Aurélien Cirot FR
Year 1999. I was 18 years old, I met a rock music fan in high school. I was a fan of the Rolling Stones, newly converted to Rock n’Roll, and I wanted to have my own band. I told him I wanted him to be a part of my future band and I wanted to be the singer. He wanted to hear how good (or bad) I was so he asked me to sing two songs that he liked. He gave me an audio cassette with the instrumental version of Losing My Religion by REM and the other song was Bullet with Butterfly Wings by a band that had a weird vegetable name. I remembered I had heard this song somewhere. I quite liked the song. So I rehearsed for a week then I gave him my performance which he found acceptable. I was curious about those “Smashing Pumpkins” so he brought me the VHS of Viewphoria which didn’t appeal to me a lot. I was still not convinced this was such a great band. So he brought out the big guns and lent me Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, the double CD. At first listen, I thought it was quite good. Then I listened to it again. It was really good. Actually, it was more than really really good. It was beautiful and epic. That winter, this new friend told me The Smashing Pumpkins were going to come to France on January at the Elysée Montmartre concert venue. We bought two tickets for the show and when it was over, I knew one thing: I was a Smashing Pumpkins fan. I still am. Forever.
The World Is A Vampire
Josh Tacoma, WA , US
It was the summer of 1995 and I was working for my father’s construction company while all my friends were at the lake, enjoying themselves. I decided to take a break and sit in my truck and turn on the AC to cool off. I turned on the radio and the first thing I heard was “The world is a vampire”! I was instantly hooked, I cranked up the volume as loud as I could get it! And it was all downhill from there, I bought every CD I could, including the “Aeroplane” box set, which my parents found and made me burn so I wouldn’t go to hell. I never bought another box set, I wish I had, but I still listen to The Pumpkins every day, as loud as my stereo will get! Your music was the only thing I could turn to, during some pretty dark times.
Luke Campbell Vancouver, BC, CA
I’m 95 I found myself listening to MC resolving my loss of my first love. Fast forward 24 years and my first love reached out two days after I committed to the universe to date Again after my divorce. It was a magical reuniting In Europe for 10 days and I fell for her again, but things have changed and she was scared and ultimately it was not to be. It did spark a huge transformation and with that making a playlist for a new friend I met i rediscovered this treasured album as it let my heart open to new love once again.
1/24/1997 Sat next to Billy’s Girlfriend
J Hernandez NY, US
I decided to go and try to get tickets for the show at the Nassau Coliseum on 1/24/97 along with my girlfriend and got extremely lucky when a girl told us she had tickets. She said she wouldn’t take any money and gave us two free tickets. She said we might was well follow her and during all the excitement I didn’t even notice where the seats were located. We wound up walking down to the stage level and the seats were on the 10th row. The girl explained she got the tickets for free since she worked for the Ford Modeling agency. When I sat down I was sitting next to Helena Christensen who I recognized since she was very famous at the time. I knew she was dating Billy Corgan and during the whole show Billy would constantly look at her.
1/11/996 Infinite Sadness Tour
J Hernandez NY, US
1/11/1996 NYC at The Academy which is a small venue. They put on a great show for the begining of the Infinite Sadness Tour.
That First Listen
Joshua Bolinger Plainfield, Indiana, US
My dad would used to always talk to me about SP and I respected them but I wasn’t the biggest fan. Until a couple months ago i heard this album. Its so haunting and it touched me on a personal level. I remember crying as soon as it was over and ranking it as my second favorite album of all time. It truly is the soundtrack of adolescence
Surviving high school
Robert PA, US
I got this album after asking for it for christmas when i was about 14. I remember being amazed as i still am at the vast span of different kinds of songs and I played this album among other SP albums in my walkman on the bus to and from high school. It helped me get through the rough days and many mixed emotions one has as a teenager. Thanks to SP for making great music and I look forward to seeing you once again in concert.
20 Years Later…
Gerry Hitchcock Mexico City, MX
I discovered SP first through Pisces Iscariot; my father have just died and i had a bunch of albums my family gave me as a gift my previous birthday… i was mourning him and at the same time trying to cheer me up listening to diverse artists. A year went by and suddenly i begin watching this cool videos pop through MTV, all the aesthetic, music and lyrics got me very interested, so i went to my local record store but the album was sold out, i had to wait for months until i finally bought it. I remember being with my friends listening music all day; we reserved the best albums for the night and listened to Mellon Collie in an almost religious way, smoking pot and just getting lost in the album, sometimes we sang it along, sometimes we just enjoyed the music…
A couple of years later i had my first girlfriend and a lot of the songs took a deeper, more personal meaning, it was the soundtrack for our love until i said i wanted to marry her and she told me all have been a lie, to distract her parents while she was having a lot of affairs with different teachers and classmates at college. When it happened (year 2000) i just couldn’t listen to any SP album anymore without feeling devastated and heartbroken. It was until Zeitgeist that i listened again to SP (and i found the album brilliant btw) but couldn’t listen to Adore, Pisces or Mellon, the music still remimded me a lot about her, i had a new girlfriend then but i was emotionally crippled somehow. Fast forward to 2020, i find Shiny and Oh So Bright and got hooked, then Cyr obsessed me with SP again and it finally happened: listened to MellonCollie in full since 2000 and it felt SO RIGHT! I remembered the best memories with my friends, rediscovered a classic and started listening frequently since. No more bad memories, just the joy of listening to a masterpiece!
