Billy Corgan is a douchebag. Nobody should argue with that. His seemingly depthless pomposity is matched only by the size of the persecution complex he wields like a weapon. Nobody whines about being a put-upon, misunderstood genius like Billy.
Now maybe 20 years ago he could’ve gotten away with it, when the Smashing Pumpkins’ output included records like Gish, Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. All three of those albums are stone cold brilliant and practically totemic within 90s alt rock. But the years haven’t been kind to Billy. Right about the time of 1998’s Adore, he started losing his fucking mind. First, by lashing out at his fans and blaming them for not being vocal enough in their hosannahs for his music, then by — well, where to even begin. He took out an ad in the Chicago Tribune in an effort to get the Pumpkins back together after their break-up; he held a contest where the winner got to buy him lunch; he dated Tila Tequila; he went on an insane rant against Courtney Love on Twitter; he released a 44-song concept record; he did furniture commercials; he launched a pro-wrestling company; oh, and he pissed off more than a few live audiences by playing nothing but very recent material and obscure deep cuts and even scolded one of those audiences for ten minutes when it expressed disapproval.
Now there’s this: a really petty and stupid feud Billy is engaging in with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Over the summer, Cooper took a minor swipe at Billy over a picture of him that appeared on the cover of “Paws Chicago” magazine. It’s a picture that is, to put it mildly, un-rock-n-roll and Coop said as much.
Yes, that’s the guy who wrote Geek USA.
Anyway, Coop’s gentle on-air chiding led Billy to take a step back, have a good laugh at himself and go on with his life, ending any kind of bad blood before it could begin, right? Of course not. There wasn’t a chance in hell of something like that happening. Because Billy Corgan is a humorless, self-important putz.
Now while there’s nothing I’d love to see more than a t-shirt with a picture of Billy’s face on it that reads, “Raising Cain and Making REAL music,” it’s probably not going to happen. However, Billy has printed up a different t-shirt aimed at upping the ante in this one-sided feud of indescribable butthurtedness. It’s an official Smashing Pumpkins shirt that features an image of Billy’s cats with the words “FUCK YOU ANDERSON COOPER” printed across it. A tough statement, certainly, and it would be one almost sure to show Anderson Cooper and the world that Billy Corgan still had his alt rock bona fides and was the kind of guy who doesn’t take shit from anybody. Except of course for the fact that the cats in the photo are wearing little white bow ties.
We’ll see how Cooper responds — I’m betting he doesn’t since he has, you know, a life — but until then we can all sleep safe in the knowledge that Billy Corgan is basically a Gen X Shia Labeouf. Who owns cats that he puts little bow ties on.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.