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Calling Bill Gates, the dance remix

A besotted German techie's repeated attempts to call Bill Gates and complain about Windows 95 becomes the stuff of song.

Bill Gates is now officially a cultural icon. He has his own pop song.

"Calling Bill Gates" made its exclusive debut this week at Spiegel Online, the Web site of popular German weekly magazine Der Spiegel. The song chronicles one Manuel Tessloff's attempt to reach the Microsoft chief and complain about Windows 95.

After an abortive evening on the postage-stamp sized dance floor of a smoky Hamburg dive, Tessloff and two friends began a conversation that drifted from love and politics to "being folks of the '90s," interface design, bus speeds, and Windows 95, according to the Spiegel Online report. When one of the party compared Windows 95 to a disastrous expansion of the Frankfurt airport, Tessloff and two friends decided it was time to call the Microsoft chief.

The trio wired the telephone to a stereo and chose the American among them to do the talking. By this point, the beers had disappeared. After a panicked search, the drinks were located in the refrigerator. Loading a 90-minute tape, "just in case," the three took turns punching out Microsoft's number with shaking hands.

The rest of the story, including the receptionist's pleas they stop calling, is immortalized in song.

Like filmmaker Michael Moore, who in his documentary film Roger and Me never reaches General Motors president Roger Smith to ask why he closed the GM plant in Moore's hometown, neither did Tessloff and crew reach Gates.

Nevertheless, the song has become an instant Net underground sensation. Spiegel Online has been mobbed by Netheads from Africa, Australia, the United States, and all over Europe looking to download the mellow rap, said executive editor Klaus Madzia.

For his part, Tessloff couldn't be more thrilled. He's already planning the jungle remix. Stay tuned.