Free Gish concert!!!!
August 9, 1991: First time I saw the band was in Houston at the legendary old Emo’s. It was an unforgettable small venue experience where I was able to see the band up close and personal for what I think was them performing their best album as of today (Siamese Dream is a close second lol). Gish is one of those releases that would make my list of albums I’d have on a deserted island!!!
David Mismi, US
I clearly remember my buddy Chris and i playing Gish for the first time in my dorm room during my first term at Cornell… instantly entranced… as a drummer, I was instantly blown away by Jimmys smoothness and fills…and the sonic dynamics drew me in…
6 months later seeing them in a small club back home in Miami Beach Art Deco district was the icing on the cake!
Thanks for the memories!
Vesuvius and Moonlight
Lisa West Chicago, Illinois, US
I had insomnia, and took to to the streets after midnight in my Camaro, the passenger’s seat overflowing with cassettes and joints rolled in my purse. One night I was past DeKalb after 1 A.M. and heard ‘I Am One’ for the first time on WXRT. I grew impatient for the DJ to name the band and the song, for I’ve never heard such explosive frustration layered with longing passion and electricity. My mind and my heart simultaneously exploded when hearing the opening drum beat which was shortly followed by an alluring bass line. Next came the guitars that artfully weaved together and played off of each other like two cobras swaying to a Pungi. From start to finish, the intensity of the song didn’t cease but when it finished, I was left with my heart pounding and with sweat on my forehead wanting to hear more. As I kept driving several thoughts were colliding in my head-First, I needed to fire up a joint, second I needed to go to the record store in the morning to get a copy of ‘Gish’ (the first of three copies that I wore out), third I knew that Smashing Pumpkins were going to be famous, and fourth I knew that my life would never be the same again.
Just my luck
Erik Banck Gothenburg , SE
When me and my friends first heard Tonight we all bought MCAIS and became huge fans! But since we didn’t had a lot of money we had to buy one album each to cover the whole catalogue. I had to buy Gish and was disappointed at first but the songs, the straightforward sound an JC’s drums really got to me. Today I love the album! To me Gish is like Siamese Dreams little brother – not quite as complex, broad and deep (obvious in a way since it came out before SD and the band hadn’t grown to their full potential yet). In the same way Gish is faster and has more energy. My favorite songs are tristessa, siva and I am one. I really love how the Gish songs where played during MCAIS tour – extra riffs and extended parts (especially siva). Absolutely awesome!
A whirlwind of hair and sweat
Jeroen Halle, BE
It was my first festival in 1992 I could attend in Belgium (Torhout/Werchter). Pearl Jam cancelled their show and replaced by the Smashing Pumpkins. Didn’t know the band, but as from the first note I was sold to their whirlwind vibe. The week after I bought Gish on CD and a ticket to see them in Vooruit, Ghent. The whirlwind was back. I still have a shirt we ripped from Billy s body while he was crowdsurfing. (Sorry Billy, we were young I guess). The Pumpkins are a band I experienced about nine times in the 90s in Belgium and I will never forget the pumpin bass, drums and snearing guitars and voices creating a whirlwind of hair and in sweat covered bodies. It was the power of Gish.
From 70’s prog to TSP
James in Canada Hamilton, Ontario, CA
I grew up listening to 70’s prog music. I loved the long, complex songs, the multi-layers and the musicianship. Although I liked a lot of music in the 80’s I could not find that first love in the music I was hearing. Then in 1990 a cute girl I liked was listening to her cassette walkman in the high school cafeteria and I asked her what she was listening to. She handed me her headphones and I heard a song that did absolutely nothing for me. But the next song changed my life. I would later find out it was called ‘Tristessa’ and she had taped it off the radio. That song got stuck in my head right away. It had what I had been looking for: a prog sensibility. I wanted to hear more. I went to my local record store and asked about it. They were able to track down the band with the strange name and they said they could order me two releases. Those releases were the ‘Tristessa’ single on SubPop and the ‘I Am One’ single on Limited Potential. When they finally came in, I was hooked. Then the ‘Gish’ album soon followed, on cassette first, then vinyl (currently framed and hanging on my wall as it was signed by WPC and JC at the 20th anniversary show at Massey Hall). The music spoke to me throughout and it really connected with my prop sensibilities. My friends called it grunge but I called it prog. They thought I was crazy and they moved on from TSP, but I have been here ever since. I saw the band live for the first time in 1991 and I have not missed a TSP or WPC tour since.
