Smashing Pumpkins FAQ v3.00

Welcome to the Smashing Pumpkins Frequently Asked Questions file!
Changes/updates from the previous release are marked by a '*'.

Please read this entire FAQ before posting on the newsgroup or Listessa.  It
contains an extremely large amount of information compiled over several
years, and will save a lot of time covering basic info. :)

If you're new to the internet or simply haven't read them yet, *PLEASE* read
the articles in the newsgroup "news.announce.newusers".  They contain a LOT
of helpful information about Netiquette, how newsgroups work, finding
appropriate places to post, how to create meaningful messages, where to find
tons of info, and much more.  -Every- net user should read and be familiar
with these.

                        -= Table of Contents =-

0. Legal Disclaimer

1. General
   1.1  Who are these Smashing Pumpkins?
   1.2  General newsgroup/list info
   1.3  Getting on and off Listessa
   1.4  General netiquette
   1.4a Flamewars and crossposting
   1.5  Appropriate Subject lines
   1.6  Acronyms, abbreviations, and common definitions
   1.6a "Single" - radio vs CDS/7" etc.
   1.7  "ObSP" - obligatory on-topicness
   1.8  Things NOT to ask or bring up/threads which go nowhere
   1.9  Validity of information

2. Songs/Albums
   2.1  Short discography
   2.2  Finding lyrics
   2.3  Guitar/bass tablature
   2.3b Piano score
   2.4  Cover songs
   2.5  Unreleased songs
   2.6  Where to find given songs
   2.7  Short guide to radio songs
   2.8  Songs sung by other members
   2.9  "Secret" messages/sounds
   2.10  Song/album meanings
   2.11  Vieuphoria's extra/unreleased songs
   2.12  Differences between releases
   2.12a Gish - original/remastered
   2.12b Siamese Dream - clean/explicit version, import
   2.12c Earphoria - promo/bootleg
   2.12d Import/domestic singles
   2.12e Vinyl - variant B-sides
   2.13  Common/recurring lyrics
   2.14  Photos/Cover art

3. Band Info
   3.1  Origin of name
   3.2  First appearance
   3.3  Short Bios
   3.4  Recording sessions
   3.5  Equipment
   3.5a Special effects
   3.5b EBow
   3.6  Personal info for the prying fan
   3.7  Sun Times' tiff
   3.8  Silly rumors (Small Wonder, Sea Monkeys, etc.)
   3.9  SP Fan Club
   3.10 Contacting the band

4. Merchandise
   4.1  Pricing/finding rarities
   4.2  Books
   4.3  T-Shirts
   4.4  Videos
   4.5  "Bootlegs"
   4.6  Trading

5. News/Info/Net Resources
   5.1  Brief history/landmark events
   5.2  Double Door info
   5.3  The keyboard/drummer events
   5.4  Tour info
   5.5  IRC info
   5.6  Web links for cool stuff
   5.7  Other recommended sources

6. Miscellaneous/Semi-Related
   6.1  Starchildren
   6.2  Catherine
   6.3  The Frogs
   6.4  Scratchie Records
   6.5  Cabal (...) / Junta (...)

7. Conclusion
   7.1  Acknowledgments
   7.2  Disclaimer

0. -Legal Disclaimer-

     The Smashing Pumpkins FAQ is copyright (c) 1995-97 by Eric Agnew.  It
  is freely distributable online through Usenet, email, and ftp.  It may not
  be used for commercial purposes, nor may any charge be imposed for its
  distribution.  Mass distribution or otherwise non-personal use prohibited
  without consent.  If you wish to use part of this in an article or
  publication, please CONTACT me first, or at least include my name as a
  reference for where you found the info - it does take work to compile and
  maintain this information, and I'd like to be credited as such if you
  decide to use it. :)  Offers for translations are welcome (there will be a
  Japanese version soon).  Links to the main URL are welcome, but I'd prefer
  that copies not be kept on other sites (save for the automatic storage by
  RTFM and similar FAQ-oriented sites), so that the most current version is
  always the one available.  Overall, though, give credit where it's due.

1. -General-

1.1  Who are these Smashing Pumpkins?

     The Smashing Pumpkins are perhaps one of the most successful
  "alternative" bands of today.  Chances are, if you've ever watched MTV or
  listened to the radio more than once or twice, you've either seen one of
  their videos or heard one of their songs.

     The band consists of Billy Corgan on lead vocals & guitar, James Iha on
  guitar, and D'Arcy on bass. Their current drummer is Matt Walker, formerly
  of Filter, who joined them during the summer of '96, when their former
  drummer, Jimmy Chamberlin, was- to put it nicely- released from the band
  to go into rehab.  See 5.3 for more on that whole deal.

     The Pumpkins have won many awards, gone on several major tours,
  appeared on several movie soundtracks, and released a rather large number
  of songs in a fairly short time.  Keep on reading for tons of info!

1.2  General newsgroup/list info

     The Smashing Pumpkins newsgroup,, and the
  mailing list, Listessa, are primarily places to discuss the Smashing
  Pumpkins.  However, not every post/message will be.  Topics range from
  lyrical discussions to new song info, personal SP stories, and even more
  general social interaction.  Try to stay as much on-topic as possible,
  and if a thread develops that you aren't interested in, ignore it- it
  will die out eventually.  Complaining about certain threads usually just
  makes matters worse by prolonging them and generating meta-threads.

1.3  Getting on and off Listessa

     First, make sure the list is operational. You can do this by checking
  the Official Listessa Web Site at
  and checking to see if there's a smiley face or a sad face.  Click on the
  face for more info and special instructions.

     To subscribe to Listessa, send a message to
  with the following message body:

				subscribe smashing-pumpkins (your name)

     Insert your name (omit parentheses) and disregard the subject line.  If
  all goes well, you will soon get a welcome message, which will include
  the Listessa FAQ, also available at
  READ THIS!  It contains the rules & guidelines of the list, as well as
  other special instructions.

    To post a message to the list, simply reply to any of its messages, or
  start a new message addressed to:
  Please quote only what is necessary, not entire digests. :)

  Here's how to unsubscribe, straight from the Listessa FAQ:
     To unsubscribe from the SP mailing list, send a letter to (-=NOT=- ) with
  the following, and -=ONLY=- the following, in the body of the letter: 

       unsub smashing-pumpkins 

     Do -=NOT=- include your e-mail address, a signature file, the name of
  your pet hamster, or any other information in the letter. 

     Please note: after you unsubscribe, you will receive a letter saying
  'Thanks for being with us.' You may still receive a few letters from the
  list after this. Do not be alarmed, this is normal. If, a day later, you
  are still getting letters, and you are sure you have followed the
  instructions correctly, feel free to write for
  help. I log in one or two times a day to maintain the list. 

     Do NOT post a message to the list asking how to get off, or to be taken
  off.  It's very annoying, and will not work.

     For more info, check the listessa web site or send a message with the
  body "help" to

1.4  General netiquette

     First off, read news.announce.newusers, taking special note at the posts
  dealing with Usenet and Netiquette.  If you have general questions after
  reading these, check in news.newusers.questions.

     Rules that apply everywhere: Do not post "Make Money Fast" or any of its
  variants.  Yes, it really is illegal (even though some copies say it's not,
  and even give a legal code to refer to), and it's just plain annoying.
  Also, do not post advertisements unless they're clearly on-topic and posted
  ONCE.  See "Advertising on Usenet: How To Do It, How Not To Do It" in, once
  again, news.announce.newusers

    Overall, keep in mind that many people read and post, and that people
  have different opinions.  Don't start yelling at someone simply because
  they don't agree with you or have the same tastes & opinions.

