whatsoever, but you know what? I’m gonna go sit in my room, ’cause this has got bad shit in it, this stuff.’ And, of course, they’re now discovering exactly how much awful stuff was in it. I mean, I just got a quick sniff of it.”
IRON MAIDEN‘s new album, “The Book Of Souls”, was released globally on September 4 through Parlophone Records (Sanctuary Copyrights/BMG in the U.S.). The CD includes “Empire Of The Clouds”, an 18-minute track penned by Dickinson, who was recently given the all-clear after being diagnosed with a tumor on his tongue late last year.