Billy Corgan kicked off his solo, acoustic Ogilala tour this weekend with a pair of shows at Brooklyn, New York’s Murmrr Theater that featured a complete performance of his new album along with selections from his entire career. In all the press he’s done around the release of the album he’s done little to clamp down on persistent rumors that the original lineup of the Smashing Pumpkins are gearing up for a possible reunion tour. “For once in my life I’m willing to give [people] what [they’d] like to see, no problem,” he told TeamRock. “No funny set list, no agenda, strictly let’s have a fucking party and let’s really fucking celebrate.”
It’s been a long time since the original lineup of the group had a “fucking party” onstage. They last played together at a small run of shows in 1999, but it was hardly a great time for anyone in the group. Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin had just returned to the band following three years in exile due to his heroin addiction, and bassist D’Arcy Wretzky was days away from walking out of the band. The group would completely implode a little over a year later.
Let’s go back to a time when the original Pumpkins were at their absolute peak as a live band. This is a 1993 performance of “Cherub Rock” at the Metro in their hometown of Chicago. It was right around the release of Siamese Dream, the album that would transform them into one of the biggest bands in America. There was a lot of darkness around the corner, but at this moment they were an unstoppable force.
A few weeks back, Corgan explained to Rolling Stone why the group dissolved. “We were in a pressure cooker for 13, 14 years,” he said. “We were literally together almost non-stop for a long time. We did a lot of work and we put ourselves through some crazy shit. When the family thing broke, it was one of those things like, ‘Hey, have you talked to your cousin?’ ‘Eh, I love him, but you know, whatever.’ So it was like that for a long time, and now that that’s over, and the family thing is resolved, it’s awesome.”
Whether that leads to an actual reunion tour remains to be seen, but when Coachella announces their 2018 lineup in early January, it’s very easy to imagine their name on top of the poster.