Friday, August 29, 2014

Coco, the Commodore hotel parrot lives again.

Photo credit: Nick Waite
Photo credit: Nick Waite
Photo credit Eli Reed
Photo credit: Eli Reed
Do you know the story of Coco? Coco was a grey African parrot owned by the BBC correspondent Chris Drake and which sat in the lobby of the Commodore Hotel in Beirut. Coco was able to whistle the Marseillaise, the opening bars of Beethoven's 5th symphony but his specialty was imitating the incoming sound of shells (a trick every newbie journalist at the Commodore would fall for). In Feburary 1987, the hotel was raided and looted by mitiliamen and Coco was abducted in the process. Chris Drake put a reward of 10,000 LBP at the time for anyone who could bring back Coco, but to no avail.
Soon, I shall be telling the story of Coco in video art format. Stay tuned.
Below are two different accounts of Coco's vanishing for your pleasure:

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