In Defense of Billy Corgan

A reader sent me a link recently to a really lame blog post. The guy claimed that Billy Corgan lost his mind because he spent several hours on his synthesizer playing to an audio book of “Siddhartha” back in February. I was pretty amazed at the moronic reactions that came of this event when it first happened – both by people who call themselves “journalists” and by the local media. Seeing this blog post just made me more frustrated by the fact that too many people are missing the point. Anyone who went to this knew it wasn’t going to be a concert where Billy would bang out “Today” to a crowd of 40.

I went to the tea house on that cold night in February. There was a long line outside when I arrived so I ducked in through the back door. I met a man from New York and a woman from L.A. who had come in just to see Billy be Billy.

“How has this experience been so far?” I asked the man.

“Really interesting,” he said. “It’s just so intimate. I love the feeling in here.”

He was right. The mood inside was as if we were hanging out in Billy’s living room. It felt like we were all getting a big warm hug.

“I don’t know what he’s doing but I love that I’m here watching it,” the woman from L.A. said.

Anyone who is an artist knows that if you do something that inspires you, it is a good thing. Even if an eight hour jam session to an audio book gets Billy one line of a future song, it’s worth it. He had been playing his synthesizers for months at home prior to bringing them into ZuZu’s. They took up a large chunk of his living room, so he figured, why not let people come into his living room, but move the living room to his tea shop?

The media ripped Billy for not letting in a reporter to cover the event. I say, if you know someone is probably going to tarnish the “good vibe” of a space by being a jerk and writing mean things, then by all means, don’t let them in your living room. Those who bashed this event before it took place, and then after it happened, are really showing their lack of understanding to the creative process.

I’ve had the pleasure of being Billy’s friend, and he’s smarter than most people I know who have several degrees. He gave some great insights for my third book and has had enough success where he really doesn’t need to write another song for the rest of his life. But he has two albums coming out in the next year, so there are likely to be more creative jam sessions at the tea house. Writers who have nothing better to do will probably take cheap shots with their columns or blog posts. My hope is that people who can think for themselves will avoid believing things written by people who bash creative types just for sport.

If you want to read a really smart, well written article on all of this, check out this piece by Mark Guarino. He sums it up quite nicely.

And if you’re in Highland Park, by all means stop by Madame ZuZu’s. Not only is the tea fantastic, but the pickle sandwich is the best I’ve ever had.

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