Billy Corgan throws major shade at Eddie Vedder, Kurt Cobain & his fans


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Any excuse to reuse Billy Corgan’s Paws Chicago cover! I love his cats. And I’m sort of loving Billy too, which is weird for me. When I was a kid in the ‘90s, I was always more of a Nirvana/Pearl Jam/Jane’s Addiction person. I actually can’t remember the last time someone important name-checked Perry Farrell, right? So, I was never into Smashing Pumpkins and I never really had an opinion about their music or Corgan as a person. As it turns out, he’s a deliciously smug, arrogant and gossipy bitch. Does that make you love him more? Billy sat down for an interview with The Independent last week, which you can read here. The highlights are amazing though:

Billy on his comeback album Monuments to an Elegy: “I needed to find my way back to the centre. And whether it’s David Bowie, John Lennon or Bob Dylan, if the public can only deal with certain personalities when they cross the line of pop and artifice, so be it.”

Reuniting Smashing Pumpkins in 2007: “We were shocked when we came back at how shallow that culture had become. Even Smashing Pumpkins fans were demanding Top 10 songs. We had always played long, rambling things, jokes and weird pranks. But now you’ve got to go along to get along. Trying to put across high-minded art concepts to 70,000 kids in a field when it’s raining isn’t the right space. When the Pumpkins worked at that level in the mid-90s, I was younger, I had my ear to the street, I knew what I was doing. You get a little bit older, you lose that touch. People started to write about me like I was never going to come back. It’s like reading your own obituary.”

Upon hearing that Eddie Vedder felt survivor’s guilt after Kurt Cobain’s death: “That would be Eddie Vedder,” Corgan snorts. “Somehow he makes it about him even when it’s about somebody else! I had a much more personal perspective, because I’d been in contact with Courtney [Love] through a lot of the setting up of that period, and afterwards. I found it devastating because, whether we wanted to admit it or not, he was quarterback of the football team, leading the aesthetic and integrity charge. He knew how to navigate those things.”

How he felt about Kurt Cobain: “Now, he and I didn’t necessarily get along. But I like to sing his praises, because he really was that talented. I like to think the world with him would have been a better place, and I like to think a lot of the crap music that followed wouldn’t have existed if he had been around to criticise it. Because he had the moral standing to slay generations with a strike of the pen.”

Whether he looked up to Cobain: “No. In the purest sense of the word, we were competitors. He and I were the top two scribes, and everybody else was a distant third.”

Moving back to Chicago in 2000: “I found this thing happening. An uncle, or somebody on the street, would walk up and [sneer]: ‘Welcome back.’ Meaning: ‘Yeah, you went out to California, now you’ve come back to dig ditches with us again.’ The sucking sound of the working class, to justify that you can’t escape it. Like the saying, water finds a level. Even in the Chicago press I was treated like a curiosity, still wandering around like a male version of Miss Havisham. I had this interview in Paste magazine in 2005, when the journalist said: ‘I don’t understand what it is about people like you that had your success, and why you keep hanging on.’ And I thought, ‘Jesus Christ, I’m 37!’”

His daddy? “I’m a person who does a lot better with praise. My father thinks that all the bad childhood and the adversity toughened up his Piscean son. He’s fantastic now, and that’s been great. But as I like to tell my daddy, if I’d been loved right, with the gifts that I had, I might have been a classical composer, having a very quiet life and a glass of wine, and not have been in this dirty pop business.”

[From The Independent]

Daddy? LOL. My goodness, that was a lot of smug to unpack in one interview! I kind of love how unapologetic he is too – this is not a guy begging for a compliment. He’s not humble-bragging either. He thinks he’s amazing and he’ll tell you how amazing he is. He thinks he and Kurt Cobain were at the same level, and that he (Corgan) will be regarded as a John Lennon/David Bowie/Bob Dylan kind of musical icon. Um… really? I mean, I’m sure there are lots of old-school Pumpkins fans who consider Corgan to be one of the best musical talents to come out of the ‘90s. But to put himself in the same category as Bowie, Dylan and Lennon? NOPE.

And why does he hate Eddie Vedder, for the love of God?

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Photos courtesy of WENN, Paws Chicago.

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127 Responses to “Billy Corgan throws major shade at Eddie Vedder, Kurt Cobain & his fans”

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  1. Izzy says:

    What a jackass. And throwing shade at Bowie, Lennon and Dylan? Son, they will still be icons long after the memory of you has faded to dust.

    • SpookySpooks says:

      He is amazing though. Maybe not Dylan amazing, but still amazing.

      • FLORC says:

        I was so sad seeing Dylan in concert a few years ago. And hear he’s currently not any better. He doesn’t seem to care and the sound would cut out his guitar and mic during performance. Going to a Dylan concert is not going to see Dylan in concert. Not anymore.

      • Coco says:

        I saw Dylan a few years ago. It was terrible. He came out, performed, said not a word otherwise. It was like he was animatronic.

