The Time Pink Floyd's Giant Inflatable Pig Floated Away

Getty Images
Getty Images

A huge inflatable pig had been a fixture at Pink Floyd's flashy live concerts since the balloon was featured on the album artwork for 1977's Animals. The giant prop became synonymous with their stage shows, and it even was included in a custody battle after Pink Floyd broke up.

In 1986, after years of animosity, guitarist David Gilmour and bassist Roger Waters battled over the Pink Floyd name and iconography in court. While Gilmour was awarded the rights to the band name, the court granted Waters the rights to the pig. Gilmour, who planned to continue touring with Pink Floyd’s name and music, paid his former bandmate to license the inflatable icon, even though hostility between the two remained intense.

Waters has continued to use giant inflatable pigs at concerts during his solo career. During his 2006 The Dark Side of the Moon Live Tour, a pig was released at one of his concerts with the words "Impeach Bush" graffitied on its side.

During the pig’s long career as a stage prop, it seemed inevitable that someone would lose hold of its ropes and release it (in a repeat of what happened when artists working for the band first tried to get the shot for the Animals cover), and that’s exactly what happened during Waters’s performance at the 2008 Coachella Festival.

The ninth Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival attracted more than 150,000 people to the California desert. Headliners that year included Prince, Jack Johnson, and Roger Waters, who closed the festival on Sunday, April 27.

Waters’s set was accompanied by his usual fog and pyrotechnics, and it also saw the two-story-tall pig ascend over the audience. The balloon’s handlers trudged their way through the crowd, trying their best to control the prop. But, appropriately, during the song “Run like Hell,” the pig became unmoored and slowly floated off into the desert sky.

“That’s my pig,” Waters told the crowd, but—as he said on The Wall — the show must go on. He and his band continued the set.

Coachella organizers offered a $10,000 reward and four lifetime festival passes for the return of the pig. Three days after its escape, the balloon was found in tatters across the properties of two families in the nearby town of La Quinta, California.

“We found your pig, but it looks more like pulled pork,” one of the homeowners told Coachella organizers. The two families split the passes and gave the $10,000 away to local children’s music nonprofits.

As for the pig, Coachella’s organizers kept its tattered carcass as a memento.

Aretha Franklin Concert Documentary Being Released, Nearly 50 Years After It Was Filmed

Al’s Records and Tapes
Al’s Records and Tapes

In January 1972, soul queen Aretha Franklin went to the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in the Watts  of neighborhood Los Angeles to record what would become the highest selling live gospel album of all time, her Grammy-winning Amazing Grace. With her was director Sydney Pollack, who was there to turn her two days of performances into a concert documentary to accompany the album. Unfortunately, technical and legal issues have kept footage locked away ever since. Now, as Konbini alerts us, it's finally getting its big-screen debut, 46 years after it was filmed.

Amazing Grace will premiere during DOC NYC, a documentary film festival in New York. Filmed when Franklin was just shy of her 30th birthday, the 87-minute movie—which DOC NYC artistic director Thom Powers calls "a lost treasure of documentary filmmaking"—captures the singer at her peak, performing for a packed house with the help of a live gospel choir.

Before Pollack died in 2008, the award-winning director behind 1985 movie Out of Africa and 1982 film Tootsie expressed his wish that his long-dormant film finally be revised and released. Producer Alan Elliott bought the rights in 2007. Though Franklin herself died in August 2018, Elliott worked with Franklin's estate—led by her niece, Sabrina Owens—to ready the film for its premiere.

It debuts on November 12, 2018. You can see some highlights in the trailer below.

Amazing Grace Trailer 072718 from alan elliott on Vimeo.

[h/t Konbini]

Does Hearing Christmas Music in Early November Enrage You? You're Not Alone

iStock.com/Ekely
iStock.com/Ekely

While some people still haven't gotten around to taking down their Halloween decorations, stores around the country are already blaring Christmas music. If the opening notes of "Jingle Bells" fill you with dread, you're not alone: a significant portion of shoppers find the seasonal soundtrack grating, and hearing it too early may be taking a toll on your mental health.

According to clinical psychologist Linda Blair, people who already find the holidays stressful may be triggered when holiday music creeps into early November. "It's a reminder that we have to buy presents, cater for people, organize celebrations," she told Sky News. "Some people will react to that by making impulse purchases, which the retailer likes. Others might just walk out of the shop. It's a risk."

This may sound like a no-brainer to anyone who's in touch with their inner Grinch, and past research backs up the claims. In a 2011 Consumer Reports survey of more than 1000 people, 23 percent of respondents cited seasonal music as the thing they dread most about the holidays, placing it above holiday parties and disappointing gifts. A Research Intelligence Group poll from 2014 [PDF] found that holiday music can be so bothersome that 36 percent of people have admitted to leaving a store because of it.

For many, holiday music straddles a thin line between comforting and annoying. If seasonal songs have you humming along rather than plugging your ears, it may have something to do with the "mere exposure effect"—a psychological phenomenon where people tend to enjoy things they're familiar with. But at a certain point this effect wears off, with some songs becoming so familiar that they're no longer pleasant to listen to.

Of course that's not the case for everyone. The holidays are a happy time of year for many people, and seasonal music and decorations are a reminder of that. If that applies to you, feel free to start blasting your favorite Christmas tunes before Thanksgiving. (You may just want to keep it at a low enough volume that you don't annoy your neighbors.)

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