BILLY CORGAN DISCUSSES THE WHO AND HIS ADMIRATION OF PETE TOWNSHEND

Here is an excerpt from Billy Corgan’s comments about The Who from Relix Magazine:

I remember when I was little, listening to a 7” of “Pinball Wizard” my cousin had and loving the guitar. The thing that sticks out in my mind about the first time I heard “Pinball Wizard” was how different it sounded than all the other bands at the time. It was powerful but it wasn’t like what you were used to hearing. Even now, The Who’s music strikes me as distinctive. The language and the way they play together are so unique.

My relationship with The Who, in a personal way—where the music meant something to me personally—took time. I never had that personal connection until I was about 18, when I got Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy.

If you listen to Pete Townshend’s songs without the band—lately, I’ve been listening to the Quadrophenia demos—the music is not as rugged or aggressive. There’s something about Pete’s introspective songwriting meeting the street thuggery of the band that, to a young a man, you identify with its fighting spirit.

It’s an existential identification as opposed to say the punk ethos of the Sex Pistols. The Sex Pistols, to me, sounded like fighting music. The Who sounded like “I’m trapped in something and I’m not really sure what to do but I’m going to kick my way out of here” kind of music. It had a different emotional resonance to it: the lyrics, the feelings and even the different periods of the band.

Even in their poppy, ‘60s incarnation, The Who weren’t cuddly. There was a smirking, snotty punk thing. To an accommodating class—rock and roll has become about accommodation more than anything else—the message is too complex; the history is too non-linear.

I’ve often said that, in many ways, The Who was probably the closest blueprint to my band, The Smashing Pumpkins, as far as an introspective singer/songwriter finds aggressive, ever-melting-down rock vehicle to perpetrate his wares. I identified with The Who even more so when I was in the Pumpkins in the ‘90s [with the original lineup] because I felt like I understood what Pete was expressing interpersonally about what he was going through as a person and his experience in a band that couldn’t be controlled.

  • Russ

    They should ask him why the high price for the Mellon reissue.

  • Yo

    I love hearing him talk about actual music because he’s so passionate… Everything else he should go shut the *@&$ up

  • xxxcreep

    Latley I’ve been listening to aloooot of quadrophenia also :o

  • versus

    @Russ all the reissues are fairly priced. You get what you pay for. Through Amazon, you can get the Gish & Siamese Dream reissues for around $25, which is a bargain considering it comes with a DVD. The MCIS remastered 2cd reissue can be purchased for under $20, which is also reasonable.. Yes, the 6 disc version is going to set you back over $100, but most of that is because of the over the top packaging. Have you seen the box? It’s truly amazing, though may be intended for the super fan collector. It’s a 12″x12″ box, the disc holder is lined in velvet, it comes with 2 little books, includes a Decoupage kit, etc… Unfortunately, the extras cost money, but I feel it was well worth the money. What would you expect 5 cds with 64 bonus tracks, a DVD, plus all the fancy packaging to cost? My guess would be between $100-$150. Many Special Edition boxes, such as Pearl Jam’s Ten, cost more, and you don’t get anything even close to 60+ bonus tracks.

  • Mayonaise

    Russ is just among the sea of anti-Corgan idiots. I doubt he even graduated from high school with the amount of intelligence in his comment.

  • emu

    Guitarist to talk with Wyatt Wendels.

    Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard has told Planet Rock he’s looking forward to bringing his other band to the UK.

    Brad begin their European tour here in the UK later this month. The band formed in Seattle more than twenty years ago but this will be the first time they’ve played on British soil.
    Stone told Planet Rock’s Wyatt Wendels that he enjoys the variety in playing with Brad and Pearl Jam, and you can hear an extract from the interview below:

    Be sure to listen to the full interview in Wyatt’s show “New Rock” on Saturday at 10:00pm!

    http://www.planetrock.com/news/rock-news/stone-gossard-interview-this-saturday/

  • Scott McLean

    I love “Who Are You?” and always thought it was a tongue-in-cheek joke because they are The Who. Also, of course, it really, really rocks!

  • Scott McLean

    Who Are You by The Who

  • Russ

    @versus. I would expect the box set to be far more than the norm but this much is a lot of money. I might be like you once I see it in front of me, but for the moment I just cannot afford that much and would like to see it priced a little lower so that more fans can get to enjoy it.

    I also think he’s one of the most intelligent musicians around.

    For me “Speed” is the most inspired Townshend song.

  • http://nemsworld.com Christine

    I’ve read and listened to a lot of interviews since 1994 with SP/BillCo and I don’t recall once him “…. often (saying) that, in many ways, The Who was probably the closest blueprint to my band,….”

    Are we sure he isn’t just trying to push that movie that was supposed to come out on Election Day last year? Anyone even see it?

  • http://nemsworld.com Christine

    @versus, you realize of course that hardcore SP fans have all the “extra” audio material inside the SP reissues from having shared it with one another? The MCIS set is just too too overpriced considering the portions of it already having been out there for years for download/sharing. FYI

  • versus

    If it’s not worth it to you, don’t buy it. Pretty simple, actually. Yes, I already owned lower quality versions of several of the demos, etc. that have been out there for years, but the quality on this official reissue was worth the money to me personally. The comparison is night and day. I’m a teacher, so I obviously had to make some sacrifices to be able to afford this one. I’m just saying that to me, this release was worth every penny.