    Avoid bashing new fans.  Unless you've been attached to Billy's hip since
  birth, there's someone out there that's known about them longer than you
  have, too.  Everyone has to start somewhere.  A nice, polite reference to
  the FAQ and appropriate web sites would suffice. :)

    Also, please READ the messages before writing.  If there's been a recent
  announcement, someone's probably already posted it.  Check the thread to
  see how many replies there are before simply putting up another copy of the
  same info- it'll save your time as well as ensuring that others won't have
  to read it more than once.  Threaded newsreaders are definitely a plus
  here. :)

1.4a Flamewars and crossposting

     On Usenet, be sure to check the "Newsgroups:" line if something seems
  unusually strange or off-topic.  Things like "What is the best alternative
  band of the 90s?" (usually in caps) are giveaways, and are simply posted to
  every newsgroup to start people arguing.  Many people demand to know why
  a post about another band is in "their" newsgroup without realizing that
  it's in the other as well.  If you reply to a cross-post, remove the other
  newsgroups from the "Newsgroups:" line, so that it doesn't go to every
  other group.

     Flamewars erupt often, and there's little that can be done about it.
  The best thing you can possibly do is ignore it.  Some people just say
  something extremely rude and then leave immediately, so they won't even see
  your reply.  Others will just TRY to get you pissed off at them and
  generate angry replies.  If you must reply, do it over email.  If it
  continues to bother you and won't go away, killfile that thread, or just
  don't read it.  Just don't feed the fire.

     Likewise, don't start flames, as they're obviously not on-topic.  Sure,
  you can yell "BUSH SUCKS!" and get a lot of people to agree with you, but
  some people won't.  Besides that, it's not, not
  alt.flame.bush (or Manson, or Spice Girls, or Hanson, etc.).  If someone
  casually mentions liking a band that you don't, explain why if you must,
  but don't simply yell "They fucking suck!" and leave it at that.  Such
  pointless arguments go nowhere.

1.5  Appropriate Subject lines

     Use appropriate subject lines whenever starting a new thread.  It's much
  easier to decide whether you want to read "Wanted: Siamese Singles box set"
  than "Re: Smashing Pumpkins Digest #342".  Be specific.

     Also, the use of certain indicators can be quite helpful.  Josh Sherman
  suggested the use of "Tan:" to precede any subject that doesn't directly
  deal with SP (a tangent thread), so those who don't wish to read such
  messages can easily identify and skip over them.  Other helpful headers
  are as follows:

  FS:  For Sale (for Listessa, use the marketplace- details in the List FAQ)
  Lyr: New lyrics
  Req: Request for info, tab, lyrics, etc. (please check the FAQ and web
       sites first, as there is a LOT already out there that's just waiting
       to be found and looked up- it's not hard to find)
  Tab: Tablature
  Q:   Question
  WTB: Wanted To Buy (indicates that you want something)

     Other pre-subject headers can be helpful, such as "Announcement:" or
  "New Site:".  Just be specific in indicating what the message is about.
  Do NOT use misleading subject lines just to get people to read your post,
  though- messages with subjects like "Free surprise concert at Metro this
  weekend!" or "Billy dies in car accident" that start out with "Now that I
  got you to read this..." usually don't get read much further and usually
  just tend to piss people off.

1.6  Acronyms, abbreviations, and common definitions

  Common SP-related/song acronyms:
  amsp  -, the newsgroup
  BC    - Billy Corgan
  BwBW  - Bullet with Butterfly Wings (MCIS song/single)
  CR    - Cherub Rock (SD song/single)
  DD    - Double Door, a bar in Chicago (see 5.2)
  ITAOS - In the Arms of Sleep (MCIS song)
  MCIS  - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (latest studio 2CD/3LP)
  ng    - newsgroup
  PI    - Pisces Iscariot (B-sides compilation from 10/94)
  PM    - Pastichio Medley (23-minute conglomeration of 70 song snippets,
          found on Zero EP)
  SD    - Siamese Dream (2nd studio album, breakthrough release)
  SP    - Smashing Pumpkins (need I say more?)
  STRTJ    - Set the Ray to Jerry (1979 B-side)
  TAFH     - The Aeroplane Flies High (latest box set of MCIS CD singles)
  TEITBITE - The End is the Beginning is the End (song from Batman and
             Robin soundtrack)
  TBITEITB - The Beginning is the End is the Beginning (its counterpart)
  TOASE    - Tales of a Scorched Earth (MCIS song)
  TT       - Tonight, Tonight (MCIS song, single)
  TTEOR    - Thru the Eyes of Ruby (MCIS song)
  WBFTT    - Where Boys Fear to Tread (MCIS song)
  XYU      - not an acronym, as many ask about, but a homonym for "Ex, why
             you?"  Answered by the man himself.
  YAIGT    - You're All I've Got Tonight (Cars cover in TAFH box set)

  Other common general acronyms:
  AFAIK - As Far As I Know
  aka   - Also Known As
  CD    - Compact Disc
  CDS   - CD single (i.e. BwBW)
  FS    - For Sale (helpful in subject line)
  FT    - For Trade (helpful in subject line)
  FWIW  - For What It's Worth
  HTH   - Hope This Helps (usually said sarcastically)
  IMHO  - In My (Humble|Honest) Opinion
  LOL   - Laughing Out Loud
  NP:   - Now Playing (used at ends of messages to indicate what poster
          was listening to at the time of posting)
  ROFL  - Rolling On the Floor, Laughing (also ROFLMAO, adding "My Ass Off")
  RTFM  - Read The Fine Manual (although 'Fine' is often replaced by another
          word of the user's choice) :)
  UCE   - Unsolicited Commercial Email (aka email spam)
  WTB   - Wanted To Buy (helpful in subject line)
  WTT   - Wanted To Trade (helpful in subject line)
  YHBT. HAND. - You Have Been Trolled(+). Have A Nice Day.
                (+see below for definition)

  Most other abbreviations are songs.  If it's not immediately recognizable,
  check the comprehensive songlist at Burlap & you should be able to figure
  it out:

  Common definitions:
  :)      - a smiley face (tilt your head to the left), used to denote humor
            and/or sarcasm (variants:  :P"   :(   >:(   ;)   etc.)
  B-side  - a song found on a single that isn't the title track (i.e. "The
            Last Song"). Named from the days of vinyl, when 45s had a
            popular song on one side (the A-side) and another, perhaps
            unreleased song on the other (the B-side).  Third songs on vinyl
            are thus referred to as C-sides
  Bootleg - an unofficial recording, referring either to someone's personal
            tape or DAT recording of a live show, or a bootleg company's CD
            pressing of such a recording, or of unreleased studio demos
            (see 4.5)
  EP      - stands for "Extended Play", as opposed to an LP (Long Play).
            Generally shorter than a full release (LP), but usually longer
            than a single.  Example: Lull EP, Peel Sessions, Zero EP
  Flame   - a message that harshly ridicules someone else or their opinion
            through the use of personal attack rather than reason & logic.
            Usually feature lots of capital letters, exclamation marks,
            obscene and derogatory remarks, and misspelled words. :)
  Killfile- a feature of good newsreaders (AOL and Netscape News not
            included) that allows users to specify names, subject lines, or
            other patterns (even entire domains) which they don't want to
            read.  Upon reading news, these patterns are automatically
            "killed", and the reader never has to see those messages.  Useful
            for ignoring/avoiding heavy crossposts, lame threads, or messages
            from anyone you simply don't want to read from. :)
  <plonk> - the sound of someone being added to a killfile (i.e. if someone
            plonks you, they've added you to their killfile, which means
            they'll never see another message from your email address again)
  .sig    - short for signature, a small file automatically appended to the
            end of all outgoing messages and/or posts.  Generally includes
            name, email address, URL, and/or a clever quote, etc.  Netiquette
            standards allow for 4 lines- anything longer is usually frowned
            upon, and large ASCII art is almost always complained about.
            Keep in mind that it's something people are going to see every
            time you write, then keep it accordingly short and sweet. :)
  Thread  - a group of messages with the same subject or subject line.  Good
            newsreaders will group these together so they're read in order of
  Troll   - a post specifically designed to generate as many replies as
            possible (usually in the form of a blatant flame, obviously
            incorrect information, or (missed) sarcasm).  Most likely named
            after a fishing technique
  yelling - using all capital letters (usually considered rude and annoying)
            Also known as shouting, screaming, etc.

1.6a "Singles" - radio vs CDS/7" etc.

     Most people seem to forget that there is a difference between a radio's
  and a record store's definition of the word "single".  A radio station will
  call anything that's been released for radio play "the new single,"
  regardless of whether you can go to your local music store and buy a copy.
  Many more songs are released to the radios for airplay than are pressed on
  CDSs.  If you're lucky, have connections, or find a cool store, you might
  be able to buy a radio promo, but it's usually one track only.