    • Lay Lady Lay says:

      I saw Dylan perform last week and he was great. He played piano, guitar, and a rockin’ harmonica. Sure, I had to concentrate to make out lyrics of the songs I didn’t know, but well worth it. I was most impressed by his new sound — very complex and interesting, with touches of Americana, country, rock, blues. He’s still inventing at age 73.

      I don’t know the Smashing Pumpkins at all, except from their guest appearance on The Simpsons (“I’m Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins.” “I’m Homer Simpson, smiling politely.”

  2. Willa says:

    Omg. That interview made my day. So smug. I loved it! I really enjoyed reading this. :-)

    • Mel M says:

      Loved it too. Love him and love Paws.

      I remember one year my big Christmas gift that I asked for was the double disk “Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness” and I got it and listened to it in my room by myself for the rest of the day. Wonder what my parents were thinking.

      • Esmom says:

        Lol, yes, but it made you happy, just like it makes my 13-year-old happy now, in his angsty way!

      • raindrop says:

        Yes! That album was my “please please dad!” gift for my 11th birthday. Luckily he was a big Smashing Pumpkins fan and happily obliged. I felt very cool :)

    • QQ says:

      This Gave me EVERYTHING I want me in a Corgan Interview, he is so delicious… Just the way I let out a yelp when I read “That would be Eddie Vedder,” Corgan snorts”

    • I love it when men get bitchy and back-stabby in public (in a hollywood sort of way).

    • apsutter says:

      “still wandering around like a male version of Miss Havisham” God I love it soooo much! LOL

    • alana says:

      I appreciate the honesty. I don’t object to anything he says really except he places himself in a lot smaller field (of two) then I would put him…but I really like the window into his world of how he’s received and regarded by different types of people and how he reacts to that and processes it. Not many artists would be vulnerable enough to talk about those emotional reactions.

  3. Maefabulous says:

    I adore the Smashing Pumpkins, but beyond the music I don’t really care what the band are like.

    However I quite enjoy the fact Corgan just doesn’t GAF.

    It’s quite refreshing, none of that humble bragging nonsense.

    … and maybe as a cat person, with a little black british shorthair who i unashamedly admit to being pathetically soppy over… maybe i am swayed by that fabulous double cat magazine cover.

    • Erinn says:

      See, the cat cover is what won me over. I was born in 1990, so I wasn’t quite old enough to jump on the 90s Alt stuff as it was happening – I was listening to pop stuff – Britney, NSync, Backstreet Boys… etc. Now in my 20′s, I’ve programmed in Lithium on the satellite radio, and I genuinely love that sound. I was actually looking back at some music I used to have on CD’s when I was 15, and apparently something along the line snapped and I noticed there were some grungier and angstier stuff appearing in my playlists before I’d discovered SP, and Nirvana, and all of the 90′s grunge fantasticness.

      And I’m super jealous of the British Shorthair. I finally found a cattery in my area (they apparently had started out breeding Scottish Folds) but I can’t validate the $1200 cost associated with them right now. Same price for the Bengals haha. Luckily, I have a couple of fuzzballs that we rescued to keep me happy. Even when (like last night) I can’t get comfortable because each one has decided to sleep against opposite sides of my torso, making it impossible to move.

      • Kitten says:

        Hi Erinn-My youngest Fold’s mother is a British Shorthair :)

        It’s very common for folded-eared folds to be bred with British Shorthairs due to the similarity in body type (stocky body) and shape of face (round with a short snout).

        Both British and Foldies are such a wonderful cats, but $1200 is outrageous. I didn’t spend anywhere near that for mine.

        BTW, I added some new pics if you want to click on my Tumblr link you can see some photos of my younger guy and you will see the British genes are strong in him, right down to his puffy coat and blue coloring.

        Oh and I SO relate to your sleeping issued! My youngest sleeps to my right and my girl at my feet. Last night I was squished onto one side of the bed with just a small bit of comforter to keep me warm. The things we do for these little guys ;)

        http://theoriginalkitten.tumblr.com/

      • Erinn says:

        Gahhhh they’re gorgeous – you lucky devil. I love stocky cats. Our youngest cat is the run of the mill domestic shorthaired… but she is SOLID. She’ll step on me, and it hurts. And she’s a sliiight fatty, but mainly she’s just solid. I switched her food when she was getting a bit on the chubster side, and even when she lost a bit of the poofiness, she was just ridiculously solid.

        $1200 is ridiculous. Unfortunately, I’m in small town Nova Scotia haha, we have nothing. I checked for Halifax, and I did find a cattery that has pricing based on pet quality and show quality. The pet level ones are $900.

        While on his plumbing travels at work, Derek got to work at two separate houses in the span of 2 weeks with 3 Bengals in total. I’ve trained him to recognize my most coveted cats and dogs at this point, and he actually asked the owners if they were Bengals… and of course they cheerily went on to talk about their cats, getting me one step closer to him caving one day.

        I’m about ready to go get a new passport and just sneak on across the border for cats haha. My best friends mother in law is in Boston, and she’s offered to ship me things before haha. Perhaps a kitten could be negotiated. The lack of availability around here drives the prices up. The pup was $800 and CKC registered… and I know people around here pay like $600 for ‘designer’ dogs from backyard breeders. She’s ridiculously healthy, from an amazing kennel, and I had the money at the time, so I didn’t mind. I might have to start up a cat fund in the near future.

