Billy Corgan was born William Patrick Corgan on March 17th, 1967, in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. His father, Billy Corgan Sr, was a blues guitarist.
Corgan began playing the guitar as a teenager, and he says he is a "self-taught" guitar player.
In 1985, Corgan moved to Florida, to join a band named The Marked. After the band broke up, Corgan moved to Chicago, and began forming the Smashing Pumpkins.
Corgan met James Iha (a guitarist) through a friend. While playing one of James' songs, Corgan made Iha upset. Corgan did not speak to him until a few months later when Iha called the record store Corgan was working at, and asked him if he wanted to play guitar. Then they formed a band, which Corgan named the Smashing Pumpkins. Corgan met the Smashing Pumpkins' bassist, D'Arcy Wretzky, after a band played a show. They got into an argument about the band. She then was asked to join the band. The band played their first few concerts with a drum machine. They later held auditions for a drummer, and Jimmy Chamberlin was picked. Their first show with Jimmy was on October 5th 1988, at the Metro in Chicago. A recording of this preformance on CD was given to those who attended the Pumpkins' last show in 2000.
The band released Gish in 1991, Siamese Dream in 1993, Pisces Iscariot (a collection of b-sides) in 1994, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness in 1995, Adore in 1998 and Machina/The Machines of God in 2000.
The band decided to break up, and played their last concert on December 2nd, 2000 at the same location they played their first concert as a band (The Metro, in Chicago, Illiniois).
Machina II/ Friends and Enemies of Modern Music was released by Corgan on the internet in 2000. A greatest hits album titled "Rotten Apples: Greatest Hits" was released in 2001 with 2 new songs: Real Love and Untitiled, their last single until 2007.
A rarites and b-side collection called "Rarites And B-Sides", a 114 track compilation was released in 2005, exclusivley on online music stores like iTunes.
In 2001, Corgan announced a new supergroup called Zwan. Zwan also included former Smashing Pumpkins drummer, Jimmy Chamberlin, aswell as a bassist and 2nd guitarist from other bands.
In early 2003, they released their only album "Mary and The Star of the Sea". In late 2003, they disbanded.
In 2005, Corgan released his first solo album, called "thefutureembrace".
In 2006, Corgan announced that he would re-form the Pumpkins. The only other member to participate in the reunion was Jimmy Chamberlin. A replacement bassist and 2nd guitarist were temporary members of the band.
In 2007, Zeitgeist was released, followed by an EP titled American Gothic was released. A single titled "Superchrist" was released in early 2008. There are also rumours of a live dvd in late 2008, and new album in 2009. A single named "G.L.O.W" is going to be released with Guitar Hero: World Tour, and then as a single later in the year.
Smashing Pumpkins.com is currently looking for photos from 1988 to 1992 of Billy and the band, for a "Gish" box set. Gish was their debut album released in 1991.
DISCOGRAPHY: (Albums Corgan has been credited on) (Not Complete)
- Gish (1991, Smashing Pumpkins)
- Singles - Soundtrack (1992, one song - Drown, Smashing Pumpkins)
- Siamese Dream (1993, Smashing Pumpkins)
- Vieuphoria (1994, Live CD, re-released in 2002, Smashing Pumpkins)
- Pisces Iscariot (1994, Smashing Pumpkins)
- Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness (1995, Smashing Pumpkins)
- The Aeroplane Flies High (1996, Smashing Pumpkins)
- Lost Highway (1997, one song - Eye, Smashing Pumpkins)
- Batman And Robin (1997, two songs The End Is The Beginning Is The End, and The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning)
- Adore (1998, Smashing Pumpkins)
- Celebrity Skin (Hole, 1998 Corgan: Co-Songwriter)
- Mechanical Animals (1998, Marilyn Manson, Corgan: Consultant)
- Machina/The Machines Of God (2000, Smashing Pumpkins)
- Machina II/The Friends And Enemies Of Modern Music (2000, Smashing Pumpkins)
- Rotten Apples: Greatest Hits (2001, Smashing Pumpkins)
- Mary Star Of The Sea (2003, Zwan)
- TheFutureEmbrace (2005, Billy Corgan)
- Life Begins Again (2005, The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex)
- Rarities And B-Sides (2005, Smashing Pumpkins, Digital Download Only)
- Zeitgeist (2007, Smashing Pumpkins)
- American Gothic (2008, Smashing Pumpkins)
- G.L.O.W (2008, Smashing Pumpkins) (To be released in Guitar Hero: World Tour, and then as a single)