Billy Corgan 2019-06-17

From SPCodex, The Smashing Pumpkins wiki
June 17, 2019 – Glasgow, UK
Live performance by Billy Corgan
Europe 2019 (Billy Corgan) tour
DateJune 17, 2019
VenueSaint Luke's
Coordinates55°51′17″N 4°14′13″W
LocationGlasgow, UK
Venue typeTeahouse
PersonnelBilly Corgan, Katie Cole

Setlist[edit | edit source]

Set one[edit | edit source]

  1. "Dinghy(acoustic) (only performance)
  2. "Hard Times(acoustic) (live debut)
  3. "To Scatter One's Own(acoustic) (live debut)
  4. "Faithless Darlin'(acoustic) (live debut)
  5. "Apologia(acoustic) (live debut)
  6. "Cri de Coeur(acoustic) (live debut)
  7. "Buffalo Boys(acoustic) (live debut)
  8. "Dancehall(acoustic) (live debut)
  9. "Aeronaut(piano) 
  10. "Processional(acoustic) 
  11. "Half-Life of an Autodidact(acoustic) 
  12. "The Long Goodbye(acoustic) 
  13. "Zowie(piano) 
  14. "Along the Santa Fe Trail" [Ray Noble(acoustic) (live debut)

Set two[edit | edit source]

  1. "Wound(acoustic) 
  2. "Thirty-Three(acoustic) 
  3. "Honestly(acoustic) 
  4. "Spaceboy(acoustic) 
  5. "Violet Rays(acoustic) 
  6. "Tonight, Tonight(acoustic) 
  7. "Outshined" [Soundgarden(tease) (acoustic) 
  8. "Shame(acoustic) 
  9. "Travels(piano) 
  10. "Disarm(piano) 

Encore[edit | edit source]

  1. "1979(acoustic) 

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • "Buffalo Boys" and "Dancehall" with Katie Cole on backing vocals
  • First full performance of "Honestly" since 2003-06-13
  • First performance of "Violet Rays" since 2013-05-07; first solo performance since 2012-09-13
  • First performances of "Wound" and "Shame" since 2017-11-11
  • First performance of "Spaceboy" since 2017-11-12
  • First solo performances of "Honestly" and "Travels"

Banter[edit | edit source]

