Where Have All Our Heroes Gone?: The Four Saddest Fallen Idols of Our Generation

Page 2 of 4

4. Billy Corgan

For those that came up in the grunge era, Billy Corgan and his band the Smashing Pumpkins were a welcome retreat from the aesthetic of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. For those that never felt like they fit in with that world, they gravitated to Corgan's shy and introspective reflection, rather than Cobain's screaming, disoriented way of lashing out at the world. Cobain and his followers took their pain and projected it outwards.

Corgan, on the other hand, took it all inside and expressed it as hurt rather than rage. If this sounds emo, it's because the Smashing Pumpkins did fit the emo scene (in its original form) a lot better than they fit the grunge scene which spun off from the meatheaded anger of metal and hardcore.

But we're decades beyond that. Cobain is dead, emotion is music is almost dead, and Corgan, having grown far too old for anyone to buy his pain anymore, has fallen off the horse and into some kind of deranged lunacy. He's become wildly self-indulgent, refusing to let his band die even as he is the sole original member left in it, even as he's burnt bridges with every former member.

He's burnt bridges, in fact, with a great deal of people and done so very publicly thanks to Twitter and his lack of a filter in interviews.

He started his own wrestling organization and he's writing an hours long concept album that has been released in spurts for three years and counting, never seeming to get any closer to the finish line. Everything he does is borne of egotism now it seems, but much of it reeks also of pure insanity, desperation, and bitterness at the world.

And ironically enough, he ended up dating Courtney Love.



KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Corey Deiterman