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10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Smashing Pumpkins

Smashing Pumpkins
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

You probably know that the “smashing” part of the Smashing Pumpkins‘ moniker is an adjective, not a verb. But did you know that Billy Corgan joined New Order for a brief time in the early ’00s? It’s one of the 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Smashing Pumpkins.

Drum Machine

The first lineup included Billy Corgan, James Iha and a drum machine



Fellow Chicago record-store employees Corgan and Iha’s first band featured just the two of them plus a drum machine making synth-pop music influenced by the Cure and New Order.


Frank Micelotta, Getty Images
Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

Billy Corgan played almost all of the instruments on ‘Gish’



Corgan, a notorious control freak, was so obsessed with getting every note right on the band’s debut album, he played most of it himself. He later tried the same thing on ‘Siamese Dream,’ distancing his bandmates.


Larry Busacca, Getty Images
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Billy Corgan briefly dated Courtney Love



Corgan and the future Mrs. Kurt Cobain dated in the early ’90s. After Cobain’s death, they spent more time together, sparking rumors. This much is true: Corgan wrote some of Hole‘s 1998 album ‘Celebrity Skin.’


Spencer Platt, Getty Images
Spencer Platt, Getty Images

They recorded ‘Siamese Dream’ in Georgia to keep their drummer away from drug dealers



The Pumpkins moved to Marietta, Ga., in 1992 to keep Jimmy Chamberlin away from his usual dealers. It didn’t work out: He found someone to supply him with the heroin he was addicted to.


Karl Walter, Getty Images
Karl Walter, Getty Images

Steve Albini, Stephen Malkmus and Bob Mould all hate what they stand for



Other indie-rock icons despised the Pumpkins for wanting to be famous. Pavement even famously sang about them in their song ‘Range Life,’ which groups the Pumpkins with (shudder) Stone Temple Pilots.


Pink Floyd The Wall

Billy Corgan called ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’ ‘The Wall’ for Generation X



Corgan likened his band’s somewhat bloated 1995 double-record opus to Pink Floyd‘s somewhat bloated 1979 double-record opus. Both albums reached No. 1, so maybe he was on to something.


A Trip to the Moon

The ‘Tonight, Tonight’ video is based on one of the first science-fiction movies



‘Tonight, Tonight”s award-winning video was inspired by Georges Méliès’ 1902 silent film ‘A Trip to the Moon.’ The early sci-fi movie features prominently in Martin Scorsese’s movie ‘Hugo.’


Frank Micelotta, Getty Images
Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

Their keyboardist was the brother of two women in Prince’s band



Touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin, who died of a drug overdose while on the road with the Pumpkins, was the brother of Wendy and Lisa, members of Prince’s ’80s band the Revolution.


Brenda Chase, Getty Images
Brenda Chase, Getty Images

Hole’s bass player filled in during the Pumpkins’ 2000 tour



After almost all of the original Pumpkins left the band, Corgan hired his old pal Melissa Auf der Maur from Hole to play bass on his group’s 2000 tour. Corgan broke up the band later that year.


Karl Walter, Getty Images
Karl Walter, Getty Images

Billy Corgan joined New Order in 2001



After dissolving the Pumpkins, Corgan sang backing vocals on New Order’s 2001 comeback album, ‘Get Ready.’ He then joined the band on their tour of the U.S. and Europe before forming Zwan.


Next: Everything You Need to Know About Smashing Pumpkins

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