Hard Times
To Scatter One’s Own
BC: Good evening. Appreciate you listening.
Guy in crowd: Hi Billy.
BC: Don’t fuck me up. ... These are some songs from my um, my album that’s coming out in the fall. So you have the...distinction of being the first people to hear these songs.
Faithless Darlin’
BC: Yesterday, my band, Smashing Pumpkins, played at Castle Donington--oh no, wait--in front of fifty thousand metal maniacs and uh...
Guy in crowd: Hooray!
BC: ...yeah.
Cri de Coeur
BC: Lots of people wanna know what I put in this bottle: it’s cocaine. I know you guys like that here. At this time, I’d like to bring out Ms. Katie Cole to join me on a couple songs. It’s not just awesome to just sing with Katie, but Katie’s actually on these songs on the album, so....
Guy in crowd: [unintelligible]
Buffalo Boys (abandoned after first two chords)
BC: Excuse me?
Buffalo Boys (with Katie Cole)
Dancehall (with Katie Cole)
BC: Thank you very much, thank you. Normally I don’t talk much at shows anymore, ‘cause when I used to talk at shows, people used to yell at me and say “Shut the fuck up and play some music.” True story. But...I thought it might be interesting because I find there’s this weird dichotomy when I play with the band and I play on my own and by myself--play with myself. (crowd laughs) Um, yes. I know you paid for a show. And uh...I know, [2 unintelligible words], I get it. Anyway, point being is that, um, as strange it is to me as a songwriter who’s written a lot of songs that hopefully you know, um, that when I play on my own, that it seems to be some sort of discrepancy there, like, kinda like “What is it?” and in my mind, it’s like “What do you mean, ‘what is it?’ I just write my songs and I’ll play.” And sometimes we actually play together and even that’s confusing to people because it’s like “Well, it’s not the thing I know and....”, but to us, it’s all the same: music, art, ‘cause our music is our music, always, no matter what permutation and so I appreciate you being here to listen to these songs. So I thought, well...maybe if I start talking for the first time about what some of these songs are about, maybe people will come to the shows because--not just because they wanna hear the music, but because they wanna sort of experience something that you wouldn’t necessarily experience, like it’s not lesser than the band, it’s just different from the band. And so, tonight I’m gonna talk about some of these songs and I’ll probably ramble, but, um, I chose a long time ago--somewhere about 30 years ago--that I would stop talking about what my songs were about, I’d read some review and somebody said, you know, “This song is so obviously about his frustration with his mother” or some shit. And usually they were wearing a beard, which is always weird to me. Anyway, this song is the uh--it’s one of my favorite songs from my last solo album, Ogilala, which my good friend Rick Rubin produced, and I’d like to tell you a short story about that. So I was very depressed, um, and yes, even though I have a reputation of being a depressive person, I’m not depressed most of the time. Heh heh heh, it’s true, but um, I was depressed in this period and I felt very disenchanted about what was going on with me musically. I pretty much thought the band was done, we had made an album called Monuments to an Elegy, which no one seemed to care about too much. (a few hoots from the crowd) Thank you. I’m glad you were that eight people up here that bought the album. And uh...yeah, so um, I got a call one day from Rick--we’ve been knowing each other for many years--and he said, “What are you doing?” And I said, “Well, I’m writing these songs, but they’re folk songs and I don’t think it’s anything you’d wanna hear” and he says, “No, I really wanna hear them.” So I sent ‘em to him and, about a month later, he called me and I was shocked and he said, “These are great, like, keep writing.” And I was like (does a double take), like you look at the phone like “Is this serious?” And so I wrote more songs and um, this song in particular, which I wrote about my son, who’s now approaching four years old. It’s my first born, Augustus Juppiter. And uh, it was actually originally very very fast and even though it kinda blows the song a little bit to show you what I mean, I’ll do it. So it’s kind of more like, (singing and playing a jaunty piano melody) “Tumbling down the middle, the world survives, look out, son....” (stops playing piano and speaks) It was like, bouncy. And I--I didn’t even wanna play it for Rick ‘cause I didn’t--I thought, “No, he’s not gonna like this one.” And I play it for him, he goes, “Oh, that’s great.” And I was so shocked and then somehow he convinced me to slow it down, so this is the version that Rick talked me into, which I’m very grateful for.
Aeronaut (piano)
BC: How’s everybody doing, you okay?
Lady in crowd: How are you, Billy?
