Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Screech "hello" to Tico, the rock and roll parrot

Magnetic frontbird Tico, commanding the stage.
Magnetic frontbird Tico, commanding the stage.
Screenshot: Frank Maglio Tico & The Man

In bars and clubs across the world, cover bands regularly take listeners on a trip down memory lane by performing classic tracks from popular rock bands. Unfortunately, none of them, no matter how talented, have managed to turn their performances into art nearly as captivating as a tribute act comprised of guitarist Frank Maglio and his vocalist, a cool green parrot named Tico.

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Over the course of a year, Maglio and Tico, performing as Tico & The Man, have documented their jam sessions through a YouTube channel filled with musical treasures. The duo are mostly interested in ‘60s and ‘70s staples, the bird relishing any opportunity to write strange new melodies to the music of his... youth? (We don’t know when Tico was young; Parrots live a very long time.) A few of his best performances see Tico singing along to “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” and “Psycho Killer” or approximating Robert Plant on “Over The Hills And Far Away” and “Stairway To Heaven.”

Naturally, Tico really lays it all out there for “Free Bird,” hearing in it a paean to the days of his youth when the future stretched out before him like a vast plain wriggling with delicious worms.

Tico is willing to improvise on music from different eras, too. Here he is, for example, working out some theatrical new lyrics to Green Day’s “When I Come Around,” trying out as Dave Grohl’s replacement on an acoustic “Everlong” cover, and repeating what sounds like “ohh, yeah” to the tune of “Enter Sandman.”

Regardless of the songs he chooses, Tico approaches their vocal melodies with the fearlessness and love of sonic experimentation of a true musician. With this talent as the wind beneath his wings, the sky’s the limit for his career. Let’s just hope the excesses of Tico’s rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle don’t lead him down the dangerous path that overtook the lives of other celebrity parrots before him.

[via @rtnordy]

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.