The Stars Are Out Tonight

Article by Corenski Nowlan

The Smashing Pumpkins could be the poster child for dysfunctional bands. Their history is a tapestry of conflict and scandal. They have a fast-paced revolving door for musicians – especially bassists. There is an established pattern at play; depression, drugs, departures, and defaming. Someone ought to plot a roadmap for the benefit of all current and future members that explains how to pack it up and vamoose from Pumpkin-land, and what to expect after your emancipation. For example, how does one cope with the inevitable public deconstruction of character and the flaunting of flaws to any journalist with an open ear? Ex-Pumpkins might want to muse over establishing a support group for themselves, or create a safe haven for them to talk out their feelings and attempt to make sense of their tenure under the restraints of celestial fascism.


That’s right. Their t-shirts wouldn’t have bash-Billy-slogans, liken him to a dictator, or even paint his face in Joker makeup. The shirts would blame the real culprit, the Zodiac. The tagline would read “I Survived Life with a Pisces.” I would buy that merch. I have some horror stories about some Piscean ex-girlfriends. In fact, I reckon that a lot of people have their own abhorrent Piscean encounters. If they don’t, they either a) are fortunate enough to have never been acquainted with one of these weirdo fish-people, b) they are unfamiliar with astrology and are unaware that the stalker who claims to be their soul mate is a merman or mermaid, or c) they are a Pisces themselves. There is a simple reason for this; in a nutshell, Pisces are known to be nuts.

Pisces Iscariot, the name of the Pumpkins’ 1994 compilation album, is a clever astrological commentary on Judas Iscariot. His name lives in infamy as the notorious turncoat who sold-out Jesus to the Romans for a mere thirty pieces of silver. I guess you could say, Judas didn’t give a Silver… FUCK about Jesus! (my apologies, but this struck me as an obligatory insert?) The point is, if I was to make an educated guess regarding Mr. Iscariot’s sign, I would have a short list of: Cancer, Gemini, or chiming in as my #1 speculative answer – Pisces! Why? Because when Pisceans feel that their emotional needs are not being fulfilled, they can turn incredibly selfish. With eleven other disciples licking clean JC’s dusty feet, it must have been a frustrating competition for the big Jay’s attention. Judas “Pisces” Iscariot probably got mad jealous, and rationalized his betrayal as just reciprocation for himself being ignored. Pisceans are also known to be spiritually malleable. They can up and convert to a new faith faster than Saul became Paul!

By deeming the Pisces as the bible’s black sheep, was Billy Corgan passing judgment on himself? As a child of St. Patrick’s Day, from what I know about Papa Pumpkin, he’s the text book definition of his star chart. Let’s review some basic attributes of Pisces. The first thing you should know is their feelings, as a rule, are always off-the-scale intense. Whether it’s happiness, sadness, love or anger, Pisceans feel to the extreme! They are perhaps the utmost passionate of all the signs. When a Piscean has a feeling… you don’t understand, you can’t understand, and you won’t understand. Just get out of the way, duck and cover. Due to this over sensitivity, Pisceans usually have a natural talent for deciphering the psychology of others. They are intimately tuned to those who are closest to them. It’s almost as if they read the minds of loved ones. Like psychic vampires, they feed off of the vibes of those around them. If someone a Piscean cares about is unhappy, the Piscean will involuntarily feel the same. Whether or not this is genuine empathy is debatable. Some astrologers consider Pisceans to be chameleons, not fully comprehending the emotions of others but having the ability to emulate them in an uncanny way.

An argument can be made that this sounds characteristic of Billy Corgan. Some of my all time favourite lyrics from any band are, “if you want love / you must be love / but if you bleed love / you will die love,” from “Age of Innocence,” Machina/the Machines of God. I don’t know the man personally, but from what I do know of him, I would suggest that this could be his mantra for life. He doesn’t just wear his heart on his sleeve; he has it strapped to his forehead so you really can’t miss it. To me, I believe this is an asset. To others, such as former collaborators who spent years huddled in the confined space of a tour bus with him, these traits might seem overwhelming. It would be especially overwhelming if one day you happen to be in a bad mood. You go into the studio and soon discover that your attitude is apparently contagious. Your aura bounces off Billy and he sends it crashing back on you tenfold. When taking Corgan’s Pisces nature into account, it can make one reconsider some of the situations the band has gone through.


