February 16, 2011 | 8:41am
Perhaps this week's post is a more pathetic cautionary tale than a bona-fide WTF. In any event, it demonstrates that iconic stars everywhere might benefit from the stern help of M*A*S*H's own Mike Farrell, who once consulted fallen stars on how to manage their fortunes.
The focus of this particular post is former Iron Maiden singer Paul Di'Anno
. Yahoo Music reported yesterday
he pleaded guilty to defrauding the British government out of 45,000 pounds (approximately $60,000 U.S.).
Reportedly, Di'Anno, who served as Maiden's lead vocalist between 1978 and 1981, told Britain's Department of Work and Pensions in 2001 that he suffered from sciatica and could no longer work.
But Di'Anno was caught when a YouTube video surfaced in 2006 of him jumping around onstage with another band.
The fellow behind the fraud:
For those of you not in the know, Di'Anno contributed to Maiden's success during 1981's Killers. This was a fertile time for Britain's new wave of metal, which included Judas Priest, Def Leppard and Motörhead. It was on this album that he showcased his wicked howl, which laid the groundwork for replacement vocalist Bruce Dickinson's high-tenored yelp. He even shared credit on the album for co-writing the song "Killers," a galloping face melter and standout track.
A 7-inch demo produced in 1979 titled The Soundhouse Tapes that features Di'Anno is so desirable to this day pristine copies are $600 on eBay.
Following his departure from the band, allegedly due to heavy drug abuse, Di'Anno embarked on several solo and group projects. He opened an Internet café in England and ran a hotel. He also moved to Brazil, where he lived for several years. So what happened?
This isn't the story of some guy who, dejected by failure, crawled into a gutter to face the loss of his toes to hungry hoardes of rats. Rather, he persevered due in part to a small chunk of change from his stint with Iron Maiden.
Yet, for whatever reason--poor financial planning, addiction or a blatant disregard for the well- being of the British commonwealth--Di'Anno fucked up. This isn't to say redemption isn't on the horizon. While the judge hearing his case remarked on his good sense to plead guilty to the charges he faced, he also warned Di'Anno to prepare to live in a jail cell for awhile. Maybe he will find clarity and become a better human being--and crawl out of the metaphorical gutter he made for himself.