View Full Version : Billy Corgan's Split Personality - Gish, Chapter 1


Desolation_Disco_King
06-04-2007, 08:13 AM
It takes an open mind to read into this theory, so if you are close minded this thread isn't for you
if you agree or disagree or if you think im a total - idiot,loser,asshole and you want to insult me....go ahead
but i won't pay any attention, this is strictly for fun and for the enjoyment of the lyrics and music. so here goes....

My theory is related to Billy Corgan and his personality, a split personality which is masculine and feminine - a male side and a female side
In most of the songs, they are about Corgan's denial of his split personality, but some embrace it.

Gish, named after Lillian Gish who was a silent film star who later starred in "talkie" (non-silent films)
was in a movie about a woman with a split personality, i had a book about 10 years ago that had a writeup about the movie
but i don't have that anymore, and i can't remember what movie...and she was in over 100 movies and it's really hard to track down, unfortunately...tho i'm still trying.


I Am One - Of course, Track #1 on Album #1
"see you, don't you just want to....see you, i am one" - the feminine side trying to take over, with him fighting it saying..."no i won't allow it, i am one!" not two, i.e split personality, i.e male/female
"i am one as you are three, try to find a messiah in your trinity" - trinity meaning partially..."the threefold personality of the one Divine Being"
a very basic, yet straight forward and obvious song about it.

Siva - He's usually talking directly to the feminine side, this is a classic case

"way down deep beneath my heart
lies a soul that's torn apart" - his soul being torn apart, in 2, 2 personalities using his one soul
tell me, tell me what you're after
i just want to get there faster" - him asking his feminine side what it wants from him, he wants to know so he can move on with his life wishing it would just go away

she said, "i'm dead" - a brief moment of relief, thinking he's taken control of his masculine side

"i don't live, i inhale
i don't give, i unveil
i don't live, i inhale
i don't live" - he can't live a normal life with his constant struggle between his male/female sides, it's like he's dead...yet he breathes

Rhinoceros - This song to me is one of the most obvious songs, after coming up with the theory...this just screams to it's existance

"planned a show
trees and balloons
ice cream snow
see you in june" - He was going to let out his feminine side and just live with it, or tell someoone he was very close to, planning his show, trees and balloons is just his way of saying this BIG DAY had come

"could have known
i would reveal
should have known
i would conceal your way" - he was going to go thru with it, but then backed out..and he knew "should have known" that he would never let out his secret "i would conceal your way"

the rest is just a lot of "she knows" over and over, of course...knowing he could never tell a soul

Bury Me - This song is unique in the fact that, Billy wants his feminine side to come out but it's refusing to and he misses it/her/feminine side
read the lyrics with this theory in mind, and it all makes perfect sense.

Suffer -

"all that you suffer is all that you are
all that you smother is all that you are
and you're seeing, you're seeing
you're seeing who you are
what takes meaning is cleaning
the meaning of who you are" - his suffers it, he tries to smother it...but in fact it's who and what he is

"all of your struggles beneath your disguise" - self explanitory

"too late to discover peace of mind
too late to recover me"

"all you see and all you breathe and
all you cease to be" - this whole song is about him growing up and living with what he is, it's time to move on from trying to fight it.

Tristessa and Window Paine don't have "specific" lyrics i can point to and explain, but are both within this concept
Snail potentially could be, but unlikely about this concept
Crush, also unlikely

After reading my explanations over, i doubt ANYONE will "get it" or understand it
i'm not great at explaining things very well....actually, i'm not even slightly good at it, i mean when i listen to the songs every line screams this concept to me...but my comments in this thread were very brief and basic, so it's going to be really hard to see where i am coming from
but if you pop in the CD, listen to it...and read the lyrics (not sing but read while you listen)
and keep this concept/theory in mind....then MAYBE your imagination will see it, as mine does.

Next is Siamese Dream

standing
06-04-2007, 08:25 AM
Actually interesting. If you can tie multiple albums together (as you seem to plan to do) this will be a good read. I could see this being true. But also consider (art as a mirror and all) that maybe you, author, deal with this struggle and see it in the music. I want to see how this continues!

DisconnectD
06-04-2007, 08:27 AM
It definitely makes a lot of sense.. I mean its feasible. You may be reading into it a little too much, but a lot of people go through that.