Of course, the greatest mystery surrounding the reverse swimming fish is why are they symbolically represented by opposite paddling sea life? It’s because Pisceans are thought to live in two worlds. This is not to be confused with Gemini’s duality complex. The personality of a Pisces is fairly consistent, but they simultaneously dwell in two distinct realms; the real world, and the spiritual plane. As I stated earlier, the religious beliefs of a Pisces are always subject to change. Their metaphysical understanding is constantly evolving and it is common for them to become engrossed in issues pertaining to mysticism. Pisceans are also predisposed to drug use but not drug addiction. Most go through a period of using heavy psychedelics. They tend to justify it as existential exploration- something that is necessary for their spiritual growth.

Does this sound like a certain bald, quasi-new-age-guru to you? I think that this fits Billy perfectly. It also puts some of his endeavors into perspective and helps them to make sense: his self-admitted LSD usage during the Gish era; the mythology of the Machina album; and the philosophy behind the Teargarden by Kaleidyscope project (the Tarot/the Fool’s Journey). Also consider all of the other countless references to God spanning his whole career right up to Oceania’s “Quasar,” which a Taurus friend of mine put best when he described it as treating deities/religions as sports teams. The song is kind of like an anthem, and Corgan is the head cheerleader acknowledging that be you Christian, Hindu, or Jewish, it’s cool. Yod He Vau He Om and all that, deities of your choice be praised! And is it just me, or does Oceania in general have loose overtones of Paganism?

As nice as this emotional empathizing and religious tolerance is, Pisceans have a bad reputation. It is popular consensus that they are crazy, act like control freaks within relationships, and are, in general, difficult to deal with. Unfortunately, this also sounds reminiscent of our musical messiah. For as long as Billy has been in the spotlight, there have been accusations of him being a dictator lording over his band mates as an infallible prophet of rock and roll! We know for a fact that Billy often made a habit of playing James’ and D’arcy’s parts for recordings.  Allegedly, this was done to save time and money because he could do it more efficiently than they. But of all the rumors about the Pumpkins of the past, what else is true? Of the quarrels and hurt egos, how much of it relates to Billy’s innate and inescapable Pisces tendencies? Perhaps the various signs of each of the individual former members were at fault?

Well first of all, you have to believe in the power of the constellations. There are scientific defenses for astrology, such as cosmic gravity effecting our liquid brain chemistry, solar winds, and electromagnetism. I’m not trying to make a believer of anyone. You can research the theories for yourself. Right now though, for the sake of curiosity, let’s suspend disbelief and accept my thesis as incontrovertible truth; the old Pumpkins lineup failed because astrologically speaking, they are too different. The new lineup is succeeding and has a greater chance at longevity because they are more astrologically aligned. The same can be applied to short lived members like Melissa Auf der Maur or Ginger Pooley, who quickly joined and with equal haste, bowed out. Wait though, you might say, isn’t Melissa another Leprechaun child like Billy? While they share the same birthday, that doesn’t mean that two Pisceans actually work well together, be it professional or as lovers, Pisceans don’t mix well with other Pisceans. Their relentless zeal tends to clash. Pisceans will feed off one another. It’s back and forth until the process becomes unbearable for both involved. Pisces: Too Vehement to the Max, Even for Other Pisceans.


So here’s the breakdown of the oldies:

James Iha, March, 26th – Aries
D’arcy Wretzky, May, 1st – Taurus
Jimmy Chamberlin, June, 10th – Gemini

And the new kids in town:

Jeff Schroeder, February, 4th -Aquarius
Mike Byrne, February, 6th – Aquarius
Nicole Fiorentino, April, 7th – Aries

