Words with Bob Stern – Creator of Vinyl Schminyl Radio

Article by Derek Miller

Bob Stern, the creator of the Vinyl Schminyl Radio, sits down with SPfreaks to discuss his history in radio, meeting and speaking with Billy Corgan, and his opinions on vinyl.

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Diverse Radio Background

When I was a kid I used to go to downtown Chicago to WLS and WCFL to watch the DJs.  I love music and realized that’s what I wanted to do.  I never did any radio in high school, but I did in college.  As a matter of fact, the first college I went to I started a small student-run radio station and then went to the University of Illinois and worked for probably one of the largest student-run radio stations in the country, WPGU.  I ultimately worked in Woodstock, IL, for WXRD, which was at the time a progressive rock station.  I didn’t want to bum around from one small station to another.  So I told myself by the time I’m 25 years old if I don’t get to a better market, then I’m going to go into radio advertising sales.  The day after my 25th birthday, I started in radio sales.  I’ve always had a love for radio and never wanted to get out of it, but I did.  About 10 years later I worked for a local Chicago station, WCBR, called the Bear, and worked part-time there for a year.

Meeting Billy Corgan

I wouldn’t call myself a close friend with Billy because I’m really not.  But here’s how he and I met. Right around the corner there [was] a place called the Ravinia Wine Shop.  A year ago in February, [2012], they had a grand opening with a bunch of local people and the owners are friends of Billy’s.  I mentioned to the owners that I would like to get Billy on the podcast, and he happened to be there that night. That’s where I met him and we talked for quite awhile.  I said I’d like to get you on for an interview.  I didn’t want it to be a Smashing Pumpkins interview; I wanted it to be a classic rock interview.  His knowledge of music is just about as good as anybody’s.

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The interview was actually held at the wine shop.  We spent an hour talking face to face.  When I was in college, I interviewed quite a lot of people (rock stars, if you will), and this was probably the best interview I’ve ever done. Because it was the most intelligent interview I’ve ever done.  It was a conversation more than an interview.

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Please click the picture to listen to the Vinyl Schminyl Radio Hour featuring Billy Corgan

Broadcasting from Madame Zuzu’s

The Led Zeppelin show was recorded Saturday (April 6th, 2013) and we ran it on April 13.    It’s the second time we’ve actually done that.  We did one back in February and featured Pink Floyd for the hour.  Billy, who owns Madame Zuzu’s and invited me to do the podcast, spent the entire evening with us this time and joined us for a few minutes on the air.  It was fun.

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Vinyl Schminyl Radio

Three years ago (April 26th, 2010), I decided to start Vinyl Schminyl Radio.  The first cut that we played was Harry Nilsson’s “Jump Into The Fire”.  I was thinking of a name for the podcast, and I thought of his Nilsson Schmilsson album.

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At the beginning, I was digitizing my old vinyl.  I don’t do that as much anymore because I can find the songs on iTunes or similar outlets.  But I did bring a lot of cuts from vinyl in the first year, year and a half, but after that it’s been more digital-based.  I wanted it to be vinyl based, and it was for quite some time, but then it kind of took off and I decided let’s just put the songs out.

Yesterday was our 700th show (April 16th, 2013).  In July 2010, we started the Vinyl Schminyl Radio Hour.  Before that, it was a Monday through Friday thing and we’d feature a song and a back-story.  I did that for the longest time. Now I try to do it every other week, or sometimes two weeks in a row.  If you go to Vinyl Schminyl.com you can see a list of all the Radio Hours I’ve done.  I’ve done over 60 of them.

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Let’s Talk Vinyl

Vinyl is a great format and the jury is still out whether vinyl is better or worse.  I know vinyl is making a resurgence. At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame there’s a big vinyl section there.  In my interview with Billy last year, we talked about him rereleasing albums on vinyl and the Beatles rereleasing albums on vinyl.  But truth be told, unless they come up with a vinyl iPod it’s going to be mostly digital.  Even CDs are on their way out.  I still have a pretty big CD collection too, but there are some things that are still not available on CD.  That’s when I take a look at my vinyl collection and try to put that out there.  I still use vinyl from time to time, but definitely not as much as when Vinyl Schminyl started.