Desolation_Disco_King
06-04-2007, 08:29 AM
Actually interesting. If you can tie multiple albums together (as you seem to plan to do) this will be a good read. I could see this being true. But also consider (art as a mirror and all) that maybe you, author, deal with this struggle and see it in the music. I want to see how this continues!

Awesome that my first reply was a POSITIVE one, something i doubt will carry on hehe

but no, i don't struggle with this at all
my friend and i came up with this theory back in 1993, we became fans when SD came out....and funny enough at the time we had no idea how feminine LOOKING billy was, with his tall girlish walk moves and all those sorts of things.

so yeah, i'll continue with Siamese Dream next, there are plenty of songs on that and on Mellon as well, after that...not as much

stephen_bayne
06-04-2007, 08:29 AM
I remember reading in a biography that came out in the Siamese Dream era something about Billy always wanting to be a woman so there could be something to this. Wanting to be a woman but being trapped in a man's body and therefore being expected to act in a masculine way. He may not exactly have a split personality but I'm sure it feels like it to him. I'm not sure if all those songs were intended to be about his struggle but it may have been done on a subconscious level.

Desolation_Disco_King
06-04-2007, 08:31 AM
It definitely makes a lot of sense.. I mean its feasible. You may be reading into it a little too much, but a lot of people go through that.

Oh, i know i'm reading into it quite a bit
but that's what's great about music/lyrics

you can take those lyrics and interperet into anything you want to as the listener
which is also a big reason why billy doesn't explain his lyrics (at least i think that's why) becuase he knows that the listener having their own meanings of songs is such a good thing.

either that or my theory is true and he doesn't want people to know he's such a girly boy LOL

BumbleBeeMouth
06-04-2007, 08:33 AM
wow man have you heard my theory that siamese dream is actually about a mermaids ease?

BumbleBeeMouth
06-04-2007, 08:34 AM
or that billy really does admire sesame

DisconnectD
06-04-2007, 08:34 AM
There has always definitely been something feminine about him, and the make up and dresses that the band would wear. Billy is the creative mind behind all of that I'm guessing, so I'm sure he called most of the shots concerning wardrobe and the like. I'm also interested to see how this develops.

BumbleBeeMouth
06-04-2007, 08:36 AM
having said that, he did state that when he sings, he feels that he is often giving a feminine perspective. I dont agree with what you wrote, i don t think the album is even nearly that lyrically deep.

DisconnectD
06-04-2007, 08:37 AM
wow man have you heard my theory that siamese dream is actually about a mermaids ease?

Wtfdog?

or that billy really does admire sesame

again... W. T . F?

<<< < didn't see what you did there.

BumbleBeeMouth
06-04-2007, 08:38 AM
http://forums.netphoria.org/showthread.php?t=79868

Cool As Ice Cream
06-04-2007, 08:42 AM
if you agree or disagree or if you think im a total - idiot,loser,asshole and you want to insult me....go ahead
but i won't pay any attention, this is strictly for fun and for the enjoyment of the lyrics and music.
maybe you should write this down in a diary then, instead of polluting this board with it.

BumbleBeeMouth
06-04-2007, 08:42 AM
as billy dropped into a kerb crouch, his fivers luck clenched in his fist, the bay copse of palm trees whistled in the wind

Desolation_Disco_King
06-04-2007, 08:43 AM
maybe you should write this down in a diary then, instead of polluting this board with it.

i like positive comments, not negative

i.e rock lobster saying "eat a bag of dicks"
with no meaning to his post at all

Cool As Ice Cream
06-04-2007, 08:48 AM
i'll give an honest comment: i think you can take basically any theme or idea and apply it to gish, or whatever album you like. if you want it to be true, that will be all you see. and you will ignore everything that doesn't match your view. how convenient.

in my opinion this is a pure waste of time though.

Desolation_Disco_King
06-04-2007, 08:51 AM
i'll give an honest comment: i think you can take basically any theme or idea and apply it to gish, or whatever album you like. if you want it to be true, that will be all you see. and you will ignore everything that doesn't match your view. how convenient.

in my opinion this is a pure waste of time though.

i think all the songs on gish are about billy's 9/11 preminition, i change my mind

so yeah....there goes your "you can take anything and apply it to whatever album you want"

cause you can't, that's not saying there is 1 meaning to lyrics
there can be quite a few...but not anything

Cool As Ice Cream
06-04-2007, 08:53 AM
how old are you?

