watch Billy Corgan cover Pink Floyd, talk Eddie Van Halen, Hole & more on Howard Stern
Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan was on The Howard Stern Show this week promoting the band's new album, Cyr. As you'd expect, though, his conversation with Howard hit on a lot of subjects.
He talked about interviewing Eddie Van Halen for Guitar World. “It was only supposed to be an hour – he was great, I was with him for like four and a half hours,” Billy told Howard. “Played guitar, we talked shit about everything, he showed me all the unreleased Van Halen music – it was like the grand tour of all time. I mean, you talk about like 10 out of 10 experience in my life … he was so awesome. I think he thought because I was an alternative guy I couldn’t play so when he saw that I could play the guitar then that totally changed...It was like I was entered into the other club and then he started telling this other stuff that was like guitar stuff … he was just so wonderful, such a nice person.”
Billy also talked about Courtney Love and Hole, and whether she was the muse for Siamese Dream. “It’s partially about her but it was also partially about my wife and partially about … the women I still haven’t met. I’ve had a lot of women through the years try to say, ‘Oh that song is about me’ – it’s never really about one person. I mean, at the end of the day I’m writing about myself, right?”
Speaking of people we lost in 2020, Howard also asked Billy about Regis Philbin and his appearance on Live! With Regis & Kathie Lee in 1997. “I would sit on the couch and watch them every morning. I literally think I wrote the riff to ‘1979’ … watching Regis and Kathie Lee … I had my people call their people and said I’d love to come on. It was awesome." Billy added, "They were really sweet but … she starts hitting on me during the show. I was like wow, Kathie Lee is hitting on me, this is amazing.”
Billy also performed a few songs for the show, including classic Pumpkins track "Disarm," Cyr song "Birch Grove," and a cover of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here." You can watch video of that and some of the interview segments below.