The night SP blew Pearl Jam and RHCP off the stage

Mike Hiratzka Miami Beach, FL, US

The first time I saw SP was in Cincinnati in 1991, Pearl Jam opened and RHCP headlined.  I was front and center on the barricade for SP, it was incredible!  They were by far the best band on stage that night, and watching Billy and Jimmy  up close was amazing.  One of the concert highlights of my entire life!

Gish and the Girl

Cam Miller Dayton, KY, US

In Oct. of 1991, I asked to be the lunch hour DJ of my suburban Detroit high school. I had just moved there the previous spring and was trying to “fit in”  so I completely fabricated a story of how I had been a DJ at my old school in South Carolina (I had not). My first order of business was to ask students to write down what music they wanted to hear. A punk rock girl walked up, wrote “Smashing Pumpkins Gish ” on the sign up sheet and walked away.  I bought the CD. The LONG BOX CD and fell in love with the Pumpkins… and that girl. She became my first high school girlfriend. 🙂

Rhinoceros Waltz

Anne Falls Church, VA, US

My first child was born around Gish’s 20th anniversary. She was a colicky baby and we spent many moonlit hours waltzing up and down the hallways together to the softly playing, dreamy tune of Rhinoceros. For some reason, this song in particular soothed her more than others. Ten years later, Rhinoceros still makes me think back to that incredibly exhausting, yet sweet time of early motherhood.

Rhinoceros

Andreas Berlin, DE

This track blew me away back then, I remember it very well, the other one was “I Am One”… that power, that drummer!
I’m a big fan since the 90s and I still love this album!

Late One Friday Night

Drew Edinburgh , GB

So late one Friday night after coming from Rock City nightclub  I was watching an ITV show call Raw Power. I can vividly remember seeing the video for Rhinoceros and being blown away…. Next morning it was straight down to Way Ahead records in Nottingham and bought Gish on vinyl. Straight home and played all weekend. Cannot believe 30 years old! 

Billy Rocking “Rocket” on Gish Tour

Paul Jendrasiak Grand Haven, MI, US

Billy opening with “Rocket” November 20, 1991 at Kalamazoo State Theatre in Michigan.

Memories of home

Chio Cancun, MX

All Gish songs bring me memories of the highway to home for Christmas. My family together, the Holiday reunions, the friends, and a beatiful season, when my father was still alive. Thank you SP for that magic!!!! 🙏💗

10 to the Hour, Every Hour

Tony Belser Atlanta, GA, US

July, 1991. The summer before my Junior year of high school. MTV was on in my room, as usual, one regular Salina, KS Saturday.  At 10 to the hour, every hour, Kurt Loder would always let me know what was happening. Well, this particular instance it was a new Chicago, IL based band called Smashing Pumpkins. 

“Wow, I was just in Chicago last week for my Dad’s family reunion…and what an awesome name for a band” little 16 yr. old me thought. 

After a great news feature where I saw this killer looking group that was multi-racial AND multi-gender, a video called SIVA was aired. 

“Woah…who writes a harmonized guitar intro like THAT…who plays the drums like THAT…what a voice…and the bottom drops out in the middle…Who Is THIS…?” 

I bought the tape immediately, (I still have it), and, thus, began a long ride with my favorite band of all. Happy Anniversary Gish!

Creating a Bond

Holly Sycamore, US

My sister wasn’t a huge fan of SP growing up & was annoyed by how obsessively I clung to their music. In ‘11 she bought me the Gish reissue for my birthday. She watched the dvd with me & something about seeing SP at Metro where we went to shows hit differently. She went through the entire discography the next few days falling in love with the polyphony & ultimately creating a huge bond for us. 

Gish Longbox

Hugo Daniel Sanchez Maracaibo , VE

Nothing makes me feel my age like the environmentally wasteful beauty of an early 90s Gish longbox.

