by Paul Stephenson
It’s fucking hard work being a Billy Corgan fan. Younger readers out there may only be able to identify him as that crackers bald fella who ruined Leeds and Reading a few years back, but for those of us who can remember hearing ‘Siamese Dreams’ for the first time and being bowled over with what Billy had done with the ‘grunge’ formula, it has been a disheartening decade and a half watching one of rock’s true titans slip into irrelevancy quicker with more inevitability than an old person falling over in a shower.
First there was the way he declared rock music to be ‘dead’ and released an album of electronic rock that was supposed to show his more experimental side, but then Radiohead did the same a few years later and proper showed him up by actually being experimental, and not just replacing guitars and drums with their automated equivalent. So then he returned to rock, and showed on the band’s last album that he couldn’t really do that properly any more either, trading instead on some kind of clichéd version of his own former glory.
When the Pumpkins finally split in a wave of acrimony, nobody was particularly surprised, and despite shit side projects and occasional messianic proclamations all went quiet, or at least it did until Corgan wanted to get the old Pumpkins bandwagon back on the gravy train.
He reformed of the band without any of the members other than himself, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as lots of bands have gone down this route, and we all knew that it was him who played most of the parts on the albums anyway. But then he released a terrible album under that name and then refused to play old songs when they toured, even though the tour was billed as a 20th anniversary tour.
Next came more wacky behaviour. When the band were getting bad reviews he called a fan onstage at a show to ask him what he thought (in itself a bit weird) and when the fan told him the show sucked he responded “Oh yeah? Well what songs have you written? Take Your Dick Out Of My Ass And Stick It On My Mouth?” If he had at least been erudite in his response then he could have gotten away with it, but that has to be the lamest comeback since some inbred hick first uttered ‘Talk to the hand on the Jerry Springer show.
Then he proclaimed there would be no more albums, because “we found with Zeitgeist that the alternative audience isn’t alternative anymore. They’re a pop audience that listens to Nickelback. So doing a 10-minute song, nobody will listen to it.” Billy, to be honest I listen to a lot of ten minute songs, but as Metallica found out with St. Anger, there’s not a fucking point in the world playing for ten minutes if the song stays the same for the whole duration.
Then he slagged off Radiohead for giving away their ‘In Rainbows’ album, saying it put out the wrong message to young bands. Then, just to confuse matters further he announced that the Pumpkins would be giving away a 44 track album, totally free. There are politicians who would be staggered by this level of U-turning.
The latest from camp Corgan is that he and his now girlfriend Jessica ‘I’m the dumbest fucking blonde on the planet but hey, let’s distract from that with my perky tits’ Simpson, she of the blandest of all bland pop music, are entering the studio together, presumably so she can grab what precious little talent Billy still has and autotune it until he sounds like a guest on the last Chris Cornell album.
But if this comes as shocking, and you are wondering how low this man, once a God of alternative rock can go, then you obviously haven’t been over to Billy’s blog. For even the merest perusal will confirm to you that the man has well and truly gone totally shitting-your-own-pants-and-smearing-it-on-your-belly mental, and thrown his hat in with the very worst and idiotic sides of spiritualist nonsense on his blog ‘Everything From There To Here.’ For example;
“God doesn’t get tired. God never stops. God keeps going. God has tons of patience. God never wakes, for God does not sleep.”
“I went to see a channel once a few years back. We were discussing the nature of divinity here on Earth, and how I was having trouble staying connected to my body. He said to me, “What most people here don’t understand is that finding God is not about going up and meditating on the top of some mountain for 40 years. You are here IN THE BODY for a reason, to experience the limitation of that lower vibration, and therefore learn how to integrate WITH IT, and also find Holiness in the process. The way OUT of the box is to get completely IN the box, and make the most of your time HERE.””
Yeah, thanks for that Billy. Again, fair enough, I don’t have to like it or agree with it but the man is entitled to write his childlike musings on the world. That’s what blogs are for. I’m doing it right now. But far worse than this, he has also decided that Swine Flu is a giant conspiracy cooked up by, amongst others, Barack Obama.
Come again? In his post Health and A Well-Being he states:
“I would suggest however that it is possible the virus is not a naturally occurring virus. I have read reports from people who say (as doctors) that there is evidence to suggest this virus was created by man; to call it Swine Flu is then a misnomer, as it really is Swine Flu plus some other stuff stitched together. These doctors said such genetic mutation was impossible in nature.”
“Our American President Obama has declared a national emergency about this virus, which he in his own words said was, at this point, a preventative measure. So, why declare an emergency if there isn’t one?”
Perhaps, Billy, it’s got something to do with more measures being able to be more easily mobilised to combat the spread, once the emergency has been declared. And as for this point about swine flu being some kind of man-made genetic hybrid, this is from Doctors, eh Billy? Not, perhaps, from holistic peddlers who want to see you start ranting and raving about the evils of immunisation? Because surely even you cant go as far as that, eh?
“I for one will not be taking the vaccine. I do not trust those who make the vaccines, or the apperatus behind it all to push it on us thrufear. This is not judgment; it is a personal decision based on research, intuition, conversations with my doctor and my ‘family’. If the virus comes to take me Home, that is between me and the Lord.”
Right, so there is no swine flu, it’s all a big panic, but on the possibility that it is real, you’re just going to use it as a kind of DIY rapture? Fair enough, at least it stops the possibility of another terrible Pumpkins album. There is more of this sort of gubbins on his site, and I highly recommend it if you are interested in seeing just how unravelled a mind can get. The post about dreaming of Johnny Cash is particularly unhinged.
So how low can an icon go? Just one look at Billy Corgan will tell you, pretty fucking low.