Is Vinyl Superior in Quality?

Vinyl is probably of superior quality, because if you have a completely clean copy (no scratches) and are listening to it on a really nice turntable and really nice speakers, that’s when the magic happens.  I have a really nice set of speakers.  My turntable isn’t quite as nice, but one of these days maybe I will fork out some big bucks for a nice one.  From time to time, I do enjoy sitting down and listening to a good album.  On the other hand, I like listening to a good CD through a good sound system as well.  I’m not as much of a purist as you would think I am.  It’s about the music and not so much about the technology of what the music sounds like.  But it’s got to sound good.  If it’s a well produced and well mastered album, it will sound good on CD as well as vinyl. There is a difference, but nowadays with iTunes they’re releasing the higher quality MP3s that sound a lot less compressed.

MP3 vs. CD

There’s another argument there that you’re certainly losing a lot of information with compression on MP3 vs. the CD file.  So personally, I’d like to listen to CDs rather than MP3s, but on the other hand, I only have a streaming music system, so pretty much everything that comes into our living room is MP3.  If I’m down in my “man cave”, where my studio is, I fire up Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon in surround sound on my SACD player. That’s an experience in itself.  There are sounds on that album I never even knew existed!

I just acquired an entire case of brand new, unused, unplayed original Mobile Fidelity Lab series vinyl.  I did a whole week of songs just taken from those albums.   Abbey Road, Eagles, Steely Dan.  I still haven’t gotten to everything that’s in there.

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Any Album that Must be Enjoyed on Vinyl?

I would honestly say none.  When I was a kid, the first record that I bought was The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – mono version. I would listen and listen and listen to that album, but I would never say there was an album that I would only listen to on vinyl.

To answer your question, I’m more about a well produced album than I am about the vinyl copy of it.  Now with that said, there are some new pressings of vinyl, for instance, Smashing Pumpkins; Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.  I know what the CD sounds like, but I want to hear what the 180-gram vinyl sounds like as well.  I would love to take a listen and hear the difference.

I like [The Smashing Pumpkins]. I think their material is really cool.  I have learned to appreciate their sound more since I met Billy.  To be honest, I have not heard any vinyl of theirs, but I will tell you Siamese Dream, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, and even Billy Corgan’s solo album [The Future Embrace] I think are really cool.  They were all really well done albums.  The solo one had mixed reviews, but I think it was tremendous.  There was a cover song on it by the Bee Gees, “To Love Somebody”, which I played on Vinyl Schminyl.  [Billy Corgan] was actually really happy that I did that.  When I told him that we’d be featuring that, he was pretty jazzed.  You never hear that song on the radio!

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Stereo vs. Mono

The reason mono was such a big thing, well; let’s take it back to The Beatles.  When The Beatles were in the studio, originally their stuff was only done in one channel.  At that point, everything was coming out of one speaker which generally was a radio or record player.  It didn’t really matter if it was stereo or not.  Most stuff was produced in a mono and a stereo version.  There was stereo back then, but for most people, that would be like the audiophile version.  I even had a stereo back then, but the reason I bought the mono version was because it was anywhere from one to two dollars less.  But if you notice, when they rereleased The Beatles catalogue, they released a mono and a stereo version.  And a lot of people like the mono version because that’s the way they were originally recorded and intended to be listened to.

Any Vinyl You Are Looking For?

There was a band called Fallenrock in 1974.  They had this song called “She’s a Mystery”.  The album was called Watch for Fallenrock.  If I could find that – they have it at Amoeba Music.  Been trying to get my hands on that song and incorporate it into one my shows. I’m probably the only one in America that has a “jones” for that song.

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Record Store Day 2013:  No Alternative

[The album] sounds familiar.  It was a compilation album from 1993, yeah.  I’m looking at the setlist here, and there are pretty cool songs on here.

