wow I get to start this one. Wish I'd been around to hear Pigpen tearing it up on Hard to Handle' Good Lovin' and Lovelight etc. The R & B jams that those songs inspired were never the same after he'd gone. So wild and joyful. I amazed too when I first heard the 'The stranger (two souls in communion)'...a whole new angle on the man. I love the shows too where you can actually hear him playing the organ...its so often inaudible. I have heard various theories..does anyone have a definitive answer? Also does anyone have a complete list of all the songs he sang lead on ...please share it if you do. how's that for starters.....on an TC has no topic yet..can you add him...I don't know much about him and would love to learn more
McKernan's nickname Pig Pen goes back (at least) to the days of the jug band with Garcia and Weir in 1964? 65? did Snoopy's Charles Schultz rip it off from McKernan? or did McKernan pay an homage to Snoopy?? or, does it have to do with the FreeMason's cipher??? Pigpen made his debut in the Peanuts comic strip on July 13, 1954 by the by.... the irony is that Ricky Scaggs was born on July 18, 1954.... Pig In A Pen. Composed by Grand Old Opry fiddler Arthur Smith, who recorded it with the Delmore Brothers in 1937.... anyways, does anybody know the origin of Mckernan's Pig Pen nick name?? "What's the point of calling shots, this cue ain't straight in line Cue balls made of styrofoam and no-one's got the time"
as lesh put it once "ah yes pigpen, out tether to earth" or something along those lines. i think had he not met such an early demise ballin that jack and driinkin his wine, the band's direction would have continued to be more blues-oriented. but are we realy here to say what could have been, alas, there are so many possibilities. i loved the man dearly. he had soul dammit!!!! Not sure of the origin of the name, thought it had something to do with bad hygiene though. He did hang around with a lot of hell's angles, etc. speaking of....who knows anyghitng about chocolate george??? peace nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile
though when I was interviewing him about something else David Nelson had a great story about the origin of Pigpen's name--basically, one of the girls in their crowd in Palo Alto just called him that one night and he got this horrible look on his face because he knew he'd be stuck with it forever. I'll see if I can dig it out and transcribe it.
thankx. ahhh, but then where did the girl get it from? Snoopy?? just one of those questions that I have pondered all of my life...
I'm pretty sure. At that period, Peanuts was ubiquitous. When she was first in college, my sister went out with a guy who'd taken piano from Pigpen!
i think it stuck because he would do any chick, too. could be just rumor- i wasn't there unfortunately for me. wait, that didn't sound roo good... nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile
ouch! "What's the point of calling shots, this cue ain't straight in line Cue balls made of styrofoam and no-one's got the time"
maybe that sounded a little harsh. nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile
Mr Bill Orange, CA
no need to say sorry... none at all. peace.
back in the mists of time there was a really incredible Pigpen feature in the Golden Road. Hm, wonder if he's still got the Word file. Though I have a bad feeling we were still using typewriters then.
Did anyone think that some of Pig's songs like King Bee, Midnight Hour, etc., became tedious? Perhaps the jams were just too long.
marye - This is the quote and article you were talking about. It is from The Golden Road Annual - 1993. A 36 page article of interviews about Pigpen.Here is David Nelson interviewed by Blair Jackson. I was there the night that Pigpen got his nickname. We were doing a Boar's Head thing with Rodney Albin. First the Boar's Head was at the Carlos Bookstall upstairs in the Houchings bookstore. The next summer he got the Jewish Community Center in San Carlos, which was a bigger room. One of these Thursday nights at the Jewish Community Center there were lots of people playing there, including Ron McKernan. A whole bunch of us were all sort of milling around out on the sidewalk after it was over, and we were wondering whose house we could go to to party, and everybody was excitedly talking and yelling. And Sherry Huddleston turned around and said to Ron McKernan, "Oh Pigpen," and it just clicked. Everybody laughed and it stuck. Everybody read (the comic strip) "Peanuts" which was relatively new at the time and knew that character Pigpen. Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.) Walt Whitman-Song of Myself
I need to get those Golden Roads out again...
i loved pigs vocals on easy wind.he had such a soulful vocal, he added so much to the dead to me. i guess it's just being from the south but i always dug his sound
yea, great EW on the dvd bonus material, but, why is there no real footage of him on the train. i watched it again yesterday, and only saw a tiny clip of him in the background or during a jam. no real hanging out with everyone time. any guesses on this one guys? nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile
and not a dead movie, but an actual movie??? so I have been doing a lot of research on him lately and came across his IMDB entry and figured I would give it a scan see if any good movies with their music I have not seen and such (some really great forigen movies have been using their stuff lately!) anyway, there is an entry for a movie called petulia made in 1968 and he played hippie #5 uncredited.... so finding this out two days ago, I shoot over to my netflix acct and search and there is the movie, so I added it to top of my queue and it came today!!! I am making myself a drinky drink and heading down to my 40 inch to go and watch and see if I can find pigpen in it!!! like where's waldo, so has anyone else seen this movie? know of any other movies he is in besides the actual dead movies? muffin www.creativemuffin.com
it's been at least 30 years since I've seen it. Richard Chamberlain is a cool villain. As I recall from a discussion elsewhere on the site the whole band is in it, but I cannot personally provide more info.
