Billy Corgan

(William Patrick "Billy" Corgan Jr.)

Billy Corgan
Billy Corgan
  • Born: March 17, 1967
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Musician, Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Author









William Patrick "Billy" Corgan Jr. is an American musician, songwriter, who is the lead singer, primary songwriter, guitarist, and sole permanent member of The Smashing Pumpkins. Formed by Corgan and guitarist James Iha in Chicago, Illinois, in 1988, the band quickly gained steam with the addition of bassist D'arcy Wretzky and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. Strong album sales and large-scale tours propelled the band's increasing fame in the 1990s until their break-up in 2000. Corgan started a new band called Zwan, and after their quick demise, he released a solo album TheFutureEmbrace in 2005 and a collection of poetry (Blinking with Fists) before setting his sights on reforming Smashing Pumpkins.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quote Topics Cited
A good artist is willing to die many times over. What's funny is, I've died so many times. Humor
All I can go on is my own value system.
As a citizen of the great city of Chicago, I find it impossible to root against the White Sox. The White Sox organization has been much more consistent, in my lifetime at least, at putting a winning ballclub on the field.
Calm, open debate, and logical thought drive strength to its maximum effectiveness.
Compliments and criticism are all ultimately based on some form of projection.
Do I belong in the conversation about the best artists in the world? My answer is yes, I do.
Even if you don't believe in God, exploring fully the idea of a god or gods should pose no threat to you. Religion & God
For someone who's had the level of success I've had, there's been very little critical review of my work, which is pretty fascinating. Success ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Hey, Christian rock, if you want to be good, stop copying U2. U2 already did it. You know what I mean? There's a lot of U2-esque Christian rock.
I always thought Kurt Cobain was the perfect embodiment of the great alternative guitar player.
I believe that if the Tribune company ever tries to close down Wrigley Field that you will have a protest from every corner of the globe.
I did 13-something years of talking to wrestlers and promoters about why they did certain things and why they booked matches a certain way and what they were thinking and whether they were satisfied with the draw. And I got a lot of insight in the business. Business, Commerce & Finance
I didn't find Jesus. He's been there the whole time. Time
I didn't grow up with my mother, and so losing her for real was like, some sort of latent childhood, some sort of unresolved issue. When she left for real, it was sort of like, I was done.
I do not think wrestling is going to save the world.
I do not trust those who make the vaccines, or the apparatus behind it all to push it on us through fear. Trust
I don't have a problem with 'Idol' or 'X Factor,' I have a problem with when those things are not given the proper contextual hue.
I don't have any sentimental notion about how people are going to remember me.
I don't have to play by these rules or do these things... I can actually have my own kind of version.
I don't think people are fans of me because I wrote hit songs. I think they're fans because I'm a lunatic or a weirdo. The hit songs came out of my idiosyncratic personality, not the other way around.
I don't think people buy records because of anything that happens on Facebook. They buy records cause they're friends say 'I bought this record and I love it.' Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I don't wanna play this kind of cartoon character anymore.
I don't want to be 25 again.
I don't want to be a dead hero.
I feel like I'm always fighting not to repeat myself.
I grew up in a house of no love or emotion - it kind of sticks with you. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I grew up in the suburbs and basically associate the suburbs with cultural death. Death
I had concussions as a kid playing football and basketball, and know what it feels like and to have someone say 'Just rub some dirt on it, and get back in there.'
I had such a big mouth for so long that it doesn't faze anybody anymore.
I have a saying, which is, 'Crazy is good for business.' I think rock and roll really is about being a bit crazy. Business, Commerce & Finance
I just don't want to live in the past. I'm really disappointed by so many people of my generation who - in order to promote their new work, they have to constantly lean on their past. I don't want to be that type of artist... I see a lot of people out here doing really marginal music. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I lay a lot of blame at the feet of Dusty Baker for not being more strict about fundamentals, which I think would give the team a stronger day-to-day identity.
I like my home and I like the nature. Nature
I look at other members of my generation who have basically done one thing, and one thing well, and have been handsomely rewarded for it.
I mean my point as an artist is I'm on my own little weird journey across the sky here and whether or not anybody's listening, or listening to the degree I would like them to, at the end of the day has to be an inconsequential thing because I can't chase this culture.
I mean there's certainly a lot of progressive rock and metal that exists at the underground level, which has its own vitality, as it should. But it seems to have lost its ability to really charge up the hill.
I mean, I'm certainly not a 'teaophyte,' or whatever the word would be.
I never wanted to leave the Smashing Pumpkins. That was never the plan.
I often have deer on my property and there's a fox and owls. You're not going to see that in the city.
I realize I'm a mirror.
I started thinking that if post modernism is about people opening up all their skeletons, I'm going the other way. I don't want anyone knowing anything about me anymore.
I still believe in my country.
I tend to be reactionary.
