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Deerhunter's Bradford Cox is forced to apologise for Billy Corgan story

Frontman issues a lengthy statement over previous support slot clash in 2007

Pooneh Ghana/NME
Photo: Pooneh Ghana/NME

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Deerhunter's Bradford Cox has been forced to apologise to Billy Corgan after he recounted a previous altercation he allegedly had with the Smashing Pumpkins frontman and his crew.

During the gig in North Carolina on Friday (December 4) Cox ranted about a 2007 support tour slot. During the speech, footage of which you can watch below, Cox alleged that Corgan's bodyguard cornered him and said, "What the fuck do you think you’re doing? This is Mr Corgan's water," after Cox tried to help himself to a drink.



He then alleged that he was shoved against a wall, before he spoke to Corgan a day later who allegedly ranted at Cox and called Deerhunter a “shitty little insignificant fucking indie rock band”.

The Smashing Pumpkins’ manager has since denied these claims in a statement to Pitchfork, in which he threatened Cox with legal action: “Several eyewitnesses can attest that Cox’s account is a complete fabrication, probably to get some much-needed attention. He is correct about one thing, that the whole thing is on tape, and that we have a video of the encounter. Since this is intentionally slanderous, I will likely suggest we pursue charges unless a retraction is forthcoming.”

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Now, Cox has issued an official apology stating: “What I did was open my big fucking mouth and go off on one of my usual tangents. Some people call this ‘stage banter’.

“I do not need, or seek, any attention and in fact was embarrassed that this ended up being uploaded to YouTube, and then considered a news story.

“I will be the first to admit that there are two sides to every story and it is unfair that I gave mine without the other party being there to counter.”

Cox went on to say that having since read about the "tragic" death of former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland, and Corgan’s "very moving and heartfelt tribute to his deceased friend", that he didn’t find any humour in "kicking someone while they are down".

His full statement reads: "Firstly, I would like to say that my intention was not to defame Billy Corgan. What I did was open my big fucking mouth and go off on one of my usual tangents. Some people call this 'stage banter'. I do not need, or seek any attention, and in fact was embarrassed that this ended up being uploaded to Youtube, and then considered a news story. The story I told was just a contextual rap about something that happened at the venue we were playing – eight years ago. I will be the first to admit that there are two sides to every story and it is unfair that I gave mine without the other party being there to counter.

The thing that bothered me most about this incident was that after I got off stage I went to the bus and was reading about Scott Weiland's death (which I find very tragic) and happened upon Corgan's very moving and heartfelt tribute to his deceased friend. I do not find any humour in kicking someone while they are down. Bringing up a half-remembered interaction from so many years ago was not beneficial to anyone, especially If it causes someone who is already going through a dark moment to feel slandered or attacked. I feel very insensitive and stupid in that regard.

As far as what was said at the show, I prefaced it all by saying it was my recollection of the events. As Corgan's management has confirmed, it is all on video. I would like to avoid any further drama by just categorically retracting my statements out of respect. I respect anyone who has worked hard playing music for decades, seen their band fall apart because of things out of their control, continued to try to pursue artistic interests and had ups and downs. Perhaps I met Corgan and his crew at an especially difficult time for him. It would be completely hypocritical for me to imply that I have never been just as much of an asshole to people around me as I accused Corgan of being. Who am I to cast stones in a glass house?

I don't know Billy Corgan other than a five-minute interaction that left a definite impression on me. I have no doubt there are many sides to his character. My statement was my recollection of the events mixed with some humour. It was meant to be taken as casual stage banter. Not defamation or slander. The easiest thing for me to do to kill this story and hopefully avoid anymore drama is to admit it now. I was tacky and I retract my statements. If the video from 2007 ever does surface I will be very interested to see how my memory matches or contradicts reality.

In all earnestness I offer Corgan my apologies and my empathy during what I imagine is a difficult time with the loss of his friend."

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