What Is The Sound Of One Pumpkin Smashing?
When is a band no longer that band?
That sounds like one of those annoying theoretical questions, so let’s rephrase it. How many members of the original group have to be involved for them to rightfully use the band’s name? Yes, the legal questions are ultimately what resolves the issue; whoever has the rights generally uses them. But what I’m talking about here is whether or not using the name is “correct” in the higher-being “good-versus-evil” sense.
Guns N’ Roses recently released Chinese Democracy, even though Axl is the only member still involved. Lynyrd Skynyrd continues to tour, despite all of the band’s key members dying in a 1977 plane crash. But the reason I’m bringing up this question is because of the news from yesterday that Jimmy Chamberlin, the drummer for the Smashing Pumpkins, is officially leaving the band. Chamberlin and bald founder Billy Corgan were the only two original members left in the band, meaning Corgan is the last pumpkin standing.
The official website has the press release:
“The SMASHING PUMPKINS’ guitarist, singer, songwriter and founding member Billy Corgan has announced that drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has left the group. Chamberlin joined the band Corgan founded in Chicago in 1988 and played on all their albums except Adore (1998). Corgan will continue to write and record as SMASHING PUMPKINS with plans to head into the studio this spring.”
That Corgan is going to continue recording and touring as “Smashing Pumpkins” makes some kind of sense if you know the history of the band. By all accounts, The Great Pumpkin was the dictatorial commander of the band, overseeing every artistic direction from the mix of the album, to the artwork on the liner notes, to the stage direction at live shows. There’s a fairly believable story Corgan was so anal retentive that, after the first recordings of the band’s second album Siamese Dream were complete, he went back to the studio and re-recorded all of the guitar and bass tracks on his own to get them “just right”. So if anything, Corgan is more of a Trent Reznor-like presence overseeing this once-awesome-and-now-horribly-shitty band than an average front-man like, say, Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots fame.
But the question remains, when is a band no longer that band anymore? And more importantly, am I the only one in the world who is stupid enough to devote 400 words on the Smashing Pumpkins, a band that hasn’t been good in over a decade? You decide!
About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences. For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.