The Smashing Pumpkins are a popular alternative rock band. They have been one of the most successful bands to come out of the alternative scene of the late 80’s-early 90’s. With Billy Corgan’s distinctive voice as the cornerstone of their sound, they have a reputation for being highly experimental with their instrumentation. Here, MusicSnake Magazine put together our list of top 11 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the band.
Number One: Smashing Pumpkins Played Their Farewell Concert at the Same Venue as Their Very First Show. When the band broke up in ’00, they played a show at The Metro in Chicago. The venue also happens to be where the original line-up played their very first show together. Corgan decided to give everyone in attendance of the concert a free bootleg of that first show.
Number Two: Billy Corgan Can Be Heard on New Order’s Album. Just after they broke up, Billy began working with one of his main musical influences, New Order. He recorded backup vocals for the song “Turn My Way,” off the band’s album, Get Ready. He also toured with the band while they were promoting the album.
Number Three: Billy Played All of the Instruments on Gish. In order to keep all the instruments consistent, he recorded each one, aside from the drums, himself. This is one of the reasons the rest of the band wasn’t too fond of him.
Number Four: Chamberlin was Kicked Out of the Band. One fateful night, Chamberlin and touring keyboardist Johnathan Melvoin were getting high and overdosed on heroin. The incident left Melvoin dead and Chamberlin arrested and kicked out of the Smashing Pumpkins. In an interesting twist, the only original member that rejoined the Pumpkins after the break-up was Chamberlin.
Number Five: The Band Recorded Siamese Dream in Georgia, Not Chicago. When it came time to record their sophomore album, Corgan decided it would be a good idea to write it in Marietta, Georgia. There were a couple of reasons for this, but the biggest was to keep Chamberlin, who was getting heavy into drugs at the time, away from his drug connections. The plan backfired and Chamberlin found a new way to get drugs, and Siamese Dream took more than 4 months to write and record, costing the band more than $250,000.
Number Six: They Released Teargarden by Kaleidyscope for Free… Seeing how music consumption had changed over the years, Corgan decided to change his approach to releasing music to fit with it. The premise of the Teargarden by Kaleidyscope project was that Corgan would release one song a month for free on the Smashing Pumpkins website over the course of a few years.
Number Seven: Billy Corgan Doesn’t Like Moshing. Believing that moshing’s “time has come and gone,” he often requested that people stop moshing at Smashing Pumpkins shows. One night at a show in Ireland, his requests had been ignored and a girl was trampled to death, which prompted him to cancel the next show.
Number Eight: Billy Wrote Part of Celebrity Skin. Over the years, he has collaborated with a number of artists. His production credits include albums for Ric Ocasek, The Frogs, and Catherine, as well as soundtracks for 96’s Ransom, 99’s Stigmata and 02’s Spun. Most notably, he shares writing credit for a number of songs on Hole’s 98 album, Celebrity Skin. Billy Corgan and Courtney Love were romantically linked in the past and his work on this album sparked rumors that they were together again.
Number Nine: Smashing Pumpkins Once Shared a Member with Hole. After leaving Hole in ’99, Melissa Auf der Maur joined the Smashing Pumpkins. Her brief stint with the band included a ’00 tour behind Machina/The Machines of God and the recording of Machina II. When the Smashing Pumpkins broke up shortly after and she never returned.
Number Ten: Corgan Suffers from Depression. When the band was first starting out, Corgan’s depression was starting to get bad and after the release and minor success of Gish, he spiraled deeper in, at a certain point even contemplating self-harm. In the past he has said his depression was the result of abuses he had sustained as a child and now advocates for abuse support groups.
Number Eleven: Billy Loves Wrestling. Though he was a big fan of baseball as a child, Billy Corgan has a real sweet spot for wrestling. He created an independent wrestling promotion company, called Resistance Pro, in ’11 and tried to broker a deal with AMC to develop a reality series based on the company and his “takeover of creative direction” for it. In ’15, he was named the new senior producer of creative development for TNA Wrestling. Thanks for reading!
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