Let's make this place alive. Please oldies, let us know about the man. Listening to the band since 1968, he's still my best man. Share the LOVE! Richard..
I was reading about Pigpen on this site some were. The Comment was made that some one thought Ron had some kind of ties with the HELLS ANGELS, as I read along it became clear to me that there are some facts that some people may not know. I am sharing this information not to discredit the man more to honor him and to show how well respected Pigpen was by a lot of people in all walks of life. Ron McKernan aka (Pigpen) is the only ever honorary Member of the HALES ANGELS M/C CLUB. That is all I can tell you, and it is a fact. No one before or after Pigpen has ever got a HELLS ANGELS Patch this way ever. There is a lot to be said for that. The one thing I do won’t to say, and I hope every one remembers one of his favorite quotes. “An’t got no time to hate brother”. . . . Thanks Dead Head 81 Crew Tucson (hang around)
I don't check alot of these that often--but-since 67-68 due to older brother and his friends-after the Beatlesand Stones-Cream--all this otherstuff was incredible.The thing that grabbed me from the onset was the songs were more than 3 mins. long! I'm still young at this time-but the "harp" always intrigued me as a kid--then seein Pigpen and hearin him ramble on was cool! This in turn lead my to the blues -where they got it from in the first place.I was lucky to see Pigpen-but only about 4-5 times--east coast shows-joined DEAD HEADS- from the album-all that good stuff! As we all know-well too much- The Dead-and us- were into substances to "heighten" our awareness-Oh-Yeh!! I read a quote-somewhere from Pigpen about this-he said...." I've seen some mean beasts behind Jack Daniels-I don't need no scientific beasts runnin round my brain!!!!!! BLUES MAN!
you're still the MAN!
............Pigpen, for many a fine time. Many a fine, heady time.
I saw "Pigpen" when the boys played the Filmore back in `70 he rocked the place with a real version of "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" and "turn on your Lovelight" i remember it because it was the first time I ever did shrooms.Happy Birthday Ron
Pigpen era was great. Lovelight was the song that got me on board.Chinatown shuffle is one of my all time fave songs.I would love to hear the "pigpen solo" album if anyone has it. He sure didnt get long to live - but he made one hell of a impact God bless him...
Happy Birthday PIG !As the saying goes only the good die young. Ron you will be forever loved and deeply missed. thank you for all you gave us in your far to short time on earth. you live on in my heart and soul. nothing left to do but smile smile smile !
I always thought that Ron got the nickname because the man could take 2 suitcases into a hotel room and within an hour or two would have it lookig like he had lived there for months!! A path to the door, a path to the bed & a path to the bathroom! He explained it by saying "Just trying to get ORGANIZED" Guess I spent too much time with him! heh heh Certainly left his mark on me & I'm STILL trying to get organized!! Good thing I can create art in mass chaos or I would NEVER get anything done!! I was just a little kid, but remember that showering was not a priority of his!! He and Jerry were very different that way.... I think Schultz' Pigpen and Ron just had a lot in common! I LOVE AND MISS YOU RON!! Wish we could have cereal together again!! I am old enough to have beer on it now!! Still don't think it would be good! I am so glad that I got to spend so much time with you!! See you on the other side soon! Hopefully not too soon!! Peace and LUV, Tofu and Carrots!! ;p
Does anyone out there have any leads on where I can garner any kind of photos or film footage of Pigpen? Basically, I need stuff that doesn't have huge "usage fees" because I'd like to do a documentary on Pigpen and I can't afford to pay a lot for this stuff. Most of the footage, for instance, on You Tube is from "Festival Express," a film with a major distributor. I am also looking for older stuff from the mid-late sixties, any thoughts anyone?Thanks!
I think they should release a Pigpen anthology. Similar to what they did for Duane Allman with the "Skydog retrospective box set".
the Pigpen boxset could come with a heavy duty durable iron on of his image for your t~shirt :}
9-8-453-8-73 R I P BROTHER
When are we going to see (hear) a box set or at least a compilation or anthology of Pigpen's contribution to this band, scene, etc. ??? He was a heck of a bluesman and lest ye forget, somewhat the center of attention on stage those first few formative years with his long rambling ad lib raps throughout some killer extended jams. When we want to get raunchy who do we turn to ?..................PIG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!