I love Gish
Peter Porsgrunn, NO
I heard Gish, and I loved it.
Staring at the Ceiling
Helena Handbasket Cape Town, ZA
13 years old. Lying on the floor in the dark, eyes closed. My first listen to Gish. Everything felt so uniquely and dramatically raw.
Still, to this day, 30 years later, I still feel that “all that you suffer is all that you are” and I am so glad I found the Pumpkins at such a young age.
Discovery and thank you
I wasn’t planning to participate in this because I don’t have any distinct Gish memories. I became a fan in 1995. However, I listened to Gish and celebrated in my own way all day today and I was brought back to 1995. After buying MCIS at 12 and it completely changing my young (and future) life, I couldn’t wait for more SP. I quickly acquired Gish, Lull, and SD in a matter of weeks and started listening to all at the same time. I only remember hearing Gish and not understanding how it was a first album. I recognized it as a magical piece of art and I remember being shocked at how good it was and how much I loved it. I will turn 38 next week and do not have any words to express how much Gish means to me, along with every other album through Cyr. Thank you for being the music of my life. Being your fan has been such an honor.
Gish & My Musical Soulmates
“When I think of Gish, I can’t listen to the album without pure gratitude. I feel it’s such a beautiful & fun debut album. The songs from Gish lifted some of the “heaviness” of my adolescence. When I first discovered it, I couldn’t get enough. I remember playing it in my car, in the shower, in my bedroom… falling so deeply in love with the guitars, the drums, lyrics & the whole album. It helped me daydream, it helped me escape & it brought me joy . I’m geeking out for the Gish 30 celebration but for me it’s the 30 years of Pumpkins. It’s getting through alive in spite of all the heartbreak, depression, questionable choices… and beating cancer. I jam to Gish celebrating “I’m still here!” My husband and I have been through so much since we were kids & were still in love with each other & with SP music. We have a beautiful family (4 kids!) & I know my life wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for this band’s 30 years of beautiful music. WPC / The Smashing Pumpkins, my musical soulmates, have saved me so many times.” – Jennifer Orellana
Bradley Memphis, US
I was a DJ at my college radio station when Gish was released. We played every song on the album. I had free tickets to see them at 328 Performance Hall in Nashville on that tour and I didn’t go because I was hung over from the night before. Smh.
i was a metalhead, sabbath, priest, megadeth, metallica, etc. i did mushrooms and went to the Moon bar in New Haven and heard songs from a new band called smashing pumpkins. went to Cutlers Records and bought GISH the next day. Instant fan, it sent me down the road of janes addiction, nirvana, pearl jam, pixies, cult, cure. 80’s alt music. forever thankful Billy C and SP opened my eyes to so much great new music. Lights go out in Hartford Civic Center, fans cheer for a while, a spotlight shines on this giant man dressed in all silver on stage as he sings “the world is a vampire,” one of my favorite concert moments. Thanks for Gish !
It was April 1997.
I was 13 and I already discovered the band through The Mellon Collie and Infinite Sadness the year before, which became my first cd ever.
A friend of mine also liked The Smashing Pumpkins as much as I do and I lent him my Gish cd.
Me and my friends were waiting the bus that would pick us up to head a skatepark. While we were waiting, after a trick try, my friend’s skateboard went out of control crossing the road so my friend ran after it. All of the sudden, a car hit him and he passed away.
A few days after this fatal accident that marked us forever, some of my friends went to his mother house showing care and respect. She gave them back some stuff he borrowed from us as video games, skateboard magazines, VHS tapes, couple of cds… Gish was among the items.
His name was Rafael.
300?! There’s no way, but I’ll try to edit…ruthlessly. House party in the summer of 1991…my room…Gish left on repeat as an escape from the chaos. Told a friend to check out this CD I just got. “Crush,” “Suffer,” and “Snail” set him up for the mind-blowing “Tristessa.” He STILL talks about the impact of that listening experience. THANK YOU
The Gish tour. Its 30 years since the album release and I remember a friend recommended the band. It was such a great debut album and we played it constantly. I was with my two friends when we got some tickets to see them in 1991 in Manchester. We went for a drink at the bar next door and Billy was being interviewed for the local press. We introduced ourselves, had a chat and took some photos. Billy was very cool and friendly. The gig was amazing… sonic bliss. It was a small venue in Manchester and you knew the band was going to be something. Every song was amazing and the gig rocked. One of the best live bands at the time, it still is one of my favorite gigs from my youth. I’m still friends with two people I went with, in fact we all went for a few drinks last night to celebrate. Sonic gig! really sonic!