(Billy is drinking water, but shrugs and the crowd laughs)
Half-Life of an Autodidact
BC: So I’ll tell you a quick funny story about this song. Well, it actually goes back to about 1989. We used to practice in this drug dealer’s warehouse that was a friend of my dad, who was also a drug dealer. And uh, the guy would let us use the space for free, so that was part of the attraction. And um, we’re playing a new song, which, you know, is lost to obscurity, and at some point, somebody in the band said, “What are you singing?” And I said, um, whatever I said was the line, you know, “My amorphous heart splits into an atom too” or something. And somebody said...“It’s kinda weird.” And I said, (points) “Shut the fuck up. Don’t ever, ever talk to me about my lyrics.” And to the band’s credit, they respected that. True. I respect them because they let me say how I wanted, how--what I wanted to say how I wanted to say it with no censor, no anything. On stage or in the songs. And so, that ethos has carried with me in my life, so generally speaking I don’t--when I work with people: in this case, the bearded Buddha, Rick Rubin--it’s not like we sit and I go, “Oh yeah, this song’s about, you know, the cosmos or something,” I just play him the song and he likes it or he doesn’t like it and we record it or we don’t record it. And so, for this album that we did, Ogilala....
Somebody in crowd: Woo!
BC: Thank you. Uh, Rick wanted to do everything live, so it was simply a matter of going out into the studio...which, amazingly, survived the fires of Malibu, I don’t know if anybody heard about those, but they--I think they lost ten thousand homes. Just cray--crazy fire. And um, but somehow his studio where we recorded this album survived, this historic studio. And so I--I would vibe out and do the takes and, as you’ll hear, it’s a fairly intimate song. And I came back in to get Rick’s feedback on the takes and he goes, “Is this song about aliens?” I said, “And you is, heh, this is crazy.” And he’s like, “Cool, man, tell me more.” And I said, “Well, to be honest”--and I’m being honest with you, obviously--I said, “To be honest, this song is about me singing to the aliens, ‘Get me the fuck off this planet!’” (gesticulating unintelligibly during next sentence) Always with the...bring the band and the...thing and we.... So if you’re nice, I’ll take you to them. So, that’s what the song is about.
The Long Goodbye
BC: Now I’ve made the mistake of talking about this the press. I don’t know why. But I said--‘cause you get asked the standard question, like, “Oh, I really like that song.” I recognize that it might have something to do with David Bowie’s son, now a famed director, but at the time, originally he was named (pronounces with short “o”, like “ow”) Zowie Bowie or (pronounces with long “o”, like “oh”) Zowie Bowie. And so I named this song (pronounced with short “o”) Zow--I call it Zowie. And I made the mistake of saying “Yeah, it’s got something to do with David Bowie,” who had recently passed. And that turned into “the song is about David Bowie.” Not that that’s a problem ‘cause I love David Bowie and I know a lot of you do too. ‘Course I remember also in the ‘90s when David was getting treated really badly. Heh heh, but now they love him. But that’s a story for another day.
Guy in crowd: We all love having you here, man.
BC: I don’t know what you said, but I’m sure it was important. Anyway. So I will tell you...what this song is about. I started playing these chords. (plays approx. first 11 chords of Zowie) And then I thought, oh, that’s kind of cool, that sounds like something David would wrote, that’s like a kind of a typical kind of David [unintelligible word] type change. And I’ve made no bones about how much I’ve taken from David as an inspiration,, I start writing the song and I start playing this song, I started thinking about David, about his death and his career and our personal conversations and the time I got to spend with him and the time he invited me to play his 50th birthday party at Madison Square Garden with Lou Reed and Robert Smith and uh, so many other great artists. Is this interesting, my little...? I hear Scots ordering beer and I dunno...I realize that’s like blood around here but, um, anyway. a songwriter, I can’t speak for everybody but when I play, different energies kinda flowed in and out. Memories, conversations, opinions. So now I’m playing this--(plays first 6 chords under talking) one of these chords and I’m meditating on it...this man. And then I go off it. But the truth of the matter is is...maybe about two months, three months after David died, he came to me in a dream. And I’ve had these dreams throughout my life where when someone passes to the other side, I have a very specific type of dream, um, and the dreams are so real, I can actually touch things in the dream, like