Contemporary Artists

I watch The Grammy’s every year.  I really like Mumford and Sons.  I like Adele.  I think she’s phenomenal.  I like Train.  I like the Black Eyed Peas. I enjoy Jack White as well.  The Grammy’s, there is so much diversity, there really is. If it sounds good to me, I’ll download it or buy the CD the next day.

Advice on Putting Together a Podcast

Make sure you have something to say.  Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should do it.  I’ll say this for musicians too; just because you can play the guitar, doesn’t mean you’re going to be a rock star.  I’ll never discourage anybody from finding common ground and putting their stuff out there, but make it the best that you can make it.  There’s a lot of podcasts out there.  And there’s a lot of, excuse me, crap out there.  The one thing I’m proud of about Vinyl Schminyl is that it offers up good information, it’s done in a professional manner, and the quality of the hosting is pretty good too.  Make sure you have a good product, because if you have a good product then people are going to listen and you will get positive publicity.

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Please note that Bob is celebrating his 3rd anniversary of Vinyl Schminyl Radio today.  Make sure to visit his website to check out his newest podcasts every week!

Pumpkins of the Past – Matt Walker

Article by Shaharaine P. Abdullah

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We continue the former Smashing Pumpkins band members series with Matt Walker (birthdate: May 21*, birth name Matt Snyder*)

 Matt Walker is an American musician, composer and producer, best known for his stints as a drummer for The Smashing Pumpkins, Filter and Morrissey.

* The year of birth of Matt Walker, and the reason for changing his last name from Snyder to Walker, is unknown at the moment. As far as we know this information has not been made public until now.

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Pre-Pumpkins

In the mid-1980s, Matt began his career by playing drums for a range of Chicago bands like Scott Bennett & The Obvious, The Clinic, and Peat Moss and Tribal Opera until joining the band Filter in 1994. Matt toured with Filter in support of the album “Short Bus” until 1996.

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Pumpkins Period

After the fatal overdose of touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin in July 1996 that resulted in Jimmy Chamberlin being fired from the Pumpkins, Matt auditioned for the drummer position and was hired as replacement for Chamberlin.  This, coincidentally, happened the day after the Filter tour ended. He finished the rest of the Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness tour and stayed on until the beginning of the Adore tour. With the band, Matt also recorded several tracks on Adore, as well as the track “The End Is The Beginning Is The End” for the official soundtrack of “Batman & Robin”.  Along with Billy Corgan, James Iha and D’arcy Wretzky, he appeared in the music video for the track.

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Upon arrival in L.A., we were brought straight from the airport for a fitting of the tight black suits, as well as the harnesses for the flying sequences. It is very humbling to be a skinny, pale, white, mid-western kid suddenly on display in front of a panel of seamstresses, costume designers, and random rigging professionals in nothing but your underwear and a multi-belted harness wrapped tightly around your midsection. I felt very…pale. I’m sure Jimmy is glad he missed that bit.” Matt Walker on the set of “The End Is The Beginning Is The End” music video.

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In addition to touring and recording, Matt also collaborated with Corgan on the soundtrack for Ransom and with Iha on the latter’s first solo album “Let It Come Down”. He played with the Pumpkins again during their final show at The Metro on December 2, 2000, before their disbandment  and again during the band’s 20th Anniversary Tour in November and December 2008, as well as a benefit concert at The Metro in July 2010.  

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Post – Pumpkins

In 1998, Matt left The Smashing Pumpkins to record the first album for his own band, Cupcakes, which was signed to DreamWorks Records. John Mellencamp’s drummer, Kenny Aronoff, replaced Matt for the Adore tour. Matt went on to pursue other collaborative efforts with the band Ashtar Command, made up of former Filter member Brian Liesegang and Chris Holmes, and Jim Dinou, with whom Matt co-created the band Impossible Recording Machine. In 2002, he filled in for an ailing Butch Vig on Garbage’s European tour and played on their album “Bleed Like Me”, which was released in April 2005.  Matt also recorded and toured with Billy Corgan in support of the latter’s solo album, “TheFutureEmbrace” and joined Morrissey in 2006, playing drums on his albums “Years of Refusal” and “Swords.”

