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Smashing Pumpkins Add New Bassist Nicole Fiorentino

May 10, 2010 5:19 PM ET

Billy Corgan has added a new bassist to Smashing Pumpkins' ever-changing lineup, bringing in Nicole Fiorentino to join the band as they continue work on their massive Teargarden By Kaleidyscope project and plot out tour dates. Fiorentino is the former bassist of Veruca Salt and also logged time with Spinnerette and the Twilight Sleep. According to Pumpkins fansite Hipsters United, the band hinted that Fiorentino was the new bassist of the Pumpkins this weekend on Twitter. As Rolling Stone previously reported, Ginger Pooley, the Pumpkins' bassist since the Zeitgeist tour in 2007, left the band in March to concentrate on her family. The Pumpkins originally announced plans to hold open auditions for the new bassist (and keyboardist) vacancy. Electric Prunes' bassist Mike Tulin was on hand for the Pumpkins' Record Store Day concert in Los Angeles.

While no announcement has been made on the Pumpkins' official site and requests for comment weren't returned by press time, Fiorentino's MySpace page confirmed her new occupation with a note that reads, "Nicole is proud to announce that she is the newest member of the Smashing Pumpkins. She is keeping herself very busy these days in the studio with Billy and the rest of the pumpkins crew. She will also be performing live with band for any future tours/gigs." Fiorentino's list of influences includes Melissa Auf der Maur, the former Hole bassist who ironically replaced original Pumpkins bassist D'Arcy Wretzky in the band in 1999. (Smashing Pumpkins, however, are curiously absent from Nicole's list of favorite music on MySpace.)

Fiorentino becomes the fourth female bassist in Pumpkins history: D'Arcy, who was a member of the band since they formed in 1988, spent just over a decade with the band before departing in 1999. Auf der Maur joined the Pumpkins for the tour in support of Machina/The Machines of God up until Corgan broke up the band in 2000. When Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin resurrected the Pumpkins in 2005, Billy himself handled bass duties for Zeitgeist, but later recruited Pooley.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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