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Pumpkins Backstage Grammys
December 31, 1996, 11:00 pm

Source: The Record

Smashing Pumpkins set record straight
BOB IVRY. The Record. 1997 [No Date]

Smashing Pumpkins' North American fans shouldn't expect the band on the road anytime soon.

"I don't like touring," guitarist James Iha said backstage Wednesday at the Grammys. "We have no plans to tour the rest of the year" Iha, resplendent in his black-and-yellow mane and purple velvet suit, was corrected by lead singer Billy Corgan. "We have a 10-gig tour of Europe," Corgan said. "We'll play the festival circuit there this summer"

Corgan insisted the Chicago-based band's reluctance to tour has nothing to do with last July's death of keyboard player Jonathan Melvoin (heroin overdose) and the subsequent firing of drummer Jimmy Chamberlin for his involvement with drugs. "This is absolutely the last time we'll talk about that," said an irked Corgan. "We're children of the Nineties. We move on. We've played about 80 gigs since then and it doesn't even enter our minds anymore.

"There's this myth about drugs and music," Corgan added, "and it's just a myth. Let's put it to rest." Smashing Pumpkins -- Iha, Corgan, and bass player D'Arcy -- performed "1979" at the Grammy ceremonies Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden with a chorus of go-go dancers backing them. They took home the best hard rock performance Grammy for "Bullet With Butterfly Wings."

In a sea of tuxedos and strapless gowns, the band looked the part of rock stars, though with a decidedly Addams Family flair. Iha's purple suit was complemented by D'Arcy's sheer, beige vintage gown decorated with a blinking, red broach; white gauze wrap; and black lipstick. She wore her platinum blond hair tied straight back. Corgan, who shaves his head, wore a long black jacket and black slacks.

As for plans to find a permanent replacement for Chamberlin, Corgan was noncommittal in a droll sort of way. "We're thinking of getting a robot," he said. "Actually, we're thinking of getting robots to replace all of us. Especially James."

"Same hair though," Iha dead-panned. "Everything would be easier that way," Corgan said. Translation: No plants to find a permanent replacement for Chamberlin.

As for the go-go dancers -- an innovation in their stage act -- Corgan said they got the idea from watching "The Lawrence Welk Show."

"He had all these dancers," Corgan said. "We even though about copying the bubbles. It was all D'Arcy's idea."

Credit: Bob Ivry