Pink Floyd’s Ill-Fated ‘Animals’ Shoot
Rock N’ Roll True Stories posted a story about the time Pink Floyd terrorized the City of London during a photo shoot that went awry. Check it out below!
Some claimed it was a publicity stunt while others claimed it was an accident. Either way it marked one of the most humorous moments in Pink Floyd’s history. By the time Pink Floyd released their 1977 record Animals the quartet of Roger Waters, David Gilmor, Nick Mason and Richard Wright were already hugely popular around the globe thanks to their two most recent releases Dark SIde of the Moon and Wish You Were Here. When it came time to shoot the cover for their record Animals, the unexpected happened. That’s what were going to explore in today’s video. Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals would be loosely influenced by George Orwell’s political fable animal farm that tells the story of the animals rebelling against their owner. The idea for the cover of animals would be the brainchild of Roger Waters. The band had hired Hipgnosis a graphic design company o photograph the album cover. The company had worked with the band since the late 60’s and also worked with led zeppelin helping create some of the most iconic album covers of the era. Aubrey Powell had co-founded the company.
Waters and Powell had an idea for the album cover consist of an inflatable pig fly above London’s battersea power station. The pig would be named Algie telling Rolling Stone “I’d always loved Battersea Power Station, just as a piece of architecture.“I thought it had some good symbolic connections with Pink Floyd as it was at that point,” “One, I thought it was a power station, that’s pretty obvious. And two, that it had four legs. If you inverted it, it was like a table. And there were four bits to it, representing the four members of the band.” Powell would recall Waters coming up with the idea telling an interviewer @Roger Waters called up one day and said “I’m thinking of doing something with Battersea Power Station” – he lived close and could see it from his window. At that time it was still in full working order, with steam coming out of the chimneys. The band had just had an inflatable pig built for a tour.
Roger and I both looked up at the Station, and said, “let’s fly the pig between the chimneys”. Just like that.’ The band would enlist a German company who made zeppelin’s back in the 20’s While their idea looked good on paper, it was the execution of the photo shoot that didn’t go quite as planned. The shoot was scheduled to take place over a course of three days in December of 1976 using a 30ft inflatable pig. According to Livefrommusic he initial preparations seemed pretty good as the plan was to have a marksman take out the pig incase it flew away. Despite the poor weather on the first day, which consisted of heavy winds the pig was taking too long to inflate and couldn’t get airborne and the crew decided not to bring the marksman in thinking there wasn’t a need for one. It was during this time a few images were shot The second day December 3, 1976 saw more bad weather, and no one called the marksmen again, but this time the moorings holding the pig to one of the chimney’s broke away due to strong winds resulting in the pig floating above the thames river. It resulted in many onlookers calling the police to report what they were witnessing. While police helicopters and air force jets tried to locate the pig, iti would fly too close to heathrow airport coming into the space of flight paths. Several pilots would radio to heathrow that they witnessed the inflattable pig float past their windows. IT resulted in the civic aviation authority grounding all flights and notifying those already in the air to be on the lookout for the pig.
The band would end up calling radio stations asking listeners to be on the lookout for the pig and provided a phone number to call incase it had been spotted. Of course, it resulted in many prank calls. . The pig would eventually smash into a barn 50 miles outside london in a fameras field called Kent. The band would flee the scene of the photo shoot leaving Powell behind who would be arrested and brought in for questioning. Powell would tell TIme Out London what happened next “At 9:30PM, a man rang up,” “He said, ‘Are you the guy looking for a pig? It’s scaring my cows to death in my field.’ Powell got the farmer’s details