I’m thankful to that girl for betraying me because due to that i found my real talents and set them into motion, i learnt to play bass, went to video editing, film school and now i have the greatest job, always in company of the greatest music, Mellon Collie being one of the most important albums in my sonic universe. I will buy the deluxe vinyl if i find it available someday, meanwhile i will play the CD to death.
Thanks for being a part of my life and writing such great and diverse music, i hope when i die i will have all this songs tattoed in my soul, i want to listen even after death!
Susanne Vienna, AT
I was sixteen when Mellon Collie came out. I played it every day for weeks, months. Every time I listen to it from the beginning onward, it brings me right back to sitting on the brown carpet in my room, putting the CD into my CD player and feeling a tingle on the tip of my tongue, the promise of a world that’s out there for me. I was not alone, there were others.
A Classic album still after 25 years.
Been a fan since the days of Gish. I was going to college at South Suburban College., during 1995. Had XRT, and Q101 playing most the time of my headset. I didn’t see a show from this era. Was lucky to hear the “Blackout Show” on the radio. Seeing “Bullet with Butterfly Wings.” On the TV. Knew that is album was going be epic. (Still is). When to the record store. I wanted to get this. Not until 2000 I finally got this, with Machina that year. (The t-shirt is from the tour, and not a reprint)
Time to grow up…
95 was my senior year in college and had only discovered the SP a year before during Lollapalooza 94. Now MCIS comes out 10/24, a week before my bday. I bought MCIS, made a cassette copy and gave it to the girl of my dreams. I graduate December 95, and don’t land a job till May 96… In those 5 months, I lost my girl, my bank account went almost to 0 without a job and no one was hiring at the time. I occupied myself by continuously listening to MCIS trying to decipher it and my life. I realized during reflection I was a childish prick. Fast forward to August 96, I am in West Kalimantan Indonesia, working 6 days a week, blasting MCIS at the man camp I was living in finally feeling that I needed to stay in this world.
My one and only show was at the Brixton Academy, May 15th 1996. It was a great show given the circumstances of what you had been through. I was grateful but sad for the band at the same time. D’arcy stopped the show at one point when it got rowdy out of fear something would happen again. All I can say is, I was ex-pat from Boston and I had been a fan for a while. Mellon Collie, O’K Computer and Grace got me through some tough times in London. I went to Kalamazoo with Molly Wretsky circa ‘88-‘90. I didn’t know the connection until after I had left school. I was living in New Haven, CT and our local paper listed Gish as one of the 10 best albums of the year . I bought it and instantly became a fan. Thank you for all of your great music and for being true to yourselves. I greatly appreciate what you had to say about Rush on Beyond the Lighted Stage. Presto got me through my time at Kalamazoo and I was at the Auburn Hills show they included on their last DVD. Music can save lives and yours and Rush’s have done that for me. All the Best to you and your families! David
Where do I even begin?
Well, the picture is of me, when I was 1 or 2 and my Grandma Victor in Arlington Heights, IL. Circa maybe 1975-76? Not exactly sure. It is all blurry after this photo. My Grandparents lived right on Arlington Heights Rd. I was born at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights in 1974, moved to NC when I was 13 (stepdad job transfer and then some) and graduated from Northwest Guilford High School in 1992. Weird, yes, but not the only interesting correlation in my life so I guess I am used to it. Didn’t know there was a new album until today so I will be listening to it tonight. Thank you.
As most things, A Girl was involved.
Mark Oklahoma City, OK, US
I was dating this emo girl back then and she put on this album, and skipped to Here Is No Why, but half way through she skipped it to Zero and acted like HINW was a mistake. I remember thinking “hey, that was a great song, I was into that”. And asking her why she skipped it. It was because it was a “happy” sounding song, and she was, well an Emo girl. After I got off work that night I bought the cassette and never looked back, to this day I still love that album and Here Is No Why.
3rd row seat at the biggest show in the World-first Pumpkins concert.
Erik St. Paul, US
From the first time I heard Cherub Rock, I knew a great band had arrived.
