Chuck has ripped and scanned the single song that perhaps best
sums up Brisbane and that late 70's to late 80's time here.
Its a time that I spent (or misspent) my youth within and I have
always related to this song and its vibe. It rekindles memories
and transports me back.
I was there at that legendary Clash concert at Cloudland, I was
17 and it was my first concert. I grew up listening to the
revolutionary radio station 4ZzZ the station that was the driving
force behind so much of this Brisbane subculture and its fitting
that the anthem of this time and place was born in its studios.
The song later lent its name to a book
"Pig City - from the Saints to Savage Garden"
and to the 2006 Music Festival "Pig City"
Which was an 8 hour showcase of Brisbane's finest
including the original Saints first reformation gig for some
30 years and reformations of the Apartments, Riptides,
Ups and Downs, The Pineapples From The Dawn Of Time
and for the first time ever The Parameters.
As well as many others read about it here
Thanks Chuck for all your work.
Here's a couple of comments Chuck has on all things Pig City.
This song started as a cart at triple z for years b4 fats
got his shit together to make a b-side
and press it for vinyl..
You don't see many of the covers for this single sadly...
it was quite an elaborate fold out poster/ cover.
Love the Terry Lewis moles n gangsters set up :)
gotta love a police commissioner who doesn't give a
fuk about the law :).. not to mention big fat Russ
and Joh getting a free ride on the back of the blacks...
fuk - Queensland.. the place to be ...
The song's author is artist and activist Tony Kneipp, who
recorded Pig City in late 1983 with his band the
Parameters.The story of the song's recording is as
remarkable as the tune itself.
Kneipp remembers the title coming from the Clash's legendary
February 1982 gig at Cloudland, shortly before the iconic
venue's demolition at the hands of the Deen Brothers.
"There was a very heavy police presence," he says.
"A whole contingent of police went past,
I honestly can't remember if I said it myself,
or heard someone say it, but that's when it first popped out."
From there, the song flowed – a deadly piece of political invective
that blew the whistle on police and political corruption in
Queensland years before the extent of the rot was uncovered by
Commissioner ,Tony Fitzgerald. Corruption in Queensland,
as Kneipp says, was "an open secret" at the time.
"I think that's something that needs to be remembered about
rumors,"he says. "They can be totally inaccurate but they can
also be totally accurate, and they tend to be a mixture of the two.
And I did try to sift through that, and exercise some judgment.
"So I wrote the song and I liked it. I thought,
'This is pretty good, I should do something with this.' "
Thus the Parameters was formed, with its sole aim to record Pig
in time for the 1983 state election which the National Party,
led by Joh Bjelke-Petersen, eventually won in its own right.
The Parameters was the band that never was.
The members (Kneipp on rhythm, slide guitar and saxophone;
Ian Graham on lead guitar and bass and Steven Pritchard on
never even played in the same room together, let alone a gig.
Each part of the song was overdubbed, layer by layer,
over two weeks at 4ZZZ's studios at the University of Queensland.
The quality was rough, but with its honking saxophone,
scabrous lyrics and chorus of friends chanting the words Pig City!
at the end of each line, it was also unforgettable.
The song took off on 4ZZZ, becoming a fixture in the station's
annual Hot 100, and it was that immediate success which
prompted Kneipp to write another song, Material Possession,
which became the B-side of the single eventually released in 1984.
"I was astonished by its longevity," Kneipp says.
"It's tremendous to do something which gets that recognition,
but unfortunately we spent far too much time building the studio
and far too little time rehearsing."