Ever
06-04-2007, 08:53 AM
The best approach is never to try and figure out what the artist was meaning to say but instead just take the songs for some value they have to you. I dunno one song from gish will always remind me of that day I spent with three friends of mine in a playground, and at night we played that game where you look at the stars and spin around and during the day we rode around in shopping trolleys up and down hills.

I dunno, I think I enjoy the music more that way :S

Desolation_Disco_King
06-04-2007, 08:54 AM
how old are you?

32, older than you

Desolation_Disco_King
06-04-2007, 08:55 AM
The best approach is never to try and figure out what the artist was meaning to say but instead just take the songs for some value they have to you. I dunno one song from gish will always remind me of that day I spent with three friends of mine in a playground, and at night we played that game where you look at the stars and spin around and during the day we rode around in shopping trolleys up and down hills.

I dunno, I think I enjoy the music more that way :S

exactly, and to me i really enjoy the music my way
there are lots of other songs that i dont think are about this concept
that have oher meanings to me

that's what's great

Luke de Spa
06-04-2007, 08:58 AM
O BOARD

Desolation_Disco_King
06-04-2007, 09:06 AM
By the way, in 1998 when i met the band and had lots of 1 on 1 time with each member.

I told Billy this theory and he said it was very interesting and unique
but untrue

my friend convinced me that he'd never tell me the truth even if i was right
so i always kinda stuck to it, even tho after he told me it was untrue
i assumed i was wrong.

Phoenix Down
06-04-2007, 09:21 AM
so I'm sure he called most of the shots concerning wardrobe and the like. I'm also interested to see how this develops.

that's usually what photographers and art directors are for, not bandleaders.

behold_TheBliss
06-04-2007, 09:51 AM
Though I think you are reading too far in to the lyrics I will say this.

With the dresses and very feminine ways of doing things, I've always thought James Iha was transgendered, maybe Bolly boy is too.

No I don't mean they used to have vaginas, I don't feel like explaining the details of transgenderism, read about it. wikipedia ftw

Cool As Ice Cream
06-04-2007, 09:59 AM
32, older than you
that's weird. your whole explanation sounds like the kind of things i wrote when i was about twelve, trying to tell a story about what happened in a piece of music.
it also had two main characters and there was a fight and during one part of the song, the first one was winning and a bit later the other one was winning and so on.
i only wrote that because i had to, by the way, because it was a school assignment. i wasn't a complete nut.

pumpkins
06-04-2007, 09:59 AM
WTF? Ok, now explain where do you saw that Billy had a feminine side. Like, you say that the album is about the struggle between feminine-masculine side, but before the struggle, when did you noticed that he actually has a feminie side? What do you mean with it? Why would he want to fight that side of his personality? What harm could it bring?

behold_TheBliss
06-04-2007, 10:01 AM
Why would he want to fight that side of his personality? What harm could it bring?

Well generally in today's society, especially in America, being male and having feminine interests or traits is very taboo.

pumpkins
06-04-2007, 10:06 AM
Well generally in today's society, especially in America, being male and having feminine interests or traits is very taboo.

Are we talking about the same Billy Corgan?

ideology
06-04-2007, 10:10 AM
i like positive comments, not negative

you're on the wrong board then.

ideology
06-04-2007, 10:11 AM
i think all the songs on gish are about billy's 9/11 preminition, i change my mind

well, change your mind again because you're retarded

behold_TheBliss
06-04-2007, 10:24 AM
Corgan isn't as shameless as you may think.

redchandelier
06-04-2007, 11:09 AM
Well your theory is an interesting one, but I have learned that unless an artist tells you exactly what his/her work means you will pretty much never get it right (all you can do is speculate). He has certainly talked about having a sort of dual personality (because he's a pisces). It's interesting that you talk about split personality because some victims of abuse develop split personalities. I do know of a case of a woman who was abused by her father every night for years and when he would abuse her she would "space out" or go to another place in her mind and eventually would be able to "remove" or dissociate herself from the situation completely and subsequently developed a split personality. I don't think that Billy has a split personality; people close to him would have probably noticed that there was something wrong.

exactlythesame
06-04-2007, 11:15 AM
trinity meaning partially

That really didn't help your credibility.

behold_TheBliss
06-04-2007, 11:16 AM
people close to him would have probably noticed that there was something wrong.