4 Siamese Dream, and 2 Pisces Iscariot cd’s later I found myself walking into the Target Center in Minneapolis. My friend and I were chain smoking Northern Lights as our pre-rolled cigarettes made it inside to row 3! Silver pants, zero shirt, bald head. The guitar between Corgan and Iha insanely great. Darcy reminded me of Sesame Street and Matt Walker was on, but I wanted Chamberlin, didn’t we all. I’m happy to say
I went to Adore outside 7-17-98, Machina at the Northrup, Zwan at First Ave, Zeitgeist at Roy Wilkins, then Oceania at Roy W and lastly Shiny and oh so Bright in 2018 at Xcel. I love SP. Blinking with Fists, SP tattoo, MCISin 1997 in France-FN great show! So glad the Xanax I had laced with Morphine didn’t kill me as I took the train home in the wee hours after the show in 2018, St. Paul. I kept hovering above my body and could see that I had a “Believe in Me” shirt for my 6 year old. I’m alive.
The Aeroplane Flies High!
soñábamos ser como los del video de 1979
En esos años con mis amigos íbamos mucho a recorrer ferias americanas a revolver ropa y ver si encontrábamos alguna prendas que se parezcan a las que usaban los chicos del video. Los mejores recuerdos de mi adolescencia van de la mano con Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness
1997 High School Rooftop – Zero
Shaun Perry San Angelo, US
I got caught jumping off of the roof of my High School, and immortalized in my Zero shirt!
The Infinite Search
Felix Los Angeles, US
I was born in December 1995.
Safe to say, I missed out on the hype, praise and astonishment over the initial release of Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness two months prior to my birth. I discovered the Pumpkins way later, in 2010, and after running through their first two masterpieces; Gish and Siamese Dream I came across their magnum opus, the album which was to become the sound of my youth.
It’s a strange feeling, describing Mellon Collie, because nothing else compares to it – musically, lyrically, thematically and aesthetically, it creates its own reality.
28 songs, where no two songs share a common root, where no two songs touch on the same subject. To my 15 year old self, the album incapsulated everything I felt at the time and everything I was searching for. Sadness, restlessness, elation, love and boredom were only some of those feelings. Listening to the album was like entering another world through a rabbit hole of tone. It brought nihilism, but also hope. It was falling in love but also out of love. It was simply, life.
The grandeur of the album is presented in a format which challenges you, and is especially challenging to someone who isn’t familiar with many of its genres. This is without a shadow of a doubt the most diverse album to have ever been recorded.
It spawns everything from dream-pop (Cupid De Locke), metal (Jellybelly, Zero), alternative rock (Here Is No Why, Muzzle, Bodies), folk (Lily, Goodnight), prog-rock (Thru the Eyes of Ruby, Porcelina of the Vast Oceans) and many, many more genres.
The selling point of Mellon Collie is not that it has something for everybody, its that it has everything.
The songwriting is immaculate, the overarching sadness and darkness tangible, and the scope endless. With lyrics such as “tell me I am still the man I’m supposed to be” (Galapogos), and “I fear that I am ordinary, just like everyone” (Muzzle) its clear that Corgan was in a complete state of focus and translucent thought when writing this record. The lyrics are sentimental and personal, but never detached. They feel real, they feel as real as anything else I’ve experienced. I can’t say the same for many other albums.
I’ve cried to By Starlight, I’ve jumped up and down to X.Y.U. and been jealous of songs like Beautiful and Thirty-Three. I say jealous, because this album inspired me to start writing my own songs over ten years ago, as I’m sure it has for tens of thousands of other teens.
Ultimately, I must have listened to Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness over a thousand times by now, at least once a week since I first discovered it. It is without a doubt the only album I would take to a desert island, and the only album I can say is truly flawless in its deliverance and message.
And so I thank you Billy. I imagine it was all but easy for you to make this record happen. You gave us the pinnacle of alternative rock, and to me – the pinnacle of my musical experiences.
It’s the only
Vividness still with me
Christopher Lewis Houston, Texas, US
I am older now but i remember like it was yesterday when i heard my first pumpkins song Bullet with butterfly wings off of the double album on MTV. Ha now I’m really showing my age. I was sooo impressed with the sound and cadence of the song. Soon i heard 1979, and Thirty Three and I was in love. I had never heard such beauty in sound, rhythm, and lyricism. I purchased both the double cassette and cd and hung the poster on my wall. I lost most of my treasures in a flood but the memories are still with me. I went on to enjoy other albums from them and many of the b sides i have collected over the years. I want to say i love you guys you made such an impression on me as a young person, and I hope to hear when you do next peace.
