Skip to main content

Rob Halford, porn stars and a sex dungeon: the story of the I Am A Pig video

Rob Halford in the video for I Am A Pig
(Image credit: Nothing/YouTube)

Rob Halford was out of Judas Priest for 11 years. While his old band carried on with a perfectly capable soundalike in Tim "Ripper" Owens, Halford set his sights on more modern forms of metal. Groove metal. Thrash metal. Industrial metal. And he made a pornographic music video. 

We'll get to that. After Halford's first post-Priest band Fight split up, Halford teamed up with songwriter Bob Marlette, who'd previously worked with the likes of Journey guitarist Neal Schon, Alice Cooper and Krokus. 

“I can’t recall exactly how we met,” said Halford, “but I ended up at his house writing songs, and then we brought in this amazing guitarist named John Lowery, who’s better known these days as John 5 through his work with Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson. I still didn’t know what direction we were gonna take, though.”

All was not lost, and fate intervened during a boozy night out in New Orleans. 

“We were on the town, and drove past this building," Halford told Classic Rock, "Somebody said to me: ‘That’s where [Nine Inch Nails mainman] Trent Reznor has his studio. Why not go and knock on the door?’ With typical English reserve, I didn’t want to do something like that. So we carried on.

"A few hours – and a lot of drinks – later, we again drove past the building. But this time I said: ‘Stop the car. I’m gonna do it!’ I went up to the door, hammered on it, and it was answered by Dave ‘Rave’ Ogilvie of Skinny Puppy. He invited me in, and about 10 minutes later Trent himself turned up. Now, he’s a Judas Priest fan, and was really keen to hear what I was working on.”

Reznor took Halford’s songs under his wing and 2wo were born. Or Two, depending on which way you choose to style it. They signed to Reznor's Nothing Records, and released one album, 1997’s Voyeurs, which reached the lofty heights of number 176 in the Billboard Top 200. And they made a pornographic music video.

A month prior to the album's release in March 1997, the band's debut single I Am A Pig was sent to radio, and a video was unleashed. Directed by drag queen and gay porn director Chi Chi LaRue – a multiple award winner for titles like More Of A Man, Songs In The Key Of Sex and Revenge Of The Bi-Dolls – it featured adult entertainment Hall Of Famers Janine Lindemulder and Tom Chase amongst its cast.

"I called Chi Chi, it turns out that Chi Chi’s a big rock and roll metal, hard rock freak, and we met in LA a few days later," Halford told Chaos Control in 1998 (opens in new tab). "I really enjoyed meeting him, discussing the possibilities. When it was presented to Nothing Records and Interscope, they just exploded and thought it was the greatest thing to consider doing. 

"So with their support, we went ahead and made it. It’s a very, very powerful piece of work. Some adult stars are in it, gay, straight, all different backgrounds. We just created a video piece that supports the title I Am A Pig, which pretty much says what it is."

The end result? It's not terribly explicit, to be honest, but it's not far off. It's set in a lively sex dungeon. There's something for the footwear fetishist to enjoy. Some sweat licking. Plenty of S&M action. A phallic cigar. A cast in various states of undress engaged in various forms of viewer-friendly foreplay. And Rob Halford arrives at the end, nonchalantly surveying the carnage like some kind of X-Rated insurance adjuster. 

The song peaked at 22 on the mainstream rock chart, and Two (or 2wo, you can choose) were gone the following year. 

“I’ll tell you when I realised it was all over," Halford recalled. "We were on tour in 1998, playing a show somewhere in Switzerland. And our support act was a TV set at the front of the stage showing a World Cup match. To 30 people! Right then, I knew I had to move on and get back to what I do best, and that’s metal."

That's what he did, of course, returning to Judas Priest in 2003, where he's been ever since. 

Chi Chi LaRue, meanwhile, forged a successful career as a DJ and climbed the Billboard Charts in 2015, appearing on LGBT, an anthem inspired by Joan Jett that appeared on Ru Paul's hit album Realness. Chi Chi also owns a boutique adult entertainment store in West Hollywood.

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 36 years in music industry, online for 23. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.