View Full Version : Billy at the Troubadour...


melodic skys
04-05-2005, 03:01 AM
i wrote this for a blog so there are some introductory references that obviously arn't needed on this forum...

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It started out with a desire to see the Jimmy Chamberlain Complex at the Troubadour... for those who are unfamiliar with them, Jimmy was the drummer for the Alt. Rock icons The Smashing Pumpkins (and Zwan)... Post Zwan, Jimmy decided to form his own band fronted by him... This new band a melting pot of Rock and Jazz was performing for the 2nd time in LA at the Troubadour on Santa Monica... Being a huge fan of Jimmy's drumming and enjoying my first experience seeing them I decided to buy tickets... So upon arriving and walking in the door, immediately to my Left is Billy Corgan standing there unassumingly, just people watching... Dumb struck I extend my hand for a handshake and my mouth drops my eyes widen and I manage to muster out "Good to see you". He says thanks with a firm shake and a genuine smile.

To say I was in heaven would be an understatement, I retreat to my friends to tell them about it and I can barely think straight. Some other fans request some pictures and they move into the light as he graciously agrees to the snapshot. Unfortunately there was a novice behind the controls of a "complicated" cell phone camera. After three attempts for a photo Billy almost gives up and I step in and take the picture for her.

After they depart their photo session I mention that I am looking forward to his Solo CD and I'm excited to hear what he's created and my mind is free of expectations. He mentions that he had been playing songs for his close friends and they commented on how "different" it sounded, and you could tell he relished that, he wanted to be accepted on his terms not on preconceptions or judgments based on his past music. I asked him if he changed in response to any of their input and he said "No, I wanted to keep it different". I told him that I felt that was a good choice and how I knew many people were hoping for a Siamese Dream II but that I was glad he wasn't content rehashing his old sound. He said that that was a period that could never be reproduced, that it was a special time and he wasn't interested in recreating that. He said he would leave that up to bands like Muse (and that they probably did a better job anyway). I said "I beg to differ" and nodded and walked away, so others who were anxious to talk to him could have their moment. Somewhere in that conversation I asked if he was a guest vocalist tonight on Loki Cat and he said “Yes, and I’m playing guitar on one other song” the excitement that created was intense.

After letting the past 5 minutes recite through my brain over and over and rehashing my conversation with my friends I decided to purchase a concert shirt. When I got to the table there was Billy sitting on the booth chit chatting with other fans. I managed to get in front of him again and he welcomed me with a smile. I expressed my gratitude to him for being so accessible to people “like me”. For being willing to actually talk without rock star pretension. His response was “I’m too old to be hiding anymore”. And I again said “you have no idea how much it means to be able to talk to the #1 person you have wanted to talk to for the past 12 years.” And he shook my hand blushing with his charming smile and a nod of his head and said “Thank you”. Again I left to reflect on my surreal experience.

After waiting yet another 5 or so minutes the urge to re-approach Billy was irresistible. There was my hero, my musical God, making himself genuinely available for conversation. Being too much to resist I approached him once again. He was being slightly bombarded with picture requests, but cordially complying. After that died down I asked him, “Do you mind if I ask you a couple questions?” smiling, and seeming genuinely honored he said “sure”. I told him that I had read a few years back that he did most of his writing right after waking up in the morning while in a lucid surreal state. He nodded saying “I still do”. Sensing he was about to dive into conversation I squatted beside his seated frame, like a student looking up to his master. He delved into how upon wakening I should immediately begin writing in a journal, streaming the words without judgment, without logical or critical thought. He said “don’t make coffee, don’t do anything but maybe take a leak, just start writing”. I told him that I often approach it logically but I have had those moments when I wake up and I’m never prepared to write. He said, “get into the habit of doing it.” I asked him about writing melodies, what was his technique. He said he did the same thing, he woke up and grabbed a guitar and just let his hands flow. He stressed to keep playing even if it’s shit, to not judge it, to remove oneself from judgment and to just play. I asked him if he notated what he played and he said, “not really I have a photographic memory” he said at most write down the progression but don’t focus on that, focus not on thinking but on just playing. He addressed my earlier comment that my own music sounds too much like SP. He said don’t mimic what’s been done, you can use it as a basic foundation, but create your own journey. He explained that if I tried to end up with a product that sounded like his, then I haven’t been true to myself and that it’s not the end result I should focus on but the journey that takes me there. I nodded in agreement while trying to maintain composure while experiencing utter amazement that I was receiving tips on writing music from my one and only hero. This was mind blowing to say the least. During the entire conversation he was looking me in the eye, speaking from his heart, and conveying his passion for music to me. That moment surpassed any previous single moment I have experienced thus far.

After this 3rd exchange I decided I had taken as much of his time as reasonable and I literally was in a state of shock. The actual concert was amazing, but nothing really could ever match those 15 minutes with Billy.

wHATcOLOR
04-05-2005, 03:05 AM
that's fucking awesome, thanks for sharing!!!

RopeyLopey
04-05-2005, 03:20 AM
that was nice. good for you. and thanks for sharing.

