For generations, baseball’s Opening Day ceremonies have served as a reclamation of a team’s power by fans, despite the losses of last year, and a time to celebrate another year of their favorite sport.
One of the nation’s most infamously popular teams, the Chicago Cubs, had surprise guest drop by CBS Radio’s WXRT Opening Day Broadcast: Chicago native and die-hard Cubs fan, Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins.
Corgan’s lifelong love of baseball–from playing baseball in school to collecting baseball cards–earned the Smashing Pumpkins frontman the occasional role of Cubs commentator for WXRT DJ Lin Brehmer and co-host of the day.
Corgan had no problem joking around with the familiar Brehmer when the radio jock played Corgan in with a Collective Soul song.
“You and the lead singer of Collective Soul have a very special relationship,” joked Brehmer about Ed Roland–frontman for the Georgia-based alternative rock band who is most famous for their ’90s hit single “Shine.”
“Yes, he was in a terrible band and I wasn’t,” retorted Corgan.
If ever a fight was to ensue between Corgan and Roland, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman might win.
Corgan owns a Chicago-based wrestling company and said that he “writes all the wrestling storylines.”
“What we’re trying to do is bring back sort of a local feel to Chicago wrestling,” explained Corgan. “There was a time when we were younger that there was a very vibrant wrestling scene here and we want to get it to the point to make it sort of a Saturday afternoon thing where people can bring their families.”
Corgan’s band, the Smashing Pumpkins, is currently promoting the release of Oceania which is due out this June 19th on his EMI subsidiary, Martha’s Music. Corgan dubs Oceania “the best album I’ve made in about fifteen years.”
“In a critical world, you have to sort of know who you are,” Corgan said to Brehmer about his confidence in the forthcoming album–and presumably his bashing of Collective Soul. In fact, Corgan sarcastically asked if they were really going to talk about Collective Soul on Opening Day.
Focusing Brehmer’s energy on the “positive,” the opinionated Smashing Pumpkins frontman also relayed a story about Jimmy Chamberlin’s run in with the Wrigleyville cops back in the early days of Smashing Pumpkins’ career.
“Actually, about a block away from here, Jimmy Chamberlin, former Smashing Pumpkins drummer,” said Corgan with a smile, “took the corner right over here on Grace at about 80, hit a patch of ice and wiped out six cop cars.”
The drummer showed up at practice the next day “with a replacement BMW,” lied about getting a new car, and Corgan didn’t find out about the accident until about a year later.
Another moment from the past that Corgan remembers in great detail is when he first met Robert Smith backstage at a Cure concert in Tinley Park.
“Robert tried to make out with me that night. And that’s not a joke,” Corgan said. “It was the first time I ever met Robert Smith and he tried to make out with me. I said I only like girls and he said, ‘That’s okay, I’m a girl’ and then he threw up practically all over my shoes. That’s a true story.”
“So many stories. So little time,” the singer joked.