Pumpkins Smashed Along the Liffey
Irish Voice - December 19, 1995

WITH their current record outselling both the Rolling Stones and Madonna in the U.S. top ten, the Chicago-born quintet Smashing Pumpkins went to Dublin recently as the first step in a planned European invasion. Schedules had to be altered though when these American tough guys came up against a gang of pre-teen Dubliners along the Liffey.

The Pumpkins, as led by Billy Corgan, went down the quays for a photo shoot. As photographers are wont to do, the lenseman decided the band would look good with the grittiest parts of the quays as a backdrop.

However, a gang of what were said to be 12- or 13- year-old kids approached the photo shoot-in-progress and demanded money. Essentially, their philosophy was: we live here, and you wealthy pop stars are not going to come in for an hour to get some good street credibility and then walk away without, er, making a donation. If not, well, on yer bike then.

The Pumpkins crew balked. Reportedly there was a moment of tension, with the band's handlers saying, on yer bike yourselves you little punks, we're busy here. The kids split, saying, right then, we'll be back with our big brothers.

No problem, said the Pumpkins, who continued to snap away. Then, apparently, they got scared.They quickly piled everything into the van and they were off before the big brothers arrived.

On a more musical note, the above-mentioned new record, a double album with a very awful title Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, is actually quite good. Unfortunately, Mr. Corgan has begun to mope a bit too much in his lyrics (as the album title might suggest), but the music is melodic and powerful, with plenty of surprises. It might not be as stunning as the band's second album, the 1993 classic Siamese Dream, but a record of this size (28 songs) will have you unearthing new treasures for months to come. If you liked Siamese Dream, you' ll love this one. Just don't play it down the Liffey at night.

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