Smashing Pumpkins’ D’arcy Shares Billy Corgan’s ‘Guns N’ Roses’ Reunion Offer


Original Smashing Pumpkins bassist D’arcy has sent Alternative Nation the following text message conversations she had with Billy Corgan in January, including his pitch to involve her as a guest like Steven Adler on Guns N’ Roses’ Not In This Lifetime tour.

Alternative Nation will be publishing the first in-depth interview with D’arcy in the last 20 years within the next day. We also have an open offer to Billy Corgan, James Iha, and Jimmy Chamberlin to share their side of the story.


Below is a conversation about Jack Bates, the Pumpkins’ touring bassist. The final conversation is unrelated to Bates, and about tour t-shirts.

  • eviltimeban

    Sounds like Billy was really trying to make it work, was conscious she had a shoulder issue, and wanted to ease her back into the rock n roll life. Billy and the others have been touring / playing gigs in some shape or form over the last 18 years. D’arcy hasn’t. If you took someone who’d never toured before, ever, they’d have a nervous breakdown probably.

    Billy seemed to be hoping to ease her back to touring, with a view to being full time eventually. She got her nose out of joint because she wasn’t in the studio, but so what? It was one song.

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    • Fey Wutt

      No. I asked billy if there was any chance at all to play bass for the tour. He laughed at me and said, “You think you can play better than Jack Bates?!”
      and i said , “just say i did. is the ANY CHANCE that i could be the tour bassist?” and he said “no”

      you need to read that again son. Also: i couldn’t get to LA.
      I had a torn rotator cuff.

      • firefly_can_fly

        maybe you sould do a reddit ama?

      • Tilman Müller

        The part where your conversation really soured hasn’t been printed yet completely. There’s something missing between your conversation about Jack Bates and your comment to feel now pissed off. Though, Billy’s answer to that, that you deserve to be on a t-shirt sounds already some kind of sarcastic.

      • Dade Martin

        Sort of confused about the message on Sunday afternoon where it says “I’m sorry for what i’m going to do right now but I have to do this for my own…. ?” Also what do you mean he’s “throwing something so special away”? We’re happy that you’re trying to tell your side of the story here instead of the grammatical disasters that Billy posts on Instagram for the fans, but I can’t help but feel like there is some vital context missing here. It’s understandable you couldn’t make it to L.A. from the shoulder injury but how did that change into Billy saying you couldn’t play bass on the tour? Was it always his intention to have Jack Bates play most the tour while having you come out for a few songs every night after he heard of your injury? I agree with the post below that you should do an AMA on Reddit.

      • Can anyone do something they haven’t done in nearly 20 years, as well as someone who’s been doing it recently? I’m sure he’s difficult, but trying to ease you in to it all seems reasonable from outside here.

      • reality

        You appeared to have no issue when you thought it was Jack White. Regardless, at the end of the day, it’s his band and you haven’t been on stage in two decades. Easing into things is best. Showing up in the studio would have been nice, and if your talent was still there, you would have shown that at rehearsals.

        All that said, thanks for being the sole human being who calls BC out on his shit.

      • Although, I must say, having seen his snide Instagram response, he is what he is, an aging asshole rockstar. With Rubin involved it might rock, but I doubt any of the others including Billy are making magic like back in the day. I probably wouldn’t pay what they’ll be asking for tix. Sorry this is how it’s going for you.

      • Barry Egan

        Fans have been waiting for you to be a part of the SP since you have left D’arcy, maybe that intimidates Billy or maybe he simply wants the new SP music to be his creation and not have to work around what he perceives as your issues.

        Either way , it will never be a SP reunion without you there, and the fans know this, and Billy will find this out.

        Much love and best wishes to you, you remain a legend, and I won’t support SP w/o YOU.

      • Stone Gossardish

        Good luck with the shoulder. ESI (as many as 3) and other options along with therapy can help depending on the place of the tear. Hope you guys get to speak in person soon to iron it all out. Make not mistake, now is the time.

      • Shinobi Jedi

        Team D’arcy all the way.

