We’ve never met, but I’ve been a fan since 1992. Wow, that’s 20 years! It all started when I heard your song “Drown” on the Singles soundtrack. I bought it for the Seattle bands, but it was the one from Chicago that stood out for me.
Siamese Dream hooked me instantly from that adorable cover to that opening drum roll in “Cherub Rock.” I bought the CD at Sam the Record Man (R.I.P.) and holy shit, it was like a spiritual awakening. Then I saw you play in December 1993, a gig I will never forget (with Swervedriver opening!) for many reasons, one of which is that I nearly got slaughtered in the pit.
Next summer you headlined over Beastie Boys at Lollapalooza and became the biggest alt. band on earth in the wake of Kurt’s suicide. I’ll admit, your popularity bothered me a bit — I don’t like sharing favourites. You put out Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness and despite a few duds, it was a pretty awesome double album. I didn’t even think “it’d make a better single album” like I often do. I laughed it off when you shaved your head, went all mall goth and didn’t change out of that “Zero” shirt for a year and a half. And nice one bringing the Frogs on tour as your opening act. I have a soft spot for Adore because I always wanted to be goth, and Machina wasn’t bad, but I could tell things were over.
Your “fighting the good fight against the Britneys of the world” excuse to give up on the Pumpkins was honest, yet a whiny cop out. You redeemed yourself by assembling what I thought was a dream team with Zwan. What a great fresh start! It was a proper rock band! Not sure why everyone (including you, Pajo and Sweeney) hated that album. I didn’t. What I did hate was your solo album and your poetry. What were you thinking? No, wait, let’s leave that question for your decision to resurrect the Smashing Pumpkins.
The band has always been yours. No one will fight you on that. But no one wants Smashing Pumpkins without James, Jimmy and D’arcy. Do you not know who your fan base is? It isn’t 16-year-olds anymore. It’s their parents. I get how Jimmy and D’arcy seem like liabilities — they probably are. But you could at least try and bury the hatchet with Iha. You guys wrote some great songs together and could bring back the magic. Plus, he’d also help balance out the age of your band. The fact that they are Iha/D’arcy look-alikes half your age is just plain creepy. (Though I do wish Nicole Fiorentino was one of the Siamese Dream twins. That would have been so cool!)
You might not see any of this because you sold over 100k copies of your new album, Oceania, but don’t be fooled. We appreciated the look back with the recent reissue campaign and hoped it meant you’d feel the same excitement. But then you released Oceania, a wanky attempt at prog rock. And now you’ll be playing it in its entirety on your tour. Billy Boy, you’re gonna find those oversized arenas looking pretty thin by the halfway point of the nine-minute title track.
Listen, if you want to open a tea house, that’s fine. You have money to lose. Your wrestling business? Every kid has dreams, go for it. Even hanging out with Paris Jackson is… okay, that’s weird. But if you’re going to keep doing music, do what you do best. Do what the fans want. You told MTV that the “overly sentimental culture as a new business model is really weak. I’m in my 40s, I should be making new music predominantly. I think that that expectation that’s been created is really bad for people.” But it’s not! It’s good for us! We love that shit! We loved how Pavement, Stone Roses, The Jesus & Mary Chain and all the others revisited their glory days. We don’t even really want new music unless it sounds like the old stuff. Capisce? We know you can do it, bud. Don’t let us down.
Your fan from 1992 to ????