     Release dates are also different- radio stations are usually allowed
  to play a song several weeks before it is available for purchase on CDS
  format (if it ever is).  Example: on 9/29/95, radios started playing BwBW,
  "the new single from SP."  On 10/24, you could go to the store and buy
  BwBW on CDS, with "...Said Sadly" as a B-Side (see 1.5).  The next year,
  Muzzle was on the radio quite often, and was still called "the new single"
  even though it was never pressed and sold as a CDS.  So, if you see a
  release date, or wonder why the record store doesn't have "the new single"
  they've been playing on the radio, keep this difference in mind. :)

1.7  "ObSP" - obligatory on-topicness

     Since most people prefer to read messages that are on-topic, off-topic
  messages should at least include a little bit of on-topic material.  The
  "ObSP" is short for "Obligatory SP", and is usually a short, on-topic
  blurb used to make an otherwise off-topic message at least -somewhat-
  relevant to most readers.

1.8  Things NOT to ask or bring up/threads which go nowhere

  The following questions should not be asked:

  -What's that Depeche Mode cover? Where can I get it?
  -How do I get on/off the mailing list?
  -When are they touring in my city?
  -When's the new album/single?

     Above questions have been asked to the point of extreme annoyance, and
  as the answers are all in well-known locations, they shouldn't need to be
  asked.  Release dates are on most well-updated web sites, as well as easily
  found by reading through the newsgroup before asking it yet again.  Burlap
  or Luna can tell you about the DM cover.  The Listessa FAQ clearly states
  how to get on/off the list.  And all tour info can be found via Josh
  Sherman's tour site.  Those URLS are:


     The following information has also been brought up countless times, and
  should be regarded as common knowledge:

  -"Tristessa" means "sadness" in Spanish, French, Italian, Latin, etc.
  (actual spellings may vary slightly), and was the title of a book by
  Jack Kerouac.

  -"Soma" was a drug in the book _Brave New World_, greek for "body", a
  legendary place where people sleep for a billion years, various religious
  entities, and about a million other things.  We've heard it before.  Many
  many many times before... :P"

  -If you hold up the back of the PI CD to the light, you can see Billy
  through the white thingy on the back.  According to someone who worked with
  the band, BC said this was a complete accident.

  -The same trick works for the liner with the fish pan & the necklace-
  looking at both sides through the light looks like an eyeball. Ooooh. Wow.

  -Any thread relating a song's meaning to drugs, Kurt Cobain, etc.  Usually
  those threads just start flame wars, so they're best avoided.

  -Threads bashing other bands.  Two words: counter-productive.  Such threads
  accomplish nothing but flame wars.

  -Threads about moshing.  Opinions will vary, but are unlikely to change as
  a result of an argument.  

  -"Selling Out".  People have their own definitions thereof, ranging
  anywhere from simply signing a record contract to changing their own art
  or image purely to make money.  Sure, Billy said they sold out.  Who cares?
  Has the integrity of their music changed?  No.  Check out the text from the
  back of the SP Heart shirt (section 4.7, #3), or see Tool's song "Hooker
  with a Penis" on the Toolshed at

  -Silly rumors. See 3.8.

1.9  Validity of information

     Don't believe everything you read.  Especially if it involves secret
  concerts, reported band members deaths, or super-special releases.  Take
  special care on April Fool's Day (the 1st), as even reliable sources of
  info are known to pull the occasional prank.

     If something is true, it should have a reliable source or reference.
  "I heard on the radio" does NOT count, as radios often go by rumors, and
  some people just say that to spread rumors.  If CD Europe says they have
  a special box set for $150 with super secret, rare, unreleased tracks on
  it, save your money.  If someone announces a release date for something,
  check to see if it's real/correct before demanding to know why your local
  store/station doesn't have it yet.  And if someone says their brother saw
  on MTV that Billy died, don't believe it for a second.

     When something IS reliable, it will come from a real source.  Press
  releases are released by Associated Press and/or SP's publicist- but keep
  in mind that these can be faked as well (check to see who posted it).  Web
  zines such as ATN are usually accurate (ATN's music news of the week can be
  found at  MTV News and magazine
  interviews are -usually- accurate, although anything the band says should
  often be taken with a grain of salt (i.e. not completely seriously).

     Anything regarding the death, overdose, suicide, etc. of any band
  member, no matter how official it looks (yes, these have been faked
  before), should NOT be believed until you see it on MTV News every hour,
  you hear it on every radio station, and you see HUNDREDS of posts about
  it on the list and newsgroup.  See 5.3.

2. -Songs/Albums-

2.1  Short discography

  Gish (1991) - single for "I Am One", 'Lull' EP for "Rhinoceros"
  Peel Sessions (1992) - Siva (different version), Girl Named Sandoz, Smiley
  Siamese Dream (1993) - singles for "Cherub Rock", "Today", "Disarm" and
  Pisces Iscariot (1994) - B-sides from previous singles, some unreleased
  Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995) - singles for "Bullet with
     Butterfly Wings", "1979", "Zero", "Tonight, Tonight", and "Thirty-Three"
  The Aeroplane Flies High (1996) - all MCIS singles & B-sides, plus 5 covers

     Several soundtracks & compilation CDs also have unique tracks. For more
  info, check out the complete discography, maintained by Dave Asselin at:

2.2  Finding lyrics

     Lyrics to every song imaginable, released or otherwise, can be found at
  the comprehensive "Burlap" site at
  This includes live covers, old rarities, and just about everything ever
  released in any form (official or otherwise).

2.3  Guitar/bass tablature

     Guitar tablature can be found at various SP web sites.  Those with the
  most tablature I'm aware of are:

  More guitar tablature can be found at OLGA (the OnLine Guitar Archive) and
  its mirrors:

  Bass tablature can be found at:

2.3b Piano score

     Piano scores for MCIS (the song), "Thru the Eyes of Ruby" (intro), and
  "Farewell and Goodnight" can be found on Luna:

      Please do NOT email me to complain about the size/readability/
  printability of the score.  It's all handwritten and scanned in.  When I
  get around to entering it all on a music notation program, I'll put the
  new version up and post an announcement to make everyone happy.

2.4  Cover songs

     The comprehensive list on Burlap indicates over 70 songs that SP have
  covered.  However, many of these are live or partial.  Check it out,

     Songs that have been covered by SP and which appear on official
  releases are as follows:

  Song Title:               Original Artist:        Where Found:
  Clones (We're All)        Alice Cooper            TAFH box set
  Dancing in the Moonlight  Thin Lizzy              Disarm single (Heart)
  Destination Unknown       Missing Person          TAFH box set
  Dreamin'                  Blondie                 TAFH box set
  Girl Named Sandoz         The Animals             Peel Sessions, PI
  Jackie Blue               Ozark Mtn Daredevils    K-Tel compilation
  Landslide                 Fleetwood Mac           PI, Disarm (Heart)
  My Blue Heaven            Whiting/Donaldson       33 single, TAFH box set
  Never Let Me Down Again   Depeche Mode            Rocket single
  A Night Like This         The Cure                TAFH box set
  Rudolph the Red-Nosed     (traditional)           Kevin & Bean comp. tape
  Sad Peter Pan             Vic Chestnutt           Sweet Relief II comp.
  Terrapin                  Syd Barrett             I Am One 10" vinyl
  You're All I've Got       The Cars                TAFH box set

     Boys Don't Cry [The Cure], Godzilla [Blue Oyster Cult], Out of Focus
  [Blue Cheer], and a bit of Sunshine of Your Love [Cream] can be found on
  CD bootlegs, as well as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Performances of
  "Auf Wiedersehen", "Baby Loves to Rock" and "If You Want My Love" with
  Cheap Trick are also available on the numerous CD boots from 10/23/95, the
  pre-MCIS release concert.

