Pink Floyd pigs

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The giant inflatable pig of The Dark Side of the Moon Live tour at Coachella Music Festival on April, 2008.

Inflatable flying pigs were one of the staple props of Pink Floyd's live shows. The first was a sow, but a very obviously male pig appeared in the 1980s. Pigs appeared numerous times in concerts by the band, promoting concerts and record releases, and on the cover of their 1977 album Animals.

The image rights for the pigs passed to Roger Waters when he split from the rest of the group,[1] though the pigs continued to be used by both post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd and Roger Waters in their gigs.

Animals[edit]

Algie replica flying over the Battersea Power Station on 26 September 2011

The original Pink Floyd pig was designed by Roger Waters and built in December 1976 by the artist Jeffrey Shaw with help of design team Hipgnosis,[2] in preparation for shooting the cover of the Animals album. Plans were made to fly the 12-metre (40 ft), helium-filled balloon over Battersea Power Station on the first day's photo-shoot, with a marksman prepared to shoot the pig down if it broke free. However, the pig was not launched.

On the second day, the marksman wasn't present because no one had told him to return. The pig broke free due to a strong gust of wind on the third day, gaining a lot of press coverage. It disappeared from sight within five minutes, and was spotted by airline pilots at thirty thousand feet in the air.[3] Flights at Heathrow Airport were cancelled as the huge inflatable pig flew through the path of aircraft, eastwards from Britain and out over the English Channel, finally landing on a rural farm in Kent that night.[3]

The pig was recovered and repaired for the resumption of photography for the album cover, but the sky was cloudless and blue, thus "boring". However, the pictures of the sky from the first day were suitable; eventually, the album cover was created using a composite of photos from the first and third days.[4]

The pig that was originally floated above Battersea Power Station was called "Algie".[5][6]

In the Flesh[edit]

After the album Animals was released in 1977, Pink Floyd began their "In the Flesh" tour. During concerts, the pig appeared around the PA stacks in a cloud of black smoke during performances of "Pigs (Three Different Ones)".

The Wall[edit]

Backdrop from a Pink Floyd tour

The pig also appeared during each of Pink Floyd's The Wall concerts, black instead of pink, with a crossed hammers logo on its side.[citation needed] Waters would occasionally refer to it directly before "Run Like Hell" (the pig appeared during the end of the previous song, "In the Flesh"). A short speech in reference to either the pig or the song was given in every show, with each speech being different; this oddity has been used by bootleggers to identify which date a recording of the Wall tour was made.[citation needed] At the Berlin concert, it was only the head and it had fangs and red eyes.[7]

Pink Floyd's use of the pig post-Roger Waters[edit]

For the 1987-1989 tour, the band added testicles to the pig, which David Gilmour has said was an attempt to get around Roger Waters having the image rights for the pig.[1]

The pig briefly appeared on 10 June 1988 at Beaujoire stadium in Nantes, France; it flew above the crowd for a very short time, after which it was seen to deflate.

The pig is shown to be flown over the audience during the performance of One of These Days in the Delicate Sound of Thunder concert video, where it appears black with illuminated eyes.

Pink Floyd added a 'deflated' pig to Roger Waters' auction of animation art from the film The Wall at Christie's London, on 21 September 1990, but the lot was withdrawn before the auction started.[citation needed]

During the 1994 tour, two warthog-like pigs with protruding tongues were shown at the top of the stage side's speaker towers, sometimes just deflated, sometimes dropped on the ground after "One of These Days". This was also during Pulse, but for the VHS, Laserdisc and DVD releases, footage of the pigs falling was edited out.

The pig made another appearance before the release of Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd, when Capitol Records flew a replica of the original pig from Animals over the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood, California.[citation needed]

One damaged inflatable pig, believed to be from the 1988 Pink Floyd tour, was repaired by Nga Keith and flown again over a concert by the band The String Cheese Incident in Austin, Texas on 20 September 2003. Reportedly purchased by The String Cheese Incident manager Mike Luba from a former Pink Floyd stagehand, the 40-foot pig flew again over the Austin City Limits Music Festival audience during a cover of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)".

