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R.I.P. Thomas "Pig Champion" Roberts

Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 by
Thomas "Pig Champion" Roberts, guitarist for Poison Idea, died at his home in Portland, Oregon, Monday night. A founding member of the seminal punk band, he continued to appear with Poison Idea throughout the late nineties and into the new millennium, despite officially quitting the band in 1993. Variously described as "spectacularly fat", and "the single largest man in hardcore history", Roberts crowned himself "Pig Champion" after hitting an impressive 450 lbs. on the scales. The highly regarded guitarist was revered by a devoted following worldwide. Fans and friends alike will feel the loss keenly. Please see Roberts' Oregonian obituary, copied below, for memorial and remembrance information. The following links are to profiles and histories of Poison Idea:, From the Oregonian, Thursday, February 02, 2006: Thomas E. Roberts A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006, in Omega Funeral & Cremation Service for Thomas E. Roberts, who died Jan. 31 at age 47. Mr. Roberts was born Nov. 4, 1958, in Portland. He was a guitarist and songwriter with the punk rock band Poison Idea. Survivors include his mother and stepfather, Phyllis and Arthur D. Carlson; brother, William F.; sisters, JoAnn Jones and Lynn Roberts; stepsisters, Jennifer DeWolfe, Vanessa Armstrong and Constance Taliaferro. His father Dr. William F. died in 1966. A more extensive obituary may be found here:
Archived Comments:
loss of pig champion

Archived comment by on Wednesday, February 1, 2006
loss of pig champion

the loss of pig champion is devistating to personality has inspired me more than he.i'm so glad i got meet him and enjoy his presence and his work.we miss you ...robert grajeda,ca

Archived comment by on Wednesday, February 1, 2006
all hail pig champion

tom roberts was the sweetest,coolest,most badass motherfucker i've ever had the pleasure of meeting.the loss of pig champion is truley crushing my heart...bert from bedpan

Archived comment by on Wednesday, February 1, 2006

RIP brother. I hope you're dinking a OE40 on a cloud. What you gave the world will live on forevor. You are one of my heroes, true King of Punk.

Archived comment by SS on Wednesday, February 1, 2006

the size of this man merely reflects how deeply he touched and influenced so many. yes, a true king. picked.

Archived comment by e.w. on Thursday, February 2, 2006
pig champ RIP

oh my that's too bad. Fell in love with PICK YOUR KING and FEEL THE DARKNESS is still in my rotation. Rest well.

Archived comment by rob on Thursday, February 2, 2006
Pig Champion is dead, Long Live Pig Champion

The subject says it all.

Archived comment by Will on Thursday, February 2, 2006
Pig's room

I spent a half hour smoking crank with Pig in his old room at Suburbia. It smelled like death in there and Tiny wouldn't shut up. Magical times. RIP Tom.

Archived comment by Slim on Thursday, February 2, 2006

Pig o Pig, thanks for making my high school life more bearable and letting me know that the world sucks & i aint the only one that thinks so. Save a shot of wicked gravity for me up there.

Archived comment by subortion on Thursday, February 2, 2006
Farewell to yet another bro...

Many an afternoon was spent on the porch @ Joe's house or a late night at Suburbia cleaning up, drinking Vodka and talking music with Pig. Wish I could have made it back up there to drink another gallon or 2 with him. See you on the otherside, if there is one..

Archived comment by Pensacola Shane on Thursday, February 2, 2006

one of my fellow mentors
told me el duce was forming a band with pig and dimebag -thats how i found out man .. ive known tom since 1978 when he roaided for one of my bands, layter i showed him where the notes were and a few chords and he was off to legendary status!
all the way back to pun eddie and teh turncoats in a grimy basement in se portland 75th i believe..
the real birth of portland punk last time i saw tome was at a motorhead /hatebreed gig hangin in the street with no shoes on so i brought him in to meet lemmy and get a waynes world "NOT WORTHY' and im honoured bow from the boys from hatebreed
he and jerry used to visit my moms restraunt inhillsdale for mexi food and allthe others would ask YOU KNOW these people to which she proudly replied- "theyre lke my kids"
so anyways man tehres my 2 cents anotehr fuckin loss of great ness.. but i guess you gotta die to
become legendary for real so in the grand tradition of real rock
help the world to not forget a man.. if anyojne has video i would be glad to edit and air a memorial piece on my usmetal tv show.
usmetal dot com
we should have the memorial at the church of el duce! tom turned me on to the hooded men with the cafe du grand album.. and was responsible for my knowledge of early punk
*)(the band we were in played metal- crap lousy way to start a weekend..

Archived comment by FATT MATT MCCOURT on Friday, February 3, 2006

Goodbye to a truly sweet man. Many remember him for his talents, I remember a friend who spent many a night sitting up on the porch at Joe and Rochelle's talking about our lives. I have thought of you many times over the past 10 years and wish I would have seen you again, maybe I will.

Archived comment by Whitney on Friday, February 3, 2006

Goodbye to a truly sweet man. Many remember him for his talents, I remember a friend who spent many a night sitting up on the porch at Joe and Rochelle's talking about our lives. I have thought of you many times over the past 10 years and wish I would have seen you again, maybe I will.

Archived comment by Whitney on Friday, February 3, 2006
So long Tom

Was lucky enough to spend my 21st birthday opening for PI at Seattle's OK Hotel in '91. Very sad to see him pass. What a talented guy, and a terrible loss to all who loved him.