      • Kitten says:

        Oh your kitty sounds like my mom’s cat-a rescue kitty but with a coat as thick as my youngest’s coat. It makes them so fun to pet! :)

        Bengals are GORGEOUS. My friend’s sister just got one and at 6 months it was already 50% bigger than their Siamese!

        It’s funny you should say that because before I found a somewhat local breeder, I debated crossing into Canada to get a kitty because there seems to be way more breeders up there. I noticed a lot of the show-quality folds go for $900 and up, even with the cattery I used. My gray guy doesn’t have the tight folds or a 100% pure gray coat (he has light stripes on his tail) so he was a lot cheaper. Kind of dumb they way they price them. You could also get a straight-eared Scottish Fold for far less. They’re super-cute as well.

        That’s awesome that your husband is on the Cat Train. My boyfriend (who was an avowed dog person) has become more obsessed with my cats than I am!
        I swear, he comes over and the first thing he does is look for the cats to give them pets and treats ;)

        Anyway, keep checking the local catteries. A lot of places will retire a 3-year old Fold from breeding and sell at an absurdly low price.

      • Erinn says:

        Great tip!

        The cat train has left the station at this point haha. He actually was the one who caved and decided he NEEDED Fynn (the younger one). Went into the pet store where the SPCA places a bunch of kittens to help with adoption. He had never owned a cat. Didn’t know how to hold a cat. Never ever gave me an inkling that he really wanted one – at this point we had just started looking at kennels for what ended up being Juno, so I really don’t know how this cat managed to manipulate him so easily haha. But he filled out the paper work, had them fax it, and insisted that we drive out to the SPCA office to make sure they were going to let him adopt this kitten.

        He took pictures of the Bengals for me, so I at least got to see them.

        It’s really odd the way the pricing works. And, I just remembered my cousin lives in Ontario now… I bet I’d have a lot more luck cat finding if I put her on the hunt – Ontario is packed with breeders of pretty much everything it seems.

      • @Orig. Kitten
        GAH! They are so adorable. And have the same “I’m not impressed, so go away face” that my cat has every time I pick her up. Because she knows the world revolves around her…haha.

      • Meghan says:

        Same here, I was totally a BSB girl, and I did like some Green Day/The Offspring. But now? My favorite band of all time is Candlebox, and I am usually pretty surprised at how many songs come up on my Candlebox Station and I am like “oooh I like this song!” and it is a Smashing Pumpkins song.

        But I never really thought of Smashing Pumpkins as grunge, in the same league as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, always sounded more alternative-pop-rocky to me, like Green Day and The Offspring.

    • lily says:

      I think Corgan gives so so many F’s. I think this sad man stays awake at night over it and delusionally comforts himself with the fact that people are too stupid to know good music when they hear it.
      And Kurt Cobain he was real, modest, talented beautiful inside and out he should know better than to ever put himself on his level.

  4. FLORC says:

    Lennon deserved shade. His memory is glorified.
    Dylan shaded himself back in the day (and still does). He hated he was the face of that generation. That people invested so much of themselves in his songs. He claimed it’s what ruined his chance at a simple life that he wanted with his 1st wife.
    And Bowie? Yea. He isn’t what he used to be. And truly, many of his songs are pretty bad, but carried by his name and his many good songs. Also, Labyrinth body suit.

    And Eddie? He’s not the 1st to say Vedder makes things more about him. I’ve heard that before, but only regarding his band and being the frontman.

    Corgan won me with the flawless Melancholly double disc album. And rekindled that when he spoke uncensored about Jessica Simpson. He’s a plain speaker. It’s refreshing.

    • SamiHami says:

      Lennon’s memory is not glorified. He was recognized as the musical genius that he was long before his death. And I think it’s especially ugly to say that about him on the anniversary of his murder.

      • Nicole says:

        Lennon doesn’t do it for me either. I don’t connect to most of his songs. One or two, sure, but I find a lot of his music pretentious or obnoxious.

      • Trillion says:

        BC and CL are both cut from the same cloth. In their dreams, they have lasting important influence.

      • Esmom says:

        Agreed, SamiHami. And his legacy as an advocate for peace is undisputable, too.

      • noway says:

        These negative comments about Lennon really make me laugh. I know most people are too young to remember the Beatles in their heyday, even me, but I am the generation after them and I remember the impact. Certain people transformed music. Lennon/McCartney, Bowie, Dylan and even Cobain all changed the scene.,( although Cobain may be a bit debatable that his death glorified his impact as he was only around for a few years) With Lennon and the Beatles probably creating the most change. Sorry as much as I do like Billy and the Smashing Pumpkins don’t think in twenty years from now we will say the same thing. While I bet people will still be glorifying the Beatles.

      • elo says:

        Lennon was a woman beater, and he emotionally abused his older son severely. Most of his political activism was a sham and he lived a very ostentatious lifestyle, the exact opposite of what he sang and wrote about.

