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’.”