O_o um... nevermind.

redchandelier
06-04-2007, 11:18 AM
lol, too easy?

MonteLDS
06-04-2007, 11:37 AM
O BOARD

:2thumbsup :2thumbsup

osamy
06-04-2007, 11:38 AM
Corgan's androgony is fascinating, and worthy of discussion.

Bjarne
06-04-2007, 12:55 PM
i think all of these songs are not only about the struggle against his feminine side, but the struggle against everything that contradicts the perfect image he strives for, beauty/ugliness, man\female, king/loser, unordinary/ordinary (Muzzle). It's like he is so attached to this perfection, that he has pushed down all of his 'ugly'sides, which caused them to come up now and then in his communication with other people (which i don't think he actually really wanted). but i wouldn't say he has a split personality, he is just very focussed on one part of himself.

behold_TheBliss
06-04-2007, 01:22 PM
Back in the Gish/SD/MCIS era I could see that. Muzzle at least to me is just about his fear of mediocrity and his rebellion against it (i fear that i am ordinary... my life has been extraordinary), which is a struggle that all young "16-30ish" people go through before realizing that there isn't more to life. BC has always been very insecure IMO, which is reflected in his being an asshole and his controlling mannerisms. His biggest fear is fading into obscurity, he is afraid of mediocrity and the depression it brings; as he said in an interview he really just wants a happy life but finds it nearly impossible to obtain.

It may just be that I'm a neurotic teenager, but I can relate. And no I'm not an emo kid, I said I'm unhappy, not dumb as hell.

Phoenix Down
06-04-2007, 01:25 PM
i think all of these songs are not only about the struggle against his feminine side, but the struggle against everything that contradicts the perfect image he strives for, beauty/ugliness, man\female, king/loser, unordinary/ordinary (Muzzle). It's like he is so attached to this perfection, that he has pushed down all of his 'ugly'sides, which caused them to come up now and then in his communication with other people (which i don't think he actually really wanted). but i wouldn't say he has a split personality, he is just very focussed on one part of himself.

i agree, but still i think he left that behind himself with TFE.

zfabi
06-04-2007, 01:29 PM
"and oh by the way the girl in the story is me"
- girl with the sad face

Bjarne
06-04-2007, 01:56 PM
i agree, but still i think he left that behind himself with TFE.


yes, i think TFE really showed that other more earthy part of him, and it also shows that this part of him is a very different kind of musician. I'm more into his older personality..

Lobster
06-04-2007, 04:32 PM
What are you, a shrink?

teh b0lly!!1
06-04-2007, 05:08 PM
this makes some sort of sense, ill admit it, but i think youre reading too much into things.
its just that youve created a nice interpretation.
billy himself has said many times that most of gish was complete bullshit lyrics and him "trying to hide behind rhymes and riddles" (those were his actual words, so you cant blame me with paraphrasing).

Gossamer
06-04-2007, 05:34 PM
Billy wears dresses hence this is a legit thread imo.

exactlythesame
06-04-2007, 05:42 PM
yes, i think TFE really showed that other more earthy part of him, and it also shows that this part of him is a very different kind of musician. I'm more into his older personality..

The earthy part of him?

I don't want to see that.

WhiteHotSoul
06-04-2007, 06:43 PM
This thread reminds me of the "I used to be a little girl" in the 1994 MTV disarm performance:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=j5DtctzXdxk

exactlythesame
06-04-2007, 06:44 PM
This thread reminds me of the "I used to be a little girl" in the 1994 MTV disarm performance:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=j5DtctzXdxk

This thread makes me think of how bored Pumpkins fans must be.

Desolation_Disco_King
06-04-2007, 07:06 PM
"and oh by the way the girl in the story is me"
- girl with the sad face

was that a quote from billy?

Kain067
06-04-2007, 08:01 PM
I think your key song in this theory should be "Frail and Bedazzled". Listen to it again if you haven't already.