it feels--I don’t know if I’m having these dreams. Like, most of my dreams are weird and--like everybody’s dreams--but in these specific dreams, like, there’s physical--it’s as much of a reality as we’re in right now. Like, there’s a floor and there’s--and I can feel everything and I can--if somebody hugs me, I can feel them hugging me. So it’s almost like an alternate reality, I don’t know, and I’ve had relatives come, I’ve had other famous people come, I’ve had people I don’t even know come. And David came to me in a dream. And no, I don’t want to talk about the dream ‘cause there was specific things only for me and of course I don’t want the press or the clickbait world to abuse it, not that they would. But that’s really about honoring in the only way that I know how. Not to rip him off, not to say he was a god, he was a man like any other. But what he did for me and the fact that in my own way, I felt he reached out to me to let me know, “Hey, I’m okay,” and then he showed me very specific things that told me keep going and so that’s what this song is about.
Zowie (piano)
Guy in crowd: [unintelligible song title]!
BC: Thank you.
Guy in crowd: [same unintelligible song title]!
BC: I don’t take requests ‘cause I’m not a jukebox. I’m impressed I didn’t cuss there. So, normally when I do these shows, I play two sets, so this is the last song in the first part. Gives you a chance to talk amongst yourselves. But for those in the crowd shouting requests....
Different guy in crowd: Love the new songs.
BC: Which one? (no response, Billy sort of shrugs, the crowd laughs and a few people shout requests) Excuse me? No no, I’m not asking for requests, so shut the fuck up. If the last 31 years have not proven to you that I’m not a puppet, tonight will not change your mind. But, being an accommodating soul, in the second set, which comes about 20 minutes after the cessation of this moment, I tend to play songs that you might know and lost your virginity to. You’ll get there, buddy. (Billy stops and starts guitar for Along the Santa Fe Trail a few times while he continues speaking) That is assuming that you have lost your virginity. Let’s just put it this way: I’m from Chicago and Chicago’s a lot like this town. And if you know what I mean by that, you’ll know not to fuck with me. Let’s just say, occasionally along the way, I made the mistake of fucking with Shirley Manson and I learned you don’t fuck with Shirley Manson. So this is an old cowboy song and this is how we’ll end.
Along the Santa Fe Trail
[set break]
(Billy casually tosses a guitar pick into the crowd and a few people cheer)
BC: That goes for the people taking the selfies in the front row, heh heh.
BC: Thank you very much, thank you. As some of you know, I grew up in a very strange circumstance where my mother and father had me when they were 19. And then my parents split up, my father took my brother out of the country and I was left with my mother who had some serious issues, was institutionalized in a mental hospital and I never lived with my mother after that, I went to live with my great-grandmother, who was born in Belgium. Barely spoke English, but treated me better than anyone ever treated my life and I had this idyllic year at four years old of being in my great-grandmother Martha’s care with my grandfather, her son, my mother’s father. And...I didn’t hear from my father for a year or so and one day he just showed up and said, “Come with me,” and...I found myself living in a motor home, which if you know what that is, it’s like a trailer with wheels. And he was remarried and then suddenly I was in this new family, my brother who had left when he was quite young didn’t know who I was. The first day I was there, my brother leapt on me like a panther and bit a chunk out of my back that day and that was my start of that journey. My father was incarcerated multiple times and when I was about 11, he got into really serious trouble and went into jail at the time for, I believe it was 12 years. He was able to somehow wrangle himself out of the situation, I won’t say how, you’ll have to read the book for that one. Let’s just say it wasn’t legal. And uh, and at some point in that maelstrom--before he went to jail--my brother Jesse was born. And he was born--at first, we thought he was like every other baby, and we quickly realized...that he wasn’t healthy. He had open heart surgery when he was like maybe six months old. And uh, he had a rare chromosomal disorder which is related to Down syndrome, but is a different pair of chromosomes and at the time that he was born in nineteen...seventy-seven or something like that, there was only 100 reported cases in the entire world, so they didn’t really know what my brother’s situation was, but we were told very early on that he would never walk, talk or um--and that basically we should put him in a state