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Column - Billy Corgan versus the world: The Smashing Pumpkins' man best feuds with Radiohead, Courtney Love, Pavement & more
Just when you thought Courtney Love, Axl Rose and - during one of his diva hissy fits - Elton John, were the most prodigious muck slingers in rock'n'roll, Billy Corgan (a man whose tongue can be as devastatingly acidic as his riffs), iron-fisted ruler of Smashing Pumpkins, is back to prove he can mix his bile with the best of them.
Over the decades, Corgan's infamously grabbed headlines by letting loose on a whole host of contemporaries, including Pavement, Courtney Love, John Mayer, his own band mates and, bizarrely, a transsexual guitar pedal engineer. So who's provoked his ire this time? That'd be Radiohead, no strangers to his fevered tongue lashings - in the 1990s he once said in a TV interview his biggest fear was ex-Pumpkins guitarist James Iha would end up playing in a Smashing Pumpkins tribute band with "the singer from Radiohead".
This time round, Corgan has vowed to "piss" all over the Oxford quintet. In an interview with Antiquiet.com, he fumed "I'll piss on fuckin' Radiohead, because of all the pomposity. The value system that says Jonny Greenwood is more valuable that Ritchie Blackmore. Not in the world I grew up in, buddy."
What did Thom Yorke and co do to deserve this? Who knows, but one thing's for sure: whatever his motives, Corgan's outburst is fantastic copy in the lead up to the release of the Pumpkins' ninth studio album, Oceania, out today (18 June). That siad, his acerbic ways should not come as no surprise: this is a man who's written songs entitled Fuck You (An Ode To No One) and penned vitriolic lyrics like: "Despite all my rage/ I am still just a rat in a cage."
As he's now the unlikely owner of the Resistance Pro wrestling franchise, we thought we'd 'honour' him with the best traditions of "the ring" and round-up Corgan's biggest smackdowns.
Billy Corgan vs Pavement
In 2010, Corgan reignited a 15-year old row with Pavement. "Just found out SP is playing with Pavement in Brazil," he tweeted. "It's gonna be 1 of those New Orleans type funeral... I say that because they represent the death of the alternative dream, and we follow the affirmation of life part." The feud dates back in 1994, when Pavement released Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain featuring the single Range Life, on which Malkmus sings about going on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins: "I don't understand what they mean/ and I could really give a fuck".
Billy Corgan vs John Mayer
Both men dated pop starlet Jessica Simpson, and stylised blues man Mayer got Corgan's back up after he told Rolling Stone that his sex life with Simpson was like "crack cocaine" and "sexual napalm". Corgan, convinced Mayer was trying to self-destruct, retorted: "As far as it pertains to her. I think for any person who has celebrity to sort of drop rocks at somebody else's feet like that -- there's things you should really just keep your mouths shut on. There's things that should just be left alone."
Billy Corgan vs Courtney Love
The publicity junkie ex-lovers rowed after Corgan lashed out at Love for using two of his tracks, Samantha and How Dirty Girls Get Clean, on Hole's last album, Nobody's Daughter. "My face is my face, my heart is my heart, my money is my money. Oh, and my songs are MY songs," he wrote. "If you can't write your own songs, maybe you should just be happy that you fooled someone into doing your work for you."
Billy Corgan vs his ex-band mates
Evidently, diplomacy isn't Corgan's preferred way of operating. Back in 2004, after the split of the Pumpkins, the songwriter took to his official website to blame James Iha for the band's split. He also hung around to attack bassist D'Arcy Wretzky while he was at it. "The truth of the matter is that guitarist James Iha broke up the Smashing Pumpkins. Not me, not drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, but James," he declared. "Did it help that bassist D'arcy Wretzky was fired for being a mean-spirited drug addict, who refused to get help? No, that didn't help keep the band together, not at all."
Billy Corgan vs Transgender activist and guitar pedal engineer Devi Ever
After Devi Ever complained that Corgan didn't pay up after she built him a custom bass pedal, he once again took to Twitter, of course: "Devi Ever is a fucking asshole. His/her pedals suck. He/she sucks. Never associate my name and his/hers ever again. Pig. Ugly pig.
Jamie Skey @jamie_skey
For more on the band and their new album, head to Smashingpumpkins.com.
11:01 AM | 18/06/2012
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