Roger Waters’ ‘Wall’ Pig, Inflatable Freddie Mercury Headed to Auction
The giant pig head that adorned the stage of Roger Waters’ 1990 Berlin performance of The Wall, as well as other large-scale inflatable props and models used by the Rolling Stones, AC/DC and Queen are headed to auction, the BBC reports.
The items come from the Halesworth, England workshop of Air Artists and its creator, Rob Harries, who dug them out after changing his creative direction from inflatables to clay.
“I’m sad to see them go but they very rarely see the light of day and so I would be quite happy for someone else to take them for a walk,” Harries said. “The clearout has been quite cathartic and brought back a lot of memories, but I do feel I’ve been there and done that now, and it’s time to move on.”
The auction initially drew attention for a different pig: the inclusion of Algie, the famed pig seen floating above Battersea Power Station on the cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals. The lot, however, was withdrawn from the auction at the request of Pink Floyd’s management, according to Dominic Parravani of Durrants Auction House.
“Mr. Harries had been unsuccessful in gaining a response from Pink Floyd’s management about Algie’s future,” Parravani tells Rolling Stone in an e-mail. “And after decades of looking after him, thought with his other items in his large collection they should have the chance to have someone else ‘take them for a walk,’ as he put it. Due to the amazing amount of publicity and interest that has been shown, Pink Floyd’s management now wish to re-home Algie.”
Speaking with the Belfast Telegraph, Harries said, “The auctioneers rather jumped the gun with the list I provided them and publicized the fact that the Pink Floyd pig might be one of the lots. But in fact I thought I should offer it back to Pink Floyd, and they do want to welcome it home again.”
A rep for Pink Floyd could not make the band available for comment regarding the auction or Algie’s future. Harries, however, added he’d heard “lots of talk” about a Pink Floyd exhibition, and said he hoped acquiring Algie “will spur them on to get on with that.”
Nevertheless, the auction features another inflatable pig Harries made for Pink Floyd after Waters left the band, as well as “The Teacher” used in Waters’ Wall concert. Among the other music-related lots are inflatable Freddie Mercury and Brian May from Queen’s 1986 The Magic tour; two life-size polystyrene and fiberglass casts used to make the inflatable Babylonian woman used on the Rolling Stones’ Bridges to Babylon Tour; and the fiberglass train model used for AC/DC’s Runaway Train concert. Durrants is also auctioning off a number of Harries’ music posters, photos, clothing and other tour memorabilia.
There are also a handful of non-music related inflatables up for sale, for those in the market for, say, two 15-foot beer cans or a giant space chicken. Harries’ collection also boasts an inflatable dragon, Sonic the Hedgehog, King Triton, bowtie, Oscar statues, peach (used in the TV version of James and the Giant Peach) and Grommit, used to promote Wallace and Grommit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
The entire catalog can be perused on I-bidder and The Salesroom, where bidding has also begun. The auction wraps on September 15th.