2.5  Unreleased songs

     Recent songs that have not been released, and perhaps never will be,
  include Country Girl, Methusela, Speed, Towers of Rabble, and Wishing You
  Were.  Check the songlist at Burlap for everything else you won't find :)

2.6  Where to find given songs

     Check the songlists at either Burlap or Luna, and they'll tell you every
  official or CD-boot release you can find something on, except where there
  are no recordings of the song.

2.7  Short guide to radio songs

     The following is a short guide to songs you're likely to hear on the
  radio, so if you don't know a song by name, this should help you out:

  1979 - played semi-often.  Drum loop with live drums, clean guitars.
     "Shakedown, 1979..."  Found on MCIS & single.

  Bullet with Butterfly Wings - played often in 95-6.  Distorted.  "Despite
     all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage."  Found on MCIS & single.

  Cherub Rock - played often during SD era.  Opens with drum roll.  "Let me
     out, let me out..."  Found on Siamese Dream & single.

  Destination Unknown - very synthy Missing Persons cover found in TAFH.

  Disarm - played often a few years ago, still played occasionally.  Acoustic
     guitar, timpani, cello and bells.  "Disarm you with a smile..." "I used
     to be a little boy" etc.  Found on Siamese Dream & single.

  Drown - played occasionally.  Long, spacey.  "No matter where you are, I
     can still hear you when you drown..."  Unedited version includes a long
     feedback solo at the end.  Found on Singles soundtrack.

  The End Is The Beginning Is The End - newest song from Batman and Robin
     soundtrack, recently released for radio play.  Heavy distorted guitars,
     some synth, electronic drums.

  Eye - played fairly often.  Drum kit, synth.  "Turn to the gates of Heaven,
     to myself be damned..."  Found on Lost Highway soundtrack.

  Frail & Bedazzled - used to be played often, still airs occasionally.
      Heavy I/IV guitar riff, one verse drops to vocals-only.  Found on PI.

  Landslide - solo acoustic Fleetwood Mac cover.  "And I saw my reflection in
     a snow covered hill..."  Found on Pisces Iscariot & Disarm Heart single.

  Muzzle - played semi-often.  Distorted guitars, fairly heavy.  Drums cut
     out & enter loudly back in several times.  Starts off "I fear that I am
     ordinary just like everyone."  Found on MCIS (-no- CDS single).

  Never Let Me Down Again - played occasionally.  Clean guitar, mellow cover
     of Depeche Mode song: "I'm taking a ride with my best friend" etc.
     Found on Rocket CDS or 7" (hard to find).

  Rocket - played often during SD era.  Layered distorted guitars.  "I shall
     be free..."  Found on Siamese dream & single.

  Thirty-Three - played semi-often.  Acoustic guitar & piano, no drums.  "And
     you - can make it last, forever you."  Found on MCIS & single.

  Today - played often during SD era.  Alternating clean/distorted.  "To-day
     is the greatest..." etc.  Found on Siamese Dream & single.

  Tonight, Tonight - played semi-often.  Strings, clean guitar.  Found on
     MCIS & single.

  You're All I've Got Tonight - Cars cover.  Verses are mostly drums.  Found
     in TAFH box set.

  Zero - played semi-often.  Distortion/harmonics.  Found on MCIS & single.

2.8  Songs sung by other members

     Billy doesn't sing -every- song...  Those featuring James on lead
  vocals are:

  Believe, The Bells, Blew Away, The Boy, Farewell & Goodnight (1st verse, w/
  Billy), A Night Like This, ...Said Sadly (w/ guest Nina Gordon of Veruca
  Salt), Take Me Down, and Terrapin.

     Of course, he's also sung a few songs live (Boys Don't Cry, Country
  Girl, I Feel You, Kooks, etc.)

     D'Arcy sings on Daydream (Gish), Dreamin' (TAFH box set), and in the
  second verse of Farewell and Goodnight (MCIS), as well as backup on many
  other songs.  She's also featured in Catherine's "Four Leaf Clover" and
  "Punch Me Out", and on a few Fulflej songs.

     Jimmy Chamberlin, the band's former drummer, sings along with D'Arcy in
  the second verse of Farewell and Goodnight.

2.9  "Secret" messages/sounds

     Sometimes you can hear weird noises that probably shouldn't be there,
  or people talking in the studio.  Sometimes they're obvious, sometimes you
  have to strain to hear them with headphones on.  This isn't meant to be a
  complete listing of every time you hear a strange noise, but it's a list of
  the most interesting and notable noises & extra words you can find.  Many
  more can be found at Pumpkin World's secret sounds page:

     words spoken in background of second "Love is suicide" chorus- destroy /
     despise / distrust / disobey / destroy / distrust / disloyal / disarm /
     destroy / despise / dissect / deny / destroy / despise / distrust

  Bury Me
     song opens with James saying something (most plausible ideas are "Boys,
     let's do it" and "Poised like an angel")

     studio talk at beginning: "Listen- wanna just start it?" "Ready, Flood?"
     "Yeah." "1, 2, 3, 4..."

  Dancing in the Moonlight
     Billy talks at the end about choking in the middle of the song

     click of bow hitting cello at 1:10.5, jingly noises around 1:20-21

     incomprehensible muttering from 3:16-27

     opens with synthesized "Hello", allegedly from a Red Red Meat song

  Hello Kitty Kat
     ends with Billy saying "Song's over"

  Honey Spider I
     Billy laughs at end & says "Aha!  That's everything..."

  La Dolly Vita
     strange, cartoonish "Ooh!" noise at 3:33; cuckoo at 3:44

  Marquis in Spades
     studio talk at beginning: "Rolling..." "I was just on another planet
     for a sec." "Run it back, Mole" (amp on) "Fucker."

     ends with BC saying "Alright, this take, don't give a fuck" & playing
     a few notes

  Siva (Peel Session)
     at 4:09, D'Arcy says she stepped on something; BC counts to 4 for re-

     ends with TV evangelist clip: "and you need to resist the devil so that
     he will flee"

     "you can hear the 7am buses slithering by" at 2:18-21 (PI liner notes)

     ends with TV talk show clip: "Now it's, uh, kind of strange, and, uh,
     kinda hard for me to talk about, but I thought maybe you could help- um,
     when we start getting physical, rather than having intercourse, he ends
     up just masturbating himself, and I end up feeling very alienated and
     unsatisfied, and it's  really come between us-".  Some versions include
     the clip as the beginning of the Silverfuck track.

     "listen for the police car go by" at 5:27-30 (PI liner notes)

     starts with 4 drum clicks & Billy saying "Hit it"

  Where Boys Fear to Tread
     DOOM explosion mentioned in liner notes: 1:20, 1:55, 2:29, 3:01, 3:44

2.10 Song/album meanings

     Discussing the meaning of songs is sometimes an interesting topic, but
  the band seem to shy away from explaining them outright.  On 120 Minutes,
  November '91, Billy and D'Arcy said the following:

  BC: Um, my songs are really personal...  and... you, it's like I'd have
      to tell everyone the story that goes behind every song, and I just...  
      it's kinda- it seems silly to me that I'd have to say "Well one day I
      was walking down the street, see, and..." [shrug] it doesn't- it
      wouldn't make any difference. I- and I don't- I mean, that's one of my
      problems with the video medium, is- is having to attach symbolism and
      specifics to songs because I think in some ways it's the ambiguousness
      of things that makes people find something in their own... life.
  D:  I sometimes think that... people get more out of a song (BC nods) if
      they don't know exactly what it's about- you can, you can listen more
      to the music, and that's mostly what we're about is music & emotions
      come from that.
  BC: Freedom. Freedom of thought. I mean, we're not here to preach or tell
      you what to think, you know, if-
  D:  We're here to say 'think for yourself,' you know...

     Nikki Christoff is collecting song interpretations on her web site.
  Check out the ones there, or submit your own:

2.11 Vieuphoria's extra/unreleased songs

     Vieuphoria contains several songs unavailable elsewhere, which are as

  Bugg Superstar - techno song playing while James talks about his dog
  (repeats "Bugg, Bugg").

  Pulseczar - distorted guitar chords, no drums, weird visual effects.
  Starts with "I hear you calling from the sky"

  Sinfony - 53 second EBow-driven guitar piece at beginning of tape

  Why Am I So Tired? - instrumental played over ending credits

     Note that the long jam at the end of Silverfuck also appears as a riff
  called "Jackboot" in Pastichio Medley, but is not usually considered a
  completed song.

