The latest development in the Smashing Pumpkins reunion saga entails former bassist D’arcy Wretzky releasing screenshots of text messages she says are from Billy Corgan inviting her to play with the reunited lineup, along with a Facebook post explaining that the texts “were posted as proof to the many people who said that I was lying about ever being offered the job. (In fact, Billy is saying that now as well).” Her page has since been set to private.
“If one takes the time to read it carefully, one will notice that as the conversation continues, the roll [sic] i’m offered becomes ever smaller,” Wretzy wrote on the now-restricted post. “Finally Billy says that what I deserve is a T-shirt w/my face on it. I spoke with him and asked him if there was any possible way that i’d be able to play bass on the tour and he said no.”
Alternative Nation posted a series of text screenshots provided by Wretzky that begin with what sounds like an enthusiastic Corgan promising her a role in the upcoming tour.
“We want you involved in the tour however you’d like to be involved,” Corgan wrote to Wretzky. “I think it will mean A LOT to fans if you are up onstage every night. And even if you can’t play due to your shoulder stuff you can certainly sing and daydream and participate in other ways.”
When Wretzky responds that her injured shoulder will heal in the coming weeks, Corgan’s tone shifts.
“We understand your enthusiasm. But we also have to balance the forces at play. I know you don’t agree, nor do you have to,” Corgan wrote. “There is no room for error. We blow, this meaning me James Jimmy Jeff’s band is toast.”
Corgan goes on to explain that because he hasn’t seen Wretzky “in 19 years,” and hasn’t seen her play bass, that her participation in shows means there is “zero pressure on you, all the pressure on us.” He then goes on to liken her role in the tour to that of Steven Adler in the Guns N’ Roses reunion tour, who made sporadic cameo appearances onstage.
“If you play 2 songs a night or 7 it’s only gonna be great. As long as the vibe is right and people are smiling,” Corgan wrote. “But when you need surgery etc and tour starts soon and you haven’t done a full show much less an arena tour in almost decades now that’s a lot to put on yourself.”
There’s a break in the conversation posted online, but Wretzky confronts Corgan for “throwing away something that is so precious. and you know I’m not talking about me.”
Corgan’s response is blistering.
“The answer is you deserve to be on a t shirt if someone wants to buy it and get your just due for the hard work you put in,” Corgan wrote. “But if you don’t want to be on a t-shirt then the kids are happy to buy something else.”
Amid Wretzky’s claims that Corgan had made an offer for her to play upcoming reunion shows and then rescinded it, the band released a statement claiming that the she “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.” As the texts suggest, that’s not entirely true. Per the conversation, Wretzky seemed eager to participate in the reunion when she thought that she was resuming bass duty in live shows. She starts to defer when Corgan tells her he tapped Jack Bates (Peter Hook’s son) to play bass and continues diminishing her roll in the reunion by likening her to a Steven Adler figure trotted out for nostalgia’s sake. One thing is for certain, the relationship between the former collaborators is messy as hell.
In any event, the official Smashing Pumpkins site features an ominous countdown clock set to expire on Thursday.