These hardcore heavyweights broad appearance (nearly all the band members could be generously described as obese) gave little credence to the harsh, speedy rock path they pursued. Formed in Portland, Oregon, USA, in late 1980, their first incarnation featured Jerry A. (Jerry Lang; vocals), Pig Champion (b. Tom Roberts, 4 November 1958, USA, d. 31 January 2006, Portland, Oregon, USA; guitar), Glen Estes (bass) and Dean Johnson (drums). They debuted with the unwieldy EP Pick Your King, which contained no less than 13 tracks, packaged in a sleeve featuring Elvis Presley on one side and Jesus Christ on the other. Chris Tense had replaced Estes by the time of 1984s wonderfully titled Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes 12-inch. By the time of 1986s Kings Of Punk they were slightly more tuneful, but no less belligerent. However, Johnson and Tense were both fired and replaced by Steve Thee Slayer Hippy Hanford (drums) and Tim Paul (bass). The sound was also filled out with additional guitarist Vegetable (b. Eric Olsen, USA; ex-Mayhem). However, Tim Paul only lasted one abortive gig (just one song, in fact) before being replaced by the returning Tense. His tenure, though slightly longer, lasted only until the release of War All The Time, after which Mondo (also ex-Mayhem) joined. The line-up wars continued after Getting The Fear was released, with Vegetable sacked on New Years Eve, replaced by Kid Cocksman (ex-Gargoyle; guitar), and Mondo quit after the appropriately titled Discontent. Myrtle Tickner (b. Charley Nims, USA; ex-Oily Bloodmen) then became the bands fourth bass player. Aldine Strichnine (guitar, ex-Maimed For Life) stepped in for the next casualty, Cocksman (apparently sacked for being too thin), to record 1990s Feel The Darkness, after which Mondo returned once more, this time on second guitar.
Despite the line-up confusions and obvious gimmickry, Poison Idea produced a body of work of some substance, characterized by a lyrical preference for matters alcoholic and sexual, with some of the worlds great song titles (Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes, etc.). Live, they were both enormously impressive and impressively enormous. After 1993s We Must Burn Poison Idea disbanded, with Jerry A recording as Gift, and Tense and Johnson forming Apartment 3G. A brief reunion took place in 1998. Pig Champion died in 2006 of kidney failure.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.