SMASHING PUMPKINS: Happy Birthday, Billy

Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins turns 50 years old today (Friday).

The singer-guitarist-songwriter was born March 17th, 1967 in Elk Grove Village, a suburb of Chicago. In 1988 he started Smashing Pumpkins, and just five years later the group scored a Top 10 album, selling more than four-million copies of Siamese Dream. Their follow-up, the 1995 double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, debuted at number-one and spun off five hit singles.

After a few late '90s lineup changes, Corgan disbanded the group in 2000 and started Zwan. That band lasted just one album, and afterward Corgan released his only solo album to date, The Future Embrace, in 2005. That same year he relaunched the Pumpkins with fellow original member Jimmy Chamberlin, and has toured with various lineups since.

In 2016, rumors about a full reunion of the original lineup spread after original guitarist James Iha joined the Pumpkins on stage and Corgan revealed he'd had contact with original bassist D'arcy Wretzky. But nothing has happened -- yet.

Here are five interesting Billy Corgan facts:

  • He dated Courtney Love before she become involved with Kurt Cobain. They've had an interesting relationship since Cobain's death. He ended up writing songs with her for two Hole albums.
  • He's a huge Chicago Cubs fan, and used to appear on a talk show with Chicago-area sportswriters to discuss the team.
  • He owns a tea shop called Madame Zuzu's Tea House.
  • In 2013 he appeared in a commercial for Walter E. Smithe Furniture that also promoted his first wrestling company, Resistance Pro.
  • He inducted Pink Floyd into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and played guitar with them for "Wish You Were Here."
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