Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan discussed Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder’s Quadrophenia performance with The Who guitarist Pete Townshend and society’s obsession with sentimentality in a new Q on CBC interview. Alternative Nation transcribed Corgan’s comments.
“I think our culture, and I’m including our bigger culture here in the west, sentimentality and the melancholy that goes with sentimentality, that’s a big business. Unfortunately I would argue at this point the sentimental crowd and the business behind the sentimental crowd, it’s like the reboots of the movies.”
He later said, “Let me use a perfect example. Stevie Nicks is one of my favorite songwriters, one of my favorite singers of all time. The world should be begging her for more new songs. She’s walking this planet, she still sings great, she still looks great. It’s like, ‘Hey, can you play Rhiannon one more time?’ It’s like how about write a new song, and we’ll listen to that, and we’ll listen to Rhiannon. That’s where we get off the wrong detour.
“I’m arguing against the fact that now that the average musical star’s life has a longer shelf life. It’s no longer I hope I die before I get old. Pete Townshend was just through Chicago doing Quadrophenia with Eddie Vedder and an orchestra, right? So these works live on, okay? But Pete Townshend is one of the greatest living songwriters in the world, there should be more interest in his new work than the past. It should be proportionate, that’s going to be my argument until the day I die.
I think people will one day kick themselves that they didn’t take more advantage of these great LIVING artists, and I mean LIVING in capital letters, and use that vitality. Pete Townshend should be documenting, and I’m sure he is, he should be documenting every stage of his life, not just when he put on skinny trousers. You know what I’m saying?”