POISON IDEA's PIG CHAMPION Was Large In Life, Large In Passing

February 6, 2006

Marty Hughley of The Oregonian has issued the following report:

In describing Tom Roberts, guitarist of the Portland punk band POISON IDEA, there's really no way to get around the word "big" or its synonyms. His sound was huge and fierce, his lifestyle was extreme, and his massive weight led him to go more commonly by the nicknames Tom Pig and even Pig Champion.

So it has to be said now that the Northwest lost a big piece of its rock community this week with the death of Roberts at age 47. He was found in his home Tuesday morning (Jan. 31); cause of death has not been determined, but his sister Jo Ann Jones said Thursday (Feb. 2) that Roberts had been suffering in recent weeks from an untreated kidney infection and the flu.

Roberts' musical acumen, force of personality and uncompromising attitude were key factors in making POISON IDEA one of the most influential and memorable forces in the Northwest rock underground for the past quarter century.

"He was one of the early punk celebrities in Portland," said Mike Jones of CD Forge, a longtime participant in the area's music scene. "He'd fallen on some hard times in the past few years, but it's always a real blow when the scene loses someone who made such a big contribution."

A memorial service [was] held at 1 p.m. [on Saturday, Feb. 4] at Omega Funeral & Cremation Service, 223 S.E. 122nd Ave.

Read the rest of the article at OregonLive.com.

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