Story behind the story: Billy Corgan finally talks to Q101, 1995
As of yesterday, I started the process of uploading my interview archives into my Q101.com audio player. This won’t be a quick process, nor is it one that will ever truly be finished, but it’s at least in motion.
Before I got on the air today, I uploaded an interview that Billy Corgan did on The Local Music Showcase (pre-“Local 101”) in 12/95. At that point, the Pumpkins had never done an interview with the station, but that’s not to say we didn’t try. The band hated doing press, and they avoided doing local radio interviews. In order to get Billy Corgan on the air, I had to ambush him.
The full band was scheduled to appear on the syndicated show “Modern Rock Live” to talk about their (then) new album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Because the band lived in Chicago, the producers asked Q101 if it could originate the show from the station’s studio. Easy enough to answer: Yes.
Modern Rock Live was set to air at 10pm. I hosted the Local Music Showcase live between 9-10 p.m. As the band was getting set up and mic-checking in the studio opposite mine, I laid in wait for Corgan. My strategy was to lure him into the studio by asking him to talk about his favorite band, Cheap Trick. He wouldn’t have to talk about the Pumpkins; instead, he could wax rhapsodic about the legendary Midwest power-poppers. I brought my copy of “Heaven Tonight” up to the station that night, hoping my strategy would work.
As he walked past my studio door, I jumped out. “Hey Billy…”
Deer in headlights.
“Yeah?” he asked tentatively.
“I’m going to be talking about Cheap Trick on my local music show. Wanna jump on for a minute or two and help?”
“Surrrre,” he said.
The result is the brief exchange you can now hear on my Q101.com audio page.