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News Wed Jan 28 2009

Are You Kidding Me, Billy Corgan?


Just over a month after Billy Corgan whined about the integrity of his band for twenty minutes at the Auditorium Theater, The Smashing Pumpkins will be debuting new material via a Hyundai Genesis Coupe commercial. Yes, you read that correctly. The commercial will premiere directly before the kick off at the Super Bowl on Sunday. The song, titled "FOL", will be featured in a 30-second spot with the theme "The Epic Lap".

Ten bucks says in two years time Billy will claim he was only playing the part of a washed-up rock star.

Photo courtesy Matt Carmichael/

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Jason / January 28, 2009 12:38 PM

Yeah, he's no Dylan.

jap / January 28, 2009 1:34 PM

Obviously you never saw the quote from their manager last summer talking about "great marketing alliances."

His whining at the shows is totally irrelevant to this, though.
It may be lame, but has nothing to do with integrity.

Graham / January 28, 2009 2:02 PM

@ Jason

And he's no Iggy.

...Or any of these guys.

Jason / January 28, 2009 2:19 PM

@ JAP: Stephanie even knows that Corgan's "whining" had nothing to do with integrity...or at least, she once knew it. Here's how she described it in the post she links to:

"Then Billy felt it necessary to yell at the crowd for twenty minutes, ranting about no one appreciates them anymore."

Given that in the same post Stephanie implied that the Pumpkins are widely considered "irrelevant has-beens" and wrote explicitly that they "are constantly criticized in the media", it would seem that she even agrees (agreed) with the content of Corgan's complaint, if not the forum in which he chose to express it.

STEPHANIE GRIFFIN / January 28, 2009 2:46 PM

To clarify: I did (and do) agree with what Billy said last November at the Auditorium Theater (although whining to the people who already support you was not the correct forum to say it). What I wrote in my post was an oversimplification of what was said... he talked for (not exaggerating) twenty minutes, and many things were said - one of which was that the band is not in it for the money (as an explanation on why they were not going to do a tour of greatest hits).

But this commercial seems to be going against this claim. Especially considering the band just sued Virgin not too long ago for licensing a song for a Pepsi commercial, saying it damaged the artistic integrity they have built up over the years.

Jason / January 28, 2009 2:59 PM

Zeitgeist was priced above zero, I believe - does that mean it was done for the money? Maybe Billy was just inspired by the new Genesis Coupe ;)

And I wasn't going to go there, but you ARE exaggerating -- the track time is right on this page, and it's 11:12. (This is the show you meant, the 1st Chicago Theatre show.)

STEPHANIE GRIFFIN / January 28, 2009 3:07 PM

Well geez Jason. I was just going by memory/glancing at my watch every 20 seconds during the show, but it sure felt like a hell of a lot longer than 11 minutes.

Anyway, point being - don't go suing your old label saying that putting your music in a commercial "irreparably harmed the group, their reputation, and goodwill with their fans", then go license your music for a Hundai ad shortly afterward.

STEPHANIE GRIFFIN / January 28, 2009 3:21 PM

One more thing - I don't necessarily believe any band/artist who licenses their songs in a commercial is "selling out", per se. However, if you publicly pronounce that doing so would go against your artistic integrity (which SP - Billy in particular - has done for YEARS), then turn around and license a song for a Hundai commercial, I have a problem.

Hassan Chop! / January 28, 2009 6:20 PM

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

All I know is that back when while I was listening to "Time 4 Sum Aksion" and "Protect Ya Neck," I never woulda foreseen the day when Redman & Method Man would be try to sell me deodorant.

That's show biz, I guess. Tsk.

LV / January 30, 2009 12:40 AM

"Ten bucks says in two years time Billy will claim he was only playing the part of a washed-up rock star."

Harkening back to his Machina days? Hell yeah, I can totally see that happening. Nice catch, Stephanie!

Tom Long / January 30, 2009 8:27 AM

Who cares about his perceived integrity. The guy can't sing and writes horribly boring songs. I guess if you're that kind of crap, then this matters to you.

Stephanie / January 30, 2009 10:37 AM

If anyone is at all interested, the commercial is up on YouTube already:

J / February 3, 2009 3:32 PM

I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, that they sued Virgin and went into the whole "artistic integrity" thing in regards to their past catalog, not their recent stuff.

J / February 3, 2009 3:40 PM

I'm interested in why so many people have an issue with licensing songs in commercials. Really, it's no better or worse than having your song played in H&M, etc. It's a business model, why does it matter? If you don't like the music, fine, but I fail to see why some people are so anal about stuff like this.

Corgan is an egomaniac.....why some people still find this fact to be news is far beyond me. Complaining about Corgan being egomaniacal or pretentious just shows that you're either a) new at covering music or b) too wrapped up in the personalities that are involved to objectively cover anything or c) have this irrational belief that the music industry is full of cuddly individuals who give a damn about what some blog writer has to say about their integrity. All of these people are assholes. Get over it.

Stephanie / February 3, 2009 6:32 PM

Well if anything it gave me something interesting to look forward to after being coerced into watching the Superbowl (second to the pretty sweet 3-D commercial break of course). I didn't really like the song, but what can you do? I'm still holding out for a studio version of Song for a Son.

charlie / February 5, 2009 7:05 AM

He is no...

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