Geek U.S.A.

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"Geek U.S.A."
Song by The Smashing Pumpkins
Studio sessions
Length5:13
LabelVirgin
Songwriter(s)Billy Corgan

Geek U.S.A. is a song from The Smashing Pumpkins' second studio album, Siamese Dream. It was reworked from an earlier song by the band entitled "Suicide Kiss". "Suicide Kiss" was recorded in the fall of 1992 and appears on the Quiet and Other Songs bootleg. It was released via the Smashing Pumpkins Record Club in 2011, and features an extensive palm muting section not present in any other iteration of the song. A live version of "Geek U.S.A." appears on the album Earphoria and companion video Vieuphoria. Although it was never released as a single, the studio recording was featured on the Triple J compilation album Eleven.

The progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me covered this song on their 2006 album The Anatomy Of.

Recording[edit | edit source]

The song is in the key of A flat major.[1][2]

The solo from the demo version of the song is significantly longer than the studio version. Billy Corgan even considered dropping the solo entirely, due to him feeling that "Geek U.S.A." already had too many fluctuations and that a complicated solo wouldn't add much to the dynamics of the song.[3] Ironically, it went on to be ranked at #54 on Guitar World's reader's poll list of the 100 greatest guitar solos of all time.[4]

Live performances[edit | edit source]

Live at the Metro Chicago, 1993

A live performance of the song also appears on the band's official Greatest Hits Video Collection. This concert footage, filmed for a Seattle television special, was the band's first experience with directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who shot several more videos for the band in subsequent years. The concert was notable for the presence of 50 professional clowns on-stage with the Pumpkins, after the band was told they would be presented however they wished on tour.[5] Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and director Jonathan Dayton (who was also dressed as a clown to be able to film close-ups of the band) agreed that the performance turned very dangerous when the clowns began performing stage dives.

Reception[edit | edit source]

  • In 2012, the song ranked at #13 in Rolling Stone's reader's poll of the best Smashing Pumpkins songs. They wrote that the song's riffs are brilliant and that the lyrics are among Corgan's best. Rolling Stone also called Chamberlin's drumming in the song astonishing, which seamlessly shifts from heavy hitting beats to light, jazzy fills.[6]
  • "Geek U.S.A." was ranked number 54 in Guitar World's list of the 100 greatest guitar solos of all time by readers.[4]
  • NME ranked it #14 on their list of the 20 best Smashing Pumpkins songs, and wrote that it had "Slash-style guitar noodling with a soaring, melancholic hook and even an ambient mid-track coda".[7]
  • Spin ranked "Geek U.S.A." #35 on their ranking of the band's songs, and wrote that the song might be Chamberlin's best drum performance.[8]
  • Louder Sound placed the song at spot #9 on their list of the 10 best Smashing Pumpkins songs.[9]
  • American dean of rock critics Robert Christgau picked the song as one of the album's two highlights, along with "Today".[10]
  • Chamberlin's drum performance in this song has been ranked among the greatest of all time by Stylus magazine,[11] and producer Butch Vig called it "one of the most amazing drum performances [he] had ever heard".[12]

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

Geek USA Spotify logo without text.svg

Lover lover let's pretend
We're born as innocents
Cast into the world
With apple eyes

To wish wish dangerous
My dear delirious
To try and leave
The rest of us behind

Shot full of diamonds
And a million years
The disappointed disappear
Like they were never here

Kiss kiss all of this
The hiss that we had missed
And understand what can't be understood

Sear those thoughts of me
Alone and unhappy
I never liked me anyway

If by chance
Or circumstance
We should fail
Don't be so sad

Shot full of diamonds
And a million years
The disappointed disappear
Like they were never here

In a dream
We are connected
Siamese twins
At the wrist

And then I knew we'd been forsaken
Expelled from paradise
I can't believe them
When they say that it's alright

Words can't define what I feel inside
Who needs them?
Caught with this virus of my mind
I give in to my disease, of my needs
To my disease, of my needs
She really loves to break
Her dad says its OK
She really loves to break
And give it all away
Her ma says she's afraid
What more can she fake
She really needs to break
And give herself away
She gave it all away
She gave it all away
She gave it all away
We really love the USA

Suicide Kiss

bruise myself again
she's not a piece of it
even when i lie in her dreams
lost my self esteem
in rock you believe
who it really is you never love

she don't like it
she'll burn real good
she don't like it
'cause i wear her clothes

bruise myself again
show i'm innocent
even when i take another look

i'll be honest, yeah
she's not into it
even if she never learns

see yourself
reveal yourself
reveal your heart
a piece of self

she don't like it
when i wear her clothes
she don't like it
when i wear her clothes

gave it all away to you
nothing more that i can do
what i say you know is true

and since i feel
let's keep it real
i'll give you what you want
and all is real
not since i feel
i see it real
i'll give you what you want
aslong as you ?
not since i cared
my ?
i'll give you what you want
?
not since i feel
not even real

don't be yourself
don't reveal yourself
don't reveal yourself
reveal yourself
reveal yourself
reveal yourself
reveal yourself

i really want to say
i really want to say
i really want to say
she won't reveal herself
she won't reveal herself
she won't reveal herself
she won't reveal herself
she didn't run away
she didn't run away
she didn't run away
and i didn't care

Availability

TitleNotesType
Quiet and Other SongsDemo • Bootleg
Siamese DreamOriginal releaseStudio
3 Feet HighBootleg • Live
Mashed PotatoesBootleg
VieuphoriaVideo
Live At The RivieraBootleg • Live
Greatest Hits Video Collection (1991–2000)Video
EarphoriaMain releaseLive
Rarities and B-SidesCompilation
Ghost Children/Friends and EnemiesTribute
SPRC DownloadsCompilation
Inside the Dream MachineBootleg • Live
Siamese Dream (Fruit Bats cover)Tribute

Tour stats

References[edit | edit source]

  1. https://tunebat.com/Info/Geek-U-S-A-Remastered-The-Smashing-Pumpkins/17ooOIy6AVLrZZapwldz7e
  2. https://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtd.asp?ppn=MN0076285
  3. https://www.songfacts.com/facts/smashing-pumpkins/geek-usa
  4. 4.0 4.1 https://www.guitarworld.com/news/greatest-guitar-solos-all-time-readers-poll-round-1-voodoo-child-slight-return-jimi-hendrix-vs-geek-usa-billy-corgan
  5. Commentary for "Geek U.S.A." live video. The Smashing Pumpkins 1991–2000: Greatest Hits Video Collection (Virgin Records, 2001).
  6. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/readers-poll-the-best-smashing-pumpkins-songs-13645/12-zero-213176/
  7. https://www.nme.com/blogs/the-20-best-smashing-pumpkins-songs-2390446
  8. https://www.spin.com/2015/10/every-smashing-pumpkins-song-ranked
  9. https://www.loudersound.com/features/10-best-smashing-pumpkins-songs
  10. http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_album.php?id=3195
  11. "Stylus Magazine's 50 Greatest Drummers".
  12. Azzerrad, Michael. "Smashing Pumpkins' Sudden Impact ", Rolling Stone. October 1, 1993

External links[edit | edit source]