Pumpkins Want Out of Contract
By: Marcus Errico
January 10, 1997, 3:45 p.m. PT
To hell with Pumpkins, Billy Corgan and company are Smashing Contracts. The Smashing Pumpkins' three charter members--Corgan, bassist D'Arcy Wretzky and guitarist James Iha--have filed suit against their music publisher, seeking an order voiding their recording contract.
The Pumpkins claim they inked a four-album pact with Chrysalis in 1992, fulfilled their end of the deal, only to discover the contract was unenforceable from the beginning. The Chicago-based band is asking for a minimum of $10 million in damages, according to the suit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Both Chrysalis and the Pumpkins declined comment.
Missing from the list of plaintiffs is exiled drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, even though he recorded on all of the band's studio albums to date. The Pumpkins booted him this summer for his heroin addiction. Chamberlin was arrested for posession in July after he shot heroin with traveling keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin, who overdosed and died.
Even if the contact is enforceable, the Pumpkins claim they have recorded five albums, one more than their contract requires.
But according to the lawsuit, Chrysalis is demanding two additional albums from the band. Apparently, the record company wants albums containing new material: Of their five albums, Pisces Iscariot is a collection of B-sides and their latest release, the five-disc The Aeroplane Flies High, contains live tracks, previously released singles and more B-sides.
Arguably the top band in rock 'n' roll, the Pumpkins picked up seven Grammy nods this week for their acclaimed double-album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.
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