Archived comment by Jimmi Davies on Friday, February 3, 2006
Tom Pig Champion - King of Punk - RIP, brother.

Jeez. I just saw Tom boarding a bus on SE Belmont last summer. Which was great as I was able to reassure other aging old-school punks that "at least Tom Pig is still alive"...

After I heard about Tom Pig Champion's passing on Brandon Lieberman's "Drinking From Puddles" show on KBOO radio Wednesday night, I dug out an old interview I'd done with Poison Idea back in 1992, in which Tom has a lot to say, and put it up on the web. (I would offer you the link, but this absurd comment system will not allow that.)

Tom Pig Champion, a true King of Punk, will always rule. Rest in peace, brother.

Archived comment by David Myers on Friday, February 3, 2006
Mr. champion

Portland is a small town. I only had one small conversation with mr. Champion but I could tell he was no dumb-ass. Actually, he seemed very sweet. I am very sorry to now, never have the chance to see or speak to him again.

Fred Chalenor

Archived comment by Fred Chalenor on Friday, February 3, 2006
Tom passing away

Fuck. Poison Idea has been an important part of my wife and my life. We spent more time talking to Jerry A. but the few times i got to talk to Tom especially driving him home i had the pleasure of talking to a man that only ever treated us with respect and intelligence and often some advice of sort. Fuck marriage dies and then someone i admired for years.I liked Tom he seemed to live life on his own terms. It seems to me it was a life well lived.

Archived comment by Matt on Sunday, February 5, 2006
Pig Champion

I know most people remember Tom for his excesses and I've no doubt most of the stories are true. But when I knew Tom best, was back in 88-90, when we used to hang out and drink beer and talk books. We also talked on the phone alot. Tom had a genuine love of literature and a deep understanding of human nature. I've no doubt that if he hadn't have chosen music as his outlet he would have been a writer.

The drugs came later, of course, and due to that we drifted apart. But I will always remember hanging with him at his house on 39th and laughing our asses off at Gilligan's Island.

I will miss you, Tom. I always thought we'd meet up again. Alas, someday I suppose we will...

I love you

Archived comment by Catherine on Tuesday, February 7, 2006
pig champion r.i.p.

Saw Poison Idea in Newport TJ's,UK and they were awesome."Feel the Darkness"stands as one of the best punk albums ever.Didn't meet Tom but want to offer condolences to friends and family to an amazing talent.

Archived comment by matt tangled on Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Long Live Pig

Rock and roll has suffered a great loss with the passing of this great guitarist.

Archived comment by eddy dyer on Wednesday, February 8, 2006
i can't believe it's not yak urine

i am crying my eye out, for real. this is not fair. i protest this gross injustice. dammit.

Archived comment by elbert q. mcdweef on Thursday, February 9, 2006
funny story

One time at Tom's house on 39th street I got to listen to Tom berate the has beens on the Jerry Lewis telethon, they all were fat, "see that fat man sing, look at fatty sing, sing it fat man".

Archived comment by terror in tiny town on Thursday, February 9, 2006
PI Rules

Best band to ever come out of Portland, hands down, is Poison Idea. Pig, it seems to me, was the soul of the band. His mark is indelible for all time on their recordings and in the memories of anyone who witnessed the mighty PI live. The sheer force of the band was devastating. They once were scheduled to perform with Motorhead, but Motorhead cancelled. Itís probably a good thing they did because PI would have shredded them. Whether it was the early version with Tense and Dean or the later versions with Mondo and Slayer Hippy, PI was total sonic annihilation. If you saw em live you know what I mean.

RIP Pig.

Archived comment by The Dude on Thursday, February 9, 2006
I was sad to here...

Pig Champion passed on, Poison Idea I LOVE cept I never got to see the band live, a shame really. Thumbs up to Da Champion, and I hope he's in a better place now.

Archived comment by _Griphin_ on Tuesday, February 28, 2006
tom roberts

i am really at a loss of words. i live in san diego and have been a poison idea fan for many years now. i was always bunned because they wouldn't never play out here so i never had a chance to see my favorite band play live =( si what i did was start a tribute to poison idea named none other ethan pig champion. this was 6 months before i heard the bad news. it seem now our tribute has way more meaning but i am really saddened and would rather have tom alive than have more meaning. i am really bummed because i was trying to get a demo to each of the original members,him and jerry a. being who i wanted to give them to mostly. i will never see him play live but i will play every song note for note for him and his family. rock on in heaven tom your music is still alive.

Archived comment by ronnie on Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I had the good fortune of getting to know Tom on a personal level. This man whom I had previously known as "Pig Champion', punk rock legend turned out to be one of the most humble, considerate and genuinely pleasant people I have ever met. I think about Tom everyday and know he is missed by so many.

Archived comment by Matt L on Thursday, September 28, 2006
RIP Tom Pig

I knew Tom since the late 80's, and he is the one person who has had the largest impact on my life, aside from my parents and brother.


Oslo, Norway

Archived comment by Happy-Tom on Friday, October 6, 2006

Great guitarrist; great band. We'll always appreciate you music. So true and so good.
Thanks a lot.

Archived comment by David Murders on Thursday, November 9, 2006
Pop trio Atomic Kitten will reform to play a concert in support

Pop trio Atomic Kitten will reform to play a concert in support of jailed Liverpool football fan Michael Shields...

Archived comment by Gavyn Sutter on Wednesday, December 6, 2006

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