      • FLORC says:

        SammiHami
        So, on the anniversary even though likely not intentional people aren’t suppose to speak their feelings? Even if their feelings aren’t being spoken directly because it’s the anniversary of a death? That’s some major censorship.

        His cry for peace and different type of music as he went on is remembered. What isn’t so great is all that made him human falls away. And what’s wrong with remembering people as they were? To understand them better and give more value to their struggles and messages? Or was he simply this flawless man who only wished for peace and happiness? That’s textbook glorifed memory.

        Remember them as they were. Not only what makes them a better version of themselves.

        Elo
        To his credit after he damaged his son’s hearing by yelling and abuse he did tone down his anger. Although, it was a struggle since he took so much acid he was often trying to seperate trips from reality.

      • Esmom says:

        I don’t think anyone would argue that Lennon had some serious flaws as a human. But I don’t think that negates his genius. Same with Kurt Cobain and many other artists. Far from perfect yet far-reaching in their influence.

      • FLORC says:

        Esmon
        Agree. And I apply this to numerous icons. I’m not downplaying their accomplishments. Let’s just not pretend they were flawless and should never discuss their flaws. Those flaws lead icons into their paths. So, we shouldn’t forbid ourselves from discussing or acting like they never happened.
        Once we start selecting information that we pass on the person becomes completely new. They’re not what they were. They’re an edited and glorifed memory. That’s all.

    • BengalCat2000 says:

      I love the Line in the Elvis Costello song “The Other Side of Summer” where he sings ” was it a millionaire who said imagine no possessions….” which always makes me laugh. I love John Lennon but think the Beatles are overrated.
      I love that Billy Corgan loves cats. I always thought he was a bit surley but the pic melts my heart. As for Kurt Cobain, loved him too but I remember him saying he always wanted to write a song like the Pixies. Now when I hear Smells Like Teen Spirit, I think it sounds exactly like U-Mass, lol. The 90′s should also be remembered for women like Kathleen Hannah, Liz Phair, Julianna Hatfield, Kim Gordon, Ani DeFranco, Luscious Jackson, etc. They were just as brilliant as these guys, if not more so.

      • M says:

        Oh geeez! Ani & Liz & Kim….so agreed! Why all the focus on only the men from the 90′s (it feels)? The riot girl era definitely inspired me & Ani helped me survive high school (and more). FYI- Sleater-Kinney is back!

      • BengalCat2000 says:

        @ M I can’t believe I forgot SK! I saw them years ago in Athens, GA where they gave a free concert. One of the best I’ve seen.
        I recently saw a documentary about Le Tigre and was floored by their awesomeness.
        As I type this, I’m wearing my frumpy old college sweatshirt, and have a cat in my lap a with no man love on the horizon. At least I was cool once…. Sigh

      • chelsea says:

        It’s impossible to be overrated when you influence everyone that comes after you.

    • M says:

      FLORC- I was coming to comment on the Jessica Simpson detail! I always loved SP and I watched them play an awesome live show in the 90s. But it wasn’t until after I heard Billy’s comments about Jessica that it made a permanent soft spot in my heart for him. She wasn’t respected in the media & he showed her respect & owned their relationship. It made me respect her more as well! Mayer should take notes……

    • TQB says:

      Seriously, I love Eddie Vedder all day long, but that comment was 100% perfect. That *is* just so him. Like you’re friend who just can’t live without the dramz. This post is awesome – so glad to see the Paws cover again.

  5. Ella says:

    Maybe I read it differently because I miss the 90s and I think back in his day Billy was an amazing talent, but I don’t think the interview was outrageously smug. In fact I found it refreshing compared to the current celeb interviews where everyone’s so careful not to offend anyone. He’s being honest about how he feels, and giving credit where credit is due.

    And I thought it was a well-known fact that Eddie Vedder is/was a raging egomaniac??

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Eddie Vedder is a good person. He is humble and giving.

      • Bridget says:

        He’s a decent dude, but personality-wise I think there was a little something there, especially when they were in the heyday of their success. Of course, that was also a long time ago, and it sounded like Vedder mellowed out.

    • JustChristy says:

      Yeah, I didn’t get the smug, either. And for those saying no one will remember him in the time to come, nice bloody try. SPs been going for 20+ years. Flash in the pan doesn’t do that. Lack of talent doesn’t do that. You might as well say no one will remember Robert Smith in fifty years. You’d still be wrong. Maybe you don’t like their sound, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t as valid as artists and influences on countless others.

      One again, Billy 4evah!

  6. elo says:

    I get irritated by Corgan when he talks like Nirvana, PJ and SP were the only three bands of the 90s. There were so many great ones who have unfortunately been eclipsed by the death of Cobain and the egos of Vedder and Corgan.

    • Esmom says:

      Of course there were many others but I think arguably they were the Big Three. My teen son is in a band now and it’s interesting to see who they are looking at for influences — those three stand out from that era for them, too.

