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

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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.