For a band that hasn’t released new music since 2014, the Smashing Pumpkins have had quite the headline-grabbing run lately. The acoustic In Plainsong tour has occasioned a reunion with founding guitarist James Iha, a stage-crasher altercation, covers of Hole and ZZ Top among others, and Billy Corgan’s latest visit to the conspiracy theory talk show Infowars.
Now that the tour is over, Corgan has posted a thank-you message on Facebook that includes a reference to founding Pumpkins bassist D’arcy Wretzky. Corgan fired Wretzky from the band in 1999, later calling her “a mean spirited drug addict who refused to get help.” (Wretzky was arrested for possession of crack cocaine shortly after her departure from the Pumpkins.) But recent developments suggest their famously chilly relationship is warming up. All four original Pumpkins members recently banded together for a lawsuit, and Blast Echo published an alleged interview with Wretzky that claims she’s playing music again and would “consider going back” to the Pumpkins under the right circumstances.
With Corgan and Iha recently patching things up and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain regularly performing with the Pumpkins, Wretzky’s return seems to be the only thing standing in the way of a classic lineup reunion. In his Facebook post, Corgan does not go so far as to extend Wretzky an invite to rejoin the band, but he wishes her well, says he’s “encouraged to hear that she is playing music once more,” and compliments her “musical discernment.” He then asserts that he and current Pumpkins member Jeff Schroeder are focused first and foremost on music, not personnel matters. Here’s the relevant passage:
And speaking of those I’ve been fortunate enough to share the stage with, I see that it’s D’arcy Wretzky’s birthday today: So a big and happy B-Day to her from here! I’m encouraged to hear that she is playing music once more, and writing songs. As I’ve often said, no one had better musical discernment in our band than she.
As I head home, it’s crazy to think that it was nearly 30 years ago that I began this wild and wooly journey, and that meeting James, then D’arcy, then Jimmy would alter all of our lives forever; for the better, I would argue. Which I suppose makes the hardships that came too, bittersweet. And as I feel speculation start to swirl about what happens next for SP, I’d like to say quite simply and directly that what matters most to Jeff and I is the music. Because from our darkest days together over the last 10 years it’s been our faith that the music we make, and by extension our loving curation of the songs made from the beginning on, that’d sail this old, creaky ship forward to another year.
The bottom line: It may not be much, but if you’re hoping to see the original Pumpkins lineup back together, this is a step in the right direction.