home and he would literally know, just throw him away. To my stepmother’s credit, she refused to do that and we raised him as best we could with every benefit of older brothers. My mother’s--stepmother’s great story is the day that we used him for a base. It was second base. We, heh...she makes it sound very dramatic, but when we got to second base, we just had to touch his head. We weren’t stepping on him and he had quite a big Afro. My brother was one of the first generation of--and I use this word loosely--disabled people in America to engage in a program called--I think they called it mainlining or streamlining--where he was put into quote unquote normal classes. So at 16 years old, he was fully confronted not only with his disability, but the fact that he wasn’t like all the other kids. And uh, my response to that was give him the Metallica Black Album. And I will say my brother is a vicious metal fan. With incredibly good taste there.
Guy in crowd: Billy, we love your brother.
BC: Thank you. And so, um....
Girl in crowd: [4 unintelligible words].
BC: That’s fine. Um, and somewhere along the way, my brother got another young woman who is disabled. And um, that lasted for a few years. I didn’t judge it, but it didn’t seem like love in appearances. When they made the decision to get a divorce, her family wanted to try to go after my brother because they were so sure that he was sitting on a bunch of money from me. And so my brother was tormented by this situation. After he was divorced, he came out as gay and my brother now lives as a gay man in the world, and I’m very proud of my brother because for someone who started under such incredibly difficult circumstances, he lives his life with complete conviction and passion. And so I’d like to play a song that I wrote for my brother around 1992.
Guy in crowd: Spaceboy! (crowd cheers)
BC: No, no, it wasn’t that song. Well, heh heh, it’s actually that song.
Violet Rays
BC: I’m not much for dedications, but I would like to dedicate this song to someone from here. As some of you, I work in professional wrestling. It’s my other job. And uh, I’d like to dedicate this song to my brother Drew Galloway, Drew McIntyre, who’s crushing in the WWE.
Guy in crowd: [unintelligible].
BC: Yeah, something like that.
Tonight, Tonight
(various crowd members yelling at each other)
BC: (hippie voice) It’s all good, man, it’s all good. (normal voice) I can’t kill you with volume, but I can kill you with sorrow.
Guy in crowd: The night of a sad man!
BC: Whatever you said, man. Just cut the puppet strings and let me free. This next song comes from an album called Adore. Most people didn’t like it at the time.
Guy in crowd: They’re chumps!
BC: Yes, they were [unintelligible word]. And this particular song, uh, do you wanna hear the story or not? I am gonna keep playing and not talking, I honestly will. This particular s -
Guy in crowd: I love [unintelligible].
BC: Fantastic. As long as he’s okay with you sharing that.
Other guy in crowd: One night where we pause for a minute.
BC: Heh heh heh heh heh. I woke up, wrote the song and an hour later, we were in the studio, James, D’arcy and I and we recorded this song. (a guy in crowd is talking loudly under next sentence) And the version is straight out of a dream, whatever dream. And straight out of your fish and chips shop or whatever the fuck you’re talking about.
Loud guy in crowd: No! [2-3 unintelligible words] was talking to security, I’m sorry but some guy [2-3 unintelligible words] in the back.
BC: Can we have a security here? I--if you have a problem, it’s fine. Security is here? Okay, good. Want everybody to be happy, safe. I’ll just play grunge riffs.
Outshined (tease - Billy doodles with the riff for about 30 seconds)
BC: Still having a good time? Heh heh heh.
Travels (piano)
BC: Thank you. Now the very nice people here have extended the time so I can play a little bit more, so thank you very much to the people here. I’ve told this story before, but...I’m sure most of you don’t know it. And quite frankly, it’s a subject that I’ve taken a lot more interest in lately because, at least in my home country, the rate of suicide is going through the roof like never before, and particularly with young people. And there was a period in my life, somewhere about nineteen ninety...two where I thought many times about killing myself. And um, I don’t mean just meditating on it, I mean like planning it, I gave away all my stuff. Somebody handed me a checklist of the ten signs of suicidal prevention and I was nine out of a ten on the checklist. And I had started thinking about my funeral and what would people say and what would the pictures look like, and I went completely into that zone and if anybody here knows what I’m talking about, I feel bad because that’s a horrible place to be. And I encourage you, if anybody talks about killing