Billy Corgan & Jimmy Chamberlin’s Smashing Pumpkins Reunion Started At A Rush Concert

Billy Corgan has frequently been doing Periscope videos recently that have been getting rave reviews from fans, and in a video last week he discussed his reunion with Smashing Pumpkins bandmate Jimmy Chamberlin. Corgan called Chamberlin his brother, and said that right now the only confirmed plans for Chamberlin with the Pumpkins is the upcoming ‘End Times’ tour with Marilyn Manson, but that doesn’t mean that he will or won’t be playing with the band in the future.

Corgan revealed (via a transcription by Alternative Nation) that he and Chamberlin first discussed a reunion as Corgan attended a Rush concert, and that their initial musical connection 27 years ago was sparked by Rush.

“When I wrote Jimmy the message saying, ‘Would you consider coming back and jumping on this tour? We’re kind of in a pickle here, we need somebody, and it just feels right to ask you right now. It’s not something I’ve been sitting around ruminating on.’ And Jimmy and I over the last couple of years casually would bring up when might be a good time to get together and play again. It wasn’t even necessarily about playing in the Pumpkins, it was more just, when would it make sense? Does it make sense? Or is it forever done? [It was] conversation with family, basically.”

He added, “So when I wrote that message, I was on my way to see Rush, and when he responded, I’m sitting there watching Rush. To give you a little context, in one of the early Pumpkins rehearsals, maybe the second, third, or fourth rehearsal, I don’t remember, but Jimmy played something, and I just thought he was like every other drummed I worked with, whatever. He played something, and I said, ‘Are you a Rush fan?’ He was like, ‘Oh yeah.’ Typical Jimmy, he goes (mimics Jimmy’s drumming with his voice). He plays five Neil Peart parts in quick succession, perfectly. I was like, ‘You can’t play like that unless you’re pretty good.’ That was the first time where he and I were like, there’s another thing happening here, inter-personally.

So there’s sort of a weird crazy divine justice there that we decided to do this together, to kind of cook back up, at least make the initial contact about it, as I’m sitting there watching Rush, who inspired us, and continues to inspire us. If anybody’s interested, I’d say try to catch this Rush tour, because I don’t care what age you are, it’ll remind anybody of a time where just being a great musician was enough.”

  • Wam Meesly

    I prefer to see SP with Chamberlin than anyone else, but it is at least a little suspicious that BC claims he could not find anyone else to step in, maybe this was planned all along? I noticed in my area the End Times shows cut ticket prices to around $11 a month ago. Also, while optimism shines through and tells me maybe Chamberlin will once more rejoin the band, I have a feeling by the end of the tour there will be more dramatic in-fighting like last time….and the time before that…and before that.

    • ITURBIDE

      I don´t. As History has proved, not very much people drop tears of joy for play with Corgan.

      • Charlie

        You have no clue either. (Where do you people come from? Jeesh.)

        • Wam Meesly

          I don’t?
          1. SP went from Chamberlin to Walker to Chamberlin to Byrne to Wilk to Chamberlin. And history never repeats, does it?
          2. After Chamberlin’s third departure in around 2011 there were months of published squabbles concerning the disagreements of sets and band direction culminating in Chamberlin’s exit.
          3. Google: End Times Tour $11.
          4. Would bringing in the original drummer at the eleventh hour before a tour that is not selling out arenas be the worst idea? Nope.

          • Charlie

            Chamberlin left in 2011? And Jimmy’s back to basically help sell more tickets for SP shows or that it was planned all along? LOL. Cynical much? Anyone who says stuff like this and makes up the “infighting” crap doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Jimmy’s back because Robin Diaz couldn’t play up to Pumpkins standards. He couldn’t play like Jimmy or even Byrne or Wilk.

            Anyway, Jimmy left in early 2009, not 2011. It was because he felt too constrained creatively (“I can no longer commit all of my energy into something that I don’t fully possess.”) Hence his formation of the excellent short-lived group Skysaw, where he was a songwriter – and which I interviewed him by phone about a few years ago. No “dramatic infighting” about his exit. Jimmy’s exact quote from 2009: “There is no drama, bad blood, or anything else but a full commitment to music. My best goes out to Billy.”

          • Charlie

            Chamberlin left in 2011? And Jimmy’s back to basically help sell more tickets for SP shows or that it was planned all along? LOL. Cynical much? Anyone who says stuff like this and makes up the “infighting” crap doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Jimmy’s back because Robin Diaz couldn’t play up to Pumpkins standards. He couldn’t play like Jimmy or even Byrne or Wilk.

            Anyway, Jimmy left in early 2009, not 2011. It was because he felt too constrained creatively (“I can no longer commit all of my energy into something that I don’t fully possess.”) Hence his formation of the excellent short-lived group Skysaw, where he was a songwriter – and which I interviewed him by phone about a few years ago. No “dramatic infighting” about his exit. Jimmy’s exact quote from 2009: “There is no drama, bad blood, or anything else but a full commitment to music. My best goes out to Billy.”

        • ITURBIDE

          Corgan is a big asshole, but he is a music mastermind. Rockstars like him can be whatever they want.