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While on hiatus from Morrissey, Matt wrote and performed with other artists under the moniker “of1000faces” and also became a member of the band theMDR, which contributed to the 2007 MySpace/SPIN Smashing Pumpkins tribute album with the Corgan-penned track “Signal To Noise.” In June 2012, Matt ended his stint with Morrissey following their tour in North America, after their stop in Stockton. The news comes after Matt Walker had previously taken to Twitter to declare that ‘things are weird and getting weirder’ ahead of a show in the Philippines during Morrissey’s recent tour. Morrissey added the following words to his leave.

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“Our little covered wagon has lost drummer Matt Walker, who was eager to bring his term to an end. No bargainings could persuade him to stay, and his interest drew its last breath at Stockton.”

“Behind the kit, Matt was a greyhound unleashed, and his great work on Years of Refusal will always and forever speak up in his favor. His exit is sad, but he had no wish to continue, and a branch falls away.”

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Matt Walker visiting Nijmegen, NL, in 2010

Matt has also collaborated with Adam Ant of the band Adam and the Ants by co-writing and playing drums on the track “Marrying The Gunner’s Daughter” from the Adam Ant album “Adam Ant Is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter”, which was released in January 2013.

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References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Walker_(drummer)
http://hipstersunited.wordpress.com/category/band/matt-walker/
http://www.moderndrummer.com/site/2002/05/matt-walker/#.UVfwCKW9ZlI
http://www.live4ever.uk.com/2012/06/morrisseys-drummer-quits-after-weird-tour/

Disclaimer: All pictures/images used in this article are courtesy of Google Images (unless otherwise specified). The writer does not claim ownership for any photos and no infringement is intended. We respect all photographers and try to credit sources to the best of our knowledge; if necessary, we will credit or remove any pictures at the photographer’s or representative’s request. Please e-mail us: TheSPfreaksTeam@gmail.com to be credited for your work or to have your content removed.

Pumpkins of the Past – Jimmy Chamberlin

Article by Shaharaine P. Abdullah

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(D’arcy Wretzky, James Iha, Billy Corgan & Jimmy Chamberlin)

In a culture that rewards sentimentalism, most bands with The Smashing Pumpkins’ illustrious history would be content to churn out old hits, but the choice to remain relevant in the music industry without sacrificing artistry is a noble undertaking continually pursued by the Pumpkins with Billy Corgan at the helm.

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(Melissa Auf der Maur, James Iha, Billy Corgan & Jimmy Chamberlin)

While The Smashing Pumpkins’ intermittent line-ups over the years have divided fans and critics alike (which is the better album, the better guitarist/bassist/drummer, etc.), no one can deny the impact of the Pumpkins’ sprawling discography on the musical landscape over the years.

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(Nicole Fiorentino, Jeff Schroeder, Billy Corgan & Mike Byrne)

Obviously, Corgan’s philosophies, both personal and musical, have largely influenced the band’s distinct sound and propelled its purpose, but other musicians were also responsible in molding The Smashing Pumpkins into the formidable band it is at present.

In this 7-part article, we will highlight these eclectic artists who all, at one point, played an integral part in The Smashing Pumpkins’ still unfolding story. We will put the spotlights on Lisa Harriton, Matt Walker, Ginger Pooley, D’arcy Wretzky, James Iha, Melissa Auf Der Maur, and of course:

Jimmy Chamberlin (birthdate: June 10, 1964)

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James Joseph “Jimmy” Chamberlin is a songwriter, producer and best known as the first, and so far longest serving, drummer for The Smashing Pumpkins.

Pre-Pumpkins

Born in a brood of 6 children in Joilet, Illinois, Jimmy was raised in a musical family; his father played clarinet and his older brother Paul played drums in a jazz band.  At the age of 8, Jimmy started playing the drums and got introduced to a lot of drumming styles and techniques, including jazz, big-band, Brazilian and Latin rhythms.

