My First Night with George Bacon and Hog Hoggidy Hog
I’d been living in Cape Town, under my boyfriend’s wing, for about 6 months after returning from London. My brother really had to stand on his head to convince me to come to Up The Creek with him and his (now) wife. After a call to Dave from the New Academics for backup, he convinced me. It was 2002 and I had never gone to a music festival, let alone without the love of my life! Thank God my brother convinced me, if he hadn’t, who knows the awesomeness I would have missed over the last decade+!
We missioned up to the boutique festival, camping in the scarcely tree speckled ‘field’, eating the farmers’ wives’ sandwiches and breakfasts and partying the night away. It was here that I met George Bacon, Verena and the Hogs for the very first time. My brother said I was going to love the Hogs and he was right. I saw Lee Tomo and George after the set and I said to him, “Well I don’t know if you belong in heaven or hell! You seem to nice for hell but too naughty for heaven.” George chuckled in his usual warm, friendly way.
That was the start of a music appreciation and love that I’ve always treasured. I can’t remember how many times I’ve seen the Hogs live. From the skate park at Boogaloos Tygervalley (with my friend who has also since passed, that memory was already special to me), a dark and wintery night at the Purple Turtle, ROAR, Cool Runnings in Long Street (yip), Zula Bar with my Mom and uncle, Roots and Armchair in Obz, Le Stat (now a bed shop at the St Peter’s Square in Obz! with Half Priced who I thought were awful and had no future at the time LOL), to Synergy, Ramfest, Rocking the Daisies, Obz Fest, the Assembly and Mercury live (more than once). I’m sure there was some Buckley’s, Ambiorix and Klein Libertas thrown in there somewhere, the list goes on. I’ve watched them so many times because they were the best. Really, they were the best.
One Last Night with George Bacon & Hog Hoggidy Hog
This weekend went from one of the highest highs to the lowest lows I’ve ever experienced really. For weeks I had been planning on the PHFat, Hog Hoggidy Hog, Fuzigish show at the Assembly. I’d even bought tickets for my folks and sat smugly as each phase of the tickets began to sell out.
My best friends and I gathered at the Assembly on Friday night for a weekend I’d plan to write off. The party was on and it was going to be BIG! By the time I arrived at 10:30pm, the Assembly was already packed. While my folks couldn’t make it after all, their reserve table had long been overtaken by eager fans jamming away to the music.
I headed to the bar to get a toot and hand in my coat. No chance. Bar was packed, coat check was full, the buzz was electrifying. I managed to get a drink and made my way to the front of the stage in time to catch the start of the Hogs. Who were nothing short of explosive! The mosh pit was hairy from the get-go, the horn section hitting their staccato beats and the energy of George on the mic. I’m the queen of getting a good spot these days, but I appreciated my friend Patrick bravely leading me through to the stand side so I could see clearly and not be pulled into the pit. Medical aid ain’t cheap, doesn’t cover dental and I didn’t have braces for 5 years to get these pearly whites knocked out!
I was so awesome to hear the sounds of the Hogs again. While the mosh pit josstled and moulded like a Cape sea storm on the rocks, I kept my distance and sang along. Half way through I escaped to the bar to get a new drink. It’d been a while since I could stand at a bar and sing all the words to the band playing behind me. “This is my home, it’s where I stay, it’s where I belong. I didn’t just be here, I was born. I might seem out of place here, but everything I hold dear, is under the African son!”
I got my toot and headed back, where my friend and I found a little zone that we could jam away to the Hogs sound. I tried to take video clips, but for some reason I didn’t. I really felt like I just wanted to listen to them and not worry about dropping my phone. It was awesome.
PHFat followed with their usual brand of kick ass bass rap and the level of awesomeness maintained throughout the night. By the end of the evening, I was jamming away to Side Show and Das Kapital, who jumped on for some back to back fun. Just after 3am I decided to call it quits. As I went to get my jacket I saw George Bacon entering into the bar. I ran up to him to express my gratitude and have a little chat. The only thing he said to me was, “Did your Dad make it the show?” The rest of his replies were his usual smiles and head nods that I’ve only known him for since 2000. It’s always been ironic to me that he’s a man of few words when he’s such a vocal and legendary front man. I hugged him goodbye, leaving with a smile on my face and in my heart.
OFFICIAL HOG HOGGIDY HOG PRESS STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF GEORGE BACON
1 June 2015 – On Saturday morning the shocking news of the death of Hog Hoggidy Hog frontman, George Bacon, was confirmed. His death occurred sometime during Saturday morning following Hog Hoggidy Hog’s first edition of their national #HogsAreBack tour that kicked off at The Assembly on Friday, 29 May.
George arrived back at their accommodation, just outside of Cape Town’s CBD, after the gig. It was only after someone tried to wake him up that they discovered that he had passed away, in his sleep, the next morning. The cause of his death remains unconfirmed at this point and details will be made available at a later stage.
The death of George came a month before the Hogs were to celebrate their 20th year anniversary at the end of June this year. Their presence in the local music industry has undeniably been prolific and has had an incredible impact on (now popular) artists who admired Hog Hoggidy Hogs’ music and style all these years.
The Rudimentals wrote: “To our brother who gave us our 1st ever gig with the @HOGHOGGIDYHOG. Respect& we love you always! RIP George Bacon” via Twitter
GoodLuck: “Huge loss for SA music! RIP George Bacon… Thanks for the music @HOGHOGGIDYHOG – our hearts are with you all! :(“ via Twitter
Francois Van Coke: “So sad to hear about George. He was an inspiration, a great dude and the greatest punk rock tour guide. He is going to be missed by many.” via Facebook
In response to their tragic loss Hog Hoggidy Hog have released the following statement, “It is with great sadness that we write this message. We have lost our brother and his memory will live on in our minds and hearts forever. All our love and condolences to Verena, Draco and family. George, you will be missed with all our hearts.”.
He has lived in Chicago, Cape Town, Berlin and London and was recently quoted saying,
Details on George’s funeral and memorial service will be released later this week by the band on their social media pages. George Bacon leaves behind his wife, Verena, and son who was born earlier this year in January. George’s family is still grieving his death and do not wish to comment at this time.
George “Bacon” Bougas: 16 January 1975 – 30 May 2015.