Original Smashing Pumpkins Lineup Reunites: nope it’s not for a festival, or a new album. They’re looking to sue somebody’s ass.
Be still my heart…just a few minutes ago I thought that maybe…just maybe one of my music nerd dreams had come true: the original lineup of The Smashing Pumpkins were reuniting. Hurray! Just the notion of Billy Corgan, James Iha, D’arcy Wretsky and Jimmy Chamberlain even having lunch together brought a dumb smile to my face. Could it be true?
But then I read the fine print: this “reunion” is only solidarity in prosecuting some former crony for leaking previously unreleased material from their epic double album ‘Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness.’
News of the leak came yesterday, with a pair of tracks featuring Corgan and Iha. ‘One and Two’ is an alternate take from Iha’s 1998 solo album ‘Let it Come Down,’ while ‘The Tracer’ was previously featured in the ‘Pistachio Medley’ B-side off of the 1996 ‘Zero’ EP.
In a Facebook post whose bristly prose was surely written by Corgan (the sole current original member…unless Jimmy Chamberlain is still the drummer) stated:
“A NOTE REGARDING LEAKS FROM THE PUMPKINS ARCHIVES: Recently, some ‘fresh’ tracks, albeit outtakes and work product from 20+ years ago, surfaced on the internet. And though such releases are celebrated by fans and media alike, they are the product of theft and should not be applauded as such. Remember, whoever the culprit is, they do not reveal themselves for fear of prosecution. This, ladies and gentlemen, is not some Robin Hood helping out the impoverished. And when they are found out, we, The Smashing Pumpkins (and yes, the original 4 are unified on such issues) will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law as well as bring a civil suit; for undoubtedly this person is a former employee. And in that, we will reward whoever helps bring this matter to its just result. But that does not mean we don’t have our suspicions and leads. It’s only a matter of time.”
Given the massive 5-disc box-set reissue of ‘Mellon Collie’ (which is one of the best reissues of its kind), I’m kinda surprised there were any leftovers that hadn’t heard the light of day. But after listening you can hear why ‘One and Two’ wasn’t included. It features Corgan at his most off-key, chuckling throughout…with Iha saying “I’m very sorry to everyone” at song’s conclusion.
Given the bad blood between the two, perhaps any semblance of them enjoying a silly moment appeared verboten to keep appearances.
‘Tracer’ rocks along nicely though, a 11-minute slammer akin to classic deep cut ‘Silverfuck.’
Both tracks have been pulled off YouTube, but are currently still available via Diffuser.
It’s just a pisser that the one thing that unites these guys (and gal) is legalese, be it here, or in 2009 with their former label Virgin, who used their music in a Pepsi commercial without the band’s permission.
One would hope by 2016, the band could finally bury the hatchet–to get a sense of closure and “peace” as Corgan called for early this year. Who knows, maybe the rascal who leaked the tracks might bring them together in solidarity beyond a legal rabbit hole. But don’t count on it.
Interestingly enough, the Facebook post has since been deleted. The implications of which are intangible. Corgan is an odd duck, from his mercurial fussing to his endearingly eccentric side projects. He’s as fascinating as he is frustrating, which lends even the threat of a nebulous lawsuit an air of crotchety theater.
Oh well, a fan can dream I guess. Which leads to this semi-meandering post that I’m not even sure how to conclude. So I’ll just take a cue out of Iha’s playbook: “I’m very sorry to everyone.”