      • theoneandonly says:

        Enjoying all the comments and billy’s honesty though I disagree with him about Lennon; And what about soundgarden: Temple of the DOg and Superunknown stand up pretty well against what’s on the charts today.

    • Melanie says:

      One word: Soundgarden!

    • Isabelle says:

      Blind Melon being one of those bands. They could have been a legendary band if Hoon hadn’t overdosed.

    • M says:

      As said above- what about the amazing ladies of the 1990′s! Kim Gordon, Ani Difranco & all the riot girls?

  7. Sos101 says:

    What’s up with his hands in that last pic? That’s all I can think about now

  8. Maggie says:

    I love this so hard.

  9. Jewbitch says:

    WHAT is with the PURPLE hand in the second picture?!! 😳

  10. Nerdmomma says:

    I loved the Pumpkins in the 90′s! As one of those 70,000 kids in the field, I never saw any high-minded art. Just a great rock show. He was a great songwriter… But everyone else was a distant third? Disagree. Alice in Chains comes to mind. I still have 4 AIC albums on my ipod.

  11. Denise says:

    Billy Corgan has made some incredible music and it endures. I tend to look at anyone sideways who speaks about their greatness. But, he is great. I think part of why the Smashing Pumkpins wasn’t quite on par with Nirvana is that Kurt was a great face, as well as voice, for the band and the genre and for that generation, and he was so raw. He was worshipped like a god. Billy didn’t have that kind of charisma or the look, but it doesn’t mean he had less talent, in fact I tend to think he had more and that charisma/coolness goes a hell of a long way to create perceptions of greatness. Kurt dying cemented his status for eternity, it was impossible to go down. Billy lives and gets criticism for still making music! Neither of them could really win in the end.

    • Miss M says:

      I completely agree with you.

    • Miffy says:

      Exactly.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I don’t think that it was just Billy didn’t have the charisma or the look…I think he didn’t have the voice. He is much better songwriter and musician than he is a singer. I still think he is incredibly talented, but I think it does a disservice to act like Kurt was held higher simply because of the superficial. Kurt’s voice was very expressive and conveyed a lot about the human condition that people identified with. Billy’s voice was always kind of whiny and shrill, and I think that was hard to work around.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes. I also think Nirvana came before SP in truly breaking new ground. I can distinctly remember the impact Nirvana had on the musical world it felt far more dramatic than what the SPs were doing — and I was up close to them, being in Chicago at the time and seeing live music several times a week. What an amazing era.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Esmom, I think you are right. Sometimes events in history can be retold as if they are pivotal moments, when really change happens gradually over time. With Nirvana, it did feel like a true turning point. As a Midwestern adolescent, it really did feel like music wasn’t the same after Smells Like Teen Spirit. What people idolized completely changed.

  12. Lola says:

    “Teenage angst has paid off well…. now I’m bored and old. ” – Nirvana

  13. Rhiley says:

    Eddie Vedder is King of the Pillow Weepers. Not necessarily a bad thing but certainly not rock n roll. I am not a huge Pumpkins fan by any means but they have some really great songs. Their version of Landslide is beautiful. As much as I love the Dixie Chicks (seriously) they were not the first to rework Landslide and even though they bluegrassed it up, Smashing Pumpkins were the first to make it something that it wasn’t before them. I wish the Dixie Chicks had given Smashing Pumpkins more credit for reworking that song, but Billy Corgan probably appreciates that they didn’t. 1979 is also one of my all time favorites. It doesn’t get overplayed on the radio so it is always worth turning up the volume when it does.

    • Erinn says:

      Whenever I hear 1979 I can’t help but feel happy. It’s such a beautiful song. It’s actually what got me listening to them.

    • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

      I think the Pumpkins’ version of ‘Landslide’ is one of the few covers that’s better than the original.

      But I just have to add that I put the Beatles’ cover of ‘Twist and Shout’ in that category too ;)

  14. Green Is Good says:

    I love this. Shade throwing and kitty loving. Billy doesn’t give a damn and he doesn’t care who knows it.

  15. Heat says:

    I can tell you which musical legend he’s on par with in this interview: Elton John. Corgan’s mastered the ‘unapologetic bitch’.

  16. Kiddo says:

    “And why does he hate Eddie Vedder, for the love of God?”

    I didn’t get that he hated him, but he had a relationship with Courtney, so I guess he sees Eddie’s loss as trite compared to hers.

  17. funcakes says:

    I heard him on s radio interview once. He was asked about his band members and why they broke up. Of the it was not his fault. He made it sound like everyone was just so damn jealous of his genius. They could not handle his brilliance shining so bright and they were low rent talent feeding off of him.(my words not his )
    I liked his quirky ways until he said, “I’m no fag. ” . Then I was done with Billy.

  18. Jess says:

    He sounds really intelligent, maybe throwing a bit of shade but he’s being honest. I still can’t believe that era of music is over, it feels like just yesterday I was sitting around with friends in somebody’s basement drinking mad dog or getting high while listening to all that great music and feeling like life was so hard, ah to be a teen again.

