Reuniting Smashing Pumpkins Deny Exclusion Claims by Former Bassist

Never count your pumpkins before they’re smashed. That seems to be the takeaway from a feud that is drawing negative attention to a reunion (or semi-reunion) of the Smashing Pumpkins’ classic lineup that was set to be officially announced in the coming days. After former bassist Darcy Wretzky went public with a series of interviews and social media posts about her alleged exclusion, the group’s publicity firm issued a statement late Monday claiming she “always deferred” from participating in the reunion.

And all of this with more than two days left on a countdown clock on the group’s website, apparently ticking down to a possibly anticlimactic declaration that the band is back.

“In reuniting The Smashing Pumpkins, the band’s dedication remains to its fans and its music,” read the statement issued by BB Gun Press. “To that, James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlin, and William Corgan haven’t played a show with D’arcy Wretzky for over 18 years. But it’s not for a lack of trying. For despite reports, Ms. Wretzky has repeatedly been invited out to play with the group, participate in demo sessions, or at the very least, meet face-to-face, and in each and every instance she always deferred. We wish her all the best, and look forward to reconnecting with you all very soon.”

Wretzky has been telling a very different story about her eagerness to rejoin the group for the first time since she left in 1999. “I was really looking forward to it — probably more than all the guys combined,” she wrote in a comment on her Facebook page.

According to her account, made public via two interviews with the website Blast Echo, she’d been invited to be part of an upcoming reunion tour, then learned via leaked photos that the other three original members were in the studio without her. She shared texts she says she received from band leader Billy Corgan in which he allegedly tried to explain away her lack of an invitation to the recording session, which was apparently for just one reunion tune. “As far as you not being involved,” Wretzky says Corgan texted her, “there was never any decision to shut you out, or make you not welcome. It’s more about getting on the same page with [the] tour first and then the necessity of the song came up… so focus on [the] tour and I think we can find the right way to have you involved. I know speaking with Jimmy (Chamberlin), he wants you involved so that the tour is the best thing we can all give the fans and build for the future.”

Wretzky clearly has no desire to make nice with any of the other band members at this point; although she has apparently remained friendly with James Iha over the years, she now told Blast Echo, “I am totally disgusted with James. He should be ashamed of himself.” As for her relationship with Corgan, she wrote on Facebook, “Billy’s ship … which keeps sinking every time he tries pulls this ship. I abandoned it in 1999 cause I knew it was sinking. He was beyond helping. His ego & insecurities spun out of control and I could no longer reel him in, which had been a very large part of my role for many years, but it was hopeless.”

Wretzky also wrote, “After Billy slandered me so badly in the press for about a decade I couldn’t get anyone to even jam w/me.” And, she wrote in response to a well-wisher, “I’m really quite well. Looks like it’s time to write that book.”

Corgan, for his part, has not been silent until now in the fracas, writing a lengthy Instagram post a week ago that appeared to subtweet Wretzky at length, suggesting that he or others had played many of the ‘90s bass parts in the studio that had been attributed to “a certain ‘flaxen Saxxon’.”

More Music

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

  • New York City NYC Placeholder

    CityFM Podcast Takes a Deep Look at New York’s Music Scene (Listen)

    First among the many projects listed at the beginning of New York Music Month in June was a WNYE radio show and podcast called CityFM that promised to “explore the city’s music culture, emerging artists and trends, and upcoming events told through the lens of what’s happening around the city in Summer 2019.” And while [...]

  • Black Ball

    President Trump Speaks in Support of A$AP Rocky (Watch)

    In one of the more surreal moments from a presidency filled with few not-surreal moments, President Trump spoke out today in support of rapper A$AP Rocky, who has been jailed in Sweden for more than two weeks after an altercation with fans he said were harassing him. “A$AP Rocky is a situation in Sweden, a [...]

  • David Crosby and Cameron Crowe'David Crosby:

    Cameron Crowe Picks Five Favorite Underrated David Crosby Tracks

    “Music is love,” as David Crosby once sang, and nothing breeds deeper love than a sense that something is overlooked. So that’s why Variety asked Cameron Crowe to dig deep into the Crosby canon and pick not just a triad but five favorites from among the CSN singer’s most underrated tracks. Crowe, of course, has [...]

  • Live Nation Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

    Live Nation Confirms Placing Tickets Directly on Secondary Market at Artists’ Request

    Representatives for Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment company and owner of Ticketmaster, confirmed that it bypassed conventional channels and directly placed thousands of concert tickets on the secondary market upon artists’ request, in an article published in Billboard. In a statement shared with Variety, the company acknowledged that it has facilitated the transfer of [...]

  • The Lion King The Gift

    Album Review: Beyoncé’s 'The Lion King: The Gift'

    Before touching down on what Beyoncé has called her “love letter to Africa,” it’s important to see what may have brought her to the mother of mankind, with its wide vistas and sonic planes, for “The Gift” in the first place — beyond, of course, voicing Nala in the film and whatever international marketing tie-ins [...]

  • Rick Rubin Spotify Secret Genius Awards,

    Seven Things We Learned About 'Shangri-La' and Rick Rubin from Showtime's Series

    Showtime’s documentary series “Shangri-La” insists it is not a biographical documentary on uber-producer Rick Rubin, and it’s not meant as a four-hour advertisement for Rubin’s legendary Malibu studio, after which the four-part series is named … but it feels like a little bit of both those things. “Shangri-La” is primarily filmed at the studio where [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content