Rhino

Joshua Domínguez Santa Cruz De La Sierra, BO

The first time I heard a song from Gish was in 2015. After going to through a bittersweet year suddenly I was getting into a bad depression without accepting that I was having deeper issues with myself. At that point I hated and felt sorry for me, the first girl  that I ever fell in love with just rejected me months prior to 2015 which led me to a serious misbehavior with all my surroundings (I was angry, sad, confused and dazed all the time, I even start to drink more and more every time I got the chance) , I couldn’t find any words or any consolation on anybody or anything until one night in one of many bitter moments at the roof of my house, I listened rhinoceros, a song that along mayonnaise gave me that chilling feeling of knowing how I was doing at that time, it help to canalize some sadness inside that along with a long trip to a place where I felt I was useful it help me get through those times which I will forever be thankful to you smashing pumpkins for been one of the few humans to know how I was.

Mis-spent youth

Jon FR

I’m probably 15 years old, skipping school on a rainy day because surely there’s more interesting things out in the world. I cycle the 5 miles to the town center so I can hit the thrift shop vinyl bins hoping to find treasure in someone’s old musical memories. All the while Gish is playing on my Walkman, it creates the backdrop for the day, the shifting Sonics, sometimes brutal, sometimes sweetly soft, seem to mirror my emotions and the weather. The album always makes me remember that rainy lost day. 

Gish Poster

Jeremiah Jones US

Gish has always had a special place in my heart. From first listen I
fell in love with the album’s rawness, emotion, and power. It pulled at my
Midwestern teenage heart which at the time was full of yearning to get out and experience
the world and it took me on a journey of inspiration and possibility. It brings
me back to a time when things were not so immediate. There was something
special about those times that cannot be replicated in our new digital existence.
Time moved slower and things had time to breathe and grow. The art for Gish was
mesmerizingly simple yet oozed creativity and swagger. Its playful homage to
the Jimi Hendrix Experience album art, the unique way the band was posed and
dressed, and even the hand-written titles and text convinced me that the album
came from a place of love from a group of people eager to prove themselves to
the world.

A few years later I stumbled upon a huge subway sized poster of the
album cover at a local record shop in Des Moines. I knew that I had to have it.
For many years it graced the wall behind my bed almost taking up the entirety of
the wall. At the time I had a cheap faux-wood mirror that was hung on the opposite
wall of the Gish poster. The mirror was hung at this perfect eye-level where
the fisheye shot of the band would take up the entirety of the oval mirror when
passing by it at a certain angle. Almost like it was meant to fit that way. Each
time I would come and go from my bedroom I would catch a glimpse of the reflected
image in that mirror. The band staring back at me like a group of misfit astronauts
from another astral plan ready to take on the world and beckoning me to join
them for the ride.

Unfortunately, the poster suffered some major damage during a recent
move and I no longer have it. Luckily, I was able to pull up some old photos of
it to help me reminisce about this period and celebrate Gish’s 30th Anniversary.
Congratulations to the band on reaching this milestone and still creating new
music for generations to come! 

SP music is magic spells. You can’t change my mind on this.

Lindsey Lero Kansas City, US

Saw tonight, tonight on MTV at 7. Fell in love. Saw SP on the machine tour at 12. Changed my life. Followed everything sp from then on. WON tickets to the so shiny/so bright tour during the worst time of my life, after a lost pregnancy. (The for Martha video was beautiful) bought tickets for the chicago date with afi for my honeymoon, but didn’t go bc I was getting divorced. Bellydanced to CYR on Halloween 2020 with my first ever crush in our new home. What can I say? SP is magic 🖤

Spellbound…

Matthew Pashalian Boynton Beach, FL, US

I was maybe 9/10 years old. I woke up to go to the bathroom and heard “Rhinoceros” on the tv in the living room where my brother was watching 120 Minutes on MTV. I quietly ducked down and sat next to the sofa, watched/listened, completely hypnotized. Unbeknownst to me at the time just how important and life changing this bands music would be for me.

