Singer of the classic Smashing Pumpkins lineup, Smashing Pumpkins 2.0, and Zwan, Impact Wrestling producer, cat magazine cover model, and pouty Disneyland visitor Billy Corgan is a lot of things. And as any casual Smashing Pumpkins fan knows, he’s a man of many opinions. From his views on Facebook to Donald Trump, he has no problem sharing his feelings, especially when it comes to other musical acts. The guy is right up there in the pantheon of celebrity beefers with Kanye West, Kevin Smith, and Kid Rock.
It’s easy to forget just how many people have rubbed Corgan the wrong way over the years, until another band gets acknowledged over Smashing Pumpkins, then he’s back on the soapbox. Today is Billy Corgan’s 49th birthday, and to mark the occasion, we’re taking you on a little trip down celebrity beef lane, revisiting all those folks who made Billy feel like a rat in his cage, despite… you know the rest. Because cool kids may never have the time, but when it comes to feuding, ol’ Billy has plenty of it.
Billy Corgan and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden were cool with each other in the ’90s. Flannel was selling like hotcakes, droning distorted guitars ruled the FM airwaves, and all was good in the alt rock universe. Skip forward to the late 2000s, however, with both Smashing Pumpkins and Soundgarden reuniting in various forms, only now each felt the need for some reason to bash the other. Back in 2007, Cornell spoke on Corgan’s Pumpkins lineup without bass player D’arcy Wretzky and guitarist James Iha, saying he didn’t find the reunion to be “legitimate,” and that’s when the feuding kicked off. Corgan returned fire when Chris Cornell released his not-so-successful Timbaland-produced album Scream in 2009, and again took a shot at Soundgarden reuniting, saying, “They’re just out there to have one more round at the till; same with Pavement and these other bands.”
Cornell didn’t take kindly to having his band’s reunion and new album being summed up as a simple cash grab, and took the opportunity to remind Corgan of the time he helped him land a $40,000 gig when he needed it most.
“When Billy Corgan was completely broke, I got him a movie deal with director Cameron Crowe where he made $40,000,” Cornell explains. “He was very happy about that, and he was specifically happy about the $40,000.” But that wasn’t all. Cornell offered this parting jab, “So next time you see him, tell him he owes me my $40,000 back.” (via Loudwire)
While Corgan likely didn’t go out stationary shopping to send Cornell a thank you card, the beef appeared to eventually fizzle out.