Pigs In ZenPig's In Zen

Written by Perry and Eric in late 1985. Perry supposedly wrote the lyrics for this song in mid '85 while he was still in Psi-Com.

Steve in a '97 interview (Details 11/97)..."The original songs were written in the house on Wilton. I remember showing up when everyone got off work, going into the garage, and writing all those songs-- "Whores," "Pigs In Zen." It's like that moment when you fall in love."

A quote from Perry out of Dave Thompson's book... (it originally appeared in a magazine article, I assume.)
"I read the Gita, I read Black Magic Crowley, the Bible, anything I could get my hands on. If you want to talk about reaching nirvana, reaching Zen, well, the pig is closer than we are because the pig doesn't have material possessions. He fucks when he wants to, he eats when he's hungry, and he sleeps when he's tired. That's the whole point of Zen. That's exactly what pigs do... so, 'Pigs in Zen.'"

From the Words And Music interview, late '88...
Q: "How did "Pigs In Zen" come about?"
Perry: "I had a band previous to this that was involved with Hinduism. And they abstained from sex. And they abstained from meat. In other words, they abstained from enjoying themselves. Anything that would be in the nature of self-enjoyment, they abstained from. The only time they would have sex would be under the laws marriage and that would be to give pleasure to Krishna. It would be for Krishna and you would not be able to enjoy it yourself. And I just about had enough of that. And the band broke up and I was, at the time, really, really just angry about it all. Because I had a great band on my hands. I had great musicians and we really could've done something. It was a band with integrity. But this whole Krishna thing just got in the way completely. And it really split the band up. So I wrote "Pigs In Zen" because they were talking about reaching this state of nirvana where you're in a state of bliss and you don't need anything. Well, a pig doesn't need clothes. A pig-- he's exactly where they want to be. It's what's humans are striving for... to be pigs. And they don't realize it. That's what humans-- I mean, it's funny that they pull all these things in to make themselves happy but it makes them unhappy. Because all those things that they pull in... all these-- the more you grab in, it's like the more you lose-- the more you have at stake to lose. You know, every possession is yet another possession that you may lose. And a pig having none and just being happy... laying in the mud. And a pig shits, eats when it's hungry, and it has sex when it's horny, and it sleeps when it's tired. And it pays no bills. So there you have it."

* Played frequently throughout Jane's existance, though less and less often each year. Seldom in '91.
Perry would very often use the breakdown part for talking to the audience, usually about sex or war.
In '86 and '87, this song was commonly played directly after "Suffer Some" as a medley. Then in '88 through '91, almost always with "Bobhaus" as an intro.
In early '89 (2/89 - 5/89) Jane's occasionally would play a special jam for about 1 or 2 minutes during the breakdown part. In 1993, Porno For Pyros released a finished studio version of it on their first album as "Blood Rag".

* 1997: never played "Pigs" in it's entirety live, although at one show (Las Vegas, 11-24-97) they jammed about a minute of it acoustically before Perry stopped them and apologized to the crowd for teasing them when they had no intentions of playing the full song.

* Played rarely in 2001 (teased on 10/23/01 St. Paul, MN, then played in full 11/11/01 Las Vegas). Occasionally in 2002.

* So the question is: is it "Pigs In Zen" or "Pig's In Zen"? The Triple X live album lists it without the apostrophe, but Nothing's Shocking lists it with it.
Barton comments, "I think the WB Pig's is correct. The rest on the piece speaks about a pig in the singular (the pig mounts sow, etc, etc), it seems to be more of a statement The Pig Is in Zen rather than talking about the Pigs (plural) that are in Zen. Also, we know that XXX was not always the greatest proofreaders... the second pressing of the CD lists the track as "Pigs in Ten"!"

* The song is a CD/vinyl-only bonus track of Nothing's Shocking. It doesn't appear on the cassette version of the album.

* "Pigs In Zen" is briefly played in the film Parenthood, though it doesn't appear on the soundtrack.

* An early demo of "Pigs In Zen" was included on Scream - The Compilation in 1986. It was the first officially released Jane's track.

* The band Orange 9mm frequently covers "Pigs In Zen" as the final song at their shows.

* Dave Navarro in an interview with Dominique Falla which appeared in a French guitar magazine...
"I'll tell you a story about Tom. Tom Morello was in a band called Lock-up, before Rage Against the Machine, and there was a show on New Year's Eve [1988], where they dressed up as Jane's Addiction, and came out as us, as a joke, and they broke into [the song] Pigs in Zen, and so Tom was basically pretending to be me. He wore a longhaired wig. It was amazing. It was a joke on the audience, and of course, moments into it, the audience realized it was joke and they left the stage and we [Jane's Addiction] came out. It was really funny."

pigs in the mud
when he tires
pigs in zen
pigs in zen
pig is nude
pig's in zen
pig's in zen
talkin' bout the pig
the pig
the pig - uh
goddamn pig!
pig mounts sow
when he's wound
pig's in zen
pig's in zen
pig eats shit
but only when he hungers
pig's in zen
pig's in zen
talkin' bout the pig
the pig
the pig - uh
goddamn pig

Oh baby
I know about war
But I just wanna fuck!
I know about pain and suffering and being cold
But I just wanna fuck!
Pig is led to the slaughter
Pig is led to the sla....
This he says
Is the price some pay
For a simple life
Oh, how he feels
That's proof for him
Pigs in Zen....

Yeah, so roses are red
I made up the rest
If you got some big fucking secret
Then why don't you sing me something?
I'm in the midst of a trauma
Leave a message, I'll call you back
Leave it by the beep
Some people should die
That's just unconscious knowledge
Because, because the bigger you get
The wider you're spread
You gotta depend on me
Now your vision is dead
The more your dream is dead
It gets sucked from my eye
Like an eagle's claw...

From John M--
The pig is a penis! Pig is in the "mud" when he tires... pig is nude unashamed... the pig-UH!.... pa pa pa pa pig (like a dick before it is about to cum)... pig eats shit (cunt) but only when he hungers... pig mounts female pig when he's "wound." Well that is what i get out of it...hahahha..pretty funny..

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