November 1996

Corgan and company to disarm instruments for MTV in May

The infinite sadness of Pumpkinheads may soon come to an end. The Smashing Pumpkins will purportedly join the ranks of the Unplugged next spring, according to MTV producer Alex Coletti and Virgin spokesperson Ann Pryor. Although no show date is confirmed, the band will likely become stool Pumpkins next May in either their hometown of Chicago, New York or Los Angeles.

The band's publicist, Gayle Fine, denies an MTV Unplugged session is imminent, yet adds, "I never say never with these guys." Plans for the band to record an Unplugged special this fall, according to MTV's Coletti, were in the works before touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin died of a heroin overdose and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was booted from the band for repeated drug use. There's no word whether temporary replacements Matt Walker from Filter or Dennis Flemion from the Frogs will strip down and join frontman Billy Corgan, guitarist James Iha and bassist D'Arcy for the acoustic show.

The Unplugged shtick should come easy for the band. Earlier this year, the Pumpkins treated fans to hour-long acoustic sets at six warm-up dates (Washington D.C., Toronto, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York) before closing with an electric encore.

And the inevitable CD seems certain to ensue. At least that's what's been making the cyber rounds. A Pumpkins fan, posing as an MTV Unplugged staffer, recently posted a message on the band's America Online message board claiming a CD based on the show would follow. But that, says Colletti, is only if the Pumpkins' performance is smashing. "No band ever commits to an ["Unplugged"] album," he says. "It's a hard thing to do before a show. It puts too much pressure on the band."

The Pumpkins are currently on their third and final leg of the "Melon Collie" tour, which will end in early February. On Tuesday, the band released "The Aeroplane Flies High," a 33-track box-set compilation of singles and B-sides from "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness."

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