      • Trovoid

        We need you to be a part of this reunion. Unfortunately I can’t see narcissistic Billy looking past these articles. I can tell he’s just so worried about failing that he’d rather play it safe as usual. He can’t just prop some other woman up on stage and think we won’t notice the difference.. There’s only one woman for SP and he should be giving you a chance and not be treating this like some sort of negotiation.

        • Trey Smith

          Umm…Melissa Auf de Maur?

          • Trovoid

            I’ve heard she is most likely ruled out completely. Plus it wouldn’t be an original reunion which is a huge selling point for most people.

      • Jeff

        all i know is is saw the pumpkins in probably ’99 with D’arcy on bass at the small saint andrews hall in detroit and it was fantastic. i cant see me going to any reunion without d’arcy on bass. Like i wanna see some dude on bass with this band. I’m out..a damn shame

      • Hellob73

        Why couldn’t you send him audio/video of your most recent playing? I love you but you have to acknowledge that not hearing you play for 19 years would make him hesitate bringing you in.
        Even if you had the torn cuff, why not still go to la, show him you have the heart and drive. Get back into the groove socially, let Rubin see you, maybe he would have advocated for you. It’d be a lot easier for him to say yes face to face, especially when you show him how determined you are. You gotta get in the room where it happens, not texting.
        Good luck! Xo

      • Sara Bea Delgado

        NO D´ACY NO PARTY! without her i dont wanna see this tour

      • Sean Ridgeley

        It really seems like you need to sit down and have a face to face or at least a phone call; there is so much room for misunderstanding in text and a matter like this is far too delicate to risk misunderstandings over. We want to see you back in the band so bad; I really hope you guys find a way to make it work eventually.

  • astrocreep7

    Looks like Billy is trying to get D’arcy involved in a way that she is most comfortable. He said do you want to do the full tour or a guest spot on a couple songs? Just let me know what you can handle, because we can’t announce your position and then take it back. Billy’s trying to figure out where she stands. She needs to jump on a plane and head out there. It needs to be the original 4, to have a real reunion.

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    • s1aver

      He’s a back peddler. If he meant it then after she said she want’s to be involved 100% and would be fine by then, the conversation would of been over. He’s fishing for excuses. I mean she is still saying she wants to be involved the only reason she wouldn’t be is because he want’s her as an ornament to help sell the new stuff and not a real reunion. It’s the same reason that he didn’t call her to come to the studio to do the one song like he was suppose to(he didn’t know about the injury then).

      He’d prefer Jack Bates as the primary bassist, which is fine, but that’s not a reunion. Sure it’s been a while but that doesn’t mean she isn’t capable. And I don’t think it would be that hard to find out if you really wanted to after which you could have this conversation.

      • astrocreep7

        He definitely wants a real reunion. Saying you want to do something doesn’t mean you are actually capable anymore. She is leaving everybody (not just Billy) so unsure. He said this a “maximum high pressure tour.” There is no room for error. Everything could be handed to her and still nobody actually knows what she can do. You can’t give half answers and be floating around somewhere across the country. You have to take action and get out there, prove you can do it.

        I like D’arcy. I’m a fan of all 4. None of this is going in the right direction, as of now. I personally think there is still bitterness in the air after 20 years. Time healed for Iha but not D’arcy is how I see it. Reading the texts I don’t see her full heart into the project, and neither does anybody else.

        • s1aver

          Sorry but I honestly think that’s bullshit. He needs the cash more, his career needs this, because she stepped away from the spotlight, and he’s arranging the reunion. He’s been in contact with her for 2 years. If he had doubts why wait till the last minute to air them. You’d think that’d be the first thing you’d do. She consistently said she wanted to be a part of stuff but he never told her about stuff or invited her. And that was at least in part corroborated by the texts. So it seems silly to say she wasn’t their so her heart wasn’t in to it. Besides who can tell anything about anyone heart from a text message anyways.

          I really doubt she’s forgotten how to play but if you’re gonna accuse someone of being incapable of taking part in their own reunion(because a reunion belongs to all the members), maybe you should base that statement on something. Because telling D’arcy that your gonna do a reunion and someone else is gonna be primary bass is retarded. Why would anyone with any integrity take part in that, other than a payday.

