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Heavy Metal Rock Band Floats A Prospectus For Backers

September 4, 1987

CHICAGO (AP) _ Iron Cross isn’t listed on any stock exchange but members of the heavy metal rock group - armed with guitars, drums and a 17-page prospectus - are seeking stockholders to finance their debut album.

″They want to approach this with a business point of view, not just sit in a garage blowing their ears out,″ Mike Konopka, vice president of Seagrape Recording Studios and Iron Cross’ producer, said Thursday.

Iron Cross is popular around Chicago and Detroit, but wants to become known nationally, said Konopka, who has known the band members for five years.

Precious metals are a more typical investment than heavy metal, a loud, guitar-based form of rock music, but Konopka thinks Iron Cross is a good risk for investors.

″The radio stations are playing more and more heavy metal. The market is there,″ Konopka said.

The group needs $15,000 for a debut album, hoping to attract the attention of a big recording company which would pick up the album and sign the group, said band leader Rick Stang, who works in a bowling alley.

″I don’t want to work in a bowling alley the rest of my life. I want to play in a band,″ said Stang, 23, a guitarist who writes most of the band’s music.

The musicians sat down during the spring and wrote a prospectus explaining the music business and outlining the costs of each step of making a record, including promotion and marketing.

″If we just went out and asked for $15,000 to make a record, people would say we were crazy, but by today’s standards, $15,000 is nothing,″ Stang said.

Since the prospectus was finished in June, the group has attracted only two investors, longtime friends of the band members.

″They’re worth investing in,″ said Iron Cross investor Alex Otroszko, a home remodeler. ″These guys want to make it.″

Stockholders, with a total of $15,000 invested, get back 15 percent of any money the band receives from sales of its first four albums, Stang explained. So, a $1,000 investor would receive 1 percent of the band’s album profits.

Stang does worry that his business-like approach might turning off some of his anti-establishment fans.

″It’s a paradox, but every band has to go through it. You have to be a businessman to make it,″ he said. ″Nobody’s going to support us. You have to live by some rules and the recording companies make the rules.

″But we aren’t just singing about girls just to get a hit record. We sing about what we feel about,″ Stang said.

Their songs are about motorcycles, death, nuclear war, Vietnam veterans and GIs missing in Southeast Asia. ″We have things to say but we don’t want to preach,″ he said.

Despite lackluster investor interest, Stang isn’t throwing in the towel.

″We’re short, but we go back into the studio and put more of our own money in it,″ he said. ″It might take two years, but we’re not going to give up.″

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