Video: Bruce Dickinson Confronts (But Doesn’t Break) Iron Maiden’s Chinese Censorship Rules Onstage in Shanghai


On Tuesday, we posted about Iron Maiden having played their first-ever Chinese show in Bejing this past weekend. The band was in fact censored by the Chinese government, though not egregiously; certainly rules they abided by included cutting pyro from their set, changing some lyrics, and not swearing.

Tuesday night, the band played Shanghai, and that night Bruce Dickinson actually discussed the band’s censorship onstage, and though he didn’t, say, burn a picture of Chairman Mao onstage, he did poke fun at the rules the band was forced to abide by.

You can watch the video below, but here’s the highlight:

“It’s great to be here tonight. It’s great to be in China tonight, I tell ya. We ripped it up in Beijing, and we thought, ‘Ooh, that was a bit serious,’ you know. So they had a few rules, so we kind of stuck by the rules, and we didn’t do any swearing. You know what I mean? There’s another thing I can’t do. See if you can guess what it is later on. But we don’t really give a [mouths the word ‘shit’] about all that kind of stuff, because, you know what?

You’re such a cheeky bastard, Bruce. I love the shit out of you.

The most important thing is the music, the most important thing is that we are here, and you are here, and we are gonna have a great [mouths the word ‘fucking’] time!”

While I agree that Iron Maiden’s Chinese rules were bullshit, and that the Chinese Communist government restricting art at all is horrible, I also kind of admire these dudes for working within the boundaries they were given. It does Chinese metalheads no good if Bruce feels the need to act like a dick onstage and the government forbids the band from ever playing China again. As Dickinson mentions, it’s all about the fans getting to see good music.

Watch the video below, followed by a video of the band’s live intro. Hopefully Maiden will be able to bring an insane pyrotechnic show full of inappropriate language when they return to the People’s Republic.


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