Tonight on The Chris Isaak Hour -- my semi-professional music talk show for the Bio Channel -- I have the pleasure of hosting the Smashing Pumpkins. If you can ignore the host of the show and his fashion sense, it's one hell of an episode. When we filmed it a few months back, the band played great, and I felt like my interview with founding Pumpkins Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin was revealing and fascinating, at least to me. Unfortunately, in addition to screwing up my own relationships, I seem to have now gained the newfound ability to screw up other people's as well now? A week or so ago I heard that Jimmy was leaving Smashing Pumpkins, and Billy was announcing open auditions for a new drummer? Guy, was it something I said?
I swear I did not mean to smash those Pumpkins. I'm a fan of the group's music, and Billy's book of poetry too. As you'll see, Billy is one bright, interesting and opinionated fellow and even though he spoke less than his former bandmate, Jimmy was very open about his own tough times with drugs and the way that he's turned his life around. On the surface, Billy and Jimmy seemed to be getting along fine, but there may have been some tension on set -- or even some annoyance with their goofy, ungrungy host. Watch and see for yourself. You'll see Billy show me that fantastic guitar lick to "1979" and hear the guys explain some of the tensions that can drive a band apart.
So whether or not you're auditioning for Jimmy's spot behind the drums -- and those are big kick drum shoes to fill -- I hope you'll check out our little show. While you're at it, stick around next week when our guest for the hour is Yusuf, the brilliant Artist Formerly Known as Cat Stevens. Fortunately, he's a solo artist, so I don't think there's any way I'll break him up.
Billy, Jimmy, this is my open plea: If it really is something I said -- or something that I didn't say -- please accept my apology and work things out. And if not, well then thanks for giving this chance to clear the air and cynically exploit your recent separation for promotional fun and profit.