One of the best things about being in a relationship is a general cessation of pre-relationship games…y’know, the kind girls like to play after watching Sex and the City marathons. Instead, I’ve been left the court rumours elsewhere–primarily in the realms of music and sports, where some might argue I spend far too much time. Today’s rumour is the kind that quickens my pulse…and sure, I actually read about it late last week, but since I was traipsing about the nation’s capital I didn’t have time to address it properly. The rumour, in case you haven’t heard: a reformed Smashing Pumpkins will allegedly headline this year’s Coachella Festival in California. From what I can glean, the band would include Pumpkin King Billy Corgan, the incomparable Jimmy Chamberlin on drums and the scrumptious Melissa Auf Der Maur on bass; the article makes no mention of Jimmy Iha, who I last saw wearing a Pikachu mask on stage at Winnipeg Stadium and who is currently playing guitar in A Perfect Circle.
I’m still not sure how I’d feel about a Smashing Pumpkins reunion, especially if it weren’t to include Iha. On one hand, the thought of hearing Jimmy and Billy play “Cherub Rock” again is enough to make me drool; on the other hand, if it was weird seeing the band sans D’arcy (and it was) then seeing it without D’arcy and James would be damn right sacrilegious. It’s strange enough when bands lose members for legit reasons; when a band breaks up, then hastily reforms without one of its founding members…well, it’s got “desperation” written all over it. As much as I mourned the Pumpkins when they “disbanded” in late 2000, part of me really admired Billy Corgan for stating he’d never play his old songs again; when he kept his words through tours of duty with Zwan and his own solo project, it seemed like he was actually sticking to his guns. Then came last year’s announcement in the Chicago Tribune that Corgan “wanted his band back”; since whatever Billy wants, Billy usually gets, you knew it was only a matter of time.
What I’m saying, I guess, is that I’m ambivalent about the prospects of a reformed Smashing Pumpkins that doesn’t include James Iha. If Iha sits this one out, I’m not sure I’d feel right about seeing the band again. For the time being, all we’ve got is this rumour in NME…and the very real prospect that, in three months’ time, the Smashing Pumpkins will once again not be dead.