Bradford Cox Recounts Backstage Fight With Billy Corgan Over A Water Bottle

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty

Bradford Cox Recounts Backstage Fight With Billy Corgan Over A Water Bottle

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty

Smashing Pumpkins played a week-long run of shows at the Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina in June 2007, and Deerhunter opened for them one day, 6/30. On Friday night, Deerhunter returned to play a concert at the Orange Peel, and Bradford Cox took about 15 minutes out of their set to tell a story of how he got into a backstage fight with Billy Corgan over a bottle of water.

After the show in 2007, Cox says he was thirsty and saw a “big pyramid of VOSS Water, like, laid out in a fucking pyramid,” so he grabbed one. According to Cox, a “25-foot-tall Samoan bodyguard guy” in Corgan’s crew stopped him and said “What the fuck are you doing? That’s Mr. Corgan’s water,” then grabbed him and pushed him against a wall. The next day, when Deerhunter arrived at the venue, a woman told Cox that “Mr. Corgan needs to see you,” and he entered to find Billy Corgan seated on the stage. As Cox recounts, this is what Corgan said to him:

I hear you’ve been causing a lot of trouble. Do you know who you are? You’re shit. You’re a shitty little insignificant fucking indie rock band. And you’re invited — not by me, who knows what fucking idiot in my management did this — but you are invited to open for the Smashing Pumpkins.

When Cox told Corgan that he was “manhandled” by his crew member, Corgan “fucking goes off,” so Cox peeled off his backstage pass, said “Fuck. You.” and slapped the sticker on Corgan’s leg. Corgan then yelled that Cox had assaulted him and threatened to “sue the fucking shit out of you,” after which Corgan’s crew threw Moses Archuleta’s drum kit down a flight of stairs, breaking it, and kicked Deerhunter out of the venue.

That’s the gist of the story, but you should probably just watch Cox’s telling of it below, because it’s way more entertaining that way.

Here’s a clip from Deerhunter’s 2007 show opening for the Smashing Pumpkins:

Thanks to Jonathan Drew for the tip.

UPDATE: The Smashing Pumpkins’ manager is threatening a lawsuit unless Cox retracts his story, saying that it is “a complete fabrication” and “intentionally slanderous.” Here’s the full statement shared with Pitchfork:

Several eyewitnesses can attest that Cox’s account is a complete fabrication, probably to get some much needed attention. He is correct about one thing, that the whole thing is on tape, and that we have a video of the encounter. Since this is intentionally slanderous, I will likely suggest we pursue charges unless a retraction is forthcoming.

UPDATE 2: Cox has retracted his story and apologized.

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