Ny Post: Real Swing Music About Koko

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Postby Gisele » Mon Nov 18, 2002 7:48 pm

She's friends with Leonardo DiCaprio, reads Vogue, has been the subject of documentaries and just released her first CD.

She's Koko, the "talking" gorilla.

The 31-year-old lowland gorilla, who lives at California's Gorilla Foundation under the care of Dr. Francine "Penny" Patterson, "speaks" American sign language and has a vocabulary of more than 1,000 words.

She named her album "Fine Animal Gorilla" - the way she refers to herself. But don't expect her to do any press - Koko's handlers insist "she doesn't do interviews."

Koko's lyrics were compiled from conversations she had with her keepers, then mixed with tunes - ranging from rap to reggae - by her label, the Laurel Canyon Animal Co., which has produced such animal CDs as "Catatonic" and "I'm a Green Chicken."

The title track goes:

Dr. Penny found me when I was just a baby

Took me under her wing, she's such a pretty lady

And in a short time she taught me how to sign

She taught me how to paint cause she's so fine

And I am Fine Animal Gorilla.

It took months for the album to get the gorilla's final approval. But she is not putting her international film career on hold for the music business. Today, a documentary starring Koko and DiCaprio screens at the London Opera House, at a benefit for lowland gorillas.

And the CD has edge:

"I'm on a mission, and before it's too late

I need to find me a hubby, gotta get me a mate

I want to make me a baby, and I don't mean maybe

I'll say it straight, I need to procreate.

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