History[ edit ] — Childhood and formative years[ edit ] William Patrick Corgan Jr. He was raised Catholic. He decided to start playing guitar when he went over to a friend's house and saw his friend's Flying V. In high school, Corgan discovered alternative rock through Bauhaus and The Cure. Despite grant and scholarship offers from a number of schools, and a tuition fund left by his grandmother,  Corgan decided to pursue music full-time.
Petersburg, Florida in with his first major band, The Marked so named for the conspicuous birthmarks of both Corgan and drummer Ron Roesing. Not finding success in St. Petersburg, the band dissolved; Corgan moved back to Chicago to live with his father. The Smashing Pumpkins[ edit ] Main article: The Smashing Pumpkins This section of a biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources.
Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful. November Learn how and when to remove this template message Upon his return to Chicago, Corgan had already devised his next project — a band that would be called The Smashing Pumpkins. Soon after, the Smashing Pumpkins were formed. To secure a show at the Metro in Chicago, the band recruited drummer Jimmy Chamberlin , and played for the first time as a quartet on October 5, Billy Corgan in The addition of the powerful Chamberlin drove the band in a heavier direction almost immediately.
Gish fared better than expected, but the follow-up, Siamese Dream , released on Virgin Records in , became a multi-platinum hit. The band became known for internal drama during this period, with Corgan frequently characterized in the music press as a " control freak " due to rumors that Corgan played all the guitar and bass parts on Siamese Dream a rumor that Corgan later confirmed as true.
Despite this, the album was well received by critics, and the songs " Today " and " Disarm " became smash hits. The band's follow up effort, the double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness , was even more successful, spawning a string of hit singles. The song " " was Corgan's biggest hit to date, reaching No. Their appearance on Saturday Night Live on November 11, , to promote this material their second appearance on the show overall was also the television debut appearance of Corgan's shaved head, which he has maintained consistently ever since.
The Pumpkins made the decision to fire Chamberlin and continue as a trio. This shakeup, coupled with Corgan going through a divorce and the death of his mother, influenced the somber mood of the band's next album, 's Adore.
Featuring a darker, more subdued and heavily electronic sound at a time when alternative rock was declining in mainstream cachet, Adore divided both critics and fans, resulting in a significant decrease in album sales it sold 1. During the recording for Machina, Wretzky quit the band and was replaced for the upcoming tour by former Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur. Zwan and solo career[ edit ] Following a brief stint touring with New Order in the summer,  Corgan reunited with Chamberlin to form the band Zwan with Corgan's old friend Matt Sweeney in late The band had two distinct incarnations, the primary approach being an upbeat rock band with a three-guitar-driven sound, the second, a folk and gospel inspired acoustic side with live strings.
Released on June 21, , through Reprise Records , it garnered mixed reviews from the press and only sold 69, copies. This tour was not as extensive as previous Smashing Pumpkins or Zwan tours. The new album, titled Zeitgeist , was released in the United States on July 10, , and debuted at No.
Corgan and the rest of the Pumpkins toured extensively throughout and , also releasing the EP American Gothic and the singles " G. Chamberlin left the band in March , and Corgan elected to continue under the name. However, Byrne and Fiorentino would later leave the band in In April Corgan announced a new solo record of "experimental" recordings he made in , via the Smashing Pumpkins' website.
The set is expected to be between 5 and 6 discs. The album was released in early December The website also includes an email listing for the blog entitled "The Red Border Club".
This list will be used for information on upcoming People and Their Cars and Hexestential books and merchandise along with access to additional images. He described work on the album as being near completion, though a release date was not given.
It is rumored that former bassist D'arcy Wretzky was not a part of the lineup due to unresolved tension between her and Corgan. However, she has stated that after offering her a contract, Corgan retracted it, saying that "we also have to balance the forces at play Personal life[ edit ] Corgan has struggled with depression for much of his life, and has endured bouts of self-harm , obsessive-compulsive disorder and suicidal ideation.
The song "For Martha", from Adore , was written in her memory. In the early s Corgan named his label Martha's Music after her as well.
A picture of Martha as a little girl sitting on a fake moon at Riverview Park is featured on the flipside of the Siamese Dream booklet. He was a devoted fan of the Bulls and Blackhawks in the s, and became personal friends with Dennis Rodman  and Chris Chelios. As far as other entertainment, Corgan once commented that all he watches on TV are "sports and Three Stooges. In early , it was rumoured through many wrestling news sites that AMC were picking Resistance Pro up for a backstage and in-ring look at Corgan's promotion.