Dan Manchester, GB
I was given Gish as a 17th birthday present. It really blew me away and made me want to join a band. It was like Guns and Roses but at the next level. It really got me through some difficult times at school. Thanks so much SP!
I was there
Brad CA, US
Critical music during that era- never heard anything like it. The lyrics, dynamics, the drone, the volume- all made it amazing.
Bryan Portland, US
I once owned a 5′ subway poster of the Gish album cover which adorned the walls throughout my college days – I fucking loved that poster and my parents through it out with the rest of my college shit when they moved – wish I had a pic!
Tim Redway , US
Saw the video for Siva premier on 120 min, bought the album that week and loved every song, then my bro and I went to see you and Pearl Jam open for the chili peppers at the palladium in Warwick RI. We dropped acid and we’re in the pit and billy starts talking about caterpillars and the cauliflower king plays windowpane and blows my mind! Was one of the best shows I ever seen!
Metro Halloween 89′
Rich Wiley Austin, TX, US
Right place, right time. I was there to see Lost Cause. The Pumpkins were second and Jack Scratch headlined. I will never forget how blown away I was. From beginning to end. They had presence, power and most importantly…the songs. I still have my cassette of Moon.
Spark in a Routine
The routine of my morning commute through Queens NYC to midtown Manhattan quickly became a mundane tradition. The bustle of the city during the first phase of rush hour may seem exciting but it faded into the background of my mind as my headphones swallowed the subway noise and translated them into symphonies to my ears. But even then, Playlists get old. One particularly boring morning I heard the notes of cherub rock in my head and I immediately searched for the band. This would be my first thorough encounter with The Smashing Pumpkins. The nostalgic sound of the lyrics brought me back to my childhood, where I played guitar hero with my siblings. I clicked on Tristessa and never heard anything like it before. Much like many of my morning routines, at least one song from this album is played over coffee and is navigated through the tunnels of nyc. But I’ve yet to get bored of the sounds that sound so unique to me. As the album reaches a milestone of a birthday, tomorrow so will I.
The Gish break-up vinyl.
3ric 3acon Seattle, US
Bought this back in 2006. First pressing of Gish, signed by the band the week D’arcy and James broke up. The band mentions it in their signatures, D’arcy says she’s single. Billy says disaster on it. The record was signed at Tower Records in LA, they were doing a radio interview. The journalist wrote the notes on a piece of paper using the record as a hardback, so you can see the indents of the notes taken still. Later, in my own break-up, the record cover got torn apart, but I taped it back together, and I still have it in a frame. If y’all want a closer shot of it, I’d be more than happy to send. It’s a piece of band history that changed the direction of who showed up to practice and when, ya know?
July of 1991, I was in my first year slinging salmon in Anchorage, AK – a summer job to pay for college in Alabama. Forklift driver was the golden job, because you got to sit down, instead of standing all day. Plus the driver always had on headphones, and was always jamming out to something. (I assume OSHA frowned on this, but we were kids.) Anyway, one day that summer, Mr. Forklift paused, slapped the ‘phones from his sport Walkman on my ears, and said “Dude, listen to this.” It was Gish. And my brain woke up that day.
After my shift, I went to the record store and bought my first copy. A tape. And I listened constantly throughout the summer to my new favorite album, and what turned out to be my favorite band of all time. I picked up the CD once I was back at school, then Lull, and so on. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to hang with the band, see a bunch of shows, and hear and love a ton of great music. All thanks to Forklift Jesus.
Gish (and Siamese Dream) live on my 18th Birthday in Miami
My favorite Gish memory is on my 18th birthday (August 5th, 1992). The band played live at Washington Square in Miami Beach. 2 years before Siamese Dream, they opened the show with Disarm (and played a lot from SD that we never heard before). Best show I ever saw in my life. Thank you! I do not own the youtube video provided.
