Happy 48th, Billy Corgan!
William Patrick “Billy” Corgan, Jr., singer/songwriter/guitarist for the Smashing Pumpkins, was born March 17, 1967 in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. Corgan, along with guitarist James Iha, formed the Smashing Pumpkins in the late 1980’s. The original lineup of Corgan, Iha, bassist D’arcy Wretzky, and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin played their first show in October 1988.
Though not part of the Seattle-based “grunge” scene of the early 90’s, the Pumpkins did seem to arrive on the same wave. Their debut album, Gish was released in May 1991, a few months before the game changers, Nevermind (Nirvana) and Ten (Pearl Jam) . Their popularity and success grew over the course of the next few years with the release of Siamese Dream (1993) and their terrific double-album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The Pumpkins original lineup somehow managed to stay intact until 1996 despite much discord, much of it due to Corgan. He was known as a tyrant, control freak and perfectionist, he battled depression, he contemplated suicide… all while selling millions of albums before the age of 30. Over the years, there were stops and starts for the Pumpkins, numerous lineup changes, there was Zwan… and there was Billy. In short, he is the Smashing Pumpkins.
Corgan, at 48, just released the ninth Smashing Pumpkins album, Monuments to an Elegy in December 2014. Studio album #10 is expected in 2015.