1989 Eye (Demo) Tape, Myth Or Fact?

Article by Arthur van Pelt

 

In the years 1995-2000, when lots of collectors of Smashing Pumpkins memorabilia showed major interest in every (possible) release of this band, they couldn’t help but spreading a rumour about a tape from 1989. This tape was supposed to be called “Eye” or “Eye (Demo)”. Since then, lots of internet places reference this tape. Few examples: Wikipedia, SPFC, Music Babylon, Discografie.org and Netphoria. And most probably dozens more. Collectors and fans, trying to be helpful, spread this info even further, a rather recent example here.

But… The funny thing is, nobody has ever seen this tape, that was supposed to be sold at early gigs of the Smashing Pumpkins. It was very common for the Smashing Pumpkins to sell tapes at that time, around 1988 & 1989. We all know about the cassettes called Nothing Ever Changes, The Smashing Pumpkins & Moon, highly appreciated gems in only a few collections, as the numbers of these tapes that survived the times, are very low. But at least they exist!

To clear all confusion about the Eye (Demo) tape: it does NOT exist.

There is not any Smashing Pumpkins Eye (Demo) tape to be found, so we advice collectors to stop searching in vain, and also they should not believe the information about the Eye (Demo) tape on other websites.

Now how come so many collectors have been looking and asking around for this tape? It’s very understandable. It’s a combination of wishful thinking of collectors and researchers, happy with a new find, and confusion about tracks from another tape that were found on a bootleg CD. Unfortunately we cannot recall which bootleg CD this was, it could be The Singles + More or 1989 or another bootleg CD with tracks from one of the genuine tapes, with an eye-like symbol on it. In fact that could be either The Smashing Pumpkins tape, the Moon tape or maybe even the 5 Song Sampler tape (aka Gish Basement Tape I). Those tapes all have a symbol in the artwork, that could be mistaken for an eye. The conversation, in which this rumour started, probably went somewhat like this:

X: Bootleg CD, with old songs from 1989!
Y: Really? New ones?
X: Yeah maybe, or from that cassette with an eye on front, you know…
Y: Eye? Must be a demo tape right?
X: Yes, a demo tape!

And from here the rumour start spreading… and spreading… and spreading… Till it reached all the websites above, and now everybody believes this Eye (Demo) tape exists. But really guys, it doesn’t.

If you don’t believe us, who else but Billy Corgan can give the final answer to this question? So he was asked about the existence of the Eye (Demo) tape in 2000 already, backstage at the 2000/10/19 Bercy, Paris show. A little group of European fans gathered there to have a little chat with Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin and Mike Garson (at that times touring member of the Smashing Pumpkins on keyboards). When Billy Corgan was asked about the Eye (Demo) tape, he clearly said: “It doesn’t exist”.

So, Eye (Demo) tape: myth. Busted.