After 13 years on the road and 22 million albums sold worldwide, the Smashing Pumpkins bid farewell to their fans Saturday with a blistering 4 1/2-hour show in Chicago on the very same stage they made their debut on Oct. 5, 1988.
The band’s retirement show took place at the Metro, a 1,100-capacity club where the band first got it start –- led by a tall, lanky guitarist named Billy Corgan, Reuters reports. The band broke their show up into four separate “acts,” with a clown prancing around on stage to circus music in between.
“Welcome to the last gasp of the Smashing Pumpkins,” Corgan said at the outset of Saturday’s show.
The Pumpkins played a musical collage of all their hits from the past decade, starting off the show with “Rocket” and continuing with such memorable hits as “Cherub Rock,” “Today,” “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” and older favorites such as “Rhinoceros” from their 1991 album “Gish.”
The Smashing Pumpkins is one of the last influential bands from the early 1990s when guitar-driven rock reigned on radio stations. Corgan decided earlier this year to retire the band after album sales began to slip and semi-facetiously cited competition from manufactured pop stars of the moment such as Britney Spears.
Joining Corgan on stage Saturday were drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, guitarist James Iha and touring bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur. D’Arcy, the band’s original bassist, left the band early this year. Saturday’s concert ended after midnight with Corgan thanking his fans, shedding tears and hugging his roadies.
But the fans who attended the show didn’t go home empty-handed. They each received a free copy of a previously unreleased recording from the band’s first Metro show. Meanwhile, Corgan said he will mostly likely take a year off before he considers writing more music.
LOVERBOY GUITARIST MISSING: The guitarist for the 1980s rockers Loverboy was swept off his boat and into the cold Pacific Ocean on Thursday and is feared dead, The Associated Press reports.
Scott Smith, 45, was heading to Southern California on his 37-foot sailboat off the coast of San Francisco when presumably a wave knocked him into the frigid water. He was about four miles off the Bay Area’s Ocean Beach, an area where the sea floor shallows and wave heights can grow tremendously.
The Coast Guard spent two days searching a 133-square-mile area but came up empty-handed, petty officer Carl Hausner said. Smith was wearing tracking pants and two sweaters but no life jacket when he went into the 52-degree water. Hausner said the average person could not survive more than 2 ½ hours in such conditions.
Loverboy released their first album in 1980 and hit the top of the charts with such hits as “Working for the Weekend,” “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” and “Turn Me Loose.”
A RIVALRY HAS ENDED: Pop stars will be pop stars. After a heated rivalry fanned by reports by several British tabloids, Oasis’ Liam Gallagher and pop singer Robbie Williams have put an end to their long-running feud, Reuters reports.
“We’ve patched up our differences. I don’t really want to go into it, but we’ve had a chat and come to the conclusion it had got really silly,” Williams said in a British tab.
Last month Williams stormed out of an awards ceremony in London after Gallagher took to the stage and accused Williams of being homosexual.
“At the start it was quite a laugh and then it just became too destructive,” said Williams, whose solo hits have included ”Angel” and “Millennium.” “It wasn’t nice, so I’m really pleased that I’ve spoken to Liam,” he added.