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Billy Corgan Is Not a Jukebox

Billy Corgan
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

A jukebox is built around a simple concept: Give it some money, choose a song or songs from its selection and you can sing and dance along while it plays. A rock concert is built on a similar concept, except that, for much more money, you get to sing and dance. And if you’re close enough to the stage, you can shout out a song to the band in the hope that they will play them. It’s been known to happen.

But if you’re going to see a Smashing Pumpkins in concert, don’t even bother with that last step, because Billy Corgan refuses to be a jukebox.

In an interview with the Herald Sun in Melbourne, Australia, Corgan made it clear that, although he will often play his biggest hits in concert, they will come when he feels like it — not when fans call for them.

“Fans think you’re there to be a jukebox,” he said. “When we were on the ‘Mellon Collie [and Infinite Sadness]‘ album tour I had people down the front shouting for ‘Siamese Dream’ songs.”

“My job is not to be an oldies act or what they call it over here, a nostalgic act,” he continued. “It’s not like the band was a pop band, you know what I mean? I was in an alternative rock band for a reason.”

So if you want to hear your favorite old Smashing Pumpkins song, you may be better off breaking out your old CD of ‘Siamese Dream’ or ‘Gish.’ Or better still, buy the two-CD reissues of those albums that the band released last year.

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