    • theoneandonly says:

      Although not quite a teen during the 90s, I sympathize with you – maybe as a recent retrospective stated; The 90s were the last great decade: Having music instantly available anytime may not be an altogether good thing. THe 90s were the last decade before corporations and many so-called acts/performers got completely in bed with each other: My son showed me Eddie Vedder’s appearance at the 96 Grammy’s hilarious and the last one he was invited to. Check it out on youtube and ask yourself who today would be that casually dismissive of some little trophy.

  19. Winterberry says:

    Ahh, Billy Corgan. Some things never change.

  20. Jayna says:

    He has one of the worst voices in rock I’ve ever heard, nasally, ugly tone, thin vocals when singing full-on rock, and it’s too sad because I liked the music.
    He’s a good songwriter. But his vocals were like nails on a chalkboard for me when singing rock.

    But when he did Adore in 98 where it was a much more subdued album, his vocals weren’t bad at all with those types of songs, so I could enjoy the album. The album a lot of fans hated I loved. LOL

    • Charlie says:

      Adore is my favourite too, For Martha is one of the most beautiful songs ever.

      • bcgirl says:

        YES! and Crestfallen. infinitely beautiful.

        “But to put himself in the same category as Bowie, Dylan and Lennon?”…. YEP. big big yes.
        no question in my mind.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I agree, Jayna. Good songwriter and musician, but his voice prevented me from really getting into them.

  21. Winterberry says:

    Actually, now that I think about it, part of Corgan’s problem and why he isn’t quite up there with Vedder or Cobain is that he doesn’t have a good voice. Vedder has one of the best voices in the business. Cobain really knew how to use his to convey raw emotion. Corgan’s just isn’t good at all.

    • Erinn says:

      I can’t stand Vedder’s voice. It’s like he has marbles in his mouth. He starts out a word, and it just peters away to groans/gutteral moans. I agree Billy doesn’t have a ‘good’ voice – but his voice is different, and it stands out for that.

      I’m a bit biased though because whenever PJ comes on my radio I quickly switch the station or turn my music off completely.

    • Catty says:

      Chris Cornell has one of the best voices in the business – haven’t listed to his new stuff but with Soundgarden & Audioslave – no one can compare!!

  22. 'P'enny says:

    the last two smashing pumpkin albums were atrocious warbling of the worst kind. billy has lost it :-( and the latest single is so drab. I miss the old Pumkins.
    So I wont be purchasing the new album unless he’s moved on in some significant rousing way.

    • lily says:

      Oh crap. Are you the one who is causing this BC outburst? No worries Corgan will just put you in the category of heathen/no taste in good music. I’m with you.

  23. Jill says:

    I don’t know who he is.

    • Isabelle says:

      The 90s a great decade of independent music is calling you. Seriously, he was in band called Smashing Pumpkins & they were original, even if end up not liking their music. Definitely worth checking out.

  24. vv007 says:

    Love him and loved the interview. I really do think he’s a smug diva but writing some of the songs he has, he kinda earned it. Also, I just started re-listening to some old Pumpkins albums and yeah…that was a great era in music.

    He’s also a bit like Geddy Lee of Rush. Writes great songs but may not be everyone’s favourite vocalist.

    • GingerCrunch says:

      My husband’s going to get a kick out of hearing that RUSH was mentioned on Celebitchy!!! I woulda never guessed. Huh!

      • Erinn says:

        Does he watch Trailer Park Boys? There’s an episode where Ricky kidnaps Alex Lifeson because Bubbles got cheated out of Rush tickets.

        I’m personally not a Rush fan, but one of my husbands friends looooves them.

      • GingerCrunch says:

        Ooh. I’ll tell him. He’s a super-fan, but I don’t think he’s seen that. And now there’s a mini Rush thread! He’ll be very proud.

  25. Tulip says:

    Two things stood out for me:
    1)”The sucking sound of the working class, to justify that you can’t escape it.” LOL! I actually agree with him. There’s a LOT of pride in working class families and if you do anything to upset that, you are in for a world of hurt. Keep in mind that if your parents had dreams of their own, but had to pay for your food first, there can be a lot of bitterness when you talk about your art. Words about your successful, artsy career must be very carefully worded.

    2) His claim that he might’ve been someone “better” if only his father had been more supportive. And I call bs. There’s no shame in being in pop music. And if classical was really his thing, he would’ve fought for it. Music lovers feel intensely about the music that moves them and aren’t easily veered off-course. He just needs to come to terms with being in love with a form of music that doesn’t get much respect from the “right” sort of people.

  26. Alexis says:

    I love him. I was a little kid in the 90s, but precocious. I remember hearing the song Today when I was about 6 or 7 and thinking it was awesome. As soon as I was old enough to get music of my own I collected all of the Smashing Pumpkins CDs. Now in middle school well after alt rock’s heyday, Corgan’s cerebral, narcissistic pain was my own. His vocals aren’t traditionally good (ala, say, Bowie), but he brought his own personality and passion to them. I like that he’s continuing to do him.