2.12 Differences between releases

     Most releases have several versions available.  Special versions,
  usually imports from central Europe or Japan, sometimes contain extra
  tracks not found on the other releases.  Check it out before buying to
  avoid having to buy several versions of the same single to get all the
  songs.  :)

     For more details, consult the discography, maintained by Dave Asselin,
  found at

2.12a Gish - original/remastered

     The original release of Gish was on Caroline Records, has the cover
  image on the CD, and was released in 1991.  The rerelease was on Virgin,
  has no picture on the CD (just the writing), and was "remastered."  It's
  hard to tell by listening, although the bass was supposedly brought out a

2.12b Siamese Dream - clean/explicit version, import

     Certain versions of Siamese Dream have the titles listed on the back,
  while others don't.  This is the "clean version", assumed to be produced
  for large chain stores, due to the title "silverfuck".  Aside from the back
  cover, there is no difference.

     There are also differences in the inserts- after the initial pressing,
  someone decided to save money by taking all the photographs, which were on
  their own page in the first pressing, and combining them all onto 2 pages,
  turning the booklet into a foldout, and rendering the handwritten lyrics
  quite small and difficult to read.  The repressing included an address for
  fan club info and lyrics- unbeknownst to the 'fan club' person (read 'mail
  reader') for some time- resulting in many returned letters, until every-
  thing was finally explained...

     The Japanese import version contains a bonus track, labelled "Hikari
  Express".  This is simply "Pissant", which can be found on Pisces Iscariot.

2.12c Earphoria - promo/bootleg

     The promo for Vieuphoria, entitled "Earphoria", exists as a promo (rare)
  and as various bootlegged/copied versions.  The promo CD is light blue with
  pink SP-hearts, and includes a picture of James and Bugg on the back of the
  liner.  The bootlegged versions are usually cheap copies- image quality on
  the liner is obviously inferior, some versions are missing the picture of
  James & Bugg, and some of the CDs are simply black hearts on blank CDs.
  Some versions also mess up the tracks by combining French Movie Theme and
  Pissant onto one track, and splitting Silverfuck into two tracks.  The
  biggest apparent difference, though, is price- the promo will usually cost
  significantly more, if you can find it anywhere.

     Also note that there's a bootleg CD entitled "Billy Don't Be a Hero"
  that is, essentially, a copy of Earphoria.

2.12d Import/domestic singles

     Differences in singles are quite common- generally US and UK singles are
  limited to two or three B-sides, for chart/ratings purposes- including more
  songs would change their status from 'single' to 'EP', which would mean
  they couldn't be counted in certain charts.  Usually, where different
  versions of a single exist, the US version will simply omit certain B-
  sides, UK releases will be split into two parts, and Japanese or central
  European releases (Germany, Holland, etc.) will include all tracks.

     CD singles for I Am One, Cherub Rock, Rocket, Bullet with Butterfly
  Wings, and Zero either exist only in one form (from one country), or have
  the same number of tracks on each release (except that the box set release
  of BwBW also includes 5 cover songs).

     Disarm is in two parts from the UK, labelled "Heart" and "Smile".  
  Tonight, Tonight and Thirty-Three, as well as having 2-part UK singles,
  also have a US counterpart with omitted B-sides.

     1979 and Tonight, Tonight have central-Europe releases with all B-sides
  included.  1979 also has a US release with omitted B-sides.

     Today and Tonight, Tonight also have Japanese import versions: Today
  features Hello Kitty Kat, Obscured, French Movie Theme, and Apathy's Last
  Kiss (only otherwise available on the Today 7").  Tonight, Tonight has the
  same tracks as the central-Europe release (i.e. all 6 B-sides).

2.12e Vinyl - variant B-sides

     The B-sides (and C-sides, where they exist) of vinyl releases often
  differ from those of cassette and CD/CDS releases.  Following is a list of
  songs that can only be found on vinyl (excluding unofficial/bootleg

  Daughter - Reflex magazine 7" flexi-disc (good luck)
  Bullet Train to Osaka - I Am One 10"
  Honey Spider I - Tristessa 12"
  Honey Spider II - Pisces Iscariot bonus 7"
  Infinite Sadness - MCIS triple vinyl (3x12")
  My Dahlia - Light Into Dark compilation 12"
  Not Worth Asking - I Am One 7", Pisces Iscariot bonus 7"
  Purr Snickety - Cherub Rock 7" (also in Siamese Singles box set)
  Siamese Dream - Disarm 7" (also in Siamese Singles box set)
  Sun - Light Into Dark compilation 12"
  Terrapin [Syd Barrett] - I Am One 10"

     The original 7" version of I Am One can be found on the Absolute Middle
  of Nowhere #17 compilation CD, and the Today 7" b-side "Apathy's Last Kiss"
  can be found on the Japanese Today import CDS.

2.13 Common/recurring lyrics

     Billy has been known to use a few words or phrases several times, so to
  keep people from constantly re-'discovering' them :) here's a list:

  june: 1979, Bye June, Mayonaise, Rhinoceros, Tales of a Scorched Earth
  my one and only: By Starlight, Lily, XYU, Zero

     On Q101 radio (Chicago), 10/95, someone actually asked about this- the
  reply was that he simply did that to see if people would notice.  A more
  likely explanation is simply that he likes those words, and/or they rhyme

2.14 Photos/Cover art

     Since some people wonder where all those pictures come from in all the
  releases, here's a brief synopsis:

  SD insert - random pictures found by the graphic artist, not related to the
     band (same goes for Cherub Rock cover)
  Today cover - D'Arcy's sisters
  Pisces Iscariot cover (CD) - of continuous debate.  Some say it's James,
     Courtney Love said it's her with a cherry in her mouth, Billy said it's
     his now-ex wife, Chris, although he may have been referring to the
     necklace picture on the inside liner
  Zero insert - a Giorgio Armani model (not Yelena Yemchuk, the photographer)
  Thirty-Three - cover painting=Rasputin, insert=Lenin

3. -Band Info-

3.1  Origin of name

     Most answers to this question are only semi-serious, as they've heard it
  way too often.  The March '93 fan club newsletter gave the following story:

     "Gene Simmons came to us in a dream and said: 'Joe Strummer is a
  pumpkin, drunken and smashed.'"

     On Vieuphoria, they simply said "It's a joke."  However, the most
  serious answer comes from an interview with D'Arcy by the Washington Post

     "The name of the band is a stupid name, a dumb bad joke and a bad idea,
  OK?" she says. "Billy named the band before there even was a band. He was
  like, 'I'm gonna have a band and it's gonna be called this.' 'Smashing'
  is not a verb, it's an adjective. It's not like we like to smash pumpkins
  or anything.  And we are not amused by pumpkin jokes anymore."

     So, there you have it.  "Smashing" is an adjective, not a verb (think
  British here if you're still having trouble).  :)

3.2  First appearance

     Billy and James first appeared in a Polish bar called Track in 1988.
  Their first radio broadcast was on WNUR in Evanston that year.  (Info from
  the March '93 fan club newsletter).

3.3  Short Bios

     Everyone's seen the 3/93 newsletter bios by now (and if you haven't, you
  can find them), so until I can get new ones, this section will be blank.
  But since everyone MUST know their birthdays, here they are:

  Billy Corgan: March 17, 1967
  D'Arcy: May 1, 1968
  James Iha: March 26, 1968
  Jimmy Chamberlin (former drummer): June 10, 1964

  For people obsessed with looking through old high school yearbooks: Billy
  went to Glenbard North in Carol Stream, IL, James went to Elk Grove Village
  HS, IL, and D'Arcy went to L.C. Mohr in South Haven, MI.

3.4  Recording sessions

     As you may have heard, most of the recording for Siamese Dream was done
  by Billy (drums excluded).  His reasoning: "I was obsessed to meet a
  standard that was beyond our capability. I was more concerned about
  technical efficiency than heart."  The MCIS sessions were "a joy, compared
  to the tense Siamese Dream recording," and all members worked collectively.