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“I got all my technical education when I was younger, going through school and then when I was in college. My brother, Paul, has been a drummer since before I was born, and by the time I was eight years old, I had a record collection that consisted of Ian Paice, Cozy Powell and a lot of other great drummers. I grew up listening to the best of the best drummers, whether it was rock, big band or jazz drummers. I appreciated all of it because I couldn’t stand listening to just one style of music as much as I couldn’t stand playing just one style. I did have the rock ethic, though – I definitely wanted the chicks and the fast cars – but not necessarily the long hair and the twenty-piece drum kit.

When I was nine, I started taking lessons from Charlie Adams, who plays drums for Yanni now. He’s an excellent player who’s very much into rudimental playing and I went through a few technique books with him. I took lessons from him for five years, so that gave me a great foundation, plus I played four hours a day on my own at home, listened to my brother, and went to shows. I used to come home from school at 3:00 and sometimes play until 9:00.

Then I took lessons for three years from a teacher who was Charlie’s protégé and who was really into the big-band thing. That was really good for me in the way of technique. And since my dad was a clarinet player, I already had a good idea of what it took to move a jazz song.” – Jimmy Chamberlin on his jazz roots.

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Under the tutelage of Charlie Adams, drummer for the jazz band Yanni, his protégé, and a timpanist named Hugh Wilson, Jimmy became an adept drummer, mostly adopting a jazz-styled technique that largely influenced his stint with the Pumpkins.

 I don’t see jazz as a swing feel or a bebop feel. I see it more as an emotional representation of somebody through music. And that’s what the Pumpkins are to me. I can pretty much do whatever I want in this band and play to the utmost of my ability. And to me, this is the most jazzy situation I’ve ever been in.

The most obviously jazz-influenced things to come out in my drumming are the dynamics and how they really shape the songs. The songs will be balls-out, and just drop to nothing, and I’ll use things like ghost notes and left-handed ruffs, which are representative of a lot of jazz I listen to.”- Jimmy Chamberlin on his drumming technique/style.

Jimmy applied the techniques he mastered in a garage group called the Warrior Band when he was just15 years old.

I was pretty much good enough at that time to smoke all the other drummers in my area, because I came from a pretty small town. But I didn’t really play in every high school band; I played with this garage group called the Warrior Band, which played Pat Travers-type music and they were all about twenty-five and pretty good musicians. There I was, fifteen years old, playing Friday and Saturday nights, getting sloshed and having to go back to school on Monday. At sixteen, I had a girlfriend who was twenty-three! But I was making $400 a week doing these gigs, and I was totally convinced at that point that music was something I was going to do for the rest of my life.

 My dad, being a musician, was supportive of the time I put into practicing and getting better. But he had six mouths to feed and had to work at a railroad for steady income. So that hindered any career he might have had and it made him think more practically about any musical career I might have wanted. He started stressing education a lot more and I ended up going to Northern Illinois University for about a year. I screwed around a lot, but it was good for me because I got to read some interesting charts and keep up my reading ability. I’ve been reading all my life, and I can still sight-read fairly well.” – Jimmy Chamberlin on his formative years.

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At 17, he earned money by playing in a wedding band, then eventually moved to a polka band called Eddie Carossa’s, which had played every Saturday on the local TV show for a stint. Jimmy also played in a local radio show every Sunday and got into a band called Razor’s Edge, which eventually paved the way for him to get into a show band called J.P. & the Cats. After getting more than his fill of playing music, Jimmy quit the band and got a job as a carpenter while working on some stuff in the studio on the side with a guy named Dave Zukowski.

 “I just got totally burned out. I got sick of the road and there was very little stability in my life. Theoretically, I could have played with J.P. for ten years and made a living at it. But I wasn’t going to get rich and I wasn’t going to get any happier in J.P. than I already was. I was getting bored and just wanted to get away from the live gigs.