themself, please take it seriously because this is an epidemic that I think we don’t know yet how to deal with because social media is obviously kicking some other thing into gear, um yeah, with young people particularly, obviously people suffer everywhere, and so, if that’s you, please talk to people because I didn’t. I didn’t talk to anybody. Nobody in my band knew and this went on suckily for a long time, somewhere in the neighborhood of about two months. And then they say once you get into the planning the funeral part, that’s when it gets really dangerous, because you start romanticizing the idea of death. And so, at some point, let’s pretend, I said, “Okay, it’s Tuesday, I’m gonna kill myself Friday.” And um, you can laugh, it’s funny, heh heh heh. And it was like, “Okay, Tuesday, Wednesday, okay, Friday, it’s gonna happen,” and I had various scenarios, one of which was taking a bunch of mushrooms and throwing myself out the window. Psychedelic. If you’re gonna go, uh, heh.... And I woke up on that Friday morning and I was like, “You fucking coward, you don’t have the guts to do it.” And so I was faced--because it had built up for so long over the, probably a period of about nine months--I was faced with this really stark decision. Either I had to go on in my mind like a coward, “Whelp, I didn’t have the guts to kill myself because I’m so weak” or just get it over with because I was bored with the subject quite frankly and I don’t mean to say that without any humility, I was literally bored with thinking about death, particularly my own. And so, I made a decision that day that I was going to live and something broke withinside [sic] me that said, “Okay, well, if you’re gonna live, then maybe you should start being the person that you actually are and not the person that you think you should be or want to be, just be the person you are.” (crowd cheers) Thank you. Which of course is a very weird, vampire bat-like person. And in the course of the next two days, I wrote a song called Today, which I’m sure some of you know. And I wrote this song, which absolutely changed my life. And the last note that I’d like to bring up, ‘cause I was thinking about this on the train in today from the U.K.--well, I guess we’re, are we still in the U.K.? I can never, I don’t know these things, I’m sorry. I’m sorry! Brexit, I don’t know where anybody is anymore. I mean, come on, we got our own stuff going on in America. If you’d have told me at an MTV Award about 20 years ago, “Hey, that guy over there is gonna be the president....” Heh, heh heh, I mean, wow. So...this song, tragically and sadly, was banned by the BBC. (one loud boo from crowd) Well, you should hear the story first because it does dovetail on another subject, which I’d like to talk about for a second, if you’ll bear with me. So the reason the BBC banned the song was this song contained a lyric “cut that little child” and right as the song was coming out and released as a single, there had been this horrible murder of a little boy on some train tracks by an older man and he had stabbed the boy to death, and it was as far as I remember, it was a completely random killing and they had the footage of it, so it was like, as the media did, it became a huge story and it--of course it should’ve been a big story, all stories like that should be huge stories. And so I was thinking about it on the train today and I was like, “Oh, maybe I’ll mention that this song was banned by the BBC [unintelligible word].” And I’m still getting back at the BBC. But, as a parent now myself, the only thing I can think about today was those parents and what they went through and my pride about my silly song is so small against what they went through. And so, my tour manager Doug, who some of you you would know from social media, asked me, “Well, knowing all that, would you still have changed the lyric?” Because my manager at the time, who was English and so was very in the culture, kept saying that you have to change the lyric. "If you don’t change the lyric, the song will be a failure and your album would fail and you must re-record the lyric," and I felt this tremendous pressure. And Doug asked me “Would you change the lyric?” and I said, “Fuck no, I wouldn’t change the lyric.” Not because...I would’ve compromised if I knew what I know now, I still would’ve compromised because this song doesn’t have anything to do with that. And we live in a world where things are put together that don’t have anything to do with anything, okay? But that said, my heart still goes out to those parents and so, my song is my song and it’s my song and no one can take that away from me and the fact that the BBC didn’t play it, I don’t give a fuck. And so with that, please enjoy my “I almost killed myself” song.
Disarm (piano)
BC: Thank you, thanks so much.
[encore break]
BC: Thank you, Glasgow.