Billy Corgan On Kurt Cobain: “He And I Were The Top Two Scribes, And Everybody Else Was A Distant Third”

We’ve gone way too long without a juicy, self-admiring Billy Corgan quote, but The Independent’s new interview with Corgan is full of them. Although it’s occasioned by the Smashing Pumpkins’ new Monuments To An Elegy, the interview largely focuses on events from 20 years ago. For instance, when reporter Nick Hasted mentions that Eddie Vedder felt survivor’s guilt after Kurt Cobain’s suicide, Corgan replied, “That would be Eddie Vedder. Somehow he makes it about him even when it’s about somebody else!” Corgan’s most eyebrow-raising comments, though, were about Cobain himself. Regarding the Nirvana frontman’s death:

I found it devastating because, whether we wanted to admit it or not, he was quarterback of the football team, leading the aesthetic and integrity charge. He knew how to navigate those things. Now, he and I didn’t necessarily get along. But I like to sing his praises, because he really was that talented. I like to think the world with him would have been a better place, and I like to think a lot of the crap music that followed wouldn’t have existed if he had been around to criticise it. Because he had the moral standing to slay generations with a strike of the pen.

Despite those kind words, Corgan bristled at the suggestion that he looked up to Cobain:

In the purest sense of the word, we were competitors. He and I were the top two scribes, and everybody else was a distant third.

There’s also this, about Corgan’s troubled childhood:

But as I like to tell my daddy, if I’d been loved right, with the gifts that I had, I might have been a classical composer, having a very quiet life and a glass of wine, and not have been in this dirty pop business.

For more amazing Corgan quotes, read the whole story here.