It's crossed my mind the other day just how bizarre of an experience it is to be a "Fan" of a band/artist for so long. Like I first became aware of SP in '98. Became a troo fan around 2000. It's super weird to have this lifelong insight into another person's life like that. To some extent, many of us here have followed BC for most of his life. The lyrics, the blog posts, the many interviews. All those little details, quotes and tidbits strewn in cyberspace from so many years of having been in the spotlight. From when he was the hottest shit on the planet in the 90s, through the 2000s trying to figure it out in the wake of the great collapse, on to becoming more of an antagonistic figure engaging in a cold war with his fanbase, to wherever he's currently at - zuzu's, family, bitterness. etc.
To me, the OG years truly were pretty special. I don't know many bands who put out record after record like that for a decade with pretty much a good 85% being great fucking songs. The fall from grace is commonly attributed solely to BC - I guess that's the flipside of being the guy who insisted on taking all the credit and airing out that he in fact is the one who played all the parts on Siamese Dream. But, I don't think that that's true at all, and if you look at Jimmy and Iha today, they are clearly also very, very far from being the musicians they were in during that 90s run as well. They're just not in the forefront and their failure is much less obvious.
When the band peaked there truly was some special alchemy about them. Something about exact nature in which their personalities collided, at that exact time. The abuse of BC's childhood irrepressibly coming crashing out. The band's fortune of just happening to recruit one of the most phenomenally explosive and musical drummers of all time, exactly during a time in his life when his mentality and drug abuse (arguably) contributed to a volatile and irreproducible style, even to himself (Ram if you're reading this post it does not condone drug use).
Re: fall from grace.
I think at some point from Adore/Machina onward, the band\BC's output became strangely meta, or maybe better to say ars poetic, itself being about the very process that fuels it. Songs being about the band itself falling apart, addressing band members (my mistake/vanity/LMGTWTY/try/lyric/united states/countless others), or the aftermath of trying to pick oneself up and move forward as a musician without the band's shelter. Most post-2000 BC songs I listen to, what I hear is him still dealing in some way with that breakup or its aftermath, and I really believe it was the single biggest heartbreak of his life, one that he still hasn't truly recovered from. More so than any other abuse or what have you.
On a side note, while I truly cannot bare to listen to anything post 2007, I came to appreciate Zeitgeist as the record that really accurately finalizes the pumpkins legacy once and for all, before it all went to hell and entered self-sabotaging territory: on a cold, clinical, barren, metallic note, with lyrics simultaneously about reacquiring power and helpless jadedness, through completely bored and straight faced singing. Like a structure with all the ornaments and embellishments that once made it striking ripped away, and only the pillars left standing for a short while more.