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Billy Corgan

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Corgan is the lead singer of Smashing Pumpkins and Zwan.

His lyrics have been ambiguous about his position on God or religion. Based on his twitter feed, he is certainly a believer in supernatural phenomenon.

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"Music's pretty cool and I'm glad to be a part of it. Sometimes when you reach for the stars, you end up in the f---ing sh--. I don't believe in God. I don't believe in America. I don't believe in rock and roll. All I believe in is me."

--from Lollapalooza '94 at Cowning Stadium

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A reader, who points out that Corgan is Buddhist, has submitted some quotes of Corgan's that suggest his position isn't clear:

"Um, I say this with no offense, but the Jesus people keep trying to seek me out, you know? I'm totally fine, me and God are getting along just fine. And, um, personally, what you believe is not really that important, just as long as you believe in some thing and its good and positive."

[this is in response to a question about who the meanest celebrity is that Billy has met] "The guy from Home Improvement, Tim Allen. Did hit me up for some coke. And called me an asshole and made fun of me for being a Buddhist. So, he is probably the most jerky guy that I met."

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A reader writes in with an interesting quote from Billy Corgan from the July 1998 issue of Guitar World magazine. Here he talks about Pearl Jam's war on Ticketmaster affecting them (PJ) musically: "It was noble to take on corporate America. However, you cannot let politics or business kill the music. You can't let it kill your creativity. You can't let it kill your connection to people, because that's what God put you on this earth to do. You as an artist are just a messenger. It's not about you."

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A reader (and SP fan) reports that Corgan is Catholic, or at least he was raised Catholic. I am not sure how strong of a follower he is, but I could almost promise you that he does believe in God.

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A reader reports that 'the quote that was at the top of his section doesn't really bear on the issue of the religion and was actually a quote/takeoff of a John Lennon song. "I don't believe in Buddha I don't believe in Jesus I don't believe in Beatles! I only believe in me Yoko and me that's reality."'

A contributor (Mi) responds to the above "As a very big SP fan and collector, I can assure you that Billy Corgan is at least agnostic -- the information on his CAL page is definitely valid. The "takeoff" quote is not directly quoting the song, anyway, and the phrasing is different. I think probably he heard the Lennon song before but was not conciously quoting it at Lollapalooza 94.

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A reader notes a possible ambiguity: The non-lyrics to the song "17" (Track 16 on Adore) include the line:

17 Seconds to send a prayer up.

The song is a 17 second guitar piece with no lyrics but with a poem in the CD sleeve where this line is listed.

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A reader writes on 16-Jul-2002 with the following cites:


1. "People do devastating things out of love and devotion. And if some guy rides a bus and blows himself up and twenty people around him because he loves God so much, it doesn't mean he's wrong or right. You can't just turn your head away from anything that you find repulsive, because in anything that has power, there has to be devotion." (Guitar World. July 1998.)

2."I was kind of a cosmic child. As a little kid, I remember wondering about God and the universe. I just remember reading bits of National Geographic magazine and watching shows on public television and being entranced by this thread of spirituality running throughout the world. There seemed to be this kind of secret chant for forgiveness and spiritual redemption. There was something mysteriously alluring about it, almost sensual."

3. "I don't know if God would agree with me, but believing in God is kind of unimportant when compared to believing in yourself. Because if you go with the idea that God gave you a mind and an ability to judge things, then he would want you to believe in yourself and not worry about believing in him. By believing in yourself you will come to the conclusion that will point to something."

4. "If I had spent fourteen months in a small room with Jesus, I'd want to fist fight with him."

5. "I'm no messiah, I'm just some dumb Mid-West guy."

Almost of these quotes were culled from Netphoria.org (http://www.netphoria.org/quotephoria), which contains plenty of information for the fans of the Pumpkins. For verification, I posted these links:

http://www.netphoria.org/quotephoria/billy.htm (contains all of Billy's quotes) http://www.netphoria.org/quotephoria/biblio1.htm (bibliography of Billy's quotes)

The first quote I posted above was verifiable. However, the rest are unverifiable unknown since sources couldn't be found - but are interesting enough to warrant adding to Billy Corgan's entry in the list. Hopefully, these are worthy enough of updating his entry in future editions


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Marissa writes on 29-Mar-2004 with details suggesting Corgan is theistic:

Hello, I'm an atheist and an avid Billy Corgan fan. He has a website, which is essentially a blog at www.billycorgan.com, and in many of his entries, he positively asserts his theism, and verifies being raised Catholic. the 3/24 and 1/30 posts point to it most specifically.


Billy was just quoted in Paste magazine about believing in Jesus. http://www.pastemagazine.com/action/article?article_id=1742&page=3