          You, well….you are like Corgan, except for the music mastermind and the rockstar thing….

          • Charlie

            You know you’ve lost your argument when you resort to name calling.

          • ITURBIDE

            Well, David Pajo, but that´s not the point. You talk like an insider (or a ridiculous old hipster) but you’re missing the whole picture. the music has transcend the artist. I love SP music from Gish to Elegy, but that doesn’t mean Corgan is not an old crazy trash talking prick and sometimes a liar.

            Sharon Osbourne once said “I have to stop to work with SP for health reasons….Billy Corgan makes me sick”…go figure it.

            Throw shit to Foo fighters and Pearl jam just because they sold out stadiums by themselves? because the only way SP can play for more than 15,000 people is on festivals? Become an anti-vaccine nuts? Global Warming Wacko? And the worst part…Throwing shit to your fans? at concerts?…whats next…marry a Kardashian?

            I can’t wait to see SP and MM because I’m a long tine fan of both, bout you can’t deny the awful truth: Corgan is an asshole and talk a lot of shit.

            Save your answer. I don’t care what you think about it.

          • Charlie

            Yes it is the point! You made a statement that was ridiculously false and instead of answering it you childishly resort to name calling and changing the subject to blah blah blah.

            You are so typical of so many supposed fans – it’s like a requirement that people have to call Corgan an asshole or say something snarky after every other SP-related post on the Internet. So Corgan’s an asshole sometimes. So what? So are a lot of other rock stars (Gene Simmons, Ted Nugent, etc.) But don’t make up shit about them.

            Here’s just a sampling of the many musicians Corgan’s worked/jammed with in recent years/or is currently working with: Chamberlin, Jack Bates (Peter Hook’s son), Brad Wilk, Uli Jon Roth (live), Scorpions, Ray Davies, Tommy Lee, Nicole Fiorentino and Mike Byrne (both wanted to stay with SP but had other side projects, which Corgan let them do), Glen Campbell (2011 album), Mark Stoermer, Katie Cole, the late Mark Tulin and Sky Saxon, Sierra Swan, Ex Cops (produced and performed with), Dave Navarro (2009), and in a couple months Roger Waters, amongst others.

          • ITURBIDE

            wow! you’re using exclamations marks now! I guess you’re serious!

            Did you miss the “David Pajo” in the beginning?…maybe the end is the beginning for you (haha…get it?)

            Sharon Osbourne again? what about Soundgarden? Trent Reznor? how many names you want?…from your list, how many of them could go on tour with Corgan without losing their freaking minds? did you ask all of them?

            Im not a “supposed fan”. Im not calling myself a fan even. I like his music. A lot. I have all his albums and I go to see him live when I can, but you’re not going to see me building him an altar like you do. If you need to fight for Corgan with someone who doesn’t give a little piece of f*ck your opinions to fill your empty heart, be my guest.

            “So Corgan is an asshole sometimes…so what?” yeah…so f*cking what?…so I say “Corgan is an idiot and not everyone in this marvelous world is going nuts for play or work with him?” …yeah…SO WHAT?…are you the Corgan Police you pretentious and ass sticked prick?…”where do you people com from… jeshh”?…whats that supposed to mean?…you think you’re clever? you think you’re cool because you talk with Jimmy Chamberlin on the phone once?….you know the difference between Corgan and Simmons or Nugent? they are funny and people likes them because they are not pretentious pricks like Corgan or you.

            Sorry. I just realized that like Corgan, you must don’t have a woman or not many people must like you.

          • Charlie

            Looks like you’re the loner who nobody likes. Wow you are an asshole.

          • Charlie

            For your info, it’s Corgan who wouldn’t want to play with Pajo you prick, not the other way around. He was the one sleeping with the Zwan producer’s girlfriend while making Mary Star of the Sea.

          • ITURBIDE

            for your info, I don’t give a f*ck. You ask “someone who made public that DONT WANT TO PLAY with Corgan”. there you go.

            https://hipstersunited.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/pajo-opens-up-a-bit-on-corgan/

            now go wank with your zero t-shirt and give me a break. Unlike you, I have a woman at home.

          • Charlie

            Pajo again. Dude, give it up. Have a nice life. I’ll be rockin’ in the free world with my gf of four years this wknd.

          • ITURBIDE

            Wach her if you go to a SP concert. Maybe she’s like Courtney Love…

    • Charlie

      You have no idea what you are talking about.

  • Fernando

    This will not be for the long term, Chamberlin is fully committed to his media enterprise. Nevertheless, happy those who can watch both monsters reunite. They’re my favorite 90’s bromance, at least in music.

  • spiralarray1969 .

    Cool …

  • Jay_the_Sharp

    Thanks so much, I’m a big fan and that was all news to me. Great read.

  • Michell Aristobolo de Mello

    I would be happier with a new solo album by JC tbh… Its been 10 years!

    • Charlie

      It wasn’t exactly solo, but apparently you missed Chamberlin’s pretty darn good project from a few years back: Skysaw. He also teamed up with Frank Catalano to put out a cool little jazz EP last year (Love Supreme Collective).