Let’s start with the Aries. Sorry to say, but you’re doomed if your leader is a Pisces. Despite being back to back on the zodiac chart, these two signs could not possibly be more polarized. The Aries is far too fiery and too aggressive for the sentimentally vulnerable Pisces to handle. For instance, James was always a quiet fellow, but under his calm facade I assume he had big feelings. I would not have wanted to be in the same room when the urge spurred him to express said larger-than-life dramatizations. Also, the fact that he was often silent and soft spoken probably meant that when he had something to say it carried a lot of weight for Billy to bear. Trust me, I was raised by an Aries grandfather, and have a horde of Aries friends. When they’re right, man are they ever right; almost in an omnipotent sort of manner. When they’re mad… well, I don’t want to talk about that. As for Nicole, I don’t know a lot about her. But from what I do know, she seems really, really nice. However, since we’re pretending astrology isn’t a load of hogwash I’ll make my prediction that of the new members she would be the first to leave. Aries + Pisces = recipe for eventual toxicity.

Next up is D’arcy, the Taurus. It should also be mentioned that Ginger is a Taurus. This is actually considered a positive combination with a Pisces. Perhaps this is why Ginger left the group amicably and is still on excellent terms with Billy (as far as I know). As an Earth sign, Taureans are logical, passive, and organized people. A Taurus can help to ground a Pisces, and prevent their wild imaginations from devouring them whole. As for D’arcy, since I’m insisting astrology is apodictic, my only explanation for why she’s not still in the band, and nay, why her and Billy are not blissfully married, is – drugs. It’s gotta be the drugs, because planetary alignments cannot lie and are never wrong. If it wasn’t for the drugs, astronomy says that Taurus and Pisces would be perfect, absolutely perfect. Imagine that I’m quoting the complete lyrics for the song, “Perfect” here.

That brings us to Jimmy who is a categorically typical Gemini. Don’t believe me? Read up on Gemini. It’s amazing that he and Billy worked together for as long as they did. The Gemini is represented by “the Twins.” They are two-faced. One side is your best friend, and the other side is vicious venom. Neither side has an explanation for the other. It is also the least compatible sign with Pisces of any sign in the entire Zodiac. The Gemini have a habit of telling white lies for the sake appeasing others or for protecting themselves. Pisceans are often labeled as masters of manipulation, but they do it by tinkering with facts and are careful not to lie. They value honesty and transparency, qualities that a secretive Gemini would struggle to deliver. What can I really say about Billy and Jimmy? There was a Doomsday Clock ticking in their hearts, and it most certainly WAS broken.


Finally, we’ve arrived at the super-awesome-lovable-charismatic-artistic-and delightfully eccentric Aquarians. I say this without bias, because I am totally not an Aquarian. Nope. Not even close. *whistling* Jokes aside, Pisces and Aquarius jive well together. As lovers they comprehend each other as perhaps no other signs can. As friends they can be as close as family. As artistic contributors, they are the best possible match you could hope for. Both signs are fiercely devoted to their work. There is only one thing to beware; the ego of the Aquarius. If they feel that they are not being allowed their fair share of input into the creative process, they can become very cross indeed! Mutiny might also occur if Jeff and Mike ever reach a point in which they feel that their skill sets have surpassed Billy’s. Still, Aquarians are the best hope a Piscean like Billy has for maintaining a stable roster. A fortuneteller would likely predict that Billy, Jeff, and Mike will still be making music together well into their golden years. Here’s to hoping.

I hope you’ve had as much fun reading this article as I’ve had writing it. I’m not claiming the Zodiac is factually accurate, or that divination is real, but it is neat to think about, isn’t it? Even if you are a skeptic, you have to admit that Billy does seem to embody the qualities of a Pisces. You might not be able to trust astrology as a science, but there does seem to be some level of validity to it. A horoscope writer would condemn the old band as destined for disaster, but would bless the current incarnation as kindred forces to be reckoned with. As with everything you read on the internet, I encourage to you to investigate and come to your own conclusions. As for Billy’s former affiliates, perhaps a support group might not be a bad idea. If you went outside of SP’s ranks and invited the Zwan-squad, the side project performers, and all the hired touring help, it would be quite a mixer!


Pumpkins of the Past – D’arcy Wretzky

Article by Shaharaine P. Abdullah
(with additional input by Arthur van Pelt)


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Pumpkins of the Past continues with D’arcy Wretzky (birthdate: May 1, 1968)

D’arcy Elizabeth Wretzky is the original bassist for The Smashing Pumpkins. Known for her trademark platinumblonde hair and rather laconic persona, D’arcy’s tenure with the Pumpkins lasted through 6 albums, before abruptly leaving in the midst of recording for “Machina/The Machines of God” to reportedly pursue an acting career.

