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Billy Corgan: Chicago has ‘too many ghosts’

According to a new interview posted Tuesday on the Wall Street Journal’s arts and entertainment blog, Smashing Pumpkins frontman and Chicago-area resident Billy Corgan is over lots of things. Among them: his name, the genre of music that made him famous and his town.

He doesn’t “like being in the city anymore,” Corgan, who has lived for more than a decade in a Highland Park mansion, says of Chicago. “Too many ghosts. Too many betrayals, disappointments. There’s the twin I used to date. There’s the dude who f—– me over. There’s where I bought my Marshall amp. Inevitably it connects to a lot of history.”

The Q&A is pegged to the release of a new Pumpkins album, “Monuments to an Elegy.” But don’t expect much more music in the same vein.

“The next album is like the end, end, end,” Corgan proclaims. “The trite way to say it is I’m over rock ‘n’ roll. Which is strange, because rock ‘n’ roll is getting back into me.”

Oh, and he’d appreciate it if you’d stop calling him Billy.

“When I was a kid, I was Little Bill. Then I was Bill. In high school I tried to go to my middle name, Patrick, and everyone refused that. When I turned 18 I wanted to be Billy because that’s what my dad was always called and I hated the name Bill. I had about four uncles named Bill, and I just hated the sound of the word. But I don’t really feel like Billy anymore, so I’ve been trying to go back to my real name, which is William.”

Read William’s entire interview at

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