Smashing Pumpkins

Smashing Pumpkins

Billy Corgan and Smashing Pumpkins bandmate Jimmy Chamberlin were inducted into the Hollywood RockWalk in April 2008. It’s a stupid photo-op where musicians place their hands in cement outside the Guitar Center. Only about a hundred fans turned up, outnumbered by press and band hangers-on (no celebs). Billy should have fired his publicist. Also MIA were estranged alumni James Iha and Darcy Wretzky.

Here’s Billy’s weird speech to the masses:

“I’m so used to bad vibes, people hating our band and throwing things at us. So it’s strange to be honored. I had to think about it. I had to really lay in bed and think, ‘Is this a good thing? Is this a silly thing?’ I’m really honored. I’m really touched. Music’s a weird thing. I’ve said many times that I didn’t necessarily want to be in this band because I thought I would be in Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath, or something like that. So it’s a strange thing to be in this band, because it represents a lot of what I feel, but I don’t always understand me. So I look at the band as an existential extension of myself, but I don’t understand. So thank you for understanding that part of me that I don’t understand.”

He spoke with reporters afterwards, saying that he had “zero” personal communication with Iha and Wretzky. (Here’s my story.)

“They should be here today. This is part of their legacy too,” Corgan said, adding that they were not invited.

“Our door is open, but … if people don’t walk through your door, what are you supposed to do? You can only be rejected so many times. You can only have so many overtures ignored.”


NOTE: Unrelated to the above story, my gossipy rock bio Strange Days: The Adventures of a Grumpy Rock ‘n’ Roll Journalist in Los Angeles is available here. For more info, go to

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Dean Goodman