18 June 2012
by Ryan Williams
When Smashing Pumpkins played London in 2011, the crowd was split. There were those who expected Smashing Pumpkins of old, playing ‘Mayonaise’ and ‘Today’ and there were the others who had resolved within themselves that Billy Corgan was the sole remaining member of the band and that Zwan wasn’t… that bad. The former left disappointed, having forgotten that the band originally left us in 2000 with a bizarre brace of albums that were disappointingly confused and a creative zenith in turn.
This is not a grunge band any more. It has not been for some time now. Get over it. Call them The Billy Corgan Band if you want. Claim the band’s legacy is disappearing up his arse if it helps. Ignore the fact Corgan appears to have been inspired by Isis in terms of naming songs and the album. Ignore it because it’s not really important. If you’re prepared to indulge the man’s psychedelic proto prog concept 100 per cent, this might all make sense to you.
Madina Lake are releasing their third album today. It’s called World War III and we thought it wise to catch up with Matthew Leone and ask him about the last album in the Adalia trilogy, the band’s plans for their future and just find out how he’s getting on after the horrific attack on him in 2010.
After last week’s bizarro news about original Smashing Pumpkins bassist and former sexy thing, D’Arcy Wretzky ending up in gaol for letting her ponies go rampaging around town, this week sees current Pumpkins bassist and still very lovely, Nicole Fiorentino revealing to Billy Corgan that she was actually one of the little girls on the cover of Siamese Dream. SAY WHAT??
At least some of those wretched celebrity gossip sites are talking about how superbly-breasted singer and actress Jessica Simpson has been SEEN OUTDOORS with Smashing Pumpkins main (only?) man, Billy Corgan. Apparently they met at a “mutual friend’s party”. This is news. NOT!
After explaining just why Paramore’s Hayley Williams is ace, the next installment of Hell’s Belles sees Emma Edmondson pondering the disappearance of one of the staples of a rock show’s backstage: the groupie.
Sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s an age-old sought after dream more weathered and decrepid than Jordan’s shrinking silicone tits. Boys in bands crave it. Girls after the boys in bands follow it. But only some truly live it. And now it seems that those few are fast becoming even fewer.
Make no doubt about it – the calibre of true rockin’ and rollin’ gals, or band aids as they’re affectionately labelled in iconic groupie flick Almost Famous, are withering faster than your, or your boyfriend’s, cock might do when thinking of Margaret Thatcher in a thong. Just imagine.
So where have all the real groupies gone? The sixties had Pamela Des Barres and her pals. A self-confessed serial rock star shagger, who even babysat Frank Zappa’s sprogs, she made a career, and found fame, by riding some of the most famous penises in rock history.
Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon and Jim Morrison all sampled her lower loins. Hell, Ms Des Barres released an album due to her loose legs and even documented her bed hopping ways in a best selling book. That’s big dividends for little work. She wasn’t the last though.
Watch an interview with Pamela Des Barres
The seventies meant punk. And punk is Siouxsie Sioux. Now a recording artist in her own, albeit terrible, right Sioux avidly followed the Sex Pistols before cleverly taking advantage of the media coverage surrounding them and their followers to launch her own band Siouxsie and The Banshees“. And she’s still making money solo style today.
1980 onwards saw the onset of poodle permed cock rockers adopting groupies who were already celebutards. Heather Locklear and Pamela Anderson are just a couple who found true, yet fleeting, love with someone in that Mötley Crüe. And the band’s non-famous groupies were hardcore with a capital H. Don’t know why? Just read The Dirt and you’ll see.
The nineties had Courtney Love. Who, although not fully-fledged band humper as she was already a working musician, dabbled with the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan before settling on the late legend who became her husband – Kurt Cobain.
But these music loving laydees seem to have been one offs as we’re now left with a bargain bin selection of groupie girls in the noughties. Most of them seem to have rather well known rock star daddies – and that certainly doesn’t play by the (unwritten) groupie girl book. No fair laydees.
Watch a clip of some groupies talking about being groupies
Let’s look at the options. Probably most infamous of the bunch is that Croydon born fabric-wearing matchstick – Kate Moss. Counting Pete Doherty and The Kills’ Jamie Hince in her long-term relationship history Mossy is the most clichéd of all wannabe groupies, being a supermodel and all.
Other half-mast modern day band fuckers include Paris Hilton who is dating Good Charlotte’s Benji Madden, and last, but not least, that thorn in the British public’s side Peaches Geldof. The fruity-named teen recently made front-page not so jaw-dropping news by shotgun marrying the guitarist from little known schminde band Chester French. Go girl. But he’s not the first of the notches on her band boy bedpost by far.
One thing’s certain – these fakers don’t have anything on their predecessors, especially not the sixties originals. Battling to meet their heroes rather than born into it Pamela Des Barres and co make the Geldof crew seem like a bunch of chastity belted Mozart-loving virgins.
Bring back the originals say I. For although they didn’t have morals they had loads of fun losing them. Plus they have plenty better stories to tell than the champagne swilling groupie pretenders who bought their way into a life some crawled through the gutter to get. And that deserves some kind of warped respect. Right?
The Smashing Pumpkins are to celebrate their 20th anniversary later this year with a host of smaller-sized shows in August 2008 which promise to feature “unique sets and songs”, according to the band’s website.
The only confirmed date so far is on 9 August 2008 at The Venue in Hammond, Indiana but there are a few more to be announced. If you’re a Pumpkins fan that lives outside America and don’t have any frequent flyer miles readily available, you might want to try and forget you read this.
November 2008 will see some larger shows in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles among others (to be announced) before the Gish commemorative tour in early 2009 which will coincide with the release of a potentially brilliant boxset covering the 1987-92 era.
Watch the first video The Smashing Pumpkins ever made – ‘Siva’
The band actually wants your input to the boxset. They want your Smashing Pumpkins photos from that timeframe “before anyone can even remember a thing called grunge, digital cameras, or the internet”. Quite.