Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I am the Pumpkins, says Pumpkin

Billy Corgan is, you'll be vaguely aware, pushing grimly onwards with the Smashing Pumpkins, despite being the only original Pumpkin left.

There's been some mutterings that, perhaps, he shouldn't be pretending to be a band when it's just him and some hired hands.

Never one to let a muttering be unmet by a densely-argued essay, Corgan has tried to explain why he is right and everyone else is wrong and If Destroyed Still True:

The idea of identity is a strange one to tackle. For many years, I treated the idea of the band named The Smashing Pumpkins as an existential concept that exsisted away from my being and body. It was sort of 'over there', if you will. Jimmy leaving in 1996 made me deal quite heavily with the concept of loyalty to the 2 members who were left (James and D'arcy) as our relationships at that time were quickly drifting apart. And so on, and so forth, thru the different people coming and going. In the center of any of it has been for me, speaking personally, my music. Yes, MY music. The music that came out of this being and body. I've called the umbrella the songs came out under different names but to me I guess there really wasn't a whole lot of difference. As they say, a song is a song.

What the future holds is unknown to me. I am 100pct committed to the future of SP. I can tell you that. 100pct!! I've never been happier about being in SP, or a part of SP, than I am now. The music I am making sounds like The Smashing Pumpkins. It doesn't sound like solo work, I can assure you of that. But only when you hear the music can you decide for yourself. I'm not worried, because I know most of you are rooting for me to get it right. I want to get it right, but not for you, for me. Its been a long journey to get back to where I started. There have been many sad days along the road, but honestly, these are really happy days.

The road is long, explained Corgan, with many a winding turn. "It leads us to who knows where?" he pondered.

But you know what's missing here? Some hyped-up fauxmotion. Because this isn't just about what brand some so-so music gets released under. It's about... well, Michael Jackson, apparently:
We've all seen over the past 2 weeks what happens when a man loses touch with his hope, his spirit, and his music. The path I am on is one of feeling reborn by my love for my music. I wasn't really deep down sure I could get back here, but I am here.

You see? If you don't let him call his band Smashing Pumpkins, you're no better than those people who held Michael Jackson down and pumped him full of Bubbles. I'm sure Corgan doesn't mean to make it sound like he's suggesting not calling the band Smashing Pumpkins would be tantamount to murdering him. I'm sure.
I will never say to you what people say to me all the time, which is that 'I am the band'. I am not 'the band', I am just the leader of the band. I only want people around me who respect me and my music. I think that is a healthy thing to want, and is consistent with the ideas of holistic living. What would you say about me if I worked with people who didn't care about me or my music? Isn't that a form of selling out?

I am not the band. But it is MY BAND. I would never pretend to be the band, but if you touch my band, I shall have your legs broken. But also I shall break my own legs. Which are never, never, the band's legs.
There is a lot of discomfort as we watch our world change quite quickly before our eyes. Familiarity breeds a sort of security, but it also breeds contempt. If you know anything about me, you should know you won't catch me. Smashing Pumpkins is not a concept 'over there' anymore. Its where it has always been. Right HERE.

No matter where I serve my guests, it seems they like my kitchen best. But things aren't cooking in my kitchen. There's a name, and there's a band. Who knows if the rose would smell as sweet if it had a name that James Iha approved of? We might all die from swine flu, which somehow means that I can save the world by making Amazon customers get to see the new records when they're looking for the old stuff.