During their Live 8 reunion with Waters, footage of Algie, over Battersea Power Station, was shown on a giant video screen behind the band.

A replica of Algie was tethered above Battersea Power Station on 26 September 2011 to promote the Why Pink Floyd...? campaign, involving the reissue of the band's first 14 studio albums.

Roger Waters solo tours[edit]

An inflatable pig released at the Roger Waters show on June, 2007.
  • During a concert in Summerfest 2006, the pig had a message printed on it reading "Impeach Bush"
  • In a concert in Argentina on 2007, a pig flew and ended up on the Río de la Plata.
  • At Argentina tour dates in 2007, the pig had the "Nunca Más" (Never again) inscription on its chest, referring to the famous slogan with which the Argentine people referred to the 1976-1983 military dictatorship during which 30,000 people were forcibly disappeared and later assassinated.
  • During Waters' performance at the 2008 Coachella Festival, one of the giant inflatable pigs being used as a prop became untethered and floated away into the California desert. Organizers of the festival had offered a $10,000 reward plus free lifetime tickets to the festival in return for the pig's recovery. The pig was found three days later at a nearby country club.[8]
  • Likewise, during the concert in Dallas, TX on 2 May 2008, and Houston, TX on 4 May, the pig floated away.
  • During a concert in Chicago on June 8, 2012 at Wrigley Field, the pig crashed into the crowd behind home plate and was ripped to pieces by the crowd.
  • During his "Us + Them" tour in 2017, the pig had a message printed on it reading "PIGGY BANK OF WAR" and underneath printed "BOMBS AND DEATH COME FROM HERE" with an arrow pointed toward to pigs rear.[9][10]

Other media[edit]

  • Pink Floyd's inflatable pig can be seen floating above Battersea Power Station in the 2010 movie Nanny McPhee Returns as the nanny and children make a motorcycle trip to London to locate the children's father.
  • Pink Floyd's Inflatable pig can also be seen floating outside Battersea Power Station in the 2006 movie Children of Men.
  • Inflatable pigs can sometimes be spotted floating around neighborhoods in the 2004 video game The Sims 2.
  • In the 1996 Simpsons episode "Homerpalooza", a cannon fires an inflatable pig at Homer Simpson, much to the displeasure of Peter Frampton, who says he bought the pig at Pink Floyd's yard sale. Publicity for the UK release of The Simpsons Movie in 2007 also mimicked the original Animals cover shoot, with a giant inflatable version of the film's Spiderpig character flown above Battersea.
  • During the "Isles of Wonder" short film shot by Danny Boyle and shown as part of the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the camera zooms down the length of the Thames River, from a small spring in the countryside all the way to the Olympic venue. During the fly-by, a pig can be seen floating above the Battersea Power Station.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Animals Trivia and Quotes". Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  2. ^ "Jeffrey Shaw, "Pig for Pink Floyd"". medienkunstnetz.de. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  3. ^ a b Gerald Scarfe (2010). The Making of Pink Floyd The Wall. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-81997-1.
  4. ^ ""The Album Covers of Pink Floyd", By Storm Thorgerson, Hipgnosis Design, London". superseventies.com. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  5. ^ Scaggs, Austin (May 29, 2008). "A Pig's Tale: Roger Waters Traces the History of Rock's Most Famous Prop". rollingstone.com. Archived from the original on October 7, 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  6. ^ "Pigs On The Wing (Two Different Ones)..." pinkfloyd.com. Retrieved 2011-09-23.
  7. ^ "The Wall Live Berlin 22 Run Like Hell.flv". YouTube.
  8. ^ Pig found in La Quinta country club
  9. ^ See Roger Waters Emasculate Donald Trump With 'Pigs' at Tour Rehearsal
  10. ^ Roger Waters Reminds Fans Who ‘Us’ + ‘Them’ Are
  11. ^ "Opening Ceremony: The Isles of Wonder - Video". NBC Olympics. Retrieved 30 July 2012.

External links[edit]