3.5  Equipment

     I'm not an equipment expert (I don't even have an electric guitar), so I
  can't provide detailed lists of everything you'll need to perfectly imitate
  that pumpkin sound.  However, you should be able to find plenty of articles
  dealing with such technical aspects of the band, most likely from guitar
  magazines.  The intro articles at the beginning of the tablature books for
  SD and MCIS are also of interest.  Check around on Nikki's Newsstand at

3.5a Special effects

     One of the cool effects I -can- explain is the 'reverse echo' used on
  the "bang bang" part of Silverfuck, as well as other songs.  The track is
  recorded, then flipped backwards, and echo/reverb is added.  It's then
  flipped back to forwards, so the effect is that of echoing -into- the note.
  Pretty cool, eh? :)  This is also heavily used by the Cure.

3.5b EBow

     An EBow (electronic/electromagnetic bow) is a small, hand-held magnetic
  device that causes guitar strings to vibrate continuously, resulting in a
  long, sustained tone.  These are used most notably on Sinfony, Soma, & Drown.
  There's even a web site for EBows at

3.6  Personal info for the prying fan

     I'm not about to invade their privacy, but here's what they (apparently)
  don't mind letting us know via press, etc.:

     D'Arcy was involved with James for a while in the early days of the
  band.  She is now married to Kerry Brown, drummer of Catherine.

     Billy is separated from former wife Chris, and is dating photographer/
  director Yelena Yemchuk.

3.7  Sun Times' tiff

  A Chicago Sun Times reviewer, Jim DeRogatis, gave SP a few bad reviews,
  saying of Hummer, for example, "the lyrics are sophomoric, and the song is
  stupid."  This got him barred from attending the Double Door shows.  Some
  of Billy's statements on this can be heard on the "Drown" bootleg.

3.8  Silly rumors (Small Wonder, Sea Monkeys, etc.)

     Every once in a while, someone will resurrect a really stupid rumor
  (see "Troll" under 1.5).  No, Billy was not in the TV show "Small Wonder"
  (the character of Jamie Lawson was played by Jerry Supiran, if you must
  know), and who cares if Marilyn Manson supposedly had him snort Sea
  Monkeys (Manson even admitted later that that was a joke)?  Such rumors
  aren't even worth bringing up (so please don't).

3.9  SP Fan Club

     The "fan club" started when the Siamese Dream liner notes included the
  words "smashing pumpkins fan club information" next to their PO box address
  (which was different on both releases of Gish).  Since then, there have
  been a few newsletters & t-shirt order forms, but the one person running it
  (Laura Ann) is a bit more enthusiastic than the rest of the band, who
  hasn't been giving her stuff to send out.  For now, Laura serves mainly to
  read their mail, attempt to answer basic questions, and sell T-shirts.
  Until further notice, however, it may be wise to hold off on "joining,"
  since the $3 "membership" fee isn't really going anywhere.  But if you
  don't mind sending money to someone to send off to an accountant somewhere
  or if you just feel like sending mail, the address is:

     SPFC, PO Box 578010, Chicago, IL 60657.

3.10 Contacting the band

     Send all meaningful mail to the address listed above.  Try to hold back
  on short, meaningless messages like "You rule!", as they've already gotten
  tons of those already.  Do NOT send mail to (or visit) their homes, and do
  not ask for their home addresses.  Have some respect for their privacy.

     As for email, there's no such address.  If the band had a publicly-
  available email address, it would be instantly flooded, requiring a large
  staff to read it all.  If any members were to have email addresses, they
  would be for personal/business reasons, so keep that in mind before asking
  for them.

4. -Merchandise-

4.1  Pricing/finding rarities

     Since prices vary from area to area, and everything changes over time, I
  can't give any pricing info here.  If something sounds too expensive, ask
  why.  If you doubt the numbers they're giving you, check around.

     Finding items is also equally impossible for me to do, as I cannot give
  everyone in every city the name and address of a place nearby that'll have
  what they're looking for.  But, as is suggested by Dave Asselin, check out
  the Goldmine magazine, which includes tons of trader info, or visit their
  web site at

4.2  Books

     There are several books available on SP.  Here's the info:

  Title:  Smashing Pumpkins
  Author: Nick Wise
  Pub:    Omnibus Press/Book Sales Ltd.
  ISBN:   0-7119-4166-1
  Notes:  48 pages, color photos on each page.
  Price:  ~$12

  Title:  Smashing Pumpkins
  Author: Jim Stapleton
  Pub:    Carlton Books/Music Book Services
  ISBN:   1-85868-068-9
  Notes:  120 pages, same size as a CD
  Price:  ~$10

  Title:  Smashing Pumpkins - A Tear-Out Photo Book
  Author: none
  Pub:    Oliver Books
  ISBN:   1-870049-92-6
  Notes:  20 full-page photos, text on opposite sides
  Price:  ~$12

  Title:  Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream 
  Author: Aaron Stang
  Pub:    CPP Belwin, Inc.
  ISBN:   0-89898-825-X
  Notes:  Guitar tablature book, with intro and comments on each song by BC.
  Price:  $20

  Title:  Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
  Author: Andy Aledort & Hemme Luttjeboer
  Pub:    Warner Bros.
  ISBN:   1-57623-339-1
  Notes:  Guitar tablature book, includes 'Guitar Geek USA' articles written
          by BC for Guitar World
  Price:  $30

4.3  T-Shirts

     A full-color image gallery of all pumpkin T-shirts will soon be
  available on the web somewhere, but until that's completed, here's a text-
  based description of the ones there are, roughly in order of appearance:

  1. Devil shirt - Black with red/purple devil and gold glitter.  Back says
     "Mission To Mars".

  2. Angel shirt - White with blue/silver angel & globe.  Back says
     "Altitude Not Attitude".

  3. Gish picture shirt - White with b/w picture from inside Gish liner, with
     white "Smashing Pumpkins" and "gish" text from the cover.

  4. SP Heart shirt - White with red/black SP heart logo.  One version has
     city scene on back, with SD song titles as neon signs, other version
     has the following text:

     this is a smashing pumpkins t-shirt.  rather than ask me why i'm
     wearing this ask yourself why am i reading this?  the message is there
     is no message.  one million souls tossing down their hard earned
     lettuce for a piece of the hot rock indie alternative pie.  i've sold
     out.  how about you?  everybody's doing it even if they say they're not.
     don't ask me cause i don't know.  rock saves.  it's the next big thing.
     have you heard the next big thing?  i'm part of the revolution.  it's
     all coming down soon.  hope you're there.

  5. Disarm Smile shirt - White with red/black "Smile" picture on front,
     1993-4 tour dates on back.

  6. Siamese Dream cover shirt - White with SD promo poster (2 girls, one
     with a popsicle).  Back has either tour dates for Midwest tour, or for
     entire fall tour.

  7. Star shirt - Black with red star & "smashing pumpkins" written in white
     in the SD font.  Back says "just say maybe".

  8. Clown shirt 1 - Red with green clown in blue oval, 'smashing pumpkins'
     written around inside of oval.

  9. Clown shirt 2 - Black with white/yellow clown, red stars, etc.  Back
     has partial songlist in yellow & green.

 10. Spaceboy shirt - Purple, with orange cartoon astronaut.  Back has part
     of Starla lyrics.

 11. MCIS shirt - Navy blue, MCIS cover image on front, back cover on back.
     Tie-dyed version also available.

 12. Blue SP Heart shirt - Navy blue with white SP heart logo outline.

 13. Liner pic shirt - Black with picture of rabbits & rats smoking, white
     skull on back.

 14. Discs shirt - MCIS CD images on front (pink/blue circles), tour dates
     on back.

 15. ZERO shirt - Black with silver "ZERO" and star, small silver SP heart
     on left sleeve.  Short or long-sleeved.

 16. "Leave Me Alone" shirt - White with sketched smiley faces in a spiral
     with red bar codes on their foreheads.  Back says "Leave Me Alone" in
     red 1979 font

 17. Black SP Heart shirt - Black with silver SP heart logo.  Back says
     "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" and includes a tracklist.

 18. Vegas Logo shirt - Black with "Smashing Pumpkins" written in a neon-like
     cursive, orange with yellow outline & dots.  Background has silver stars
     and a planet.

