“I Suppressed Rose McGowan”: Bizarre and Illuminating Highlights From Billy Corgan and Marilyn Manson’s Press Conference
You could be forgiven for thinking Billy Corgan has been on a mission to alienate his peers and fans in recent years. With no obvious provocation, he has taken aim at a wide range of notable musicians, including The Foo Fighters and Kanye West, along with repeated, somewhat bizarre, attacks on rock’s nicest guy, Eddie Vedder. This July and August, Corgan and the latest Smashing Pumpkins lineup will join Marilyn Manson — not unknown to controversy himself — on a full North American “End Times” tour. Last night in Chicago, Corgan and Manson held a joint press conference hosted by the A.V. Club to discuss, among other things: their tour, why they didn’t speak for so long, and how Corgan taught Manson to play guitar. Here are some of the occasionally bizarre and awkward highlights:
It’s a strange thing to see an era you remember being regurgitated by the nostalgia machine. The last couple of years have been a constant stream of early-’90s anniversaries: Nevermind! Dazed and Confused! My So-Called Life! It’s not like we didn’t see this coming, of course — culture tends to move in generational 20ish-year cycles, so a resurgence of interest in the ’90s was inevitable. (And, of course, these days culture bloggers just love a good anniversary as an excuse for a think-piece, a trend from which this site is certainly not exempt.) Sure, the early ’90s were a rich flourishing of culture after the desert that was the late ’80s. But this year, we’re at the 20th anniversary of 1994. And listen: 1994 was shit.
“At one time, you’ve got it, and then you lose it, and it’s gone forever.” So said Sick Boy in Trainspotting, and for all that this pronouncement came in the context of a conversation conducted while shooting a dog in the arse with a pellet gun, it’s a pretty succinct summation of the trajectory of innumerable creative careers. You have it. Then you lose it. And that’s it. In entirely unrelated news, Billy Corgan is following up his eight-hour Siddartha marathon with a set at his Chicago tea shop based on “four sonic impressions on poems by the great Sufi mystic Rumi.” Oh, Billy. How did we get here?
Y’know what they say about buses — you wait forever for one, and then two turn up at once. So it has proven with Justin Timberlake albums, with the key difference that the albums that have arrived this year aren’t so much buses as a couple of those gigantic stretch limos from Aphex Twin’s “Windowlicker” video. Both volumes of his The 20/20 Experience are contenders for the most overlong and overblown albums of the year, which is a shame, because their predecessor — 2006’s Futuresex/Lovesounds — was a well-crafted, lean pop delight. Still, for all that it’s kinda self-indulgent, the Timberlake double-act still has a ways to go to rival some of the truly overblown and self-indulgent records people have made over the years. Behold: the hall of shame.