Smashing Pumpkins Play “Disarm” With Josh Groban, New Tunes At Bridge School Benefit

Scott Lapatine | October 27, 2008 - 8:40 pm

Billy Corgan had an eventful weekend. On Friday, he put on his spookiest evening gown and played “G.L.O.W.” and “Tarantula” for Jimmy Kimmel. The next day, his Pumpkins headlined a Guitar Hero World Tour launch party in West Hollywood, where they debuted new tune “As Rome Burns” and covered Simon & Garfunkel (“Sounds Of Silence”) and Pink Floyd (“Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun”). Then, at Neil Young’s annual Bridge School Benefit on Sunday, the band performed two more new songs (“Owata” and “A Song For A Son”) and Alt.Nation classic “Disarm” with Josh Groban. Got all that? Let’s take look/listen at those last three songs, along with a new blog post from Mr. Corgan informing us James and D’Arcy “aren’t ever coming back. Period.”

“As Rome Burns”

“Sounds Of Silence”

“Song For A Son”

“Disarm” (With Josh Groban)

Wonder if they bonded over the Paul Simon songbook.

Finally, Billy blogs from the San Jose airport earlier today:

I’ve noticed in the run-up to the tour a few indications that seem to think that we are sentimental in announcing our 20th anniversary extravaganza. When you see the total set-list, particularly for the black crosses and white sunshine shows (or is it the other way round?), I don’t think terms like ‘harkening back’ or ‘sentimental’ will be the words that will come to mind. This tour is a celebration of where we are, not where we’ve been. We are HERE! (With a big smile and a foot in your back) Enjoy it if you will, we realize its not for everybody. For that you have a whole army of fellaciators (is that even a word?) to gratefully service you. These are not angry words, by the way. We are having fun. Yes, who would have thunk it that after 20 years (or 21, who’s counting?) we would not only be alive, but also loving our jobs and our shows and our experience of being in this group. The rest can go play their sad games of dominion and bridge-burning (meaning ubiquitous band 101 and 102). We have been there and have learned the lesson that there is no joy in it. Its a dead man’s dance. Saying something as simple as ‘we are real’ is not grandiosity, it is fact. We are all real. We are all here. Life is an opportunity. We choose our opportunities wisely. Believe it or not we know what we are doing when we don’t get along, don’t play nice or fake our way thru the oblivion. So what about the consequences!!? What is life for if you don’t make some waves or save a soul here or there? If anyone comes to this tour expecting a hand-holding, teary-eyed tribute to a dead band, forget it. That is long gone. Outside of 9 shows in 1999, that band hasn’t existed whole since 1996.

Let me take this pause then to say a few things about our former bandmates…

We absolutely, without reservation, honor James and D’arcy. There is no qualification to that statement. We honor them IN FULL. They were there, then. And together we did some incredible things. But let me go one step further. When Jimmy and I decided to move forward and begin again with SP we very openly addressed the question of James and D’arcy returning. We spoke honestly with each other about our feelings and personal reservations, and decided together that the door was open to them to return. Because it was the right thing to do. Honestly though it wasn’t suprising to us that they didn’t want to return, because that was consistent with their general position to date (and continues to be I might add), which is they see the band as something that they got away from for their own reasons. There were no conditions ever put on a return. They simply didn’t even want the conversation with us.

I can now say definitively that they aren’t ever coming back. Period. There is no maybe. If the door was once open to at least have the conversation and consider the possibility, it is now closed. For good. We have moved on. We love them, and we wish them well.

The Smashing Pumpkins are now whoever is standing on that stage, on any given day, with a willingness to play those songs. Not just any songs, those songs. Because its not just what we play, its how we play them. The music MUST come first. And that’s just the way it is. And to the credit of Bruce Hornsby on the whim of a memory, some things will never change. We are who we are. I know what I see. I see what I know. And nothing I know compares to you…

I am not crazy. I am just free. The Smashing too now are free, and in that we are truly insane from the mad beat.

God Bless, with love from the 7th ray and the rainbow at the end of my heart,

Phew. I didn’t excerpt his insights on the busy weekend, so head to to read the entire post.

Now would be a good time to highlight SP’s fall tour dates. Note that for those venues hosting two consecutive nights the setlists will be completely different.

10/31 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
11/01 – Cleveland, OH @ Palace Theatre
11/03 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
11/04 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
11/06 – New York, NY @ United Palace
11/07 – New York, NY @ United Palace
11/08 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa
11/11 – Washington, DC @ DAR Constitution Hall
11/12 – Washington, DC @ DAR Constitution Hall
11/14 – Boston, MA @ Citi Performing Arts Center
11/15 – Boston, MA @ Citi Performing Arts Center
11/16 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
11/18 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
11/19 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
11/21 – Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre
11/22 – Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre
11/24 – Kansas City, MO @ Midland Theatre
11/25 – Kansas City, MO @ Midland Theatre
11/26 – Saint Louis, MO @ Fabulous Fox Theatre
11/29 – Las Vegas, NV @ Pearl Concert Theater
11/30 – La Jolla, CA @ RIMAC Arena
12/02 – Universal City, CA @ Gibson Amph. At Univ. CityWalk
12/03 – Universal City, CA @ Gibson Amph. At Univ. CityWalk