Thomas
06-04-2007, 08:09 PM
I think its all about sensibility.
In order to write good lyrics (for a first album all the more) you must put a lot of yourself, of your sensibility, of your experience, etc... and exposing your true nature, your "sensible-self" to the public is not very easy (*insert picture of young billy here*). I think that's what Gish is all about - a quest for identity : "Am I as I seem ?"

Refering to his "sensible-self" as a "little girl" or through different feminine metaphors/allusions is a common way in literature.
To me, it's more like a split-personalities issue than a androgynic issue but you're right to point that out... that's remarkable ! lol
Glass, June, Zero, Dusty and Pistol Pete, Sheila, Lily... all manifestations of Billy's ego! (by jove, what a narcissic fella !!)

Skylarq
06-04-2007, 08:30 PM
I'd say he didn't fully realize this phenomenon until "Chicks Just Get In the Way"

"You could shave your mustache, I could shave your ass" - B0llz being submissive/ass shaving/not having a mustache to shave (wax?)

"I'm not gay, but chicks just get in the way" - Declaring heterosexuality.....and of course chicks getting in the way.

Seems pretty clear cut to me.

muzzled4life
06-04-2007, 09:03 PM
Philosphical dualism touches on the point that the soul is androgynous by nature, when it its pure consisting of both male/famale aspects.. Through the schism of gender, male/female, in the human body, does our androgynous nature become tainted. It is said that gender is an accident, if not an evil accident because it separates us from our true androygynous state. When we die, our souls revert back to androgyny...re. Philisophical dualism...I took a sociology of gender course this semester so I feel the need to share...I've always thought billy was bi in some sort of nature, but its coo.

Desolation_Disco_King
06-04-2007, 09:03 PM
That really didn't help your credibility.

you didn't read it correctly, it said

trinity meaning partially the "threefold personality of the one Divine Being"

what i meant was - the threefold personality of the one Divine Being
is a partial meaning of trinity

standing
06-04-2007, 10:23 PM
I like the theory. I'm not sure he writes about a split male/female personality. But I think he does comment a lot on (as any self-respecting artsit should) the dual nature of the human.

runaroundkid
06-04-2007, 11:21 PM
didn't billy once say that the idea of a man doing a cover of any of his songs seemed really weird to him since they are so feminine? maybe i made that up. anyway, yeah billy has a feminine side, he often sings from a female perspective. it's not some big fucking mystery you just unlocked dude, sorry to burst your bubble!

Desolation_Disco_King
06-06-2007, 04:53 AM
my theory is 100% totally unique
true or untrue

im gonna do a Chapter 2 soon, Siamese Dream

Cool As Ice Cream
06-06-2007, 04:54 AM
i'm going to do a TFE/pedophilia one soon. i'm not even kidding.

darcyismybass
06-06-2007, 05:11 AM
I think your key song in this theory should be "Frail and Bedazzled". Listen to it again if you haven't already.

That song could be about anything though...

Desolation_Disco_King
06-06-2007, 05:13 AM
i'm going to do a TFE/pedophilia one soon. i'm not even kidding.

good, can't wait to hear it

hcueva
06-06-2007, 05:31 AM
It's also 100% fucking retarded.

standing
06-06-2007, 08:39 AM
Desolation Disco King, I have thought of some little clues that may fit into your evidence down the road. On an album, if I see something you miss, want me to add it?

runaroundkid
06-06-2007, 10:33 PM
i'm going to do a TFE/pedophilia one soon. i'm not even kidding.

i would enjoy reading that, please do it! :D

Desolation_Disco_King
06-07-2007, 08:59 AM
posted chapter 2 :)

NarcisPrince
06-07-2007, 10:41 AM
I knew I wasnt gay.

soulofbass
06-07-2007, 10:47 AM
interesting theory, although your points supported by gish seemed stronger than those supported by sd, yeah the twins are both girls.
you can believe that's what billy meant, but youre missing the point, I dont think billy cares if we know what he meant or not, and that most of the lyrics are purposely vague so that we can attach our own meanings to the words, the lyrics.
congrats on your home team making it to the finals, sorry they lost to the lame ducks.

Lyric
06-07-2007, 11:09 AM
I see it. :)