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Chris Cornell Says Billy Corgan Owes Him $40,000

Soundgarden
Jim Dyson, Getty Images

We have a new wrinkle in the war of words between Billy Corgan and Soundgarden. In a new interview, Chris Cornell says that he believes the Smashing Pumpkins frontman owes him money.

The debt is not in a literal sense, but rather the result of a favor Cornell did for the Pumpkins in the early days. “When Billy Corgan was completely broke,” Cornell told ABC News Radio, “I got him a movie deal with Cameron Crowe where he made $40,000. He was very happy about that, and he was specifically happy about the $40,000.  So next time you see him, tell him owes me my $40,000 back.”

We presume Cornell is referring to the Pumpkins’ song ‘Drown,’ which was featured in Crowe’s 1992 film ‘Singles’ and included on its soundtrack. The multi-platinum album helped expose Smashing Pumpkins’ music to a large audience just as alternative music was making its way into the mainstream. Cornell had two songs on the soundtrack, ‘Seasons,’ a solo performance, and Soundgarden’s ‘Birth Ritual.’

The two had previously been friends, brought together perhaps by their rise to fame at roughly the same time and the fact that their last names begin with the same three letters. But in August, Corgan, who is not a jukebox, said that Soundgarden’s reunion was motivated entirely by profit to capitalize on their fans’ desire for nostalgia. Corgan later stated that he made those comments because he was hurt by something Cornell said about him back in 2007. So, with Cornell asking for the $40,000, maybe Corgan has a point.

Soundgarden’s new album, ‘King Animal,’ was released today (Nov. 13).

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