In May , it was announced Corgan through his production company, Lightning One, had agreed to purchase the National Wrestling Alliance as part of a deal that was eventually finalized on October 1.
He incorporates elements of Catholicism and Buddhism into his spiritual philosophy even though he has not publicly aligned himself with any one faith. He mentions praying each morning and night to be able to see through Christ's eyes and feel with his heart.
They were married at a small ceremony at his house in Wrigleyville. Corgan refused to discuss the subject in interviews, saying "There is not and will not be any public record on my marriage — that's one thing I have to draw lines around.
He continued to date Yemchuk until around According to Corgan, his breakup with her contributed to the themes of his solo release TheFutureEmbrace. The pair collaborated on multiple occasions during this time, with Autumn providing vocals and violin on his solo album and costume for a supporting music video. According to Love, he had his own wing in her new Hollywood Hills mansion. You can't throw enough things down the abyss with a person like that" and said he parted ways with her.
Shortly after, when Hole's Nobody's Daughter was released, Corgan unleashed on Twitter a set of anger-filled words against her in reference to including two songs he wrote, "Samantha" and "How Dirty Girls Get Clean", that ended up on the new album without his permission.
Love then wrote an apology to him on her Facebook, but things heated up. Corgan took to Twitter again in six parts, attacking her again. Love responded to Corgan on Twitter, saying "All i am is nice about you so if you wanna be mean be mean i don't feel anything.
It's really difficult when you spend so much time apart", said Origliasso of the split. Smithe Furniture , using the platform to promote his wrestling company. While Borash specifically had the most input into the gimmick of the three aside from Matt, the Hardy family deny that Borash was the sole person behind the gimmick. Corgan spoke in favor of H. Corgan has expressed controversial political views, such as that swine influenza was an "Obama conspiracy" and "propaganda". He shared songwriting credit on several songs on Hole 's album Celebrity Skin ; the title track became Corgan's second No.
He also acted as a consultant for Marilyn Manson during the recording of the album Mechanical Animals. He has produced three soundtracks for the movies Ransom , Stigmata and Spun in which he appeared as a doctor. He inducted one of his biggest musical influences, Pink Floyd. Musical style and influences[ edit ] Corgan performing during the Mellon Collie tour When asked in a Rolling Stone interview about his influences, Corgan replied: Eight years old, I put on the Black Sabbath record , and my life is forever changed.
It sounded so heavy. It rattled the bones. I wanted that feeling. With Bauhaus and The Cure , it was the ability to create a mood and an atmosphere. The air gets heavier. With Jimi Hendrix it was the ability to translate this other level of guitar. Cheap Trick — it was a vocal influence. Although Tom Petersson once told me that Rick Nielsen called us 'tuneless and nonmelodic. AllMusic said "Starla" "proves that Corgan was one of the finest and most underrated rock guitarists of the '90s",  while Rolling Stone called him and his Smashing Pumpkins bandmates "ruthless virtuosos".
His solo for " Soma " was No. He is also a fan of Pantera. Beyond the Lighted Stage , a documentary on the band, where he criticized mainstream reviewers for consciously marginalizing the band and their influence, and highlighted the fact that many of his musical peers were influenced by Rush. Instruments[ edit ] This section of a biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification.
It also has a five-position pickup selector switch which he installed himself. This battered Strat became his number one guitar by default.
He owned a '74 Strat that was stolen shortly after Gish was completed. Corgan also used a wide variety of guitars on Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. He is also known to use a '74 Strat which has since been painted baby blue. That guitar was used on the recordings for " Bullet with Butterfly Wings " and also " Muzzle ", because the heavier wood gave it the basic Strat sound with a bit more bottom.
In Corgan released to the market his own Fender Stratocaster. A video called 'Stompland' on the official Smashing Pumpkins YouTube channel is informative on Corgan's choice of effects pedals.
In the video he reveals an extensive collection of pedals used throughout his career with the Smashing Pumpkins. Corgan's tone is often characterized by his use of fuzz pedals, particularly vintage versions of the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff  In Reverend Guitars released the BC-1 Billy Corgan signature guitar featuring Railhammer Billy Corgan signature pickups. Corgan often uses the capo at the third fret and asked for a higher-register guitar.