Billy Corgan Challenges Fans to Make His Solo Set List - Rolling Stone
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Zwan Songs: Billy Corgan Will Meet the Fan With the Best Set List

The list must reflect Corgan’s entire career without leaning too heavily on any one period

Billy Corgan

Billy Corgan

Daniel Boczarski/Redferns via Getty Images

The Billy Corgan fan who can draft the set list most pleasing to Billy Corgan will get a chance to meet the Great Pumpkin at the singer’s upcoming solo, acoustic gig at Ravinia in Highland Park, Illinois on August 30th. The Pumpkins frontman, who will be playing with the band’s guitarist, Jeff Schroeder, at the gig, won’t play the entire set list at a show, but said he will consider playing selected songs.

Between now and August 14th, Corgan will be reviewing submissions to what he has given the admittedly awkward title, “Yes, It’s My Billy Corgan Dream Set List Competition For Ravinia/2014!” (exclamation point included). In a post on the Smashing Pumpkins news site the Panopticon, the singer said he would consider “obscure favorites” as well as tunes he has never played live, and, to help out his fans, he detailed five “rules and/or suggestions” to create the best set.

Interested fans can make a set list of up to 20 songs from his entire career – “pre-Pumpkins, pre-Gish, the original lineup years, Zwan, solo, and Pumpkins 4.0 and beyond” are all fair game, he wrote – and place them in the order they want to hear them. Cover songs don’t count, and Corgan warned fans not to lean too heavily on a single era, though, since he wants the show to represent his entire career. Lastly, fans shouldn’t pretty up the set lists with a bunch of schmaltzy, maudlin explanations of why the songs mean so much to them; Corgan just wants 20 songs.

Part of the reason for the last rule appears to be because Corgan wants to add his own director’s commentary about what he liked about the winning set list when he posts it to the Panopticon. The contest suggests that Corgan would be willing to play a fan’s favorite song for him or her at the private meet and greet.

Corgan wants only one set list per entrant. Fans can submit their lists to

Although the contest doesn’t state it, fans should also note that Corgan has been prone as of late to playing hours-long jams inspired by the likes of Sufi poet Rumi and Siddhartha author Herman Hesse, at his teashop, which is also located in Highland Park. He’s also been promoting an experimental solo record, titled AEGEA, which he is selling as a limited edition through his teashop’s website.

And were he not busy enough, Corgan has also planned three Pumpkins releases for the future: a deluxe reissue of the group’s 1998 LP Adore and two new studio albums, one of which features the drum stylings Mötley Crüe stickman Tommy Lee. Additionally, he is producing eight one-hour unscripted episodes of an “Untitled Billy Corgan Wrestling Project” for AMC. The show focuses on his exploits as the creative director of the Chicago-area wrestling company Resistance Pro, a business for which he made a wild, furniture-based commercial and won an award for its community outreach program.

In This Article: Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins


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