Real name: William Patrick Corgan
Birthdate: March 17, 1967
William Patrick "Billy" Corgan, Jr. (born March 17, 1967 in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, U.S.A.) is an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter best known for his work in the alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. The Smashing Pumpkins remain one of alternative rock's biggest acts and are known for their complex, layered style, and Corgan's distinctive vocals and guitar solos.
Their appearance on Saturday Night Live on November 11, 1995 to promote this material also was the debut TV appearance of Corgan's shaved head, which he has maintained consistently ever since (as of 2007). Previously, Corgan had, in typical rockstar fashion, varied his hair styles fairly often.
Chamberlin was reunited with the band in 1999, and 2000 saw Machina/The Machines of God, a concept album on which the band deliberately played to their public image; critics were again divided, and sales were not very impressive. At the end of the recording for Machina, bassist D'Arcy quit the band and was replaced for the upcoming tour by former Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur.
The band's last album would be Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music. Machina/The Machines of God was originally planned to be released as a double album, just like Mellon Collie..., but was denied by their record label, Virgin. The album was thus distributed to 25 chosen fans, with instructions to release the songs for free in MP3 format over the Internet as soon as possible.
The Smashing Pumpkins split up later in 2000 and played their last show on December 2 of that year at the Metro in Chicago, Illinois.
Corgan toured behind his solo album with a touring band that included Linda Strawberry, Brian Liesegang and Matt Walker in 2005. This tour was nowhere near as extensive as previous Smashing Pumpkins or Zwan tours.
Corgan appeared as a guest vocalist on the song "The Cross" on the Scorpions album Humanity - Hour 1.
In early 2006, he moved in with Courtney Love and her daughter, Frances Bean Cobain. According to Love, he had his own wing in her new Hollywood Hills mansion.
When asked in a 1994 Rolling Stone interview about his influences, Corgan replied:“Eight years old, I put on the Black Sabbath record, and my life is forever changed. It sounded so fucking heavy. It rattled the bones. I wanted that feeling. With Bauhaus and The Cure, it was the ability to create a mood and an atmosphere. The air gets heavier. With Jimi Hendrix, it was the ability to translate this other level of guitar. Cheap Trick - it was a vocal influence. Although Tom Petersson once told me that Rick Nielsen called us 'tuneless and nonmelodic.'" He went on to explain that while many alternative guitarists came from punk rock, "anti-playing" roots, he has always valued musicianship, largely thanks to his father.”
In a Chicago weekly newspaper during the late '90s, Corgan was quoted as listening to "Pantera. I really like Pantera." Pantera producer Terry Date would later be brought in to produce the Smashing Pumpkins' Zeitgeist.
An Ovation acoustic was used on 'Stumbleine,' and various 12-string Gibson acoustics were used on 'Take Me Down,' 'Thirty-Three,' and 'Farewell and Goodnight.' 'To Sheila' and the other acoustic tracks on Adore were recorded with a Martin classical guitar.