My favourite Gish song

Margo -, PL

My favourites are the first three songs,especially Rhinoceros , it has that DREAMY Pumpkins magic, both in the music and lyrics♥️And even though I didn’t get into the band until SD and MCIS, this song remains one of my overall SP favourite tracks♥️

Mayonaise

Georgios Farmakis Patras, GR

I was a teenager when I first heard the pumpkins in a late night radio show called “Postmodern music”. That soothing voice that turned angry in seconds haunts me since then. And when I can I will…and the guitar still, gives me the chills. Thanks Billy! I used to be a little boy listening to gish in the darkness of my room. Now I am a 44 years old man and the gish memories are so alive inside my soul. 

Crush

Max Milwaukee, WI, US

Being a newer SP fan (MCIS is barely younger than I), I officially fell in love with the band thanks in large part to a killer October 2011 show (“Siva”, “Window Paine”, “I Am One” were all played) and to the Gish reissue that dropped that year.

My love for the band was cemented with Oceania, but I had such admiration for the confidence the band had in its new and old material alike.  I loved the deep cuts so much, and something about the beautiful simplicity of “Crush” in particular always enthralled me.

I felt that the song was long forgotten, but I lucked out when my wife and I stopped at the original Madame Zuzu’s on our way to Chicago and we saw WPC himself playing acoustic songs for a live stream.  Taking requests, I almost couldn’t believe it when he responded to my request that “Crush” would be “a good one to do”.

To my great surprise he played it like he wrote it yesterday.  It still feels surreal to have seen that in person!! Long live Gish!!

Guitar Teacher

Chris Pickey Memphis, TN, US

When Gish came out, I really wanted to learn how to play guitar and ultimately be in a band. All I had was a crappy $100 acoustic, a poster to teach me guitar chords and Gish. I loved that album so much, I committed myself to learn the entire album on guitar. That album helped me learn guitar and the timing it takes to be in a band. Thanks SP. I still love that album.

School of RAWK!

Bret Figura new lenox, US

I always listened to the radio while going to sleep. 93XRT … the last bit of a tune I caught grabbed my ear and wouldn’t let go. I was a budding drummer, freshman in high school at the time. The announcer said something about ‘smashing pumpkins’ and ‘local’. What was this ‘smashing pumpkins’ – was this a band?
I ran with a few kids who were up on music and my friend Gina’s dad had a great record collection. So I asked her about them … she was hip – she said she thought her dad had that record. Soon I found myself with a duped tape of Gish.
As a young drummer, having just joined the high school drum line, what was happening on this record was so arresting and fresh yet slightly familiar compared to the musical landscape we were leaving behind. Goodbye hair bands … hello new, artful, musical 90s rock! I became enamored and obsessed with Gish and the Smashing Pumpkins. Gish’s dreamy, yet aggressive nature – portions unapologetically rock while others tastefully quiet – the guitars and drums seemed to marry in a way unlike other bands I’d heard at the time. I wanted to learn to play the entire record, top to bottom. The drumming had wonderful references I felt akin to: Mitch Mitchell meets drum corps chops … a loose yet disciplined tight style that suited the songs in a way I’ve never heard before and I wanted to dissect and learn all I could. So, that’s what I did.
I spent hours in my bedroom rewinding tape and woodshedding. The Pumpkins were my teacher in a formative moment where I was taking my hair metal chops to a new musical space along with my school band education.
After I got a good handle on Gish, I waited with bated breath for the next release. Every time I went to Red Tower Records by Orland Mall, I would bother my older brother’s friends Tony or Bob at the counter, “You know when a new Smashing Pumpkins record is coming?” Over, and over, and over again … they must have gotten tired of me asking.
I had to have more of this music. No internet, no inside news, too young for the city … it was a vacuum of information. So I kept honing my Gish skills behind the kit. Then, finally – an EP! Tony or Bob pointed out LULL!
Back at the kit – learn this top to bottom!
Wait some more … I waited in agony for what would become Siamese.
In the meantime, by senior year, my Pumpkins study and admiration had become widely known and my drum line nickname became Jimmy C.
That was praise enough for me.
Smashing Pumpkins was more than just music I loved. It was a new grade level of my own, personal ‘school of rock.’ A study of drumming, a study in arrangement and performance. Gish and that little radio clip (likely from Richard Milne) I heard started me on a new track as a musician and music fan.
Thanks SP!
xoxo
Bret

Spiritual ascension, indeed.