“Planned a show, trees and balloons..” A three hour rock marathon at The Forum
My very best memory of a Gish song by SP was during the Shiny and Oh So Bright Tour, August 2018. My sister and I flew out to California to see them at the Forum, after seeing SP perform in Chicago, we decided one show wasn’t enough, this was such a special tour and had to experience it again! When SP began performing Rhinoceros, with the visual backdrop behind them showing a timeline series of video clips throughout their musical journey, it was then I became so overwhelmed with excitement knowing at that moment what we were about to experience, a performance of a lifetime! No other concert or performance will ever come close to those nights of the Shiny tour! It was pure magic, memories I’ll cherish for a lifetime and hold on to forever! Now when I hear Rhinoceros I’m brought back to those fantastic nights during the Shiny tour, and relive that magical feeling all over again. 💜
25 years later after discovering it, I still can feel instantly the same mood I was into when listening to Gish. I studied hard for long years to obtain my PhD and as I was absorbed by physics and maths, I couldn’t refrain from daydreaming all along these intense intellectual working periods. I wanted to succeed in the exams and at the same time I wanted to plug my guitar and learn how to play these subtle riffs, how to recreate these absorbing ambiances. Gish sounds have influenced my way to reflect and imagine : it was the soundtrack of a mental journey where symbols and scientific concepts echoed the magical spirituality of this album. The alternance of heavy textures and smooth comforting songs perfectly described the way I felt as a young adult : full of rage and sensitivity with little clarity on how to express that apart from music. This album showed me a way to concile aspects of my personnality that I couldn’t think I could connect. It helped me to accept the multifaced dimensions that we all are made of and that we have to deal with in life in general. The succession of the ten tracks rythmed like a quest, finding paths, opening doors, running fast and confident, celebrating the uncertainties and miracles of emotions. In my bedroom I would listen to Gish over and over but then for periods letting the album rest in order to preserve this fresh perception of the instant. Like the power of scents that you recall so deeply and stay unique in your mind because you carefuly don’t expose to them permanently. Gish is a gem that will keep radiating forever, it will always be precious to me.
Gish moved my entire life
Terry Zürich, CH
In 2007 I was moving from the UK to Switzerland… A 2 day road trip with my whole life packed in the car. Gish was one of the 3 CDs I had on loop keeping me sane and moving forward. 14 years later I’m still here, thanks to Gish
1991: Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam & The Red Hot Chili Peppers at Roseland (NYC)
I heard that amazing riff and the amazing different changes over the course of an incredible song in “Bury Me” on college radio one night in 1991 and I was HOOKED on the Pumpkins. who have been my all-time favorite band ever since! A few months later, in the Fall of 1991, I went to a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert at Roseland in New York City. I remember telling people that although the Chili Peppers were great, one day in the near future and beyond that, the two opening acts (who I was really there to see that night) would far supersede the Chili Peppers in greatness and popularity. Few believed me then but they quickly did thereafter and certainly do now. Those two open acts were… Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam. Ah, the days of seeing incredible bands like that up close near the stage for the probably $20 or $30 I paid back then – unlike the hundreds of dollars spent to be nowhere near the stage for bands of that quality today. That was a special time back then.
p.s. I know I am in the minority on this, and I think even Billy probably would be against me on this, but as much as I LOVE Siamese Dream and the rest to come, up to Cyr now, I still, 30 years later, think “Bury Me,” “Siva,” “I Am One,” especially, but the entire Gish album is some of the Pumpkins’ best work of all time.
Zoey Columbus, OH, US
Gish will always seem surreal to me. I was instantly bespelled by this otherworldly gratitude and warmth when I stumbled over it. I listened to it daily in nature on repeat and never felt alone. I still always smile at the sky when I hear it.
Tried booking Billy and the band by calling his mom
James Currie Riverside, IL, US
I was just out of high school and starting college when I heard Gish. Our local college radio station played a track off of it. Then a buddy had a cassette and played it for me in the car. I soon finally tracked down my own copy of the CD and was hooked. It was one of the albums that changed my vision of what music was. Until that point, I was mainly stuck in heavy metal and classic rock mode. I played it loud and proud all the time in my 1984 Camaro with booming speakers in the back seat.
It was at that time in my life when music would become my being. One of the things I did was putting together local concerts and festivals. After listening to that album for a week straight, I decided I wanted to know more about this band, Smashing Pumpkins and how could I get them to play in our town. In those days the internet and google searches didn’t exist, so I had to scour magazines, college radio, the album inserts and ultimately the phone book as I found out the leader of the band was Billy Corgan and he lived in the Chicago area. I couldn’t believe it. A local band?! I found his parents home phone number in the white pages. His family home in the burbs. I waited on calling the number for a long time before finally doing it. When I did, I reached his mother. I introduced myself and told her I really loved his band and wanted to see if I could get him to play our fest. She laughed and said she would share my info. Not being shocked, I never heard back. But, I that album is still one of my top 10 records of all time. To this date, I have worked covering Billy Corgan and his bands throughout the years as I became a rock photographer. Everywhere from his coffee shop up north to arena shows at United Center to Smashing Pumpkins final show in 99 at the Metro. At each of these live performances, I look forward to hearing a track from this record with baited breath.