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Born and raised in Michigan, D’arcy grew up in a brood of 3 girls (the older sister is Kelly, while the younger sister is Molly). Their mother was a lounge singer, while their father worked as a pipefitter.  She joined choirs and learned to play the violin and oboe at an early age. A self-described tomboy, the young D’arcy displayed a propensity for music and yearned to join a band from her childhood.

I never could have withstood being in a band without training from growing up with my sisters. It started when I was born – my older sister was very jealous. Once, in winter, she locked me outside in my diapers. I was thrown into large bodies of water countless times. I had to retaliate. Remember in ‘Apocalypse Now,’ when Brando said you have to horrify people into submission? Well, I was a tiny, scrappy kid that did outlandish things. I was known for throwing knives. Defending myself helped turn me into a tomboy. I played ‘Cowboys and Indians’ instead of with dolls; most of my friends were boys.” – D’arcy Wretzky on her childhood.

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(D’arcy Wretzky – photos from her high school yearbook, L.C. Mohr High School)

And retaliate she did. D’arcy learned how to defend herself from physical and mental abuse, shifting from her classical training to learn bass guitar. With the influence of males in her hometown, combined with her bass expertise, D’arcy was able to get into bands and express herself musically.

I was always like, I’m going to be in a band when I grow up. Always. Ever since I was probably six years old.” D’arcy Wretzky on her determination to play in a band.

After graduating from high school, D’arcy traveled to France. A French exchange student she knew had a friend who needed a bassist, so D’arcy flew to Paris with him to meet with this friend. But, by the time she got there, the band had already broken up. After the Paris incident, D’arcy decided to travel around Europe for a while. After finding herself in Europe, she traveled back to the United States. On the way back, she was stranded at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, carrying what she brought with her on the plane (her bass guitar and her prized teddy bear). She called her parents in Michigan to come pick her up, but they weren’t home at the time. D’arcy started wandering around Chicago, and ended up liking the city so much that she didn’t want to go back to Michigan. D’arcy lived with her sister (who lived in downtown Chicago) for a while before moving in with the lead singer of the band she was in. Besides dating this guy, he was also her boss at the diner she worked at. After months of living with this friend and going to gigs, she ran into Billy Corgan outside one of the local clubs she frequented at the time, leading to that fortuitous event in The Smashing Pumpkins’ history.

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 (D’arcy Wretzky and Billy Corgan)

 “[It was at a] local Chicago goth club called The Avalon. They played that Bryan Ferry song at Avalon every night at the close, when they were kicking everyone out. I was outside talking about a live band that plays there all the time and that I liked. Some asshole just butts into my conversation while we are standing on the sidewalk and says, ‘What the hell were you talking about? That band was crap and besides that, they were put together by a record company’. I said, ‘How would you know that. Can you tell just by looking at them?’ And he says, ‘I can tell by the way a guy jumps around on stage’. I said, ‘I jump around on stage and I wasn’t put together by a record company’. He says, ‘Yeah well, what do you do’. I say ‘I play bass’ and he says, ‘I have a band and I’m looking for a bass player. Here’s my number. Give me a call’. And that was it. My friends came and tore me away at that point because we were about to come to blows. It wasn’t as calm as it sounds.”

“Looking back, if that happened today, I would probably just write him off as an idiot.”

“I went to his house because he said he was looking for people to write with. But he said, ‘Before we can write together you have to learn these songs.’ And he handed me a tape of 40 or 50 songs. Of his. We’ll start writing when you learn these.’ But every week there’d be 10 more new songs. I’m thinking, this is completely insane, but I really loved the music!” D’arcy Wretzky on meeting Billy Corgan for the first time.