Ness Oviedo, ES

I wish I knew how to put into words why Gish is such a fundamental album in my life. Even when I found them later in life than I would like to admit, there is something about these songs that feel other-worldly, words and sounds so transcendental that can oh so easily become the most intense feelings I have ever experienced through the inscrutable power of music. Spiritual ascension, as WPC rightly put it. It might be remarkable that Gish is still a relevant album 30 years later, but it is only fair that such an unique piece of art, so intense yet fragile at times, sweet yet painful, is still lingering inside our vibrant little souls.

 

Gish reminds me of the importance of music in my own particular universe, of the communion between the colours I can’t deny and my spirit. I feel as alone as I’ve ever been, but I also feel that the fact that I am the only person around makes these songs specifically for me, and that is something I have only been able to find among the raw and open emotions of SP. By being one, I am free.

 

I personally think, as WPC also said, that Snail is one of the best songs ever written. I usually have a hard time holding back tears every single time I listen to it. However, there is no song in Gish that doesn’t feel like the most important song in the world while it plays and everything else is soft-focused. Crush will forever sound like what being in love feels like to me. Rhinoceros will be a forever reminder of the summer I almost lost my mind. Bury Me, Siva, I Am One, Suffer… a song titled after a novel by the writer I fell in love with for almost a year while I was drowning in Americana dreams.

 

I could probably write an infinite list of reasons and songs and why I need to go back to the beginning of this little thing I am writing just to remind you that I really don’t know how to put all these emotions into words that make sense. I might not be even 30 myself, but I will probably need more than that to be able to even start to decipher the magic of Gish.

 

So here it goes, I guess. To the love, to the music that keeps me alive. To 30 years more trying to find the messiah in your trinity. 💚

holland’s first time listening to SP

lillian Chapel Hill, NC, US

holland had never listened to the smashing pumpkins before. i knew that he had to hear rhinoceros first. it’s been a song that fascinated me and that i have loved since i was small. i told him that i HAD to show him this song, and as we listened i repeated “just wait, ur gonna die”. i knew he was gonna freak when all the guitars and drums and everything came together. we sat in there screaming and laughing as the loud driving guitar filled the car. there was a moment where we were just hitting each other’s fists to the music. i bet if someone walked by the car they would be very confused. im gonna miss holland when we go off to college. holly if u see this i love u, u have made these past years so worth living.

What is lost can never be found.

Ryan EAU CLAIRE, US

I lost my innocence while listening to Gish. Well the first two songs at least ❤️ 

Thanks Lol Bro

Bethany Kehoe Saratoga Springs, NY, US

It was 1993 actually. I was 12 years old and I remember coming into my parents house and hearing “Crush” blasting on my 11 year old brother’s stereo. A friend at school had given him Gish by this kick ass ‘new’ band LOL. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He told me it was the Smashing Pumpkins. Long story short, I stole the CD and 28 years later, here I am. He went on to discover Oasis ❤️

“Planned a show, trees and balloons..” A three hour rock marathon at The Forum

Marissa Chicago, US

“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. 💜

First Pumpkins show 1991

John Davis San Diego, CA, US

Summer of ‘91, the night before Lollapalooza in Denver, my friends called me to go to a club called 23 Parrish to see some band called Smashing Pumpkins ( dumb name, I thought) didn’t want to go as I wanted to get a good nights rest for Lola, but ended up going anyway. Searing Gish set, and got to see Siouxie Sioux, Perry Farrell, and Dave Navarro in the crowd. SP melted my face and I’ve loved them ever since.