          • astrocreep7

            I just read her full interview on the other page. I do agree with you that she should 100% be a part of the tour. And it is strange that he waited until the last minute to not include her ‘fully’. There must be a reason that the entire camp (the band and associates) has not reached out to her. She claims to have reached out to James Iha and he ignores her calls. I don’t see Billy influencing that at their older age and experiences. I also don’t know if that is even true. Also doubt Billy “needs” cash when he is in the ballpark of $50 million.

            All I’m saying is I will be at MSG most likely, and it would be cool if things get patched up by then. But think about it, there must be a bigger reason than Billy’s ego. I know he can be an egomaniac at times but this is a sensitive subject. And he has definitely mellowed out at 50 and has a kid now. There has to be a reason NOBODY is siding with her story. But I will give you that they should have all 4 jammed in the studio and see what happened. It was all rushed fast without her.

            **Wow I’m getting tired of talking about this now, haha

  • D675PDX

    My biggest take away from this drama-filled ugly mess….Billy doesn’t use an iPhone. 😜

    • ChicanoHoodPass

      GREENS??!! gtfo – new phone who dis

  • what billy is doing here is trying to break it to d’arcy that he wants to hire somebody that has played in an arena at some point since the turn of the century, and she won’t be performing much on the tour, with the exception of an older song or two. if d’arcy claims that he offered her a spot and withdrew, she’s not getting the very obvious point that billy is making to her; yet, she withdew on her own, so she did. and, if billy is claiming that he offered her a spot on the tour, he’s being misleading.

    i actually think this is a pr campaign.

  • Chris

    she looks really stupid in this.

  • lsc

    Thank you for releasing these texts – Proves how ridiculously reasonable Billy was being – trying to make it as easy as possible…..

  • Too much talking. Billy, call her “hey, do you wanna play?”, she says “yes” or “no”. They all know how important for the fans is to see her involved, so why to overcomplicate things?

  • timmy hendero

    unless i read that wrong looks like Billy is trying to accommodate?

  • Can you all sit and talk like adults? I mean, personally, to put the s *** out and make things clear? We all know how important for fans would be D’arcy involved, and it’s becoming to mess even before starts …

  • William Hendricks

    Billy sounds reasonable in this discussion. I am not seeing what D’arcy is getting at.

  • Johnny Sunshine

    Good grief. Make a phone call and get it sorted out.

  • Mike Lidstone

    I still can’t make heads or tails of this… she won’t say what her problem is specifically or show what Billy’s or the band’s objection to her problem is. She just keeps showing things that talk around the issue.

  • Stephen McMullin

    One commenter here makes a good point about this looking a bit PR-stunty. A cunning stunt, as it were. Still, who isn’t loving the soap opera aspects of this? Is D’Arcy really in this thread? Way to drum up some intrigue! Billy does own a pro wrestling franchise, though, so…

    Bizarrely, this has all coincided with my re-obsession with SP. Haven’t really listened to them in years, though recently listened to little else. Very exciting.

    I just hope the new tunes can live up to the hype, though it usually takes me several years to warm to new SP music, so I’ll check back in 2028 (by then I’ll probably be in love with Ogilala).

    • BulldogsRUs

      Cunning stunt…or stunning cunt?

  • Stone Gossardish

    Billy comes off as pretty well here to be honest, after a first read.

    I like the idea of D’arcy coming back in pieces. I hope it still happens.

    The both should admit that this whole saga has done more to promote SP than just about anything in a very long time. So this is not all bad.

    Let’s at least all get in a room, gang, and see how it sounds. See how long she can play, see how long Billy can sing (hi, Billy), and see if they can do a great tour that sounds great.

    Since I have your ear, Bill, there’s still time for you to shake that “for studio only” stamp that’s on your voice. There’s still time to make a great live record and explain to people that first one sounded so bad bc Virgin did what it did.

    There’s not many more steps SP can take, but doing a real reunion and doing it right, or at least better than this information saga, is a good idea.

    PS. If you all totally have us and this is some kinda cooked up wrestling type deal, we owe you a major hat tip.

    • Shinobi Jedi

      Try to keep in mind you’re applying your own civil tone to his words when D’arcy knows him to be passive aggressive. Apply that tone and tell me if it still sounds reasonable.

