Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has shared a video of himself jamming after being reunited with his Fender Stratocaster from the band’s ‘Gish’ era, some 27 years after the instrument was stolen. Check it out below.
The guitar, which Corgan originally purchased from bandmate Jimmy Chamberlin, was stolen by a man immediately after their show at Detroit’s Saint Andrew’s Hall in 1992. But after 27 years of fake rumours and false hope for its return, Corgan shared the news that he had finally been reunited with the instrument earlier this month.
Now, Corgan has uploaded a video of himself using the guitar, as well as discussing how it was impetus behind the sound on the g Pumpkins’ 1991 debut album ‘Gish’, and now he plans on using the guitar as a key component for the band’s next album – the follow-up to 2018’s acclaimed ‘Shiny And Oh So Bright Volume 1’.
“I always felt that the guitar would come back to me,” says Corgan in the video. “I can’t say why I felt that way. I never really stressed about it too hard. I always had the feeling that it was at somebody’s house, in somebody’s closet, and if I could just go the right house then I would get it back.
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“It’s wild. It’s like seeing an old friend after all these years.”
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Corgan described how a fan had contacted him several weeks ago with a picture of a guitar that bore a remarkable resemblance to his own.
“Somebody sent me a picture a couple of weeks ago of another one of my guitars, and I wrote the guy back and said, ‘How did you get my guitar?’” he explained.
billy corgan reuniting with his stolen gish guitar after 27 years (2019) pic.twitter.com/wlzDNyY3ee
— billy corgan doing things (@corganthings) February 7, 2019
“And he wrote back, ‘Oh, it’s a recreation.’ He’d literally gotten the same stickers, worn them down in the same way and scraped the paint so it looked worn. You could have fooled me.”
After deciding to check out the instrument in person, Corgan was stunned to discover that it was his original.
Before the belated reunion, the guitar was owned by Beth James, who purchased it for $200 at a yard sale in Michigan. After a friend noticed the striking similarity to Corgan’s instrument, she was connected to music royalties expert Alex Heiche – who in turn contacted the Smashing Pumpkins man.
“It instantly changed the way the band sounded and the way I played,” Corgan said of the guitar.
“When it was stolen, it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, gee, my guitar just got stolen.’ It was the guitar that affected the way I played and I was heavily identified with the guitar.”
Smashing Pumpkins return to the UK to perform at Download Festival this June.