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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Billy Corgan: "My diehard fans are stuck in 1993."

Billy Corgan

Given the recent fan "drama" over the upcoming release of Neil Young's Americana album, it reminded us of a story from awhile back.

Former Smashing Pumpkin frontman Billy Corgan once stated that his diehard fans are "stuck in 1993."

The response came when asked about whether Corgan went online to see what people were saying about his new songs.

From The Measure | The L Magazine - New York City's Local Event and Arts & Culture Guide Corgan said:
"If I read anything from let's call it the 'hardcore fanbase,' they are stuck in '93.

It's 17 years [later] and I don't know what they expect to have happen.

It's sort of beautiful because what they are saying is, 'You so touched me in that moment, I want more of that.' But the thing that I find really insulting is there's a deeper message there which is 'You'll never be better.' To try to tell a man that he'll never improve beyond something he did when he was half-crocked on drugs or drama, that's just not right.

When I look at Johnny Cash or Neil Young or Tom Waits, those guys have proven that by remaining vital to themselves, that at some point they are able to burst through with another period.

Billy Corgan -- like Neil Young -- found himself in a difficult situation with his fan base. Yet he seeks to remain a vital artist.

So -- based on the pre-judgement of Americana -- are Neil Young hardcore fans simply stuck in 1968? 1978? 1988? 1998? 2008?

Or do Neil fans really wish him to remain a vital artist?


UPDATE: Also, see Billy Corgan Discusses Neil Young on Howard Stern Interviews

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At 4/04/2012 06:01:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

I agree with Billy. A man who was half cocked on drugs 17 years ago should be a better person if he survived his addiction. Personally I don't think the fans expect anything of Neil. How can you? He does what he wants to do.

All the hoopla I created was over the missed opportunity in the liner notes and cover art, not about the music.

At 4/04/2012 07:09:00 PM, Blogger punkdavid said...

I hate to break it to Billy, but it's been mostly a downhill slide for his musical output since 1993. It has little to do with whether his fans are hardcore or whether they want him to grow as a person. I'm sure he has, but there has been damned little greatness in his music since 1995.

Personally, I am greatly looking forward to Americana, like I do with every Neil release, regardless of what anyone who may or may not have heard the latest release may think.

At 4/05/2012 07:05:00 AM, Blogger SONY said...

I'm generally stuck in whatever Neil period I played last, or next. The all one song period.

At 4/05/2012 08:39:00 AM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

Bingo, Sony. Don't know anything about Billy Corgan, but I'm glad he didn't get stuck, either.

A Friend Of Yours

At 4/05/2012 09:30:00 AM, Blogger mantrano9 said...

Neils always been there for me whatever happens in my life and i have faith in his vision and artistic integrity. I get that he needs to move forward we all do so i welcome his music whatever form it takes as it inspires me and his muse brings hope though that might not be obvious at the time looking forward to Americana.Peace.

At 4/05/2012 09:31:00 AM, Blogger setlistthief said...

How interesting (and appropriate) that Corgan places Neil in the company of Cash and Waits.

I remember hearing "Powderfinger" for the first time on my shiny new vinyl RNS album in 1978 and the feeling that came with hearing an utterly new and classic song. And if I think about it real hard, I can feel it all over each time I hear it.

That doesn't make me stuck in 1978, though. As a fan, I desperately want the artists I listen to to change and grow over their careers. But when Neil puts out anything new, I still long for that "1978 feeling."

I imagine (hope?) hearing "Americana" will be something like hearing Powderfinger for the first time; Neil's take on the musical form commonly known as the folk song. It may be right on target or way wide of the mark.

Either way, I'll always think of Neil as one you never figure.


At 4/05/2012 10:42:00 AM, Blogger SONY said...

Setlistthief - that's it EXACTLY! Getting back to the goosebumps and the amazement and the FEEL of it all. Yup, it comes and goes and it comes again, different songs, same songs, different times. There are many individual songs that when ya hear 'em take ya right back to where you were when ya heard it first, or recreate that spitit inside ya.
WOW, Neil has been prorperly defined right there.

At 4/05/2012 10:43:00 AM, Blogger SONY said...

...that's spirit, sorry.

At 4/05/2012 12:31:00 PM, Blogger Raincheck said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4/05/2012 12:36:00 PM, Blogger Raincheck said...

Love 1978. I also love 67, 69, 70, 72, 75, 89, 90, 92, 95, 05 and 10 to name just a few.

You have to earn the kind of status Neil has.

Looking forward to Americana as a Inalways look forward to new Neil.

A little apprehensive about Waging Heavy Peace. Sounds like a rejected title from a self-congratulatory David Crosby tome.

At 4/05/2012 03:55:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

There were times when I thought I couldn't last for long

But now I think I'm able to carry on

It's been a long, been a long time coming

But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will

At 4/05/2012 06:14:00 PM, Blogger Knowledge Nomad said...

For a fun novel on the relationship between artists and their fans that is very much in the spirit of Corgan's remarks, check out Nick Hornsby's Juliet, Naked.

