CORGAN KEEPS THE FAITH-FULL

Billy Corgan makes his first live appearance since the demise of Smashing Pumpkins...

SMASHING PUMPKINS frontman BILLY CORGAN made his first live appearance since the group’s split when he joined MARIANNE FAITHFULL onstage at a benefit gig in CHICAGO.

In front of a 1,200-strong sold-out crowd at the Metro – where the Pumpkins played their farewell gig last year – Corgan took the stage to play guitar alongside Faithfull, as she performed a version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Gotta Serve Somebody’, stepping forward for a solo during the track.

He also added backing vocals to Faithfull when he played on a cover of The Beatles’ ‘Norwegian Wood’, and rejoined her at the end of the show – which featured a total of 20 musicians – for a finale of The Beatles’ ‘All You Need Is Love’, leaving the stage last after being presented with two bouquets of flowers.

According to the Chicago Tribune, his vocals had been barely audible earlier when he sang Roxy Music’s ‘Out Of The Blue’, and the set gave the legions of Pumpkins fans at the gig no inkling as to the fruits of the collaboration between Faithfull and Corgan.

As earlier revealed on NME.COM, he is among the artists working on her forthcoming album and speaking to Allstar [[url=]www.cdnow.com] backstage after the gig, Corgan revealed that he has written two to three songs with Faithfull and is producing them this weekend. The collaboration had first been broached when the ’60s icon approached him after a Pumpkins gig in Dublin last year. Other contributors include Beck and members of Blur and Pulp.

Other highlights of Thursday night’s (March 22) performance had included appearances by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Jayhawks’ Gary Louris, Cheap Trick’s Bun E Carlos and Liquid Soul, with harmonica player Howard Levy performing ‘Midnight Cowboy’ with scenes from the film playing behind him.

The three-hour show, billed ‘The Third Waltz’, was a benefit concert for the homeless youth charity Heartland Alliance. Corgan had played alongside his father William at ‘The First Waltz’ in 1999.