Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Alice Cooper

Music History Monday: Never Eat Anything That Can Bite You Back!

On June 5, 1977 – 46 years ago today – the shock-rock superstar Alice Cooper’s pet boa constrictor and concert co-star, a creature rather cleverly named “Julius Squeezer,” suffered what turned out to be a fatal bite from a live rat it was eating for breakfast. No doubt: Julius probably should have ordered the scrambled eggs and toast, and in doing so would have heeded the advice offered by the title of this post: “never eat anything that can bite you back.” This is a heartbreaking tale, a tragic love story between a boy and his reptile, a love story brought to an ignominious end by an alpha-rodent. But it is also a story of hope, renewal, and love rekindled, as the auditions Alice Cooper subsequently held for a replacement snake allowed him to discover his new boa, a precious girl-snake named “Angel.” Now of course we’re going to expand on this saga of reptilian eradication-by-rambunctious-rat and subsequent replacement in just a bit. But first, we’d observe two other, date-relevant items. First, we mark the birth on June 5, 1941 – 82 years ago today – of the pianist Martha Argerich, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. To my ear and mind, […]

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