 19. "World is a Vampire" shirt - Black with large silver frowning face with
     fangs & horns, says "the world is a vampire" in MCIS liner font.  Back
     says "The Smashing Pumpkins Infinite Sadness Tour" in the Mellon Collie

 20. Baby Doll shirt -  White with red SP heart logo.  One size "Grrrl"

 21. Thermal heart shirt - Black long-sleeve thermal-textured shirt with
     silver & white embroidered SP heart logo

     Older shirts are going to be somewhat difficult to track down, but they
  can be found.  If you can't find anything anywhere, you can ordering the
  shirts 15-21 from the 'fan club'.  Indicate size (L or XL, except for #21,
  which is XL only, and for #20) and sleeve-length for Zero shirt.  Shirts
  are $20 each, except long-sleeve Zero shirts are $25, and thermal shirts
  are $30.  S&H included.  Make check or money order to "Smashing Pumpkins"
  and send in order to PO Box 578010, Chicago, IL 60657.

     A new merch sheet/order form will be finished soon, complete with images
  of the available shirts.  These will be snail mailed to those requesting
  t-shirt info from the fan club, and a copy will be available on my web site

4.4  Videos

     There are videos out for the following songs:  Siva; Rhinoceros; Cherub
  Rock; Disarm; Today; Rocket; Bullet with Butterfly Wings; 1979; Zero;
  Tonight, Tonight; Thirty-Three; and The End is the Beginning is the End.
  Of course, MTV plays the most recent ones the most often (they're usually
  put into heavy rotation when they're first released), but occasionally you
  can catch one of the older ones on Alternative Nation or late at night.

  Brief descriptions of the videos:

  Siva - band playing in a room, candles, flowers, weird makeup, etc.

  Rhino - band sitting & playing different instruments in a room, D'Arcy
     bouncing a ball, reverse footage, ornate fountains, & shots of the
     members outside

  Cherub Rock - band playing outside in the dark by some trees, weird color
     effects, lighting diagrams, etc.

  Disarm - black & white, closeups of members playing, aerial shots of
     buildings, etc.

  Today - Billy drives through a desert in an ice cream truck, picks up James
     (wearing a dress), stops at a gas station & finds other 2 members, they
     paint the truck all funky & then drive off, leaving Billy

  Rocket - a few kids build a rocket out of junk, blast off from their
     back yard, and land on another planet to find SP as an elderly band

  Bullet - band plays on a stage in the middle of a dry dirt field full of
     dirty workers.  Billy has on the infamous Zero shirt & silver pants

  1979 - shows a bunch of kids driving around, going to a party (at which SP
     is playing), wreaking havoc, and ransacking a convenience store

  Zero - dark colors, strange-looking people in odd makeup, closeups of band,
     etc.  Rarely played

  Tonight Tonight - made to look like an old movie (flickery lights, etc.)
     includes recreation of George Melies' 1902 film "A Trip to the Moon",
     one of the first films to use special effects

  Thirty-Three - various shots done in stop-motion style, creating a jerky
     effect.  Includes Billy by sunset and painting, and trio in suits

  TEITBITE - space-age costumes & props, members floating around, with shots
     from Batman and Robin in the background

     For much more detailed descriptions of the videos, consult Marci's FWQ
  (Frequently Wondered Questions) file, found at:

4.5  "Bootlegs"

     A bootleg can refer to one of two things: 1) an audience recording,
  traded around by fellow fans, or 2) a CD manufactured by a company not
  connected to the band, containing live or unreleased studio tracks.  In
  both cases, the band makes no profit from these, while in the latter case,
  someone else -does-.  CD boots, usually listed as "imports", generally run
  for $20-30, and can be somewhat difficult to track down (i.e. you won't
  find them at any large chain stores).  Tapes recorded by fans are most
  often traded for other tapes, although some traders sell their tapes for
  cost.  For more info, check out the FAQ for

4.6  Trading

     The best way to trade is to have your list available on the web, and 
  then to post to the list or newsgroup with the URL.  It's usually not
  good to post a huge list to Listessa, although the newsgroup will do fine
  if you don't have web space.  After that, just wait for people to email
  you with trade offers, as there isn't much else you can do.  Posting your
  list every day or week is -not- a good idea, and will usually just turn
  people away or get you killfiled.

     There is also a large trading area set up on the Smashing Pumpkins
  Collection site:

5. -News/Info/Net Resources-

5.1  Brief history/landmark events

     1988/89- band forms, plays around Chicago, releases demo tapes
     1990- I Am One 7", Tristessa 7" and 12" released
     1991- Gish & Lull released; tour with Red Hot Chili Peppers & Pearl Jam
     1992- "Singles" soundtrack; Reading Festival
     1993- Siamese Dream released, selling millions; major tour
     1994- band headlines Lollapalooza; Pisces Iscariot released
     1995- Double Door concerts; another Reading Festival appearance;
           MCIS released, outselling SD
     1996- American Music Awards; Simpsons "Hullabalooza" appearance;
           major tour; keyboardist dies, drummer fired (see 5.3); band
           wins 7 MTV Video Music Awards; Ransom & Lost Highway soundtracks;
           TAFH box set released
     1997- Batman & Robin soundtrack; European festival concerts

     For a more detailed chronology, check out the one at Burlap:

5.2  Double Door info

     In February of 1995, the pumpkins played 4 shows (21, 22, 27 and 28th)
  at the Double Door bar in Chicago.  The shows cost $5 each, all of which
  went to charity. The sets consisted entirely of new material from the
  then-upcoming MCIS and its B-sides, and a few b-sides were played as
  encores.  A few songs played have not been released: "Country Girl" (by
  James), "Speed" (which appears briefly in Pastichio Medley), and "Towers of
  Rabble".  While security was extremely tight, someone was able to record
  the 21st and the 27th, although the quality on each of these is quite poor.
  There is another, much better recording of the 21st show, although it's not
  a full set and a few songs are cut.

5.3  The keyboard/drummer events

     In the summer of '95, the Chicago Reader ran an ad by the Pumpkins,
  seeking a touring keyboardist.  5-minute tape auditions (with a "please,
  no pumpkins songs" condition) were to be turned in by July 14th.  On August
  18, Entertainment Weekly ran the following:

     "...aspiring Pumpkins needn't wait by the phone.  Two months later, a
     refrigerator box full of cassettes graces Chicago's Soundworks studios,
     and there's not a listening station in sight. 'We've been too busy to
     deal with them,' says Iha. 'I don't want to listen to a bunch of wack
     keyboard players. It sounds like a nightmare to me.'"

     The position was filled by Jonathan Melvoin, who played keyboards and
  acted as a second drummer for Silverfuck.  He also appeared with SP on the
  American Music Awards.

     On July 12, 1996, Jonathan was found dead from a heroin overdose.  He
  and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin had shot up the previous night, and Jimmy
  awoke to find Jonathan dead.  Jimmy was charged with misdemeanor heroin
  possession, and the rest of the band were taken in for questioning, and
  later released.  All tour dates through July 27th were postponed.  A few
  days later, the band released a statement saying that Jimmy would no longer
  be the band's drummer.

     Private/closed auditions were held a while later to find a replacement
  drummer for the remainder of the tour.  Matt Walker, former touring drummer
  for Filter, took over.  While auditioning for Filter, he reportedly dropped
  a drumstick and finished with one- he was hired immediately.  Dennis
  Flemion, founding member and drummer/keyboardist of The Frogs, was chosen
  to be the replacement keyboardist.  A press release was issued on August
  8th.  The band played a surprise warmup show at the Metro on August 23rd
  with the two new touring members, and resumed the MCIS tour after that.

5.4  Tour info

     All tour info is maintained by Josh Sherman, and available on his web
  site at

     Since the Mellon Collie tour is now over, there are only a few dates
  listed for various European festivals, etc.