The first time she went over to his house to audition she was so nervous she couldn’t even hold the instrument, but Billy decided to have her join The Smashing Pumpkins because he thought she was nice and interesting and he needed to get the band off the ground. Billy Corgan and James Iha had already met, and soon, the trio started playing as a three-piece unit backed by a drum machine. During those sessions, D’arcy had to sneak out of her house just to attend band practice. They eventually met Jimmy Chamberlin through a guy Billy knew. They had a lot of help from Joe Shanahan, the manager of the Cabaret Metro, who booked them with many gigs. With local Chicago label, Limited Potential, the first and very limited vinyl-only single, ‘I Am One’, was released in May, 1990. Sub Pop Records eventually heard the band, which allowed The Smashing Pumpkins to put out their second official single (again vinyl-only) in November, 1990, titled ‘Tristessa’. The quartet eventually moved on and found a more permanent place at Caroline Records where they recorded their first full album: Gish. After releasing the Lull EP in October, 1991, on Caroline Records, the band formally signed with Virgin Records, which was affiliated with Caroline. With Virgin Records, the Gish album was re-released, and thus began an illustrious career for The Smashing Pumpkins that currently spans numerous studio and live albums, EPs and singles, and still counting after 25 years.

I’ve never been friends with the name. It’s a stupid name, a bad joke.” – D’arcy Wretzky on the name of the band that made her famous.

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Pumpkins Period

D’arcy is the credited bassist for the 6 Smashing Pumpkins studio albums following the band’s inception, from Gish to Machina/The Machines of God. She provided lead vocals to ‘Daydream,’  and Smashing Pumpkins‘ cover of Blondie’s ‘Dreaming’ as well as backing vocals on some Smashing Pumpkins songs, such as ‘Beautiful,’ ‘Cupid De Locke’, ‘Farewell and Goodnight’, ‘1979’, ‘Where Boys Fear To Tread’ and ‘The Bells’. D’arcy also co-wrote ‘Daughter’ and dabbled in other musical projects. She provided vocals for Catherine’s ‘Hot Saki and Bedtime Stories’ and even appeared in their video for the single ‘Four Leaf Clover.’ At the time, D’arcy was married to Catherine’s drummer, Kerry Brown, who has also produced several Smashing Pumpkins songs and collaborated with The Smashing Pumpkins countless times. Along with D’arcy, James Iha, Adam Schlesinger (bassist from Fountains of Wayne, Ivy and Tinted Windows) and Jeremy Freeman, Kerry Brown is a co-founder of the independent record label Scratchie RecordsD’arcy has also contributed vocals for Filter’s ‘Take A Picture’ and ‘Cancer’.’

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D’arcy Wretzky and Kerry Brown

“In high school, I was buddies with guys. It got really weird when they got crushes on me. But I was always interested in some man I didn’t know at all. I completely broke that pattern with my husband. Kerry and I knew each other from the studio [he’s a drummer]; then he came on tour with us [for the group’s first album, Gish] as a producer. We were a poor rock band, and he had to share rooms with me and Billy [Corgan]. So I had known Kerry for several months, and I knew all his good points. Like, he talks in his sleep – basically, that’s how I found out he liked me. And you know what? He doesn’t even remember.” – D’arcy Wretzky on how she met her ex-husband Kerry Brown.

 D'arcy 07 (D’arcy and Billy on her wedding day)

With all the stress of the non-stop touring, Billy Corgan was starting to become depressed. His childhood problems started to resurface, and he was losing focus. When they finished touring, and went into the studio to record their second album, Siamese Dream, they had about seventy-five percent of their songs written. It was a stressful time for all of the members of the band, and Billy ended up recording all the string parts for the album by himself. Unfortunately, Billy, being a guitarist, didn’t add many prominent basslines to Siamese Dream, leaving D’arcy bass parts either drowned out by the guitars or taking the back seat in most tracks.

You have to have a lot of faith to make all the compromises and give up a lot.” – D’arcy Wretzky on recording Siamese Dream

It’s like being married to four people you never even wanted to date.” – D’arcy Wretzky on being a member of The Smashing Pumpkins.

