The Weird Science of Billy Corgan


Billy Corgan is not sane. For as long as the world has been exposed to his brilliant musicianship, they have also been subjected to his outspoken antics. Last week, he launched an as-yet-unnamed record label with the likes of The Germs, the Electric Prunes, and the Strawberry Alarm Clock, just to name a few. Never heard of those last two? We hadn’t either. Starchildren, Corgan’s side project from the early ’90s, will also be working on something new.

And did we mention that he’s really dating Jessica Simpson? With that, here’s a list of his weirdest publicity stunts (so far).

1. Billy Corgan vs. Man:

Apparently the H1N1 epidemic had been cooked up by man, but more specifically Barack Obama, as some sort of scare tactic. As a result, it is not real and Billy Corgan is immune to it, as if his sound-evidence-lacking arguments are some sort of vaccination. They’re not.

2. Billy Corgan vs. Radiohead:

In a Rolling Stone interview, Corgan stated that “for Radiohead, publicity is better than music — no disrespect to them.” Sure, the unorthodox, but trendsetting, distribution of In Rainbows relied upon viral marketing and freeconomics but if you’ve listened to the album, you already know that Radiohead is definitely all about the music and that Corgan is just full of himself. He later confirms this with his plans to release his now-solo effort, entitled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, one song at a time. For free. How original!

3. Billy Corgan vs. Corporate America:

Sure, other musical acts have capitalized on their easy marketability (see Of Montreal and The Postal Service ) but if Corgan does it, he’s not selling out. Seriously, just look at the ad ’s juxtaposition of music and message. “Will you keep going no matter what life throws your way?” asks narrator Morgan Freeman atop of the suicidal “Today.” Billy Corgan keeps going, but no, not because of the “heavy, heavy money [he possibly pocketed] to license the song.” Why allow Pepsi to use his band’s name when there’s clearly a better fit with Visa?

4. Billy Corgan vs. the Economy:

Carefully executed economic timing is for those without a sense of reality. Clearly relying upon his name and not music taste, Corgan’s new record label with his Smashing Pumpkins producer has signed all underground acts, in addition to his own side project. Talk about convenience. A noteworthy signee is The Germs, (which may or may not sound immediately familiar because frontman Darby Crash split from the band in 1980, just before committing suicide) featuring a replacement in the form of an actor you may have heard of (A Walk to Remember‘s Shane West?) who played Crash in a biopic. Smooth transition.

5. Billy Corgan vs. the Average Viewer:

For a mere $40, all you loyal fans (wherever you are) can access 12 weeks worth of 25-minute updates on Corgan’s video blog that will eventually play out like a “substantial art film.” Corgan’s goal “to create a working model that is not profit-motivated but rather information and access-motivated” comes across really well. Pat yourself on the back for your clear-cut goals, Billy.

6. Billy Corgan vs. the Rubber Neckers:

Having officially dated Corgan since early December, singer/”actor” Jessica Simpson has been quoted as saying, “Billy Corgan has a pure and enlightened outlook on faith.” (To wit, he was brought up Roman Catholic.) Will a possible reality show be called Spiritually-weds ? Or would that also just result in an America’s Sweethearts kind of ordeal? Meanwhile, Nick Lachey hasn’t announced any plans for a follow-up with his new co-star. Shame.

7. Billy Corgan vs. Smashing Pumpkins:

So the break up of the Smashing Pumpkins was a mistake, was it? With the best Corgan logic, the only way to simultaneously memorialize and move on from a split is to keep the original memory intact. Looks like Liam Gallagher knew who to look to for groundbreaking band name ideas.