Memories

Michael Milk Alamo, TX, US

I remember being 18 in 1994 and my parents sending me to Joliet for the summer. I was so heart broken because I had to leave my first real GF behind. I ended up at the mall and bought gish then Siamese dream on cassette. I heard it 1000 times. I used to go on long sad walks and listen to it over and over. When I got back to Texas, we both became huge SP fans.  It will always have a special place on my heart as do all SP albums. It still takes me back to times when everything was so simple.

College missed opportunity

Scott Rickerson Lockport, il, US

High school in 90/91, listened w/ my Walkman while on my track & cross country runs & meets. All tracks R good, but snail is fav. I saw them play at a chiropractic college gym & my college. I nicknamed my roomie Gish since I got him to like it. Gish met the band. I’m still waiting for my chance.

stuck to the ceiling

Daniel US

I was underage at The Unicorn in Milwaukee. The bar was an overcrowded basement fire-trap with a ceiling so low I could reach up and touch it. I had Gish on CD and was eager to see the band perform the songs live. James Iha came out before the rest of the band and played Bad Moon Rising while the
crowd sang along. When the rest of the band took the stage, the energy blasting
from the speakers turned the crowd into a hot and sweaty mass of lurching bodies. Being
an obnoxious kid, I tried to jump up on people’s backs to crowd surf, but there
wasn’t enough room. So I would end up getting pressed against the ceiling and
held there by the audience. From that vantage point, I had an excellent view of
the stage. Every now and again Billy Corgan would make a comment between songs
about being safe and not wanting anybody to get hurt. I think he may have been
referring to me. Sorry! I didn’t get hurt and I had an unforgettable time!

High school

Andrew Franklin , US

I learned to play guitar from Siamese Dream. MCIS was my soundtrack through high school. I use to eat lunch by myself and listen to this album in the hallway on my Walkman wishing I had a group of friends who would sit with me too. This album became my bible through high school and helped me get through some darker times. I’m now 40+ with a beautiful child and still a huge fan. 

Religion

Jowalt Madimin Rotterdam, NL

Gish. First time. Slightly faster On a ‘ worn out’ tape recorder which caused the higher speed rate. A RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE. 

My story of love

Stefan Bartlome Bern, CH

A beautiful memory…

From dismissing the band based on its name, to becoming a fan for life

Brian Bloomington, IN, US

In 1991 my older brother came home with the Gish cassette. I
looked at the case and saw the band name and remember thinking what a dumb band
name it was, and at 15, I foolishly dismissed them for that reason. My brother
then went up to his room and started playing it. From downstairs, I could
vaguely hear the music, and it sounded so different.  After what seemed
like a few songs, I decided to go to his room and hear more. As I went
upstairs and walked toward his door, I could hear this incredible sound, and
when I opened the door, a song was playing that I would later learn was Bury
Me. I walked in at about 3 minutes in, and I was stunned by what I was
hearing. This guitar solo started (3.26 mark) and I was simply blown away,
and had to sit down. In that short span of 45 seconds it was the most
amazing music I had ever heard and I can honestly say at that moment I became a
fan for life. We listened to the rest of the album and I wanted to stay
and listen to it again, but my brother kicked me out of his room. But from that
point on, anytime my brother wasn’t home, I would go listen to it in his
room. SP instantly became my favorite band and have since seen them 100+
times in concert. I started buying everything I could from them (records,
CDs, posters, & bootlegs). I used to go to the Hillside Holiday Inn Record
Swap and buy as much stuff as I could find. After all this time, that memory of
hearing the band for the first time is so vivid for me, and forever changed my
world.

Rock Werchter 1992 – Belgium

Benjamin Djahanbani Hasselt, BE

Rock Werchter 1992 Smashing Pumpkins were asked to replace Pearl Jam, the 2nd band on the bill that festival day.

I was absolutely thrilled to see PJ and was disappointed to hear they had cancelled.  When I found out the Smashing Pumpkins would play instead I just couldn’t believe it as they were absolutely not known in Europe yet.  I got the Gish cd from my brother who gave it me as a present when he visited 6 months before: “I think you will dig this” and I became a fan from day one.

