Billy Corgan announced the death of former Smashing Pumpkins manager Melissa Matuzak earlier this month.
“RIP Melissa Matuzak: Although this isn’t a great shot from a technical perspective, it’s from Mel’s Twitter profile; so I assume she liked it and more fittingly, from my vantage point, captures the grace of her celestial essence: big smile, and lightness of being. I used to tell Melissa that she had a quality that reminded me of my Mother (let’s called it a somewhat detached ability to be above the fray of human drama, but somehow not lose one’s empathy in it or towards it). I know she took this as a compliment, and it was. For Melissa, who I first met somewhere in the early 90’s in Detroit, and possibly ever earlier (they were hazy days!) was wise beyond her years, whip smart, cool but not hipster-prone; as evidenced by her responsible work in the music business at such a young age.
So this is how we first connected: I, the upstart in some band coming through town, and she as the rep in the front office who was to make sure that young punks like us were happy and didn’t tear up the dressing rooms. Somehow, we broke through the arbitrary nature of that construct and became friends and confidants. And there was a knowing there and understanding that we never turned back from, we just ‘were’ and that was that and it never changed (despite my many chameleonic moments from then to the present). At one point Melissa and I even ended up managing the Pumpkins circa 2000, but that is when both our fortunes changed. She fell in love, took art classes, and went down a road that took her away (wisely) from the music business.
Centered around the immense love in her heart for her partner, who was kind enough to read a last message I wrote for Mel: albeit at her bedside in the final moments of an all-too brief life; taken, like my Mother, and at close to the same age, by cancer. So I will share one thing I wrote to my friend in that message, knowing of course it would be our last exchange. I said, ‘Never forget. We had a good run.’. And we did.
God speed, my love. -William.”