At 4/05/2012 07:53:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

So what... Your big response to bring called out for refusing to address the biggest anti-Neil tantrum in the history of the site is to refuse to post comments that are supportive of the artist if they threaten to hurt the feelings of the moron who caused the site to lose its credibility by engaging in a masturbatory monolog that insulted the artist, the site, you, and every person who has had an original thought in the last 40 years? Do you know how absurd this is? The only explanation that makes sense is that the poster in question is your teen age daughter... In which case, my condolences

At 4/05/2012 08:53:00 PM, Blogger no one said...

Inane comment about nothing. This will be characteristic of the Fascist nature of the new Thrasher's Wheat

At 4/06/2012 09:10:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

As we said before:

"Frankly, after running Thrasher's Wheat for over 15 years and almost a lifetime of listening to Neil Young's music, there are two things which we have found universal and constant: 1) Neil never ceases to surprise, amaze, and confound us and 2) Neil fans never cease to surprise, amaze, and confound us."

At 4/06/2012 09:40:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@Pinto(or Flounder) & no one - we really have no idea what you're driving at here?

What's your point?

Also, you guys have been posting here for years yet keep creating new profiles?

Pinto(or Flounder) your was created in March 2012 and no one's within past few days?

What's up with the multiple profiles?

At 4/06/2012 10:58:00 AM, Blogger Nate said...

An actual fan of Neil knows that he's going to do whatever he feels like doing. And, it's going to be great or at least interesting.

Mr. Soul, After the Goldrush, Cortez, Hey Hey My My, Rockin' in the Free World, Harvest Moon, Hitchhiker ... nobody here is stuck in any decade!

At 4/06/2012 07:54:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

I'm kinda fonda Wanda myself

At 4/06/2012 09:16:00 PM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

As lifelong fans of Neil Young, were always waiting for the next classic 'anthem' as Ralph Molina likes to refer to them. Sometimes it takes a decade or so, but we know that he has another one in there somewhere. Beginning with Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and 'Doen By The River', Cowgirl In The Sand', and 'Cinnamon Girl', it took several years for Zuma to come along offering 'Cortez The Killer'as the next 'anthem worthy' song. Shortly thereafter came 'Like A Hurricane'. A few years later, Neil once again delivered with 'Rust Never Sleeps' which consisted of multiple 'anthem worthy' songs including 'PowderFinger' and 'Hey Hey, My My ( Into The Black). Then came Freedom with probably the most popular, radio friendly 'anthem' of all time, 'Rockin' In The Free World'. Since then, nearly 23 yrs have past and while Neil has been diligently receptive to the 'muse' whenever it calls upon him, there has not been anything as 'anthem worthy' of the aforementioned songs. While I'm certain that radio friendly, commercially successful songs would be a goal of most artists who have enjoyed the notoriety and the resulting glory that proceeds such success, it's obvious by the distinct differing personalities of each song that Neil doesn't follow a formula as such in an attempt to duplicate a follow up to any particular song just for the sake of commercial success. Most artists would be grateful to have written and recorded any one of Neil's classic recordings. Rarely does a Neil Young album consist of what would be considered as 'filler'. The only other artist that I'm aware of besides Dylan who was capable of recording a complete album of quality songs to that degree would be the Beatles, and those records were a concerted effort of four individual songwriters. Among the so called anthems, there were also 'Southern Man' and 'Ohio'. There have been several bands who came out of the chute with such great success like 'Boston, for example, that fell into the trap of capitalizing on the success of their winning formula only do succumb to an early death by not challenging their audience to accept innovation and growth. If anything was to be learned by the success of the Beatles, it was that they were constantly changing and evolving. Most bands lifespan is maybe three albums if their lucky without innovation and growth in their creative process. Most bands who have been fortunate to be accepted by their audience while duplicating their past success's are now relegated to the 'oldies circuit' of a nostalgia act. Those who are expecting a new 'anthem' on the next 'Crazy Horse' release are missing the point entirely. Whether theirs another 'Cortez' or 'Rocking In The Free World' in Neil's future is irrelevant. The fact that he has evolved and hasn't adhered to a predictable 'sure thing' formula is what has kept his music fresh and keeps his audience anticipating his new releases for over 40 years. And as long as he continues following the path of his 'muse', it's almost certain that when the time is right, an 'anthem' is sure to surface once again when least expected.

At 4/07/2012 02:49:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

I'm with SONY.

And it's also all one period.

At 4/07/2012 07:33:00 PM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

Bingo, Big Chief. That makes two bingo's from this post. Keep 'em coming guys.

A Friend Of Yours

At 4/08/2012 09:13:00 AM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

Also, as an aside, Pinto needs to STFU, stop whining and start acting like a respectable human being. Agreeing or disagreeing with peoples' posts is one thing, but publicly attacking, deriding and insulting people is another.

The thought police are not those who maintain order in the forum, they are those who attack and bully people for daring to share their opinion.

At 4/09/2012 08:38:00 PM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

Amen, Matt!


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