So all these PJ fans started yelling and booing at the Pumpkins because they were upset until Billy stopped playing and said: “Hey, we could be at home right now, watching tv, so be nice.”

I was 17 at the time and been a fan for 30 years now.

Thank you SP & thank you Billy for making the soundtrack of my life!

X

I love you true.

Pam New Orleans, US

Friday, August 23, 1991. I was 17 and it was my first week at LSU. My friend Jim picked me up from my dorm and when I got into his car “Tristessa” was playing. The guitars, those drums, THAT VOICE. It was the most glorious sound I’d ever heard. I felt like my heart was going to burst. I immediately wanted to change my name to Tristessa. I asked him “who is this?” The Smashing Pumpkins. To this spooky little goth girl who had been obsessed with Halloween since birth (I was even due on 10/31 but was born a few days later) — coolest band name ever. The next morning I walked to Paradise Records and bought Gish and immediately fell in deep, true love. About a month later I found this poster and hung it in my dorm room. I’d light a candle and listen to Gish and stare at this poster and I’m pretty sure it gave me super powers. As I sit here listening to Gish, 30 years later, I still get that heart-bursty feeling. Happy birthday, Gish. You changed my life.

Pink Cadillac

Justin Honolulu, HI, US

The memory i have is so old there is no Youtube clip, or digital memory.  The memory is in ingrained in my mind for history.  This memory is from my first experience with Smashing Pumpkins.  I attended 2 live shows back to back at the Pink Cadillac in Honolulu, HI. After the first show I hung out after the show with the entire band.  Walking the streets of Honolulu with the band.  The concerts burned Gish into my brain and I have never stopped listening.  Now this love of Smashing Pumpkins has been passed to my children.

Leaving College, the rise and fall of me…

Todd Freeland,MI, US

June 1991 I was finishing up my last bullshit classes at Ferris State University and had accepted a systems analyst position at a formidable company.  I had purchased Gish upon release and kept it with me always right alongside Soundgarden’s Louder Than Love and Nirvana’s Bleach CD’s.  Specifically remember playing them while test driving different cars I was going to purchase upon graduation with “The one that got away”.  Long story short, bought a new Camaro, drove it to said formidable job, failed miserably and yes, she got away…  I still listen to Gish and I cannot begin to tell you how many stages of life the songs on that album were there for me and still are.  Thank you Pumpkins, you arrived at just the right time and remain a standard in my life!

Cool

Zakk Mansfield, US

I remember trading my Astro Creep 2000 cd for it.  It was about the same time I got my first electric guitar and I was also reading Billy Corgan’s Guitar World column which had some lessons for “I Am One” and “Siva” in it and I wanted to learn those songs.  Hearing “I Am One” the first time gave me such a rush, particularly the way the drums and bass built up for the guitars to come in.  Over the years Gish became my favorite SP album because it is just so raw and different from the rest of the albums. And to this day I still get the same rush as I did the first time when I hear I Am One.  Very few albums in my collection have stood that test of time.

Trippin’ on Siva

Danny Springdale, US

I was partying with friends, we all had taken acid. I don’t remember alot of that night, but what I do remember is MTV premiered a new video from a new band, the Smashing  Pumpkins. It was the greatest thing I have ever seen. I went and bought the album and after one listen, I knew I had found my new favorite band.

Pisces Pumpkin Head

Cynthia Nashville Tennessee , US

Summer of 93, Gish is playing. Not a care in this world and I’m tripping on acid in a cave with my best friends and high school love. It touched our souls and would stay there forever. The lyrics are etched in my soul and make so sense at the time and years later until now. I had the white t shirt with the red heart on the front. My best friend stole it and took it to college. Pumpkins music and lyrics are mathematical magic to my ears and will always be here for me when I need them. I’m 45 now and I still listen. Every day. I get nostalgic for my teenage years. Your music is what we all really needed at that time in our lives. Rock on!