Salute to the commute: Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson is happiest on the move

As an international rock star, Iron Maiden's lead singer Bruce Dickinson has had to do a lot of commuting.

He told CBC's Lisa Christiansen he's been transported to shows in just about every way.

"I've been through all kinds of planes, trains, all sorts of wheels, buses, coaches … even bicycles," Dickinson said, remembering a time he cycled to a show at London's Hammersmith Apollo theatre.

"Not a single person asked for an autograph because they couldn't believe that the lead singer of Iron Maiden was just cycling past them in the queue."

By land

In the early days of Dickinson's career, while he was playing in the band Samson, one tour was accomplished on questionable — and illegal — wheels.

"We toured Scotland in a stolen car with a plastic goose strapped to the roof," he said.

"We didn't actually know the car was stolen … but on the other hand, we were so far up in the wilds of Scotland that I don't think there were any police."

In the air

The music legend is also a trained commercial airline pilot and has been flying since the 90s. He has plenty of stories from the air in his recently released memoir What Does This Button Do?

One trip involved picking up a few men belonging to a Royal Air Force regiment returning from Afghanistan.

Dickinson and his copilot delivered them home to the U.K. from Cyprus.

"It was very kind of a sombre day because they'd had a pretty hard deployment ... but when we got them to RAF Wittering, which is where they actually lived, all the wives, kids, families, everyone was out there by the side of the runway with the placards, 'Welcome home dad,' 'You're a hero.'

"Both myself and the copilot were in floods of tears; those are moments you don't forget."

Whatever the mode, Dickinson said he's happiest in transit.

Tune in to CBC radio on Boxing Day for Christiansen and Early Edition traffic reporter Amy Bell's holiday show "Going Home" — their salute to the commute.

To hear the full interview with Bruce Dickinson listen to media below:

With files from Lisa Christiansen.