      • Stone Gossardish

        Very fair point. He’s been Bitter Bore-Again for many years longer than he’s been the new Billy.

  • aces

    Clearly, all Billy really cares about is getting his career back on track with an international arena tour of fixed setlists and broadway bullshit instead of, as he claimed, repairing his friendship with his bandmates. And again, he’s displaying absolute contempt for his fanbase and the ‘kids’ as he puts it who only interest him as undiscerning consumers of his merchandise. Billy, the reason why no one’s liked anything you’ve done for years is because you’re a self-righteous asshole, you care more about your career than being in a rock band, and it shows through in your music. There were years when you were beautiful.

  • Anonymous501

    Reading that, it sounds like Billy Corgan and the other members are trying to press forward, but they’re unsure of Darcy’s capabilities. I read a guy that really wants to make it work, but is stuck on a Variable.

    In reality they probably need to hash it out in person. Reading Corgan’s big long text’s and Darcy’s shorter replies, it reminds me of conversations I should of had in person (or over the phone) as its difficult to do in texting.

  • Shinobi Jedi

    For everyone saying “It seems Billy is being reasonable…” Keep in mind that tone is not communicated in text and you’re all applying your own civil tone to it, whereas D’arcy knows his real tone.

  • Joe J

    Write more stuff like from Gish, Siamese Dream, Adore. Glad the band is back together.

  • Jayson Yaunk

    It will not truly be a Smashing Pumpkins reunion without D’Arcy. #TeamD’Arcy

  • Just My Opinion

    Wasn’t she only in the band because she was Billy’s girlfriend? I know he had to over-dub a lot of her bass lines in the studio.

    • Trovoid

      She dated James but they broke up before Siamese Dream and stayed friends/bandmates.

      • Dallas Drake

        Butch Vig wanted Billy to do all the parts so they could get the hell out of there

  • mutant

    She’d probably have to learn how to play the bass again. None of this band were ever monster players, just costume wearing hipsters, sold primarily to 90’s teenagers as “cool”, using a female bass player as a gimmick.

    • glisanst

      Female musicians are gimmicks? Let me guess, you’re a big Limp Bizkit fan?

      • mutant

        No, not all bands with female musicians are gimmicks, but this one it was. If it wasn’t, then how come they replaced her only with other females? and no I wasn’t a white teenager in the 90’s, so bands with white guys rapping over metal riffs acting tough and trying to be funky appealed to me as little as ones with whiny voiced white guys like this band. Now let me guess, you were a teenager in the 90s though I bet? I’m so sincerely sorry.

        • Trovoid

          It really is a given in everyone’s minds that the bass player has to be a woman in SP. It’s like an unspoken tradition, so I hear you on it being a gimmick.

        • glisanst

          You guessed wrong. Big surprise there.

          Seriously, your effort at moving the goalposts here is hilarious. So replacing one male guitarist with another male guitarist isn’t a gimmick, but replacing one female bass guitarist with another female bass guitarist IS a gimmick?

          Nice one, broseph.

          • mutant

            Uhmm…again if it wasn’t a gimmick and they weren’t typical costumed poser type of non-player “musicians” then it wouldn’t matter what sex they were (males could easily be replaced by females and vice versa). The only thing that would matter would be their level of musicianship. Also again, I really am so sincerely sorry for your generation, having to grow up actually admiring such tripe like this, little buddy.

          • Dallas Drake

            and you’re here why?

          • mutant

            Because I’m honestly very deeply and personally inspired by such pretentious costumed angst sold to 90’s teenagers now in their 30’s and wondering why they ever listened to such a whiny little singer in the first place. Yet again, I’m so sincerely sorry for all of you.

          • FUQ LIBS

            Take a look in the mirror kid. That is who you should feel sorry for.

          • Trovoid

            Because he/she is more pretentious than the music that they speak of and they’re psychologically projecting.

    • Trovoid

      You don’t think Billy or Jimmy are monster players? Like them or not, the band is pretty technically proficient (even James and D’arcy are). There are some very complex parts in their songs.

      • mutant

        I don’t think you probably know what actual “monster” musicianship is. But typically “real” players don’t have to wear special costumes or adopt any kind of affectation, they just simply play. Yet try selling that to teenagers.