  27. Mrs. Darcy says:

    I was never a big fan of S.P., but he has written some good songs that I appreciate more with time, like the Civil Wars cover of Disarm is amazing. I like what he said about Cobain, at least he was honest, And it’s interesting to wonder if what he said about Kurt’s voice and whether he would have continued to influence taste. It’s so hard to imagine a world with a 40something Cobain. The Smashing Pumpkins always felt too hip/cool for my liking, plus I guess I just preferred other more melodic stuff. There was so much good music to choose from back then, you could turn on the local radio station and hear everything from The Smiths to The Cure to Nirvana or The Pixies, pretty much whatever floated your boat (goes to find old lady cane!). He is full of himself but at least he stayed true to what he believed in.

    • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

      Try listening to your local college station. It’s not as good as alt radio back in the day, but it’s still light-years ahead of commercial stations (so aptly named; most of their ‘hits’ sound like jumped-up cola ads. I keep waiting to hear about the product, only to realize, oh no… this is a ‘real song’.)

      (I’ll grab my cane too.)

  28. sills says:

    He’s being a little hard on Eddie Vedder here. We all filter events through how we personally relate to them. Also, “survivor’s guilt” isn’t too strong a term if you remember the way Pearl Jam first got together, on the heels of the brilliant Andy Wood’s death. Vedder saw some of his generation’s greats go down in flames, not surprising he’d think “coulda/woulda/shoulda been me.”

  29. Jeanette says:

    We are talking about someone that dated Courtney Love..so the level of crazy has GOT to be way up there, and of COURSE..anyone who has dared utter CB’s name in passing has to be cut down.

  30. Bridget says:

    Probably an unpopular opinion here, but I never ‘got’ Nirvana and don’t like Pearl Jam (and this is coming from a Seattle native, so its even worse). And I disagree with Billy’s statement that had Cobain lived music would be different today because Cobain’s opinion would have carried that much weight. In fact I think he’s just roundabout making his own music nor important by making Cobain’s nor important because they were contemporaries.

  31. Wren33 says:

    Rock star must be a weird career. One of the few where it is seen as sad and desperate to keep on doing what you are good at past the age of 35 or so.

    • theoneandonly says:

      Good point but Robert Plant, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Tina Turner are still performing and better than ones one third their age. How many 60 year old rappers and Dj’s are there? Obviously, it’s how you age that is the trick.

  32. Eleonor says:

    I don’t know why he hates Eddie Vedder, but the “didn’t really get along with Kurt” is a good understatement for “I used to bang Kurt’s wife”: Courtney said it, and I was too amezed by the “Billy Corgan had still hair at the time” comment.

    • Bridget says:

      I thought Courtney ditched him for Kurt, too (but then got back together with him for a bit after Kurt’s passing? Or at least worked with him)

    • lily says:

      I think it was Voilet and it was about Billy Corgan. Now this is a bit classless but……….. and before she sang it she said “Now this song is about a jerk. I put a hex on him and now he’s going bald.”

  33. Pegasus says:

    PJ Harvey forever.

    That is all.

    • D says:

      Yes! Of all these people, she’s the only one who followed up her stellar work in the 90s with consistently stellar work in the following decade.

      • Pegasus says:

        I’ve been listening to her for almost 25 years now. I love all her stuff, but her latest collaboration album with John Parish has some of her best work yet. Let England Shake is pretty amazing too.

  34. Sara says:

    We so overanalyze people. Plain and simple all of these actors and musicians suffer for some level of narcissism. We should all consider this when they give interviews as it makes understanding them less complicated. Musicians and actors should not be our role models, they are incredibly flawed just like us and often times much worse.

  35. megsie says:

    The kitties are cute. Fwiw they were a gift from his ex wife. A sort of consolation prize when she refused an offer of reconciliation. I got a kick out of the “in contact with Courtney” mention. He must be referring to their extra marital affair. Billy and Kurt were more than professional rivals.

    • littlestar says:

      I’m pretty sure Corgan ended up helping to write and produce Courtney’s solo albums, did he not? I think Corgan and Love were tight for a time.

      • megsie says:

        He helped out with (or wrote, depending on who you ask and when) Celebrity Skin. They were an on/off couple since they met in the early 90s. Billy flew out to ‘comfort’ her just after Kurt died. She was holed up in an Arizona spa waiting out the media onslaught. He was married at the time. Which is fine, these things happen, but funny to watch him tapdance around the topic.

  36. littlestar says:

    I remember listening to the Smashing Pumpkins with my junior high best friend back when we were 14. We thought we were SO deep and SO cool and edgy LOL. I was never a huge fan of them in the end, but I did enjoy a lot of their music. However, he’s really reaching when he says he was equal to Kurt Cobain. Nirvana CHANGED musical history, Smashing Pumpkin’s were just along for the ride imo lol.

    That interview was so bitchy and delicious and good. Even the look on his face is so smug! And the cats! The cats!

  37. Misprounced Name Dropper says:

    Over the past few weeks Radio National here in a Australia has been broadcasting a series called “Love in the 90s” and it’s all about the music of the 90s. It’s fascinating stuff. You can check out the podcasts on their website.

