Thomas "Pig Champion" Roberts, guitarist for POISON IDEA, died at his home in Portland, Oregon, Monday night (Jan. 30). He was 47 years old. 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. No further information is available at this time.According to the Taang! Records web site, POISON IDEA was formed in 1980 in Portland, Oregon by frontman Jerry A., Roberts, bassist Chris Tense, and drummer Dean Johnson. The group debuted three years later with the EP "Pick Your King", cramming 13 songs into a 16-minute time frame; the "Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes" EP followed in 1985, fine-tuning the band's blistering sound and fatalistic worldview. Thanks to their notoriously insatiable diet of drugs, alcohol, and junk food, the members of POISON IDEA all ballooned past the 300-pound mark by the time of the 1986 full-length "Kings of Punk". Tense and Johnson were then dismissed from the lineup, although the former returned in time for 1987's "War All the Time", recorded with second guitarist Eric "Vegetable" Olsen and drummer Steve "Thee Slayer Hippy" Hanford; Tense was then replaced by bassist Mondo for 1988's "Filthkick" EP. Both the "Darby Crash Rides Again" and "Ian MacKaye" EPs followed a year later, another period of roster tumult which made way for the addition of guitarist Kid Cocksman (soon replaced by Aldine Striknine) and bassist Myrtle Tickner. POISON IDEA returned in 1990 with "Feel the Darkness", with a series of live releases (the "Official Bootleg" EP, the "Live in Vienna" EP, and the "Dutch Courage" LP) preceding 1992's "Blank Blackout". A collaboration with Jeff Dahl appeared a year later, concurrent with the covers album "Pajama Party"; however, in the wake of Pig Champion's subsequent departure POISON IDEA disbanded, releasing their June 6, 1993, farewell gig at Portland's La Luna as "Pig's Last Stand".
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