And Pigs Can Fly? They can if they belong to Pink FloydKeith
Pink Floyd’s iconic flying pig has made a comeback – 35 years after it caused havoc by escaping into the skies over London.
A new 30-foot, helium-filled balloon floated high above Battersea Power Station to mark the reissue of the band’s 14 studio albums. This was for the album ANIMALS
But unlike its famous predecessor, this pig remained firmly tethered to the ground.
The original balloon, Algie – designed by band Roger Waters – broke free from its moorings during a photo shoot for the cover of the hit album Animals in 1976.
Plans had been made to fly Algie over Battersea on the first day of the three-day shoot, with a rifle ready to blast it out of the sky if things didnt go to plan, but the pig was not launched.
On the second day, organisers had forgotten to book the marksman – and Algie made its bid for freedom. A strong gust of wind snapped the cable and the pig shot skywards, drifting off over London.
The pig disappeared from sight within five minutes but was soon sighted by startled airline pilots at 30,000 feet.
Flights to and from Heathrow Airport were cancelled as Algie flew through the path of passenger aircraft. The balloon headed out towards the coast before crash-landing at a farm in Kent that night.
The pig was recovered and repaired so the photo-shoot could resume. but by the time he was brought back to Battersea, the cloudless, blue sky was deemed too ‘boring’. So what Floyd fans eventually got was a composite picture for the album cover.
Record bosses had to commission a new version of Algie for today’s shoot. The original – which had been kept in a workshop in Halesworth, Suffolk – was found to be leaky and unusable.
The new piggy was created by inflatables specialist Air Artists, which has worked with members of the band for many years. It needed 12 gas canisters to fill it and, this time, was secured firmly to the ground.
A Pink Floyd spokeswoman said: ‘Sadly, two weeks prior to the event, the original neoprene-glued pig was officially declared not airworthy and a brand new high-frequency welded PVC replica Pink Floyd pig has been made for the occasion.’
The band’s 14 albums have been remastered and are now available on CD.
There will also be new versions of Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall. Fans can expect them within weeks.
The album Animals was inspired by Orwell’s book Animal Farm, in which humans are characterised as pigs, sheep and dogs.
After its release in 1977 it became a massive hit, reaching Number Two in the UK album charts and Number Three in America’s Billboard charts. It has since gone platinum four times.
Inflatable 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 with lighty up eyes. OINK OINK!