I think a spiritual journey is not so much a journey of discovery. It's a journey of recovery. It's a journey of uncovering your own inner nature. It's already there. Nature ;Moving On
I think God is the most unexplored territory in rock and roll music. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Religion & God
I think I'm an artistic radical, and I think I'll be recognized as one. I'm a really good musician and a songwriter, but I think my real legacy will be as a radical.
I think long and hard about what it is I'm actually trying to do, and then I kind of have to narrow my focus into that. If I don't, I'm too all over the place.
I think rock & roll has prepared me for a lot of flexibility.
I think the days of working with producers in the conventional sense are over for me.
I think when I listen to old records, it puts me back in the atmosphere of what it felt like to make the record and who was there and what the room looked like. It's more a sensory memory.
I walked away from going to church when I was 8. I didn't set foot in another church until I was 28.
I want people to see me happy.
I was brought up Roman Catholic. I'm not even baptized.
I was fantasising about my own death, I started thinking what my funeral would be like and what music would be played, I was at that level of insanity. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Death
I was part of a generation that changed the world, and it was taken over by posers.
I was raised a Christian, but I wouldn't call myself a Christian now. I think when I was younger it was easier to focus on the negative, nihilist vision... this is sort of picking up on the other half of the body, which is God and white light. Religion & God
I was trying to be this person who is cool, eternally rocking.
I went to see a shaman. He put his hands on me, and I cried like a baby for an hour.
I work differently than most people. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I'd reached a point where there was a direct conflict between what I was trying to be and who I really was.
If I have resistance to something, it means there's something wrong. The resistance to me is a sign of fear.
If I worried about appearances, I wouldn't be at Cubs games.
If you don't fit into this kind of like gossipy, trendy, Web-hit thingy, you're relegated to sort of second-class celebrity status.
I'll come in with a string of riffs and direct the musical ideas. But you still need a band and their input to make the ideas come alive. You can't underestimate band chemistry.
I'm a bit weird.
I'm a green-tea guy.
I'm a really honest person.
I'm attacking the pomposity that says this is more valuable than that. I'm sick of that.
I'm definitely responsible for coming in with some basic chord changes, or ideas. Everybody in the band looks to me to come up with the basic seed, so it's not very productive to come in with nothing.
I'm from a lower middle class background; all my family were immigrants. Families, Children & Parenting
I'm just an artist. I can only do so much. I can only say so much.
I'm not interested in pop art. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I'm prepared to spend the rest of my life playing clubs, if that means I'm playing music that I believe in. Life ;Music, Chants & Rapps
I'm sort of like a lame, single guy in a red sports car. Sports & Athletics
I'm very disappointed in my country right now, because I think we've kind of lost our moral compass.
I'm viewed as this weird, crippled character. But you got to take your lumps.
In a weird kind of way, music has afforded me an idealism and perfectionism that I could never attain as me. Music, Chants & Rapps
In my case I don't mind playing a character that irritates people or makes people question my sanity.
In my particular instance, I came from a family that didn't have anything. Everything I earned in life I made. Myself. With songs that I wrote. Life ;Families, Children & Parenting
In our lives in a lot of ways it's all about fake. You've got people wanting things for fake reasons.
In the beginning, though, I have to admit that I did have a chip on my shoulder. I did want to prove everyone wrong. But after I went through the process and came out the other side, it wasn't about anyone else.
Indie world won't have me, and mainstream world treats me like an alien, but here I am still floating between these two worlds.
Injuries are nothing to be ashamed about.
It just doesn't work without the others. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
It's a simple formula for me now, I don't play any song I don't want to play.
It's important for people to talk and get beyond the wall of Facebook and social media.
I've always been spiritual but I've never had a proper context, and it took me awhile to find the proper context. It's hard to realize you can have any kind of relationship with God you want... and so I now have a punk rock relationship with God. Religion & God
I've been too productive for too long, and despite what anybody wants to strip away from me, I am influential. I am.
I've never had coffee. I've always hated the smell. It was always tea. I was a pretty typical kid, though. I grew up drinking Lipton. I didn't know there was other tea to drink.
I've seen foreigners really shift on their view of America, and that's hard for me to take.
James, that's a bad situation. I'm not saying it's not repairable, but it's pretty far. When you go from being in one of the best bands in the world to some cover band... as far as I'm concerned, he was playing down at the pub.
Jesus teaches us to forgive and I've got to trust him on that one. Trust
Like any good tree that one would hope to grow, we must set our roots deep into the ground so that what is real will prosper in the Light of Love. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Hope
More than any audience in the world, Americans will cross their arms, stare at you and say, 'OK, whaddya got?' - no matter how many times you've proven it to them.
Most great records really start with the drums.
Most of my arguments with musicians through the years have had more to do with their attitude about music, or their attitude about their own lives, or their personal responsibility. Music has never really been the big centerpiece of the fight. Music, Chants & Rapps
Most people are living lives of sort of survival. And constantly posing an existential crisis, either through fantasy or oblivion, really has been pretty much explored in rock and roll. At least in the western version of rock n' roll.
