From Billy Corgan’s new interview with The Huffington Post:
It has been a year since your brother, Jesse Andersen, was robbed and attacked on the CTA Red Line train while he was on the way to work. I know that you took to Twitter and were outraged about this. A year later, how’s he doing?
You know he’s gone through some interesting changes. Part of what happened was that, you know, he got, let’s call it negative attention, which is he’s on the news because someone did something terrible to him. Then he got positive attention which is a lot fans reached out to him through his Facebook and it kind of brought him out more into the world, and there’s a mixed blessing there of course because not everybody is a good person and not everybody is necessarily interested in him, they might just be interested in him because he’s my brother. But it’s also been part of his maturation process because, like many special needs people, he wants to be in the world. You know, he doesn’t want to live on the edges of our society, he wants to be squarely in the middle and have a very real experience and I’ve seen a transformation in him in the past year where he’s sort of wrestling, for lack of a better word, with what it means to be who he is naturally against who he can be publicly, and being my brother is part of that struggle where he has to figure out who he can trust and all those types of things. So, it’s been interesting for him and it’s sort of opened up something that he’s still kind of figuring out.
Is Jesse at the same job and does he still ride the ‘L’ down to work?
Oh yeah. That’s probably one of his greatest sources of pride. I think he’s held that job down maybe 17 or 18 years. You know, you’ve got to remember with my brother that when he was born, we were told as a family he would never walk or talk. The doctors at the time recommended that he just be put in a state home. The horrible term that they used back then for kids like [my brother] was that they called them vegetables, which is horrible in hindsight to think that’s what they would refer to these kids as. We didn’t want that for him; we kept him at home and we fought hard to bring him into real life as much as we could. My [older] brother and I didn’t treat him with kid gloves. We beat him up just like we beat each other up. He was raised to be a normal boy, but, of course, not everyone in the world sees him as a normal boy; and hence my song “Spaceboy” on “Siamese Dream,” because here’s this kind of kid who comes from some other planet and he’s had to figure it out for himself as he’s gotten to be a man.
You seem to be very protective of Jesse. Growing up, did you feel compelled to look out for him?
Yeah. I essentially raised him. Our father was out of the house and his mother, my stepmother, worked a lot as a stewardess, so I raised him in a way and I watched him go through a lot. I saw him be teased and I’d have to get up in somebody’s face and say, ‘You’re not going to talk about my brother like that.’ The worst part of the experience was probably the adults who would stand there, five feet away from him, and talk about him like he couldn’t even hear what they were saying. They would call him all sorts of names that they didn’t think were names — words which are now considered inappropriate in our culture. It was very, very hard to watch because my brother has a great intellect. He’s got a great mind and is very charismatic and charming in his own devious way. It’s hard to explain because he’s his own person, but somewhere in there he needs a bit of a buffer. It’s a complicated thing and the best way I explain it is that he’s like a Rain Man type of character. He’s got certain things probably greater than someone else and he’s lacking in a few things that most of us just take for granted.
I understand that you recently wrote Jesse into a script and he made his wrestling debut at Resistance Pro’s ‘Taken by Force’ event last month. What was it like to have your brother in the ring? I heard he was an active part of the storyline that you wrote.
It was interesting. He really wants to be a bad guy (laughs). We can peer into that psychology; I think he likes the empowerment of a bad guy. He’s lived his whole life sort of being picked on and neglected and here — he obviously understands it’s fantasy — he gets to go in the ring and kind of misbehave. You know, go on a little bit of a tear. In this particular storyline, he turned on Chris Nowinski who’s very publicly known for his work with concussion issues. Chris has testified in front of Congress, and is in many ways singlehandedly changing the culture of sports as far as how concussions are affecting athletes, which is a very serious issue. (He’s helped change Illinois State policy and Chicago school policy.) Chris used to be a professional wrestler in the WWE, so here you’ve got Chris in the ring with my brother and this part of the storyline is that Jesse turns on Chris, and part of the reason that he turns on Chris is that he wants to screw me, so now my brother and I are at war in Resistance Pro.
Did he like it?
He loved it. He had three things that he had to pull off: he had to be endearing, he had to be naïve and then ultimately, he had to be the bad guy. He hit every note that he had to hit and even improvised a bit. He aligned himself with this bad guy in our promotion. There’s a bad guy manager called Rinaldo Piven and as he was leaving the ring, my brother announced through the microphone that his name was now Jesse Piven (laughs).
Do you plan on bring Jesse back into the ring?
Yeah, oh yeah. He’s going to be part of a longer storyline. Part of the storyline that we’re going to be working is he’s aligned with this manager and they’re not going to start blowing all my money.