I remember watching I Am One, Siva and Rhinoceros on MTV like their interviews and performances there too. The 90’s were an incredible time, full of amazing music. Times have changed, there are people who say the old times were better and even that they don’t like streaming platforms but I just say that I love old times but I’m very thankful for the present because now we can watch and listen to whatever! My only memories with Gish by Smashing Pumpkins were their cool videos on MTV, that’s it, I remember that because getting a CD or cassette in my hometown was almost impossible. I had to wait going to the capital, can you believe it? Or I had to tape songs from the radio. We had to request songs from the DJ but sometimes it was complicated because the native language from here is not English so it was harder to remember the names of the songs, but at least we could write them down after seeing them on TV. Now I can watch and play whenever and as many times as I want! It’s hard to say what’s my favorite song from Gish, but I think I’m really crazy about Daydream! Thanks Billy Corgan for all your wonderful music. I love and I’ll love Smashing Pumpkins forever because I grew up listening to and feeling them!
Music for the memories
I’ve always been super into rock/ alt rock but there are very few albums I can listen to all the way through over and over and feel like im hearing them for the very first time. I remember the first time I listened to Gish all the way through. My best friend and I were chilling in my 89’ Vanagon when we were 16 and I had JUST put in a radio that let you use an aux cord. The vibe was right and we had the best time painting, listening and talking about life. She’s sadly not here anymore but everytime I listen to Gish it feels like im listening to it for the very first time with her and the memories that flood in when I listen will forever be with me.
The train ride home
I was a freshman at UIC in 1993 and my roommate at the time had turned me on to the Smashing Pumpkins. Prior to that fall, I had never heard of them. SD had recently been released and I dove in. I had asked if TSP had any other music. Much to my surprise there was not only Gish but a slew of b-sides as well. I dubbed his Gish CD onto side A of a 90 minute cassette tape and had a the b-sides on side B. I would listen to that tape on every train ride to and from home on the weekends, staring out the window creating music videos in my head, all the while studying this style of guitar that was foreign to me as a “metal” guy. Gish is a “desert island” album for me.
Buried In Love
Barbara Chicago, IL, US
When I first heard “Bury Me” as a high school senior in 1993
something indescribable resonated with my entire being. After listening to Gish,
I knew that I needed to live in the city where this magic was created and I
finally had a path out of my chaotic self-destruction. Without Gish, I would
not have found peace and joy. I doubt I would even be alive.
Delicate, youthful, and passionate
Spencer Apex, NC, US
Listening to Gish from start to end is always a visceral experience for me. It transports me to my teens. The song Crush never ceases to make me close my eyes, rock back and forth, and cry, as personal memories come back. Finding the cd in the store was a wonder as well, for I met new friends as I browsed the cd section. My memories connected to this album are precious.
Not so impressive memory haha
Chris Kotra Hallett Cove, AU
Started listening to the band in early high school. I was obsessed and listened to all of the albums obsessively. Main memories of Gish involve playing particularly the first two songs, I am One, and Siva in the car. There’s quiet breaks in those two songs and by coincidence, I remember I would come to a stop waiting for traffic and the music would have a break. Then I’d take off accelerating again and the guitars and drumbeat would come roaring back. I felt like I was part of the music.
As years have gone by, I’ve come back to Gish every now and then and have realised how different it feels to other Smashing Pumpkins albums. I don’t know what any of the lyrics are meant to mean but it doesn’t matter.
Keep it up SP!
Never stopped listening
Gish is the only album I have ever played literally over a thousand(or pretty damn close to a 1000) times in its entirety. Gish is an absolute masterpiece, it encapsulated a unique time period for SP. Gish was a catalyst album for them that capped off one era and jetted in a whole new journey with Corgan being the ring leader of the magical circus.
I’ve listened it to Gish throughout all the major points in my life, from breakups to new beginnings, through great times and some really shitty times ones, Gish has been a life-long friend to me, well a 30 year old, life-long friend anyway. 🙂
Happy Birthday Gish!