Most people don't know that wrestling came out of the circus.
Music is your guide. Music, Chants & Rapps
My father was a guitar player, and I was raised with a super high standard of what good guitar playing was.
My mother and I parting company at four years old is a recurring theme; although it's not symbolically necessarily present, it's present in all my relationships.
My pat line about the Cubs and payroll is that the amount of merchandise the Cubs would sell off a world series championship would more than cover for a big payroll.
My step-mom would tell me that she would get complaints from adults that I stared too much at them.
My version, of course, is not this flag-waving, let's all get on the Jesus train and ride out of hell. I'm not that kind of guy. It's an embrace that life is good, worth living and yeah, it's not easy, but there are more pluses than minuses. Life
One thing I've learned to appreciate as I've gotten a little older is direct forms of communication.
People think I take some sort of masochistic pleasure out of putting out music that's gonna be unpopular. Music, Chants & Rapps
People try to make a big deal, like I don't want to play my old songs. That's not it. I don't want to play my old songs if that's my only option. That's a different thing.
Personally, I think Jesus would like better bands.
Radiohead and Our Lady Peace are doing the seven layers of guitar, and I kind of jumped on that before anyone else did. War & Peace
Rock & roll is not about what you play, it's about how you play it.
Rock and Roll is still asking people like me to live up to the old guard's concept of what success is but it doesn't mean anything. Success
Rock in the mainstream culture has lost a lot of its mojo.
Saturn Return is just the return of your planets to their original position.
Sometimes people just like being around each other, and good things come out of that.
Somewhere between the intellectual idea of why we're attracted to certain things and the pragmatic reality is some form of ever-evolving truth. Truth
Soon you won't even have the choice to live or die as you wish!
The deeper I get into my life as a musician, I'm discovering that it becomes less and less about other people, and more about what I want to do. And that's a good place to be. Life
The desire to hit a big home run is dominating the music business. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Business, Commerce & Finance
The funny thing about me that most people never really understand is that, at heart, I'm really a jock. Humor
The great thing about rock n' roll is, if you want to fight - like, fight the system, fight the man, fight the government, fight the people in front of you - it's Don Quixote all over again. You're really chasing windmills. Government
The ideology of the Smashing Pumpkins was ultimately more valuable than the music of the Smashing Pumpkins. That's what critics can't put their finger on. Music, Chants & Rapps
The things I'm guided to do are really strange to me.
There are people out there who are older who are cool. I want that.
There is something mighty suspicious about declaring an emergency for something that has yet to show itself to be a grand pandemic.
There's a difference between being a poseur and being someone who's so emotionally challenged they're kind of just doing their best to show you what they've got.
There's a lot of days where you feel forgotten.
There's nothing wrong with technology. It's when technology is the story and not the artist, that's the problem. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
These days you're not just competing with the tedium, you're competing with the cellphone.
To be able to put your arms around 24 years of music, it's really fun. Music, Chants & Rapps
To me, it's the folly of man to make God human. Religion & God
To re-embrace what I once loved about music has been a warming process for me, because it's a good, earned feeling now. Music, Chants & Rapps
Ultimately, running a band is about the relationships you have with people.
We need to get back to a level of social responsibility that we haven't seen for a long time. Time
We were in Japan once where they had 30 kinds of green tea. I thought there was one.
Well, all rock and roll is based in artifice.
Well, I'm known as a guitar-rock guy, you know? You're not supposed to play with synthesizers. This is not in the rulebook.
We've turned into a whining society. Society
What most people do is try to find a comfortable persona that they're in alignment with and the public likes and appreciates them for.
When I've tried to reinvent the wheel, I get bashed for not doing the familiar things.
When you actually like each other, it translates to the music. Music, Chants & Rapps
Where is this great love for rock and roll that existed for 50 or 60 years? Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Wrestling is one of the last truly rebellious American things left.
You could have a zillion Facebook followers. Those people don't buy records. It's about a hundred to one...Record companies, they don't have any money, so they see social media as the free marketing... So... 'Billy, light yourself on fire and stand upside down, and that'll market the record.' Money, Coins & Minting
You have to be willing to deal with the ups and downs of the music, the ups and downs of the audience. Music, Chants & Rapps
You have to keep adapting to the times. If you kind of go with it, it can kind of fun.
You just reach a point sometimes with somebody where it just doesn't work. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
You know Americans are obsessed with life and death and rebirth, that's the American Cycle. You know, awakening, tragic, horrible death and then Phoenix rising from the ashes. That's the American story, again and again. Life ;Death
You will never see the four original Pumpkins on stage ever again, unless it's a Hall of Fame thing. But you would never see a tour. There's so much damage, there's no way.
Your basic person wants to talk about material culture, internet culture. I think about God, cats, nature. Nature ;Religion & God
You're in a band 24 hours a day.
You've got to be ready to be in a great relationship.