Siamese Dream was the album that really placed The Smashing Pumpkins into the spotlight, but problems began to arise in the band. Jimmy Chamberlin began to have problems with drugs, which never seemed to go away completely. The band went on, but there were always disagreements from then on. After Siamese Dream came the third and fourth albums, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and Adore. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, a double album, included a lot of writing from all of the four members of the band. In Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, D’arcy found an outlet for her classical training. She was able to branch out musically, going from grand orchestral basslines blending with the strings of ‘Tonight, Tonight’, to the straight rock of ‘Jellybelly’ and ‘Tales of a Scorched Earth’. You can ever hear the influence of these myriad basslines in the music of Paz Lenchantin, another female bassist that Billy Corgan would meet in Zwan in later years. After Siamese Dream, this musical freedom was definitely a welcome change. The whole band was on a high.

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After Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Jimmy Chamberlin was kicked out of the band for his recurring drug habit, and The Smashing Pumpkins went on as a three-piece band to record the album Adore. Adore was a darker, more electronic album that didn’t sell as well as Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, despite the efforts of D’arcy and her provocative posing. Once again, D’arcy‘s distinctive classical style was slightly squashed on this album. The one song that really stands out, bass-wise, is ‘Shame’, a track reminiscent of the Gish era. D’arcy leads the song, her thick bassline entwined with a simple guitar lead. But aside from her contribution to ‘Shame’, D’arcy was not a very noticeable part of the album.

During Adore‘s release, the Pumpkins immediately went back to touring. They toured internationally, but it wasn’t the same without Jimmy. Billy re-hired Jimmy as a drummer late into the Adore tour, but the band still wasn’t the same. After the international Adore tour, The Smashing Pumpkins went back to their roots, and went on an eight-show club tour. During this tour, the band showcased some fan favorites from older albums, as well as material for a new album, Machina/The Machines Of God.

Unfortunately, D’arcy never got to play on the Machina tour. After the small club tour was finished and the new album was recorded, D’arcy decided to quit The Smashing Pumpkins to pursue an acting career. It wasn’t a made out to be a major thing; D’arcy just wasn’t there one day. It was announced in a press release a couple days after she left, and she was replaced by Hole bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur.

I’m like James [Iha], I need a creative outlet outside the Pumpkins… I need to do things my way, with my ideas. I come from a classical music background and sometimes no one understands my way of reasoning and of doing things.” – D’arcy Wretzky reflecting on herself. 

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Despite leaving The Smashing Pumpkins to pursue an acting career, D’arcy hasn’t been seen much since late 1999. There were rumors that she was slated to play a comedic mafia hitwoman in the indie film “Pieces of Ronnie” alongside Mickey Rourke, but the film never went through.

She was arrested January 25, 2000 on the west side of Chicago after she allegedly purchased three bags of crack cocaine. She could have faced a felony charge, but was not formally charged with a crime. She succesfully completed a court-ordered drug education program and charges were dropped. This incident only fueled speculation about the real reason behind D’arcy’s sudden departure from the Pumpkins, as reportedly revealed by Billy Corgan in one of his blog posts. D’arcy was fired for being a mean spirited drug addict, who refused to get help,” Corgan disclosed. Whatever the reason, the seemingly troubled ex-bassist of The Smashing Pumpkins has never publicly confirmed nor refuted these claims and has, in fact, retreated from the public eye to become something of a recluse.

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is said to own 3 antique stores in Michigan and since leaving The Smashing Pumpkins, she has become a trained and registered masseuse. In December 2004 she was known to study acupuncture, having been inspired by her sister Molly‘s successful acupuncture treatment to quit smoking.

In July 2009, D’arcy resurfaced in a phone-in to Chicago’s rock radio station Q101 and chatted briefly with host Ryan Manno. The 13-minute conversation revealed that D’arcy had been holed-up at a horse farm in Michigan since disappearing from the spotlight and had been keeping busy running the farm. She also spoke about missing Chicago, Marilyn Manson’s family, the sad passing of her boyfriend just days prior to the call, a piqued interest in Davy Jones of The Monkees being a horse jockey and the Silversun Pickups (the latter of which she denied sounding anything like Billy Corgan at all).  D’arcy went on to describe Corgan’s voice as “unusual” and compared it to that of a Tibetan monk’s, further commenting that she wished he would “pay more attention to his pitch.”

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– D’arcy is a Trekkie and fan of The X-Files: “I’m a big STAR TREK fan, but I’m not into the conventions or the ears or anything like that. I’m surprised they put THE X-FILES on the air, because the theories on there are so close.”  

