A true internet story.

Once there was an newsgroup called alt.rock-n-roll.metal.ironmaiden, or some such silliness. Most of the traffic in the group, no doubt, concerned guitar tablatures and rare bootlegs. Then one day, a humble post asked readers to http://come.to/haaz.

The link led to Anton Gustavssons hemsida. There, to the delight of some, to the bewilderment of most, were found amazingly personal renditions of Iron Maiden songs.

This kid Anton Gustavsson had recorded himself singing such Iron Maiden hits as "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son", and "Die With Your Boots On". His accompaniment was the most squarewaved MIDI interpretations of heavy metal one could squeeze out of PC speakers. After waiting nearly an hour to download "Alexander The Great" from Gothenburg,Sweden, no doubt the listener would chuckle hearing Anton struggling to sound like Bruce Dickinson. There's really only so much Windows Sound Recorder can do.

All told, there were about 20 songs in mp3. The website also featured Anton's programs, some written for the Atari ST. One could look in the vast photo archive for pictures of Anton's family (Anton's sister with her boyfriend, his father Ingemar amongst the Rowanberries). For English speakers, there was much to read, including Anton's list of favorite things ("my computer, girls, and to sleep"). There was also a guestbook quickly filling with comments from abroad.

It's a common Rock-and-Roll tale. It's better to burn out than to fade away. Perhaps he couldn't handle the newfound international celebrity, or perhaps the clamor of the metalhead put downs grew too loud. For whatever reason, Anton pulled the plug.

Or maybe he just wanted to make some money. The English version of the website is gone, but you can find your way to the Anton Maiden link to sample clips from a CD called Anton Maiden - Anton Gustavsson Tolkar Iron Maiden. The CD can be purchased from Lunacy Records in Malmö, Sweden. It costs US$13 + US$8.5, and it's well worth it, I say. Lucky for me, though, I made a bootleg copy from the mp3's. It pays to read alt.rock-and-roll.ironmaiden.

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