Twilight to Starlight
I knew who this band was, and I was weary about them, ‘Today’ and ‘Disarm’ had been all over the tv and radio, and I was trying to decide whether they were an edgy rock band or a lame wussy college indie band. Anyhow, I came home from school one friday afternoon, turn on the radio, and ‘Bullet with Butterfly wings’ came on, I turned it up really loud, I thought it was the greatest thing i’d ever heard. The next day whilst watching the trusty saturday morning new release show on the tv, it came on again, I rushed to the tv, I plugged in my microphone into the stereo, and recorded it off the tv onto a blank tape. The sound quality wasn’t that great, but I didn’t care, and i must have played and rewound that poor quality recording over and over again for weeks. It would be another 2 months until christmas came around and I was able to go to the music store and buy the album. It was a double album, so it was 2 casette tapes in this cardboard cover. It felt like you were getting 2 for the price of 1! Anyhow, as soon as you press play, the album begins with the titicular track,a ‘nice’ piano piece for a minute or 2. It’s like the beginning of a magical journey. And it IS a magical journey. This wasn’t a grunge album or an alt. rock album, this album was soo varied. It was filled with loads of songs that were clearly 60’s-70’s influenced psychedelia and prog rock, but then other songs were fresh sounding angsty thrashing industrial rage, and then would go off onto some mellow interlude song before exploding into a radio friendly pop rock jingle. It is chaotic and schizophrenic, it is bi-polar disorder in musical form, it’s a piece of art, and it is theatre. And ‘Floods’ production, it’s not all cleaned up overproduced radio rock, It was murky, it sounded like it was recorded underwater. This album was in my walkman whilst I walked through Porirua cemetery every day heading to school, and I’d have it playing constantly as I sat alone at home playing my Sega Mega Drive afterwards. Most of the time when an artist does a double album, it can be ‘career suicide’, it can end up being a big bloated mess that is has too much filler, and is too time consuming to sit through. But this album was not like that at all, I’d play it constantly and months later, have songs I barely noticed before become my new favourite, it never got tiring. The Smashing Pumpkins, if they had quit after this point would have gone down as a legendary band, this was their ‘White album’ and no matter how hard they tried they were never going to reach this height again.
“And in the eyes of the jackal I say ka-boom!”
Patrick Millau, FR
So I was only 9 when this album came out and luckily my oldest sister had it in her collection. So one day I heard Bullet with Butterfly Wings on the radio back home on 99X. As you all remember at this time if you didn’t catch the title of the song from the dj, you had to ask around till you found out who it was. I asked some of my family, friends, people on the school bus, and after a few days you would forget the tune or maybe you didn’t even hear the words correctly in the first place. So when you would ask people and sing it to them they would have no clue what song you were singing. Eventually I heard the song again and I was lucky enough to be with someone older who knew. Then the hunt started. Dad’s cassettes and CD’s. Middle sister’s cassettes and CD’s. (on the down low, sneaking into rooms because people’s music collections before the electronic age were fiercely guarded). Then I found it in my oldest sister’s room, not in the case, just by chance I opened the disc changer and voila. I asked to borrow my dad’s CD player and it was awesome. Over and over again. This was only Dawn to Dusk. Because I hadn’t seen the album case up until that point I didn’t discover Twilight to Starlight until prob over a year later. Great album. Opened the door to punk, rock, and many other genres. Still listen to it often cover to cover.
The Great Pumpkin
Jamie East TN, US
Of all the hearftfelt, relevant, life-affirming truths worth sharing with you about the value of this band’s music to my life, I have chosen to relate the tale of Charlie Brown, the Atlanta Fox Theater, and a postponed concert during Halloween week approx 2008. Jimmy had had a medical scare, and we were to be told later when/if another date could make it up (a major blow, but understandable as Jimmy is a national treasure, irreplaceable). My spouse and I were beyond disappointed for our own sakes as well (let’s be honest, humans can be selfish in the same split second as they are compassionate to others in need). Our early love of SP separately as kids allowed us to understand each other quickly in our courtship, so the band was important to us on a deeper level, and we were despondent over the news, so long-time coming we were in finally getting to seeing in person the band that had initially riveted us together. Crestfallen, we aimlessly wandered the street after the news at the box office, ending up in a bar. The TV above our seat did not distract with sports or news drivel. Instead, it persistently implored to us from the year 1966 in Linus’ voice, “The Great Pumpkin will come!”, a surreal experience. Prayers for Jimmy’s well-being were answered, and the Pumpkins returned, the foreteller correct. I’d like to think we were the most sincere from our little patch, as Linus promised. Thank God for Jimmy, for Love, for Charles Schultz, and for the greatest band of all time! God bless you Billy, James, Jimmy, Darcy, Jeff and crew. We love you so much!
Danni Chicago, IL, US
When I think of the album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness I am reminded of being 22 years old, smoking MJ and sitting at my yellow vintage kitchen table in my Bucktown loft apartment painting cigar boxes and listen to one of the best albums of time. Great memories! Thank you Smashing Pumpkins!