Penguin Rescues Pumpkins

The Syracuse New Times - Week of Sept 18-25, 1996
by Russ Tarby

Posted to Listessa by Gina Stankivitz

While grunge rock superstars Smashing Pumpkins were in Syracuse for a Sept. 7 concert at the OnCenter War Memorial, the band needed a quick studio fix. The Chicago-based Virgin recording artists realized that they were going to miss a deadline to submit three all-instrumental tracks to film director Ron Howard for an upcoming movie. So their road manager, former Syracusan Tim "Gooch" Lougee, steered them to Steve Feldman's Penguin Studio in East Syracuse.

"At 11 a.m. on Saturday, the day of the concert, (lead singer-guitarist) Billy Corgan walked into the studio," Feldman said. "He was a little tired from the road, but we had a good time working together. He was really laid back."

The head-shaven Corgan helped Feldman mix down the three instrumental tracks, "Worms Part One," "Rat's Tail" and "Squirrels," for 4 1/2 hours. "Billy is obviously really good at what he does," Feldman observed. "And he seemed to like the studio. He had no complaints."

Rolling Stone magazine carried a lengthy feature story by David Fricke in its Sept. 19 edition in which Corgan discusses the July 12 overdose death of Pumpkins' sideman Jonathan Melvoin and the concurrent dismissal of drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. Gooch, who previously worked with Jamie Notarthomas locally, is described in Fricke's lead, delivering the bad news to Corgan over the telephone.

Feldman noted that the Pumpkins have previously worked with another Salt City producer, Jeff Molesky, now located in the Windy City.

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