Billy Corgan


What a strange and wonderful experience tonight was. I went to go see Billy Corgan downtown Denver. He was doing a booksigning and poetry reading, though they were separate events. If you know me, you know I am an obsessive Billy Corgan fan, so tonight was about the greatest thing ever. For years and years and years, I have wanted to meet Billy. I didn't want his autograph, necessarily, but I wanted to shake his hand and thank him for how much joy Siamese Dream has brought me. Tonight was going to be that opportunity.

So I got to the first event, which was the poetry book signing. This was my great chance to speak with Billy, even if for just a second. As the line drew closer, we were just about to be in the room where he was signing. I fire alarm went. No one knew what to do, so we just stood there. Now, we all know that a fire alarm generally means 'run for your life!'. It appeared that everyone was as intent as I was on meeting Billy. After a couple of moments they told us we had to evacuate the building. Fuck. fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. There it went, by chance to say hello and thank him.

So we went outside and they told us to stay there, we'd get to back in after they cleared the building (there was no fire). I took this opportunity to see if Captain Zero was there, so I walked around the building. In not finding Regan and Trav, I found Billy! He was right there, with some ape of a bodyguard looking person. I said 'hello Billy, welcome to Denver and thanks for being here'. He looked at me and smiled and saluted me. Long story short on that one. I got the book signed and got to speak directly with him. I told him thanks for the music and Siamese Dream had a HUGE impact on me. Got to shake his hand too. He was super nice and gracious and smiled and it was everything I wanted meeting Billy to be.

So the next event was just a few blocks away, and that was to be the poetry reading. However, Billy was sick and had laryngitis and couldn't speak much. They asked people if they wanted a refund. No one did, if Billy was there and we were there... it was all we needed. So Billy wasn't going to read much poetry, thank god. Holy shit I hate poetry. I suffered through enough of it getting my literature degree, I can't stand 90% of it. I wish I could tell you Billy's was different, but I haven't read any yet. I just bought the book to get it signed by my idol.

So, the performance was at a bar, which was very cool. Billy brought a guitar (which was super sweet, because this was just supposed to be a reading). He had an amazing singer with him, who was a Nepalese prayer singer (my own description). She sang a couple of beautiful and strange songs by herself and introduced Billy. Oh, and her words were this (she spoke very little English) - here he is, your king, Billy!

Billy came out and explained he had a bad cold and apologized in advance. He said the things that were planned for the show were eliminated, and he was going to improvise. He read some poetry, then played some guitar, then had people come up and read his poetry (because his voice was out) and while they did that he noodled on the guitar. It was amazing. The poems became songs in that moment, it was so powerful and great and strange and joyful. He spoke with the crowd, took questions, and goofed on stuff. He was so thoughtful and unguarded. Because of his cold, he said he didn't have his 'best game' and he didn't have singing to hide behind. Lemme say that I wouldn't have wanted it to have been regular. The way it was supposed to be tonight was the Tibetan singer did an opening set, then Billy read poetry for an hour. I can't imagine anything suckier than that. I really do hate poetry. Instead, it became this amazing interactive experience. The singer, Yungchen Lhamo, stayed onstage through the performance and did some songs with Billy on guitar.

Billy was so open and so honest, it was just an amazing experience. The night became a living and breathing thing. He asked people if they had any questions, and then answered them all honestly. As someone who has very closely followed Billy for so long, it was something I didn't expect to see. He is crazy smart, and so is always careful and clever with everything he does. Tonight, all that was gone. At one point, some guy from the audience was reading one of the book's longer poems. After a bit, Billy started playing acoustic guitar behind him. After a few minutes, Yungchen began delicately singing as well. It was so powerful and in the moment. Though I came out to see Billy and suffer through some poetry... I got so much more. It became a life experience.


Anonymous said…
Thanks for the story. Living in God forsaken Croatia (ex Yugoslavia) I can only dream of meeting Billy. So this kind of stories are very inspiring to me.
Planing to go to Chicago, maybe even this year to see few shows, but anyway...

Anonymous said…
Please visit this

This is the singer toured with Billy Corgan..

I love her voice so much..

Anonymous said…
Me too.. I went to see Billy but the show opened by this wonderful lady..

She is such a nice and funny one.. When she introduced Billy Corgan.. She said like

Here is your King "Billy"..

I love her being there..
That night was inspiring..

I think her name was yungchen lhamo..


Show was GREAT!!!
Mike said…
Very nice blog, hard to come by these days,

If you have a chance, can you visit my how to play guitar site

It has all guitar related stuff.

CMDeane said…
that was a really fuckn cool entry

id love to meet him too infact i googled meet billy corgan adn i came here!lol

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