April 23, 2008 / 10:14 PM / 12 years ago

Smashing Pumpkins honored in L.A.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan reluctantly accepted a low-grade honor in Hollywood on Wednesday, after revealing that he had spent a lot of time wondering whether it was “a silly thing.”

Billy Corgan, member of the rock group "Smashing Pumpkins", shows his hands covered with black cement to the audience as he and band member Jimmy Chamberlin were inducted into the Hollywood Rock Walk in Hollywood April 23, 2008. The Rock Walk honors artists who have made a significant impact to the growth of Rock 'n' Roll. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Corgan and bandmate Jimmy Chamberlin placed their hands in wet cement for the Rockwalk, a shrine of sorts outside a music instrument shop. A hundred or so fans turned up, outnumbered by the media and assorted band hangers-on.

“I’m so used to bad vibes, people hating our band and throwing things at us. So it’s strange to be honored,” Corgan told the crowd.

“I had to think about it. I had to really lay in bed and think, ‘Is this a good thing? Is this a silly thing?’ I’m really honored. I’m really touched.”

He expressed similarly mixed emotions about being in one of the most popular rock bands of the 1990s, saying membership in ‘70s rock gods Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath might have been preferable.

Clearly in a philosophical mood, Corgan said Smashing Pumpkins represented “an existential extension” of himself. The only problem is that he does not always know who he really is.

“So thank you for understanding that part of me that I don’t understand.”

Corgan and Chamberlin, the band’s drummer, are the sole original members of the Chicago band, which enjoyed such modern-rock hits as “Today” and “1979.” Internal dissension led to the band’s break-up in 2000. Corgan resurrected the Pumpkins in 2005, but without guitarist James Iha and bassist D’Arcy Wretzky.

He told reporters after the induction ceremony that he has “zero” personal communication with Iha and Wretzky.

“They should be here today. This is part of their legacy too,” he said, adding they were not invited.

“Our door is open, but ... if people don’t walk through your door, what are you supposed to do? You can only be rejected so many times. You can only have so many overtures ignored.”

Wretzky, who quit the band in 1999, has largely left the music business. Iha has kept busy with a variety of musical collaborations.


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