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Is the Smashing Pumpkins Reunion Really a Reunion?

The Pumpkins are back – without D’Arcy Wretzky. Will fans buy it? A new episode of Rolling Stone Music Now dives into the band’s conflicts

The Smashing Pumpkins, 2018.

The Smashing Pumpkins will embark on a reunion tour in 2018 without D'arcy Wretzky.

Olivia Bee

D’arcy Wretzky hasn’t been seen holding a bass guitar in public since Bill Clinton was president. 

But as rumors surfaced that Billy Corgan was planning to reunite the original line-up of Smashing Pumpkins for a tour, fans dared to hope that Wretzky might emerge from the shadows (or from a Michigan horse farm, as the case may be) for a triumphant return. Instead, she popped up online, leaking screenshots of text exchanges between her and Corgan (that suggested that he wanted her to play at least some part on the tour), hurling insults at him and making it quite clear that she won’t be on board.

The band, which begins its 36-date U.S. tour on July 12th in Arizona, responded that Wretzky “has repeatedly been invited out to play with the group, participate in demo sessions, or at the very least, meet face-to-face, and in each and every instance she always deferred.”

In the new episode of Rolling Stone Music Now, host Brian Hiatt (who profiled Corgan in 2010) discusses and debates the Pumpkins’ wild history – including the period when band consisted of Corgan plus a 60-something bassist and a teenage drummer – with Andy Greene. To hear the entire discussion, press play above or download and subscribe to Rolling Stone Music Now on iTunes or Spotify.

In the podcast, Hiatt argues that casual fans may be only faintly aware of what they’re buying tickets for, telling the story of a fan at a 2006 Guns N’ Roses arena show who casually asked him if “Axl is still in the band.” But Greene thinks the band is taking a risk with such an extensive D’arcy-free tour, pointing out that online fans are obsessed with her absence. Along the way, they ponder whether the pending touring retirements of Boomer icons from Ozzy Osbourne to Paul Simon are making room for the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Pearl Jam and possibly the Pumpkins to take their place. 

Download and subscribe to Rolling Stone Music Now on iTunes or Spotify, and tune in Fridays at 1 p.m. ET to hear the show broadcast live on Sirius XM’s Volume, channel 106.

Watch below: From miscommunications with original bassist D’arcy Wretzky to rumors of new original material, here are the biggest mysteries behind upcoming tour.

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