Article by Arthur van Pelt
Additional research by Geo Folkers
Always wondered who are the girls on the infamous Smashing Pumpkins’ Today single? And couldn’t find their names in the liner notes of the release? We wondered too, and we didn’t find their names in the liner notes either, so we tried to find out. And please read on, because we did find out, and we had a little interview with one of them.
It all started with this autographed promo cd for Today.
The relevance of the song Today is clear to any follower of the band Smashing Pumpkins. It is one of the anthems of the grunge era back in the early 1990s. As Wikipedia states it nicely:
“Today” was released in September 1993 as the second single from the band’s second album and major label debut, Siamese Dream. Although Corgan opted for the lead single from the album to be the opening track, “Cherub Rock”, “Today” and its follow-up “Disarm” are credited in Allmusic for popularizing the band and “sending Siamese Dream into the stratosphere.”. “Today” has been generally well received by critics, and in an article about the song in Blender it was described as having “achieved a remarkable status as one of the defining songs of its generation, perfectly mirroring the fractured alienation of American youth in the 1990s.”
And what was the rest of the information to go by?
“1 track promo only CD autographed on p/s by Yingy & Magda (the girls in the picture) and by D’arcy & Billy in 1993, guaranteed authentic or your money back.”
“I had the CD in my own collection for years. I got it from a friend who got the autographs herself at the time. I don’t have the full details but I know for sure that it is authentic.”
Basically, this is all we knew, till recently. This was the information given by a very reputable seller from the US, about this autographed promo cd for Today when it came to the collectors market back in 2009. At a closer look, we indeed notice the signatures of Yingy (presumably the girl on the left on the artwork, she draws an arrow towards herself), D’Arcy Wretzky, Magda (presumably the girl on the right) and Billy Corgan, who added the year 1993 to his autograph. We can find this iconic picture of the two girls on Today’s promo cds, on commercial cassettes, vinyl and cds too, all over the world.
Billy Corgan and D’arcy Wretzky, both band members of Smashing Pumpkins at that time, need no further introduction. But who are Yingy and Magda? For the sake of this article we did some research, and we found the following. The liner notes of the Today singles worldwide, if any, give no clue who are the girls pictured on the front. And here it is starting to get interesting… How to find out who are the two girls?
To cut a long story short, Yingy is the nick used by Jennifer Molly Wretzky (she mostly likes to go by the name Molly, however), who is the younger sister of D’arcy. Tanya Wretzky is the older sister of D’arcy, but Tanya is obviously not on the artwork. It was rumored a few times in the Smashing Pumpkins fan community that both D’arcy her sisters, Molly and Tanya, were presented on the artwork of the Today single, but that information is obviously not correct. So who is Magda? Magda is in fact Magdalena Kijewska.
Let’s meet the girls we just introduced. And let’s see how they are currently doing. Magdalena Kijewska (Magda, left), Jennifer Molly Wretzky (Yingy, middle, photo by Thia Penta) and Tanya Wretzky (right) are pictured above. Magdalena now runs a fulltime business called ‘Magdalena Kijewska Translations’ with well-known companies amongst her customers. Jennifer is a lawyer at Law Offices of Michael L. Tinaglia Ltd. in Rosemont, Illinois, but she is also publicly known for being a derby skater under the nick Ying O’Fire at Windy City Rollers, Chicago, Illinois. Tanya is a horseback riding lessons instructor and equestrian teacher at Willow Tree Equestrian Center in Bangor, Michigan.
Magda was happily surprised when we contacted her with a few questions, and emailed her the picture of the autographed cd. And almost immediately she gave permission to ask her a few questions more.
“Dear Magda, we asked around a little, and according to our sources you are one of the girls on the Today single, could you please confirm this?”
“Yeah, that would be me on the right, and D’arcy’s youngest sister Ying on the left!”
“Is there a reason why you girls were not mentioned in the liner notes of that release? Isn’t that kind of funny?”
“Yeah, neither did we ever get any thanks or recognition… That’s how it goes in the music business sometimes… That’s rock ‘n’ roll. Your face all over the world for a moment for nothing.” (laughs)
“Could you tell us a bit more about that famous photo?”
“It was not long before the release of Today. That photo was taken by our friend Renee Sabbath, she used to study film at Columbia College and it was for her assignment with color. We were at Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, eating oranges and wearing crazy colorful suits from a thrift store. Mine I think even has a price tag on it in the photo!” (laughs again)
“We know a few things about the Wretzky family already, but how are you related to them, if we may ask?”
“I’m a good friend to the Wretzky family… but hey, I’m sorry, I gotta run now! Thanks for hearing me, send my regards to your readers!”
It was a short interview, but well, we know enough. Thanks Magda! It is our pleasure, and honor, to finally give a name and a few words to two iconic girls on the artwork of the single of an iconic Smashing Pumpkins song.