Obo: OL


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Paris. Le Devoir on-line edition. March 21'04. Roy Cocteau, guitar player for the Texas group The Cheetahs was found dead in his hotel room in El Obo al-sur yesterday. The cause of death is not immediately known, although Cocteau was known to have problems with substance abuse.

Cocteau was in Obo to take part in the filming of a commercial for Sea Fever, a new fragrance by Panos Kyprios Inc., the international couture and fashion accessories company. Obo is a free-port in the coastal region of the western Sahara. In recent years Obo has been cited by the UN as a major drug and arms smuggling port and is still a disputed territory. Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania consider the former French and Spanish protectorate as ancestral property, as do the Polisari, the rebel group fighting for independence in the region.

A spokesperson for Kyprios International said, "We are saddened by what has happened. Roy was a fine musician and a talented artist who also had a background in film. He had appeared in a previous commercial for our products, although this was his first directing job."

Management for The Cheetahs in Los Angeles has so far declined comment.

The Cheetahs have three platinum records, including Guitar Canyon [1987], Club Noir [1994] and Contrabandista [2000]. Cocteau was the main song writer for the group, winning grammys for various songs, including Blue Tango, which was an international hit for Annie Lennox.

In past interviews Cocteau said he wanted to be a film maker and had directed several of the band's videos. Highly regarded for his mystical lyrics, he also published a book of poetry, Blood of the Beast.

Cocteau liked French wine and appeared in a commercial for the Bordeaux Vinters Association. He recently separated from his wife, Domino Desjardin, the daughter of Remedios Varo, the well-known Mexican flamenco dancer. They have one child, a daughter currently in school in Austin, Tx.

Roy Cocteau was 40.

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