  38. Moi says:

    I loved and still love the Smashing Pumpkins. But yeah, all I’ve ever heard about BC is that he is a d.ick. However, he has also created music outside of the SP’s. He wrote and basically all around created Hole’s album ‘Celebrity Skin’.

  39. Pegasus says:

    He kinda looks like Humpty Dumpty in that pic.

  40. Ginger says:

    I truly do love Billy Corgan and I think he’s a fantastically talented songwriter. He and Kurt were probably at odds because Billy and Courtney had a thing. I’m not sure much of it was to do with music. And as for Eddie…he’s a free spirit and kind of nuts. He’s also extremely good looking (even now!) and a thrilling singer (something that Billy is NOT). He’s charismatic too. I think Billy may be a bit jealous of him professionally and personally. I like that Billy is unapologetic about thinking he’s awesome. I wish more people were that honest. If you have the goods to back it up then say it. Like you said, he’s not humblebragging. BUT to put himself in the same league as the 1960′s musical icons…I don’t know. Since I came of age in the 80′s and 90′s and ran in the same circle as these people I guess I don’t have enough to distance to say whether that’s true. I’ve never really felt like that would be true despite some fantastic talent that came out of that era in music. It’s cool that he’s an animal lover. I love a dude that has cats.

  41. Sparkly says:

    Oh, man, I hated SP as a teen. I did not see the widespread appeal. His voice was so annoying. Even in the height of popularity, though, he was no Cobain, let alone Lennon/Bowie/Dylan level. Top scribe? Not hardly.

    He & Courtney Love in the same breath, though, that I can handle.

  42. jenn12 says:

    Because Vedder is an utter and complete butthead. Corgan is, too, but he’s much smarter and more self aware. And funnier.

  43. Josefa says:

    Eddie Vedder is know for having an ego and, like Billy put it here, making it all about himself.

    This sincerity is so refreshing in a celebrity. He’s not a nice guy, but he’s not trying to fool anyone about that.

  44. Kath says:

    “He and I were the top two scribes, and everybody else was a distant third”. Ha ha ha ha!!

    I guess he forgets that there are people who actually remember the ’90s! Who were there! Kurt Cobain DESPISED Billy Corgan, as did most music critics and other musicians.

    Smashing Pumpkins were ALWAYS regarded as pretentious prog-rock tryhards, whereas grunge was in the process of blowing all that away. I remember rock festivals where the write-up was that Nirvana et al were revolutionary, and then Smashing Pumpkins would take the stage and were preening, weak and totally outclassed by more visceral, in-your-face bands.

    They were a joke trying to ride on the coat-tails of ’90s rock bands, with which they had nothing in common.

    Nice attempt to rewrite history, baldy.

  45. jammypants says:

    eh, no. He’s deluded. He’s not Bowie, Dylan, etc. Only song I bother to listen to from his band is 1979.

  46. embee says:

    I miss the 90s. I liked SP, but Nirvana and grunge was everything. The good old days before things like Justin Bieber was even born.

  47. Ava says:

    I remember billy back in the days before they hit it big. He and the pumpkins used to hang out and play at the Avalon in Chicago. Billy has always been the same…very confident. One night he said to me “we are going to be famous” it was at the end of metal, and I was like ” ok right…” He did become famous. He and the pumpkins were the start of something new before it was new. I like his honesty. Billy hasn’t changed, he was always confident and believed in his talent. Cool to think about those days….

  48. koolkitty says:

    Sit DOWN Billy, no one checkin for ya boo!

  49. Juniper says:

    Well.. Zero for reading comprehension. Jesus, if you don’t understand something a man is saying just say so.. Don’t pretend otherwise. He’s not putting himself in the same category as Bowie, Dylan, etc… In fact it’s theopposite.

  50. Caz says:

    Thanks for reminding me what was good about 90s music. I don’t mind shade being thrown as long as it’s intelligent and accurate.

  51. Yoobushi says:

    Jealousyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy – that’s why he hates EV. Tosser.

  52. Zooeyjmu says:

    Late to the party, but wanted to share link of billy still talking about PJ and Foo Fighters on Howard Stern:

    http://www.alternativenation.net/billy-corgan-rips-pearl-jam-foo-fighters/

    I love me some vintage Pumpkins and appreciate Billy’s sass, but I’m an even-bigger PJ and Eddie fan. PJ has remained relevant for more than two decades and their sound has aged beautifully. You should check out their newer songs like Sirens and Future Days. I think Billy is articulately oozing jealousy here. SP belongs to the ’90s while PJ has continued to evolve. Their most recent album came out about a year or so ago and went #1, whereas SP has become an acquired taste as time went on. billy is a great lyricist, but so is Eddie — and Eddie has charisma and a non-grating personality packaged with talent (although, as another posted pointed out, music shouldn’t be a competition).

    I dare anyone to watch the Pearl Jam:Twenty documentary and not fall a little in love with Eddie. He seems in tune with his fans and is involved with childrens medical charities, which just don’t jive with Billy’s assertion that he is an egomaniac. Should be the other way around!