        • Trovoid

          Oh please. Has it ever occured to you that a proficient musician could also be selling some sort of gimmick too? Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder’s personalities and looks helped escalate their careers.. Chris was always shirtless. Does that detract from his musical ability? No.

          I’m not arguing that SP didn’t have a visual style that appealed to people. I just don’t think they can be compared to band like Kiss who completely relied on gimmicks. I’ll admit Billy wasn’t a great singer but come on, they could play. Every band or artist has something besides the music that helps as a selling point. That’s the music industry for you.

    • FUQ LIBS

      I bet D’arcy would play you into the ground.

  • glisanst

    Wow D’Arcy is out of her mind crazy. After reading the interview and these texts I feel so bad that Billy (and the rest of the band) are having to put up with this calibre of nonsensical antics. D’Arcy is 100% delusional in every sense of the word. Unreal.

    I’m a die-hard SP fan and definitely DON’T want her involved with the band moving forward. Good riddance.

  • bobliefeld

    I think he’s going about it in the wrong way with the massive tour and broadway show talk.. Whatever happened to what he was talking about a while ago with just getting together, seeing how it felt, how it went

    ..but in the context of what he wants to do -and what he wants to do sounds rubbish but it’s his band- it seems like he’s being really accommodating and reasonable with D’arcy. The conversations are really one sided and I don’t know what more he could do other than book her flights and send a car to pick her up??

  • 122

    D’arcy thought Jack White is the son of Patty Smith? where the heII did she get that from?

  • Hellob73

    The screenshots don’t seem unreasonable. What seems unreasonable are her responses. Instead of saying ok or I’m with my mom or sorry I wasn’t in LA, etc.
    she should have got on the next plane and shown them what she can do. No excuses. She should have been working on the bass the second she heard rumors of a reunion. If she got to the studio and Billy felt she wasn’t up to speed, then she should lock herself in a room and practice until she was.
    I really want her there but he’s right when he says that no one knows your skill level anymore. No one has heard you for 19 years. He’s trying to put together a real rock star tour, not a golden oldies one where fans are more forgiving.
    I feel bad for her but she’s not showing that she has the drive to prove that she deserves the full spot.

  • MissCrystal

    I am living for all this Smashing Pumpkins drama. I feel like I’m 15 again!

  • Luke

    This just proves that text messaging, I would include email here, is the worst form of communication. This lacks context, background and feeling. I’ve loved SP for a very long time and I’d love to see them all back together, but without reconciliation it’d be a crap tour. Besides, at their ages why would you want to be walking on eggshells or arguing just to get something together.

    The truth is…you’re all in your 50’s I believe. How about acting like it and pick the receiver end of the phone up and say hello – in the words of David Byrne “Like Humans Do.”

  • Heyward_Yablouin

    A face-to-face or phone call would’ve been better here. Text conversations of this length can become murky. But I don’t see a smoking gun. it seems to me the main issue was lack of clarity on D’Arcy’s injured shoulder. If she’d be able to rehearse only in 4-6 weeks (presumably if no other issues arise), and the first show is in July, that could make it difficult for he to play bass on every song. It’s probably why Corgan implied she play only some of the songs. But who know what happened after these text exchanges. Did D’Arcy run into other circumstances? Did Corgan misinterpret other things? It’s not entirely clear.

  • Andrew Kennedy

    The one thing that keeps coming to me when reading thorugh the interview and texts is the fact he mentions having already arranged lighting, tour managers, T-Shirts and buses not to mention having already recorded the song with Rubin. Maybe I am reading the situation wrong, but if he really was wanting D’arcy involved on this tour he wants to be A level broadway, would he not have made her the offer prior to doing all of this?

    Surely the first step in a huge reunion tour would be ensuring the members are up for re-uniting then everything else after? To me it seems this is an after thought and he had fully intended to tour with her just popping in and out for a few songs.

    The initial offer to basically join in whatever capacity she sees fit is pretty much negated by the thinly veiled “But this is a high pressure tour with no room for mistakes that you may not be up to par for”.

    Just my opinion, and it is hard to judge from the texts alone. But his offer seems less than geniune to me, and very late in the game.


    Corgan is a turd.