So I started working in studio stuff with a guy named Dave Zukowski in Joliet and I got a job as a carpenter, which I had done off and on over the years. I really like to build things; it’s my second passion. I was building custom houses with my brother-in-law, and the money was excellent and the hours were a lot more appealing than anything I had on the road with J.P. I was still playing – jamming with a lot of blues bands in town and working with Dave on his original songs. The beauty was that there was no road stress involved – just coming home from work, showering, heading over to Dave’s and having a couple of beers and jamming.

Dave had already had a record out, so there was some light at the end of the tunnel for some success. I was still open to having a life in music. But at that point, if something didn’t ever come along, I wasn’t going to be a frustrated gutter bum. I was happy with my playing and financial success in terms of music wasn’t important to me, mainly because I was pulling in tons of cash in construction.” – Jimmy Chamberlin on his life before getting into The Smashing Pumpkins.

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Pumpkins Period

Despite making a profitable living as a carpenter and enjoying a laidback pace after years of erratic schedules brought by playing live gigs, Jimmy couldn’t completely remove music from his life. It seemed fate had plans for the drummer, who recalls the details of how he first crossed paths with the Pumpkins.

Dave worked at a record store at the time and a friend of Billy [Corgan] came in and said Billy was looking for a drummer for one show at the Metro. Dave told him his drummer, who was me, could go in and kick ass for him. So I called Billy and he told me about the situation, that he had all these original songs and was gonna get signed. And I said, “Yeah, right,” figuring I’d do this one gig and we’d talk more later.

So I went out and saw the band – Billy, [guitarist] James [Iha], and D’arcy – playing at Avalon with a drum machine. Man, did they sound horrible! They were atrocious. But the thing I noticed was that not only were the song structures good, but Billy’s voice had a lot of drive to it, like he was dying to succeed. So I ended up driving from work every Wednesday to rehearse with them. We played that show at the The Metro and a lot of people were impressed, saying we sounded different from everybody else out there.

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I kept on working construction but the band slowly became a more and more important part of my life too, but the thing at that point was that I finally had my own apartment, a really nice sports car and a good job. I was making all this cash, but I still wasn’t feeling good, like something was missing. I figured I had to do something with this band or I’d never forgive myself.

So I quit my job and moved up to Chicago. When my money ran out, I sold my car. I worked at a bike shop for a while and lived with this girl, but I was basically in the gutter for three years just so I could concentrate on the band. I went from eating steak every night and driving around in my car to eating hot dogs and beans and trying to get enough money for smokes. But it really didn’t seem weird because everybody in the band had the same drive and determination.” – Jimmy Chamberlin, on his early years with The Smashing Pumpkins

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 The rest is Pumpkins history. Jimmy went on to become one of rock’s most prolific drummers, amplified through the years during his tenure with the band. He and Billy Corgan reportedly played the majority of Gish and Siamese Dream, which turned out to be two of the band’s most seminal and defining albums.

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While fans and critics alike praised Jimmy’s drumming prowess, most were unaware of his downward spiral behind the scenes due to an escalating drug problem. It was said that he would often disappear for days at a time during the recording of Siamese Dream and go on drug binges. In the middle of their promotional tour for Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Jimmy’s father passed away and his struggle with substance abuse grew worse. On the night of July 11, 1996 at Regency Hotel in Manhattan, Jimmy and the Pumpkins’ touring keyboardist at the time, Jonathan Melvoin, had a drinking and heroin session that led to the latter’s overdose and sudden death. The tragic incident prompted the rest of the band to fire Jimmy and replace him with Matt Walker from Filter and Melvoin with Jimmy Flemion of The Frogs for the remainder of the tour. According to an interview, D’arcy Wretzky revealed that, despite their deep regret, they felt letting Jimmy go was the only way for the band to move on and for Jimmy to get proper help and focus on getting clean.