5.5  IRC info

     There are several IRC channels for pumpkin-heads: #smashing_pumpkins on
  Undernet, #smashing_pumpkins and #pumpkins on EFnet, and #smashing-pumpkins
  on DALnet.  To use IRC, you must have a client program.  For more info,
  check out the IRC FAQ at

5.6  Web links for cool stuff

     Since there are well over a hundred web sites devoted to SP, it may be
  difficult, at first, to find what you're looking for.  Here are the best
  sites I'm aware of for specific features:

  Tour info -
  Tour history -
  News, articles -
  Trading -
  Links -

  Listessa -
  Sound clips -
  Song lyrics/info -
  Discog (visual) -
  Discog (text info) -
  Bootlist -
  Tab -
  Bass tab -
  General -

     If you're creating a new site, keep in mind that simply copying someone
  else's site is NOT a good idea, as you will likely get a lot of complaints.
  Try to come up with something novel and original, and remember that content
  is more important than how many "hits" you get.  Do -not- post your URL 10
  times a day to the newsgroup.  Announcing it only once upon creation, or
  after a time of extreme upgrade/change, and including the URL in your .sig
  is the best way to go.  If it's good, people will visit it.  If not,
  perhaps it could use some improvement. :)

5.7  Other recommended sources

     Smashing News - monthly newsletter compiled by Devon Snider.  Email her
  at to get it via email, or to ask about details for
  subscribing to the snail-mail version.

     Frequently Wondered Questions - written as a supplement to this FAQ by
  Marci.  Found at

     Discography - exhaustive text version maintained by Dave Asselin,
  contains everything you wanted to know about every official SP release.

     Bootlist - includes tracklists & info on all known bootleg CDs.
  Maintained by Karl Daher.

6. -Miscellaneous/Semi-Related-

6.1  Starchildren

     The Starchildren is a side-project band consisting of Billy and various
  other people.  There have also been "secret" pumpkin shows under the name.
  Starchildren have released a split 7" with Catherine (Delusions of Candor/
  Flight of the Eagle, b/w Songs About Girls), and covered "Isolation" for
  the Joy Division tribute album, "Means to an End."

     Rotating members of Starchildren have included James, Jimmy, and
  D'Arcy, Bob English, and Mark Rew, Neil Jendon, Cliff Fox, and Kerry Brown
  of Catherine.

6.2  Catherine

     Catherine is, unfortunately, usually thought of as "D'Arcy's husband's
  band."  However, despite poor marketing from TVT, they're definitely a cool
  band to check out.  The band consists of Mark Rew (guitar/vocals), Fever
  (guitar), Gus (percussion/keyboards), Keith Brown (bass), and Kerry Brown
  (drums).  Former members include Neil Jendon, Jerome Brown, and Cliff Fox.

     Catherine's releases are: the split 7" with Starchildren (Songs About
  Girls/Delusions of Candor - TVT 4612-7); the Sparkle/Charmed (for Taylor)
  7" on Limited Potential (LimP 011); an EP "Sleepy" (March Records MAR 005,
  reissued TVT 4610); Songs About Girls/It's No Lie 7" on Rough Trade
  (45rev35); and albums "Sorry" (TVT 4620-2) and "Hot Saki & Bedtime
  Stories" (TVT 9020-2).   There's also a track "End of Something" on the
  Absolute Middle of Nowhere #17 compilation.  Videos are available for It's
  No Lie, Songs About Girls, Saint, and Four-Leaf Clover.

     Earlier releases are very guitar-heavy (3 guitars), and the final songs
  on Sleepy and Sorry feature extended feedback jams similar to "Drown"- the
  latest release is more poppy.

     Billy Corgan co-produced the 2 7" releases and Sleepy EP.  D'Arcy sings
  on "Four-Leaf Clover" and "Punch Me Out" from "Hot Saki & Bedtime Stories",
  on which James Iha & Jimmy Chamberlin are also credited for "additional
  equipment".  "Blew Away" (Disarm (smile) single, Pisces Iscariot) features
  Kerry Brown on drums.  Kerry is also a co-owner of Scratchie Records, and
  has helped record and produce a number of SP songs.

     For more info, join the Catherine mailing list (send "subscribe
  catherine" to, and/or check out the following web
  sites: (includes a FAQ)

6.3  The Frogs

     The Frogs are a Milwaukee-based band that Billy is both a fan of and
  close friends with.  Consisting of brothers Jimmy and Dennis Flemion and
  bassist Damian Strigens, The Frogs can best be described as satirical.
  Though largely underground, The Frogs have developed a sort of cult
  following, and their live show is simply unforgettable.

     The Frogs have opened for the Pumpkins and Pearl Jam, and played second
  stage at Lollapalooza in 1994, with Billy coming out on a few occasions.
  Dennis was chosen as the replacement keyboardist for the pumpkins' MCIS
  tour, and appeared with them from August '96 on.  Jimmy took a roadie job
  with the tour, and came out on stage in his green-sequined, winged costume
  to play along for 1979 and choose audience members to dance on stage.

     The Frogs have released 2 albums ("It's Only Right And Natural",
  Homestead [HMS169-2], and "My Daughter the Broad", Matador [ole 155-2]),
  several 7" singles ("Now You Know You're Black", "Here Comes Santa's
  Pussy", and a split 7" with Wesley Willis), a cover of Pearl Jam's
  "rearviewmirror" (found on PJ's "Immortality" CDS), and an EP "Starjob" on
  Scratchie Records [314 534 838-2], produced by Billy Corgan.

     The pumpkins' home video, Vieuphoria, includes a brief "Meet the Frogs"
  segment, including bits of live shows, and featuring excerpts of "Homos"
  and "I Only Play 4 Money" (found on "It's Only Right And Natural" and
  "Starjob", respectively).

     For more info, check out the only known Frogs web site at:

6.4  Scratchie Records

     Scratchie Records is a label co-owned by James Iha & D'Arcy, as well as
  Jeremy Freeman, Kerry Brown, and others.  The label puts out cool music &
  does really cool stuff for its customers & fans. :)  Check their web site
  out at

  Don't miss the Scratchie showcase at the Chicago Metro on June 21,
  featuring Mike Ladd, Fulflej, Catherine, and the Frogs!

6.5  Cabal (...) / Junta (...)

     Although scarcely mentioned nowadays, the Cabal (there is no Cabal)
  and Junta (there is a Junta, I know, they suck) were two "secret
  organizations" that were brought up occasionally a while back.  Their
  mention provided amusement for some, annoyance to others, and is included
  here purely for nostalgia. :)  If you're -really- interested, a more
  detailed run-down and small archive can be found on my web site at:

7. -Conclusion-

7.1  Acknowledgments

     This work could not have been made possible without the generous
  contributions (info and otherwise) from the following people: Adam
  Bellinger; Adam Cutler; Adam Newman; Allison Baird; Andrew Miller; Badfish;
  Brian McCall; Brandon; BuGG; Chris Carman; Christine Henry; Damian
  Strigens, and Dennis & Jimmy Flemion; Dave Asselin; Davin Mehrbani; Emmy
  Bristow; Eric Heutchy;; Jamie Halle; Jason Petrait;
  Jason Ting; Jenn Miller; Jeremy Adams; Jeremy Freeman; Josh Sherman; Joshua
  Provost; Karl Daher; Kim Wisniewski; Kristen Kapica; Laura Ann (SPFC);
  Looselucy9; Marci; Mark Gillis; Mark Hamilton; all the Matts and Mikes;
  Matthius Rheaume; Nikki Christoff; Onica; Phil Herring; Pissant; Roger
  Janssen; Saira Hussain; Scott Carpenter; Scott Spencer; Steve Hamel; Tariq
  Hussain; Tom Jackson; Wristy; all the other people who've sent in info,
  plugged the FAQ, or written me "fan mail"; everyone who's taken the time to
  create a cool, info-packed web site; and, of course, the band, for their
  inspiration & all that awesome music. :) 

7.2  Disclaimer

     I'm human, too.  No, really. :) Any additions, corrections, suggestions
  for improvement, offers for other translations, etc. greatly welcomed.  I'm
  not always great on getting back to people over email, but I do read every
  message I get.  So, if you have anything to offer (UCE excluded), drop me
  an email at

URL- (/sp/) | Smashing Pumpkins FAQ mtnr.
"DNA -- a complex fact of life."   -Mark M's Heavily Abridged Dictionary