Bradford Cox Issues Apology to Billy Corgan, Still Taunts Him Onstage in Philadelphia
"What I did was open my big f**king mouth and go off on one of my usual tangents..."
Correction: Video of the event has been uploaded to YouTube, and it looks like Bradford Cox did not actually tell Billy Corgan to “suck his dick,” as SPIN’s reporter initially interpreted it, and instead said “whoever uploads that to YouTube can suck my dick.” SPIN regrets misidentifying who Cox told to suck his dick.
After recounting a story to the crowd at the Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina about a time he got into a mess with Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan and his security team over a swiped bottle of water, Bradford Cox of Deerhunter (SPIN’s No. 1 rock band right now) was threatened with slander charges by the Pumpkins’ management. Out of fear of legal action, and/or guilt over calling out Corgan so soon after the death of the Great Pumpkin’s friend Scott Weiland, Cox has now issued an apology, saying, “What I did was open my big fucking mouth and go off on one of my usual tangents… I will be the first to admit that there are two sides to every story and it is unfair that I gave mine without the other party being there to counter.”
Despite the backpedaling, SPIN’s Dan Weiss reports that Corgan was definitely still under Cox’s skin at Deerhunter’s show last night at Union Transfer in Philadelphia. The frontman repeatedly played the riff from the Pumpkins’ “Today” in reference to the dispute, and at one point playfully told Corgan to “suck his dick.” (It sounded like he was trying to be tongue-in-cheek, though we all know how that can turn out.)
Holy shit deerhunter is playing smashing pumpkins’ “today” riff over and over “out of phase like a terry Riley thing”
— SQUAAPUSHER (@kissoutthejams) December 7, 2015
Annnnnnd he just told billy corgan to suck his dick — SQUAAPUSHER (@kissoutthejams) December 7, 2015
the three verses of spoken-word “dear billy corgan” though, it was like “stan”
— SQUAAPUSHER (@kissoutthejams) December 7, 2015
#deerhunter just put on one of the crazier shows I’ve been to at #uniontransfer. Between Bradford Cox opening for himself as Atlas Sound, him ranting for 20 minutes about cell phone recording and Billy Corgan, then doing an improvised jam over Smashing Pumpkins’ Today, it was a pretty wild evening.
A photo posted by @manticore28 on
Read Cox’s entire statement below, which also references Corgan’s website post about Weiland’s death, Cox calling it “very moving and heartfelt” and saying, “I do not find any humor in kicking someone while they are down.”
Firstly, I would like to say that my intention was not to defame Billy Corgan. What I did was open my big fucking mouth and go off on one of my usual tangents. Some people call this “stage banter.” I do not need, or seek any attention, and in fact was embarrassed that this ended up being uploaded to Youtube, and then considered a news story. The story I told was just a contextual rap about something that happened at the venue we were playing – 8 years ago. I will be the first to admit that there are two sides to every story and it is unfair that I gave mine without the other party being there to counter.
The thing that bothered me most about this incident was that after I got off stage I went to the bus and was reading about Scott Weiland’s death (which I find very tragic) and happened upon Corgan’s very moving and heartfelt tribute to his deceased friend. I do not find any humor in kicking someone while they are down. Bringing up a half-remembered interaction from so many years ago was not beneficial to anyone, especially If it causes someone who is already going through a dark moment to feel slandered or attacked. I feel very insensitive and stupid in that regard.
As far as what was said at the show, I prefaced it all by saying it was my recollection of the events. As Corgan’s management has confirmed, it is all on video. I would like to avoid any further drama by just categorically retracting my statements out of respect. I respect anyone who has worked hard playing music for decades, seen their band fall apart because of things out of their control, continued to try to pursue artistic interests and had ups and downs. Perhaps I met Corgan and his crew at an especially difficult time for him. It would be completely hypocritical for me to imply that I have never been just as much of an asshole to people around me than I accused Corgan of being. Who am I to cast stones in a glass house?
I don’t know Billy Corgan other than a 5 minute interaction that left a definite impression on me. I have no doubt there are many sides to his character. My statement was my recollection of the events mixed with some humor. It was meant to be taken as casual stage banter. Not defamation or slander. The easiest thing for me to do to kill this story and hopefully avoid anymore drama is to admit it now. I was tacky and I retract my statements. If the video from 2007 ever does surface I will be very interested to see how my memory matches or contradicts reality.
In all earnestness I offer Corgan my apologies and my empathy during what I imagine is a difficult time with the loss of his friend.
Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly said that the Orange Peel was in Raleigh, North Carolina, instead of Asheville, North Carolina.
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