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For his part, Jimmy was arrested and charged with heroin possession. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and subsequently underwent drug rehabilitation. On October 8, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct, avoiding over a year in jail.  In 1998, Jimmy was reinstated as the Pumpkins’ drummer after the band had recorded and released Adore – ironically, it was then bassist D’arcy’s turn to leave the Pumpkins, this time for good. The band was able to release their concept album Machina/The Machines of God and it’s follow-up Machina II/The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music for free via the Internet before disbanding in 2000. During this period, Jimmy went on to collaborate on another musical project with Billy Corgan, the alternative rock group Zwan that was made up of members of The Smashing Pumpkins, Slint, Tortoise, Chavez and A Perfect Circle. Zwan was only able to release one album, “Mary Star of the Sea,” before acrimoniously disbanding in 2003. In 2004, Jimmy formed his next project called the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex and released its first studio album “Life Begins Again,” which Corgan appeared on. On June 21, 2005, Corgan announced his plan to revive the Pumpkins in a full-page advertisement in the Chicago Tribune, which Jimmy responded to and accepted in February 2, 2006. The Pumpkins eventually reformed without James Iha and D’arcy Wretzky, releasing their 7th album Zeitgeist in 2007. In 2009, Jimmy left the band, stating on his blog:

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“By now you have heard the news of my departure from the Smashing Pumpkins. I will say, without going into any unnecessary details that this represents a positive move forward for me. I can no longer commit all of my energy into something that I don’t fully possess. I won’t pretend I’m into something I’m not. I won’t do it to myself, you the fan, or my former partner. I can’t just, “Cash the check” so to speak. Music is my life. It is sacred. It deserves the highest commitment at every level and the Pumpkins are certainly no different. I’m sorry but it really IS that simple. There is no drama, bad blood, or anything else but a full commitment to music. My best goes out to Billy and I’m glad he has chosen to continue under the name. It is his right. I will continue to make music with the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex as well as pursuing other musical interests. I feel that I have a long way to go and a lot to give. Thanks to everyone for your kind words and support through all of this. I am constantly humbled by all of you! It is an honor and a privilege to play music for a living and I don’t take it for granted not even for a second. Stay tuned”Jimmy Chamberlin

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Post-Pumpkins

Jimmy has been holding drum clinics since departing the Pumpkins in 2009; in the middle of one of these, he announced that his next project would be a band called This, aprogressive, symphonic pop” outfit consisting of multi-instrumentalists Mike Reina and guitarist Anthony Pirog. In 2010, they released a 6-track record entitled “Great Civilizations” made available for download in digital format only on iTunes and Amazon, which was subsequently removed after initial confusion over the band’s name. In December 2010, they re-appeared with a different name, Skysaw. On June 21, 2011, Skysaw released the extended 10-song version of “Great Civilizations” under Dangerbird Records and did a series of shows in support of the album with their label mate Minus The Bear. On August 23, 2012, Jimmy announced to the attendees of his drum clinic in Chicago that he had left Skysaw.

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Trivia

– has 2 children with wife Lori Chamberlin: a daughter named Audrey (born December 2002) and a son named Lucas, who was diagnosed with Juvenile Myositis, a rare and debilitating auto-immune disease. In September 2010, Jimmy (in cooperation with Cure JM Foundation) won a bid of $250,000 (with the help of votes from a poll contest held online) as grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project to fund further research about this disease. In August 2011, Jimmy and his wife Lori participated in the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K to further help the foundation.

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(Lucas Chamberlin, Jimmy’s son)

“A sincere “THANK YOU” to the fantastic brotherhood of drummers and musicians for helping us fund JDM research! It is an honor to be part of such a strong community and I am touched to the bottom of my heart with the response that we received from all of you! God Bless all of you!!!!!!!! ”Jimmy Chamberlin (from Yamaha Drums’ Official Facebook Page, September 2, 2010)

*for more information on Juvenile Myositis and how you can help, please visit: http://www.curejm.org

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Chamberlin
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0150250/
http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/6203/page28.html&date=2009-10-25+07:57:16
http://landslide.2007.org/omnipedia/tragedy.htm
http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/jamesandlori-chamberlin/chicagohalfmarathon5k

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