Simple Tips On Wizardry For Billy Corgan

Magical advice from an old fan.

Aug 8 2012, 9:30pm

An artist's rendition of what Corgan the White could and should look like, assuming this letter is taken seriously.


I am a long-time fan of you and your music. I feel that your work with the Smashing Pumpkins had a 9 year run that was, and remains, untouchable. Unfortunately, over the course of the past decade or so, your career has been riddled with mediocrity, controversy, and disappointment. Luckily, I was there to pay attention to the highlights of your professional life with the Pumpkins, and today, I offer you a free, fool-proof plan to save you and your image once and for all via a brand new direction: Wizardry. Please try to follow me on this.

1) Go into hiding. Stay in hiding for as long as it takes for the world to completely forget about you (let's say two years or so).

2) During your vanishing act you, will need to get an all-star team back in order. Call up Butch Vig and James Iha. If they blow you off, send them a Hallmark card and write and address it in calligraphy. Include old photos of the good times. Get them back on board by any means possible. Don't worry about D'arcy; she's long gone and you're gonna record over any hot chick's bass lines anyway. Also let's not beat a dead horse and leave Jimmy Chamberlain out of this too. No need to be too nostalgic—it's been a long time. Just pick any good drummer and a good sequencer (the mix of live drums and electronic drums has always worked for you). You will need a solid line up...

3) Start writing a shit-load of songs. Write a minimum of 100 tracks with plans to whittle that number down later. Give the songs a weird mystical and pseudo-scientific theme…Remember, we are shooting for a lot of songs (since, historically, that has worked best). Do some acoustic, some string and piano arrangements, some straight-up rock songs. We're shooting for a triple LP and there HAVE to be some B-sides to tease the fans with later.

4) Pick a drastic new hairstyle. This has worked for you twice so far. Long haired Billy became post-Gish Billy the Boy when you got your little shape-up. That worked and rocketed you to fame. Then, of course, there was (and still is) "Cue Ball Billy." It's time for a new look. No bald with ponytail, that's out of the question. No crazy clown look, that's just silly. Go for the "Who gives a fuck? I'm approaching 50 years old" look. Just let it go and pray it turns white. After all, you are becoming a wizard.

What fans of the new Smashing Pumpkins would most likely look like.

5) Stop taking any mood-stabilizing medication and withdraw from your close friends and family. They are going to tell you that you are being crazy, but remember: crazy sells. Mild drug abuse is okay, but stay focused; you've got a lot on your plate. Remember that people want to be scared by your music again, so scare yourself and think about topics that will evoke anxiety, introspectiveness, and questions about life, existence, and death. Dabble in alchemy.

6) Turn your arrogance into wisdom. We all know it's fun to be a dick and to be right all the time, but make people want to believe in your genius again and not laugh in the face of what was. You need to be humble, bold, and powerful. There will be young wizards in training, awaiting your instruction. Get weirder and stay weirder. You have the power.

7) Stay on track. This is going to be difficult to do, but avoid interviews if you are just going to insult a fellow musician or bitch about your fans. Don't use harsh words or speak to anyone at all if you think you might lose control. Get mysterious again. Avoid cover songs and side projects—they will only hinder the creative process. Everyone loved Zwan and the Fleetwood Mac cover, but the past is the past. Time to show the world who's back.

In theory, the currently unwritten Smashing Pumpkins masterpiece, Humanity Versus the Forgiveness of the Cosmos, could potentially achieve infinite sales.

8) Based on the names of your bestselling previous works, the title of the Smashing Pumpkins's comeback release will be Humanity Versus the Forgiveness of the Cosmos. It just makes sense, doesn't it?

9) Once the new Pumpkins have achieved what I forecast to be a new level of critical acclaim, you have the option to continue the wizardry or to vanish again into retirement, to relax and reflect on the grand finale of your career.

I sincerely hope you will take this concept into consideration. With the proper timing and execution, your new life as a wizard will prove to be nothing short of majestic.

Good fortune to you, and tempt not the fates,