– During her senior year of High School, D’arcy got into a bad car wreck and hurt her leg. She had to have surgery on it. After the surgery they overdosed her on morphine which gave her the nick name “Sister Morphine“.

– Filter’s song ‘Miss Blue’ is said to be about D’arcy, who collaborated with the band on 2 of their songs.

– A journalist once wrote that D’arcy didn’t care about music, only make up, so she attacked him with her lipstick. On another occasion, a reporter asked: “D’arcy, is your hair really that white?”

D’arcy‘s answer: “No, do not let your eyes deceive you. It’s actually a big black afro. The white that you see is really a trick we do with mirrors.”

D’arcy once dated and was engaged to former Smashing Pumpkins band mate, James Iha. They split in the middle of the Gish tour. As mentioned above, Kerry Brown was talking in his sleep, which was how D’arcy found out that Kerry really liked her. D’arcy then broke up with James Iha, and started dating Kerry, putting a large strain on the band. It is rumored that D’arcy also dated actor Mickey Rourke.

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Pumpkins of the Past – Ginger Pooley

Article by Shaharaine P. Abdullah

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Let’s move this series forward with Ginger Pooley (birthdate: April 22, 1977)

Ginger A. Pooley (formerly known as Ginger Reyes or by her stage name Ginger Sling) is the bassist for California pop punk band Halo Friendlies and more widely-known for her brief stint as the touring bassist who replaced Melissa Auf der Maur in The Smashing Pumpkins.

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Ginger was born in Chicago, Illinois and hails from Peruvian ancestry. She has been writing and playing songs since freshman high school and was in a Christian ska band in La Crescenta, California called the Israelites. She also attended classes at UCLA from 1998 to 2000, where she obtained a degree in History.

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In 2004, Ginger released a five-track EP entitled ‘Room EP’ under the moniker ‘Ginger Sling’ and label Pineapple Heart Records with the music video for her song ‘Faith’ directed by Djay Brawner. The following year, she released a follow-up EP entitled ‘Laguna Beach Demos’ under the same label. In 1999, Ginger became the bassist for the all-girl pop punk band Halo Friendlies, replacing Cheryl Hecht.

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 (Ginger Pooley and members of Halo Friendlies)

Pumpkins Period

In 2007, the new line-up for The Smashing Pumpkins was announced, with Ginger Reyes taking over bass duties from Melissa Auf der Maur, Jeff Shroeder replacing James Iha on guitars and new touring keyboardist Lisa Harriton. The new line-up was debuted in Paris on May 22, 2007, the Pumpkins’ first gig since their farewell show at The Metro on December 2, 2000. On July 10, 2000, Zeitgeist was released and yielded 2 singles with music videos, both of which Ginger appeared on: ‘Tarantula’ and ‘That’s the Way (My Love Is)’.

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 (Ginger Pooley, Jeff Schroeder and Lisa Harriton)


While touring in support of Zeitgeist, Ginger became engaged to Kristopher Michael Pooley, the Pumpkins’ touring keyboardist for their 2008 20th Anniversary Tour. The couple married in Los Angeles on June 22, 2008 and on October 17, 2009, they had a daughter named Talula Victoria Pooley. In March 2010, Ginger left the Pumpkins amicably, stating:

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(Kristopher Michael Pooley and Ginger Pooley)

With sorrow and yet with much thankfulness for the opportunity to have played in the Pumpkins, I am sad to say that I can no longer tour with the Pumpkins. Although I’ve been blessed beyond belief over the past few years through playing with the Pumpkins, my priority now is to keep our little family unit together, which includes my husband and my baby.”

Ginger Pooley 07(Ginger Pooley and Talulah Victoria Pooley)

Ginger played bass for the Glee Live! concert tour from 2010 to 2011 and has released a self-titled EP in July 13, 2011 on iTunes. Ginger worked on the EP with the help of her husband Kris (keyboards, backing vocals, guitars), producer Ben West, Aaron Sterling (drums), Greg Suran and Pete Thorn (rhythm and lead guitars).

Ginger Pooley 08


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