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Except for your big cage with large pythons, it doesn't really seem like you mix different species together.

No, not too much. I've learned enough over the years that I'm pretty careful about which snakes I put together. We have problems with the big reticulated python downstairs. He's bitten three other snakes, and one of them died, so that's why he's separated from all the other pythons. The boas and pythons that do live together get along really well.

I saw a photograph recently that showed you with an anaconda. Do you know which snake I'm talking about?

Yeah, that was Clyde.

Tell me about Clyde.

Clyde was a snake that I bought when I was still living at my mom's house, so this was a while ago. I'd always loved anacondas, and I'd never seen one in a pet store or anything. And there was a local pet store that I went into one day. The little tag on one of the tanks said there was an anaconda and a retic inside. I ended up buying both of them, but I needed to work really hard to earn the money to get those two snakes. I remember I couldn't really see the anaconda because it was under a bunch of shavings, but I got so excited! That was Clyde. He bit me the first day I got him (laughs). I took him and the retic home, and I built Clyde a cage that was half water and half dry ground. It had a divider between so the water level reached a certain point.

Clyde was the first anaconda I ever owned. He went through the years of when I left home, moving from a house to an apartment. And he went through the whole period of the band making it, from the time we began, all the way through when we got a record deal and really started touring. Because I was gone a lot, I started letting him stay with different people, and he bit everyone. He never bit me a second time, but he left some scars on a few people, especially my old girlfriend (laughs).

Finally, I reached a point where I had many snakes, including a few anacondas. I had several anacondas together in the same cage, and something happened to Clyde, and he eventually died. We buried him, and it was really sad.

That was Clyde. He was very much the rock-and-roll anaconda.

So everyone in Guns N' Roses knows about Clyde?

Oh, yeah. A lot of people know about Clyde. We had another snake named Bonnie, who was a small retic, while Axl was living at my house. One night Axl was sleeping on the floor, and I woke up and couldn't sleep at about four in the morning. My snakes were kept off of one of the bathrooms, and there was a hole in the side of their cage that wasn't completely covered by a piece of wood. They would sometimes push out, crawl over the wood and come into the bedroom, which was no big deal.

But anyway, one night I woke up at four and saw this retic right next to Axl, who is sleeping on the floor. I woke Axl up and said, "Axl, don't move! Whatever you do, don't move!" (laughs). The snake was really close, just like this (Slash holds his hand in front of his face like a snake's head). This retic was just sitting there...and sitting there. And Axl's not a snake guy, man. The snake never would have bit him, but Axl didn't know that (laughs). I kept saying, "Don't move. Just stay there!" This went on for almost an hour.

So, did Axl get back to sleep that night after you put the snake away?

No. He never even slept on the floor again!

We've had snakes around the band in some way, shape or form for a long time. When we go on tour, what we do‚ÄĒor what I do‚ÄĒis go off with my security guard to zoos or snake parks or alligator farms or whatever. We go to all the museums and places like that when we have down time.

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