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Corgan: Pumpkins' breakup was Iha's fault


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Billy Corgan
James Iha
Jimmy Chamberlin

NEW YORK (Billboard) -- More than three years after the Smashing Pumpkins played their farewell show, former frontman Billy Corgan has taken to his official Web site ( to clear the air about the true reasons for the Chicago's band's split.

"I am going to share some things with you that you have never heard me say," he wrote Tuesday. "That doesn't mean I'm rewriting history; that means that I'm going to tell you the truth about who I am and what I believe in my heart. A lot of things that I have said thru the years seemed confusing, like I was hiding something, and oftentimes I was. 'Why,' you might ask. Many times I hid things to protect my band mates."

Corgan said he regrets initially blaming the split on "fighting the good fight against the Britneys of the world." "By saying that, I was seen as someone who was crying foul, taking his ball and going home, which was sad, 'cause it wasn't true at all," he continued. "The truth of the matter is that guitarist James Iha broke up the Smashing Pumpkins. Not me, not drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, but James. Did it help that bassist 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."

The artist admitted he would have liked to press on with the Pumpkins, which he described as "essentially my entire life... a dream I still believe in. Many friends at the time suggested letting James leave, so Jimmy and I could continue on under the name. But I was too loyal to the man I had started the whole thing with, and so I protected him until the very end."

Corgan was particularly saddened after Iha left the band's final show at Chicago's Cabaret Metro on December 2, 2000, "without saying goodbye to the two people he had won and lost and traveled the world with. So, I won't be protecting him anymore and I won't be protecting a whole lot of other people anymore."

In closing, he wrote, "We all deserve to flourish, and know happiness and joy. That is my new dream. The Smashing Pumpkins gave me that, and I am eternally grateful."

Corgan is working on his debut Warner Bros. solo album following the dissolution of his post-Pumpkins band, Zwan. The set will be preceded by a DVD of acoustic songs, featuring performances from a variety of venues and a spate of April recording sessions.

"What will be novel is that we plan on having an invited audience attend the recording sessions," Corgan said. "Just after the week of recording, I hope to do a single concert which would be filmed as well. The DVD would then be a compilation of material from a show at Chicago's the Hideout, acoustic sessions already recorded, poetry from a Chicago art institute benefit, the six days in April, and the one concert date."

Corgan will also release a book of poetry sometime this fall. "It's now basically all done, give or take a few word changes here and there," he said.

Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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