William Patrick “Billy” Corgan, Jr. was born on March 17, 1967, is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and occasional poet who is, along with James Iha, the founding member of The Smashing Pumpkins. Corgan started playing shows around Chicago, Illinois with guitarist James Iha, and a drum machine in 1987. The project quickly gained steam with the addition of bassist D’arcy Wretzky and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. In three years, The Smashing Pumpkins had transformed themselves into a major label success. Strong album sales and large-scale tours propelled the band’s increasing fame, while Chamberlin’s drug problems escalated until he had to be fired. The Pumpkins continued as a three-piece until Chamberlin rejoined the band in 1999, and the band broke up in 2000. Corgan started a new band with Chamberlin right away, called Zwan, and after their demise he released a solo album and a collection of poetry before setting his sights on reforming the Smashing Pumpkins.
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The new version of that band, consisting of Corgan, Chamberlin, and a revolving tour lineup, released an album in 2007 and followed it with extensive touring over the next year and a half. Chamberlin left the Smashing Pumpkins in March 2009, while Corgan continued on with a new lineup, currently recording the album Teargarden by Kaleidyscope and touring. He maintains a strong grass-roots following and is known to have direct communication with his fans.
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