The New
04-05-2005, 05:49 AM
Originally posted by Jerome
that's fucking awesome, thanks for sharing!!!

DieDiemydarling
04-05-2005, 06:25 AM
Originally posted by RopeyLopey
that was nice. good for you. and thanks for sharing.

Deleted_User
04-05-2005, 07:11 AM
thats fucking sharing, thanks for awesome!!!

i remember last year at the recording sessions caine walker and i couldn't help from asking him those kinds of questions. i was personally kind of thrilled at how enthusiastically he answered them.

chris_bakewell
04-05-2005, 08:53 AM
Yeah that was cool, thanks for sharing!:)

Villarelo
04-05-2005, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by RopeyLopey
that was nice. good for you. and thanks for sharing.

theres
04-05-2005, 10:21 AM
cool experience! thanks for posting.

i never knew billy had a photographic memory. huh, that explains some things....

Spaldz
04-05-2005, 12:20 PM
That was great. Thanks!

douglas78
04-05-2005, 03:06 PM
hey that was great. thanks. sure beats my measily handshake and one question at the book signing...:D :( ;)

wHATcOLOR
04-05-2005, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by theres

i never knew billy had a photographic memory. huh, that explains some things....

i bet he was exaggerating somewhat.


half-joking example, several years ago backstage (2001), this guy went to him and was like.. billy, man! doyou remember me? no stage, in dallas! yeah man, you brought people up on stage to dance for 1979! that was me man! you remember?

billy was like... :erm

(and then after the conversation, when leaving, billy goes, hey, see you in dallas!)

melodic skys
04-05-2005, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by Jerome


i bet he was exaggerating somewhat.



he said it deadpan with total confidence.. I think thats what people read as "cocky" . During the entire exchange he spoke with this confidence (not arrogance), something he sometimes seems in interviews to lack... It was as if he really cared about sharing this information with me, not just being polite, and i think that's what made me the happiest..

Thanks for all the positive comments about my writeup. I must say I didn't expect that around here, especially being my first post (long time lurker).

tcm
04-05-2005, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by melodic skys
It was as if he really cared about sharing this information with me, not just being polite
well, are you a female?

wHATcOLOR
04-05-2005, 03:55 PM
cool. <guess i'm gonna have to flash him then because i KNOW he'll remember it now>

tomthum81
04-05-2005, 03:56 PM
well, are you a female?
haha... great question... i was thinking the same thing.

melodic skys
04-05-2005, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by tomthum81

haha... great question... i was thinking the same thing.

LOL that is funny, but no... He was just interested in conversing.

Fonzie
04-05-2005, 05:25 PM
What was supar-cool was you didn't ask hime the obvious shite that everyone else would, like the final show dvd/zwan clipping/blablabla.

melodic skys
04-05-2005, 05:52 PM
Originally posted by Fonzie
What was supar-cool was you didn't ask hime the obvious shite that everyone else would, like the final show dvd/zwan clipping/blablabla.


You know what was lame!?!? This girl in front of me started asking him stuff saying like "i heard you're mom died and you were close to her and blah blah blah... i was so embarressed, I was hoping that wouldnt turn him off to talking with me. She didn't know what she was saying and she was making very personal comments and questions, it didn't feel appropriate, but he was very nice and tried his best to answer her meaningless questions/comments and then I jumped in and started talking about his new CD and he looked relieved.

downerbuzz
04-05-2005, 06:12 PM
what a bitch.

theres
04-05-2005, 07:25 PM
Originally posted by melodic skys


he said it deadpan with total confidence.. I think thats what people read as "cocky" . During the entire exchange he spoke with this confidence (not arrogance), something he sometimes seems in interviews to lack... It was as if he really cared about sharing this information with me, not just being polite, and i think that's what made me the happiest..

Thanks for all the positive comments about my writeup. I must say I didn't expect that around here, especially being my first post (long time lurker).

yeah, that's how your write-up came across. it didn't seem like an off the cuff type of answer from billy because it was during a serious part of your conversation; and also you would have written that he said it in a joking way if he weren't serious... so yeah, if he really does...cool! i know someone with a photographic memory and it's seriously intriguing.

ZackZ
04-05-2005, 07:37 PM
Originally posted by Jerome
that's fucking awesome, thanks for sharing!!!

Mariner
04-05-2005, 09:53 PM
Originally posted by melodic skys
...“don’t make coffee, don’t do anything but maybe take a leak, just start writing”...

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BILLY, NO! DON'T BREAK THE SEAL!

ZWANPHONY
04-06-2005, 03:05 AM
Originally posted by melodic skys
[...] many people were hoping for a Siamese Dream II

get it right! MACHINA III !!!! :mad:

hah i'm kidding...sounds like how i definitely would want my first run-in with Mr. Corgan to be.

i regret when i met juliana hatfield that i was totally hammered and don't even remember what words we exchanged other than me telling them i hope they have a great 4th of July and to stop by my house if they have no place to celebrate... :(

i've said before and i'll say it again... i'm never getting drunk again.