What Happened, Billy Corgan?

March 17, 2009

Following one article to another today I came across a copy of Trent Reznor’s comments about ticket scalping and the proposed Ticketmaster-LiveNation merger, which led me to reading more about Billy Corgan than I clearly ever have before. As a lifelong Pumpkins fan (I proudly claim Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness as my first music purchase), I have miraculously avoided learning about the epic destruction of Billy Corgan. The Superbowl ad in which he wrote a song specially for Hyundai should have been a sign, the Visa ad using “Today” should have made reading unnecessary. But before I get to this heartbreaking mess, a song:

The Smashing Pumpkins – Zeitgeist


It made me sad to see Billy act like such a fool in front of his hometown crowd in November. It made me feel worse to read the Pitchfork review of Zeitgeist, an album that I welcomed as a return to the old Pumpkins–more based in guitars than synthesizers. The review lambasts Corgan for r(e)aping the treasures of his long-dead-Pumpkins brand. All the while I had naively gone along, imagining that the relationship between James Iha, D’arcy and Corgan was okay, that at the very least they didn’t hate each other. But in case you didn’t know either, apparently the lastest rendition of These Smashing Pumpkins are not the same as the one from the nineties.

But that’s not news–consider this an eulogy.

One Response to “What Happened, Billy Corgan?”

  1. Ke Says:

    I was excited about Zeitgeist as well before I found out that the only consist member was Corgan, which is not bad, but I always found it a pet peeve to re-use a band name when most of the members or the lead is not there. In this case, Corgan was still there, and the sound was not that far off, but it still felt different. This sort of made me reconsider why the whole thing annoyed me in general. Personally, I liked Zeitgeist, but just not as much as the older stuff.

    Billy Crogan needs a hug and maybe go back in time, since I blame both the fans and the group as to why it’s harder making it work now. It’s a whole new group of kids going to concert and some of them really have no idea what they missed not hearing SP as a kid.

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