HE is rock star Alice Cooper’s go-to guy for showbusiness serpents when touring the UK and Europe.
But snake-owning superfan Bill Crowe from Haddington is counting his losses after his van packed with Cooper memorabilia was pinched from a London street – hours before the rocker’s gig at Alexandra Palace.
Thankfully Bill’s 8ft-longboa constrictor Dali wasn’t among the stolen loot as she was living the high life in a nearby hotel. But Alice Cooper has now appealed for the safe return of the Mazda Bongo camper van and musical keepsakes – thought to be worth a total of £11,000 – on behalf of his friend.
A message on the singer’s website asks all fans to “keep their eyes and ears open” for Bill’s missing mementos and adds that “luckily ‘Dali’ was at the hotel and so safe, but we would love to catch these creeps so if anyone does hear anything please let us know”.
Loyal fan Bill, an NHS staff nurse who takes annual leave to coincide with his hero’s UK tour dates, has been supplying snakes to Alice Cooper for the last 13 years and said he was chuffed the rock star would help publicise his plight.
“I was delighted when I saw that,” said Bill at Cooper’s Hallowe’en Night of Fear Concert at SECC in Glasgow.
He added: “I’m in a very fortunate position because over the years I’ve got to know Alice’s previous personal assistant and now know everyone in the band.
“They are always asking if they can use the snake when they are in the UK and I get to go on tour with the band.
“I’ve been a massive fan since I was 14 – I’m now 54.
“If you told me 40 years ago this was going to happen I would have laughed in your face but now Alice knows who I am and I’ve met him many times. It’s all worked out very well for me that way.”
But Bill wasn’t so fortunate on Saturday when thieves made off with his van and nearly 40 years’ worth of rock memorabilia including signed pictures, vinyl, custom leather jackets and merchandise.
“I had been for a bit of breakfast and came back 20 minutes later and the van was gone,” said Bill. “It was parked about 75 yards from a police station in broad daylight.
“I was praying it would be in the pound but it was obviously stolen.”
He added: “The police said it might have been better if the snake had been in the van because it might have acted as a deterrent. I just hope all my memorabilia hasn’t been dumped.”