The feud between Corgan and Wretzky has worsened throughout 2018, with the pair often coming to blows via interviews and online comments. Now, with the core of the original ‘classic’ Pumpkins’ line-up back on the road with Corgan, guitarist James Iha, and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin joined by longtime collaborator Jeff Schroeder and touring bassist Jack Bates, the frontman has spoken out on why Wretzky is no longer part of the band.
Responding to an interview in which Wretzky said that Corgan was “insufferable” and claimed he “had a brain tumour”, Corgan told Howard Stern: “Yeah, that would fall under one of the 400 libellous and defamatory things she said that has no bearing in reality.”
Speaking of their breakdown in negotiations leading up to the band’s comeback, Corgan continued: “The simple version of the story, which is convoluted, but the simple version is I spent two years trying to build my relationship, much like James [Iha] and I had built our relationship, so music seemed to be possible because there was good dialogue.
“Every time I talked to her on the phone she was absolutely lovely, she was sweet, she said things she’d never said to me, she complimented me, she said, ‘You wrote so many amazing songs, and I’m so proud of you. It’s great, and I know you’re a great father.’ I’m dealing with somebody who seems to me to be the grown up version of what we are now, so I was thinking it was possible.”
He went on: “But every time I would address logical concerns, like, ‘You haven’t been on stage in 19 years, you haven’t been in public in 19 years, are you going to be okay with that?’ She would just kind of brush it off, and then when I would try and get in a room with her, because she only lives an hour and a half from where I live, I would say, ‘I’ll come up and visit you.’ It never would happen, so then you start getting kind of, ‘Okay, what is really happening here?’ When we first approached her on the business side: ‘This is going to be the framework, this is what it is probably going to look like.’ She refused.
“She just didn’t like the way it was going to be set up, and I’m not here to talk about that per say, but it wasn’t unfair, it wasn’t ridiculous.”
Corgan went on to describe how talks of her joining the reunion broke down as he was “unable to get her in a room” and assess her state of mind and physicality, arguing that he wanted to “make sure she’s protected in this situation”.
“She had severe anxiety stuff that she talked about, so I’m trying to kind of balance a set of forces here, and by the way, the biggest promoter in the world is like, ‘Let’s do a tour’,” said Corgan. “There is a reality, there is a date approaching, so she walked away, okay fine, so we start moving on. Then she changed her mind, and by then we had already kind of half moved on.
“We weren’t even that far down the road, but essentially we already said yes, so now we’re dealing with an outlying personality, and she’s a very eccentric person, and I mean that in the best way, and now we have a reality and we’ve already signed on the bottom line.”
The frontman went on to say that too much time had passed in negotiations, and that they made the decision as a band to move on without her for the good of the Pumpkins as a whole. Speaking of whether or not she could re-join the band in the future, Corgan concluded: “You can look at that kind of stuff and say that doesn’t belong here. Maybe it will someday, I don’t think it will, because to me that ship has sailed.
“But the point is, we’re here because we love each other, and we really just want to make music. That’s the one thing we got right.”
Meanwhile, this week saw the reunited Pumpkins play their first live performance on US TV, as well as tease an upcoming announcement with posters on the streets of London.
Fans are now speculating as to whether or not this suggests a huge UK gig on 16 October.