Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan: Negotiating With Bassist D’Arcy Wretzky ‘Was Like a Game of Chicken’
Interviewers are still asking Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan about why original bassist D'Aarcy Wretzky isn't on the band's reunion tour and that will probably continue as long as he keeps talking about it.
In a new interview with Baltimore radio station 98 Rock (seen above), Corgan again blamed Wretzky for her absence from the tour, insisting that the rest of the Pumpkins tried hard to negotiate an amicable arrangement with their former bandmate.
"We spent two years trying to rebuild the bridge with her, and, at the end of the day, she chose not to be involved," Corgan said. "We made every effort to involve her, including offering her the ability that she does not even have to be on the tour. She could show up at any time, she could play as much as she wanted to play."
The problem, according to Corgan, was that Wretzky hadn't performed in nearly two decades and wasn't in physical or mental shape to perform a full set with the band. "She insisted that even though she hasn't been onstage in 19 years, that she should play every song," Corgan said. "And we were, like, 'This is just an unrealistic thing for somebody who hasn't been onstage for 19 years — to expect to play a three-hour show.'"
The Pumpkins frontman added that he gave up trying to negotiate with Wretzsky after he determined that she actually didn't really want to play the reunion. "In the end, what it came down to is that she didn’t really wanna be involved," he said. "It was like a game of chicken and, eventually, we called her bluff and we made a decision to move on."
Wretzky likely doesn't agree with Corgan's assessment of the situation. In an interview with the New York Times before the launch for the tour, she said that she actually wanted to play with the Pumpkins, but that Corgan was determined to make twice the amount of money from the tour as any one of the other musicians and he misled both her and the public about their conversations.
"He was stringing me along and using me to be able to say that it was, in fact, a reunion of all the members," Wretzky said. "Billy can be incredibly charming and funny and fun, but when it comes to money and giving credit where credit is due and any kind of work situation, it's not pretty ... I really wanted to do this tour for the right reasons. If everybody was doing it for free, I would have done it for free."
Bassist Jack Bates has been playing with Pumpkins on the "Shiny and Oh So Bright" North American tour. The other band members include original guitarist James Iha, drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, longtime Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder and keyboardist Katie Cole.
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