Smashing Pumpkins’ James Iha Reveals Why He’s Siding With Billy Corgan Over D’arcy


A photoshop of what an original Smashing Pumpkins reunion would have looked like in 2018.

Smashing Pumpkins members Billy Corgan and James Iha discussed D’arcy Wretzky’s lack of involvement in the Shiny and Oh So Bright tour in a new Guitar World interview. Iha offered his first analysis on Corgan and D’arcy’s negotiations, crediting Corgan for trying.

“I was pretty public about wanting her to be involved,” Billy Corgan stresses. “I think it would been the best for everybody, including her, but it just didn’t work out.” The topic of Wretzky is clearly one he doesn’t wish to belabor, and after a long sigh he concludes, “I’m not in any hurry to throw any more gasoline on the fire. It is what it is. She’s done, and that’s that.”

James Iha stayed out of the back-and-forth between Corgan and Wretzky, but he offers the view that “Billy tried his best. In the big picture, I think everybody is at different points in their lives, and whoever can work it out and get it together with the band can do it. It’s just one of those things.”

Corgan later said about lineup changes, “It’s a funny thing, though: People have these ideas about the band, that it was always these four people, but that wasn’t always the case. By the mid Nineties, Jimmy [Chamberlin] was out of the band, and the Frogs [Dennis and Jimmy Flemion] were in. We’ve had a lot of people come and go. The band has taken on various guises. Outside of a brief kind of reunion of the four of us in 1999, which lasted for all of four months, it hasn’t been that intact for a very long time. So since 1996 it’s been people coming and going. And I’ve had to accept that as our story, even though I would have liked the fairy-tale version where it was just the four of us, like a U2 or something.”

D’arcy, who wanted to be part of the reunion, also compared the original four together to being like a fairytale in a February 2018 Alternative Nation interview.

“It has been awesome, and it would have been awesome. Almost nobody ever has that, if you’ve seen The Princess Bride where they talk about one couple in ten lifetimes doesn’t get the shot at true love. Almost nobody ever finds people, that when we would jam, and we would click, it was just magic. The feeling was just amazing, that’s a better drug than anything.”

D’arcy claimed that in January 2018 all Corgan offered her was a guest role, comparing it to Steven Adler’s minimal guest appearances on Guns N’ Roses’ Not In This Lifetime tour. Corgan claimed on Howard Stern that D’arcy didn’t like the initial contract offer, so the band then signed a contract with Live Nation for a tour without her, and that by the time they talked in January they were already moving on.

Maybe it would have gone better if they just booked some shows at the Metro in Chicago first instead of negotiating a multimillion dollar tour, like how Soundgarden played a Seattle club show in 2010 before booking further reunion shows? We’ll sadly never know.

  • Bob Khan

    It confuses me why they decided to start off with an arena tour without building hype first, especially considering that rock music is no longer mainstream and hasn’t been for nearly a decade? Their concert coming up in Houston at The Toyota Center has a ton of unfilled seats and no one seems to be talking about it. I have been to the same venue when Tool played to a sold out crowd a few years back and the energy in the place was fantastic. It is going to be really depressing if the place only ends up 50% booked for the Pumpkins.

    Foo Fighters recently came through our area and booked a pavilion up in The Woodlands and it completely sold out.

    The Rob Zombie/Marilyn Manson and Lindsay Stirling/Evanescence concerts coming up at the same venue that we are going to are also doing well. Each of those acts seem to be promoting their events, the latest with Manson officially releasing their hit cover of “Cry Little Sister” as well as Evanescence releasing “Hi-Lo” to positive reviews. Meanwhile “Solara” gets a lukewarm reception. If there are indeed better tracks from the new album that bring back the spirit from Gish thru Mellon Collie, why did they not release those first and earlier?

    So for the Pumpkins the car might be moving but is someone asleep at the wheel? I am not bashing them, I am just concerned about their decisions.

    • Evan Jones II

      It D’Arcy was in the lineup it would of been something special

  • DanSwon

    It’s because he’s a back-stabbing coward who likes making lots of money despite having absolutely zero charisma or stage presence. There you go.

    • Chris

      Oh please. Billy gave her many chances and you know it.

      • DanSwon

        Do your research.

      • Evan Jones II

        Sorry, kissing his ass ain’t a chance

  • Julieta Garcia

    I’m just going to say one thing, this is to try to solve very sensitive issues through the cell where everything is misinterpreted. only that.

  • Seattlesound21

    Just brought tickets for the Wembley arena show in London £170 for 2 tickets have never spent that much on concert tickets before. I just hope it’s gonna be worth it loved there music since I was 15 and never seen them live before

    • Olga Stewart

      I do hope that you have a great time at this particular concert. :).

      • Evan Jones II

        Nah, not without D’Arcy… Just a show

  • Evan Jones II

    Too bad they weren’t smart enough to accommodate and welcome back D’Arcy back in the fold! Boy, talk about energy, bling excitement and expectations. Gee, super, smart, smarties these guys are not! Billy Boy blew it….