Smashing Pumpkins Play '1979' in 2000
Watch Billy Corgan's final performance with James Iha

After a couple of warmup shows with partial lineups, the Smashing Pumpkins played their first ever concert at Chicago's Cabaret Metro on October 5th, 1988. Twelve years and two months later, they returned to the 1,100-capacity club for their grand farewell. The emotional thirty-eight song set featured guest appearances by Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen, Matt Walker, The Frogs and Billy Corgan's father, Billy Corgan, Sr.

Smashing Pumpkins and More of the Messiest Band Breakups

Billy Corgan was a little unclear about his motivation for splitting up the Pumpkins back in 2000, though he did mutter they were "tired of fighting with the Britney's" in one radio interview. A little over three years later, he spilled his guts in a long blog post. "The truth of the matter is is that James Iha broke up the Smashing Pumpkins," he wrote. "Not me, not Jimmy [Chamberlin], but James. . . did it help that D'arcy [Wretzky] was fired for being a mean spirited drug addict, who refused to get help? No, that didn't help keep the band together, not at all."

Rolling Stone Readers Select the Best Smashing Pumpkins Songs

Billy Corgan reformed the Smashing Pumpkins with drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and new musicians in 2006, but the Metro show still marks the final time he performed anywhere with James Iha. "[Iha] thanked D'arcy on stage," Corgan wrote in 2004. "But not the two men standing next to him. . . and I was loyal until he left the Metro without even saying goodbye or an 'its been great boys!' or a simple 'I love you' to us. . . no, James Iha left the Metro that night without saying goodbye to the two people he had won and lost and traveled the world with."

Smashing Pumpkins' Oceania and More of the Best LPs of 2012

Regardless of the backstage tension, the Smashing Pumpkins put on a stellar career retrospective show that night. It ended with a thirty-minute rendition of "Silverfuck" that culminated with Corgan crying, and right before that they played "1979." Here's a video of that performance.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.