Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Southbound Pachyderm

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Released  1995
Label  Interscope
Length  6:22
Producer(s)  Primus
Genre  Progressive rock, funk metal, experimental rock, alternative rock
Writer(s)  Claypool/LaLonde/Alexander

"Southbound Pachyderm" is a song by Primus, from their album Tales from the Punchbowl.


Track listing

  1. "Southbound Pachyderm (Radio Edit)" - 4:00
  2. "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver" - 4:24
  3. "Jerry Was A Race Car Driver" - 3:11
  4. "Those Damned Blue Collar Tweekers" - 5:18
  5. "My Name Is Mud" - 4:40


The inspiration for the song came from an image that CMJ New Music Monthly said Claypool "couldn't shake ... 'an elephant's ass heading away from you'". The lyrics reference global warming.

Music videos

Two music videos exist for the song "Southbound Pachyderm".

The first version was included in the CD+ Enhanced CD version of the album, which allowed a computer's CD-Rom to access enhanced aspects of the album, namely becoming a tug boat captain that allowed you to explore different parts of the punchbowl world. The included video for Southbound Pachyderm was a pastiche of San Francisco, Elephants with propellers and wings, and psychedelic imagery. It is currently not published nor available anywhere online.

The official music video for the song is in entirely stop-motion with the band (in live action) appearing on TV screens. For the stop motion story, it features elephants being stalked by poachers but are saved at the last moment by several scientists. At the climax of the video, the scientists and the elephants (along with some hippos) then escape from their laboratory when the poachers begin to attack via orders from their leader.

Claypool came up with the idea for the video and included regular character Flouncin' Fred. The video reflects Claypool's concern over the conservation status of pachyderms. He and Raub Shapiro co-directed the video. Shapiro had previously produced the video for "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver". Claypool initially worked on storyboards for the video but moved on to foam sculptures when he found that medium easier to express his ideas. Raub then did storyboards, and they handed the work to animators, who used stop motion photography. Animation was slow work; Claypool said that the studio was only able to produce six to ten seconds of footage per day, and the video took six weeks to complete.


Claypool later referenced the song in a pinot noir wine called Purple Pachyderm.


Southbound Pachyderm Wikipedia