This is really more of a fact sheet than a biography, but it has all the major stuff...This information comes from various sources, so please let me know if anything is inaccurate.
Full name: William Patrick Corgan, Jr.
Born: In Elk Grove, IL. on March 17th, 1967 (St. Patrick's Day).
Astrological Sign: Pisces
Current age: 32
Residence: Chicago, IL. in a purple house =c)
Eye color: Blue
Hair color: Brown. It has also been dyed different colors, ranging from bright neon-reddish to pitch black.
Hairstyle: This has also changed over the years, ranging from long hair to bald. Billy is currently bald.
"Why did he shave his head?": There are a few reasons and theories: he was sick of worrying about appearance; he didn't want to "look good" for people (not sure where I heard that one); he did it for a change; receding hair line; etc.
Height: 6'4" when he's standing up straight, 6'3" when he's slouching.
Weight: Around 200 lbs.
Position in band: Vocalist, lead guitarist, songwriter. Billy also plays rhythm guitar, bass guitar, the Mellotron, and the piano. He also produces, mixes, and arranges some of the music.
Parents: Billy's parents, Bill Corgan, Sr. and Martha Corgan, who died December 10th (?), 1996, divorced when Billy was 3. He spent most of his childhood being passed back and forth between his stepmother, Penny Andersen, his grandmother, and his great-grandmother. Billy holds a grudge against his parents because, even though they lived only an hour away, they never visited him. He calls this "a living rejection", and has said, "It would have been better if they were dead." Billy's parents told him he wasn't like other children, which added to Billy's feelings of being different. Bill Corgan, Sr. is a guitar player, and you can hear him in "The Last Song" on the Thirty Three single. He plays the solo near the end. Even though Billy's father played the guitar, he expected Billy to be the "smart one" and be a lawyer or something, so he tried to give guitar lessons to one of Billy's brothers instead.
Siblings: Billy has three brothers: Ricky, Andrew, and Jesse, his half brother. Billy is the oldest out of them. The song Spaceboy (on Siamese Dream) was written about Jesse, who is 10 years younger than Billy. Jesse has a mild cerebral palsy, Tourette's syndrome, heart problems, and a rare chromosomal disorder that is kind of like autism. Billy spent a lot of time taking care of and babysitting Jesse, and he was sometimes the only one who understood him. He became a sort of surrogate father for Jesse. Billy admires his determination and is very proud of Jesse, who is in college and has written a couple of plays, which have been successful. Click here for more info on Jesse.
Education: Billy went to Marquardt Middle School and Glenbard North High School in Carol Stream, IL. He wrote music reviews for the school newspaper. He didn't go to college.
Started playing guitar when...: When Billy was 14, he walked into a friend's basement where the friend was playing guitar, and then Billy decided to play the guitar. Music and guitar playing became his escape from a "crummy mortal existence". He had been bigger than most of his peers, and led his baseball team in homeruns until he was about 12, when he was "passed up" by the other kids. That's about when he decided to turn to music.
Former occupations/bands: Billy delivered pizzas, and worked in a used record store. The record store was a major part of his musical background because he was exposed to a lot of old singles and things from bands. Billy was in 2 (there may be more...not sure about this) bands before the Smashing Pumpkins. One band, Lex, was during Billy's high school years (1982). Billy apparently left the band because they wanted to play "Christian rock". When Billy was 19, he moved to Florida, where he formed a band called The Marked, named after matching birthmarks on Billy's and the drummer's hands. They were a goth band, and not very good. The band lasted for nine months, what Billy calls "a living hell", and he moved back to Chicago after that. Then he met James Iha, and they formed the Pumpkins. Billy was also in a Pumpkins' side project called Starchildren, in which he was the only permanent member.
Favorite bands/ musical influences: Because of Billy's father's guitar playing and Billy's job in the record store, Billy was exposed to a lot of different bands. These are some of his favorite bands and influences: The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Cheap Trick, Pink Floyd, The Cars, Iggy Pop, The Frogs, Radiohead, My Bloody Valentine, Chainsaw Kittens, Mercury Rev, Skunk, Thin Lizzy, Van Halen, U2, R.E.M., David Bowie, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osborne, Marc Bolan, Phil Lynott, Rush, The Cure, The Doors, and a bunch of other bands..
Marital status: Not much is known about this because Billy says it's something he has to "draw lines around". Billy was married to Chris Fabian, but they divorced around Christmas 1996. He is currently dating Yelena Yemchuk (sp?). Yelena directed the music videos for Zero and 33, and she took the pictures for the box set, The Aeroplane Flies High. Yelena was rumored to be pregnant last year, but this is apparently not true.
Hobbies (other than music): Billy likes playing and watching sports, especially basketball. His favorite team is the Bulls, and his favorite player is Michael Jordan. Billy also likes the video game DOOM (there are explosions from the game in Where Boys Fear to Tread on MCIS).
Favorite movies: Citizen Kane, 8 1/2
Pets: Billy has 2 cats, named Lily and Thelonius. He also has a gray poodle named Drake.
Guitars and effects: Billy obviously uses a lot of guitars, but his favorites are Fenders and Gibsons. His "main axe" is a silver '57 strat reissue with bats and stickers on it ("Honk if you hate people too" and "Born to lose" are 2 of the stickers). His favorite guitar was stolen a few years ago in Detroit. He used it a lot during the Gish days. It was a paisley Fender '74 strat. Other guitars include a '72 Gibson ES 335 and a Gibson Hummingbird. He also uses acoustic guitars a lot. He has used a black Ovation (the one in Vieuphoria), and several others. Like guitars, Billy also uses several effects. Some of the most common are the Big Muff, Eventide Harmonizer (sp?), Fender Blender, Electro-Harmonix Micro-Synthesizer, and MXR Phase 100.
Strings/pickups/picks: .009-.042 strings; Fender Lace Sensor pickups; heavy, thin picks;
Amps/preamps: mainly Marshall amps (some w/ KT-88 tubes) and Mesa Boogie amps, JMP-1 preamp (Marshall), ADAMP-1 preamp.
Some other interesting little tidbits of info:
-Billy can write with his left hand, but plays guitar right-handed.
-Some of Billy's friends in the music industry include Marilyn Manson, Courtney Love (who Billy used to date back in the Gish days), The Frogs, Cheap Trick, Ric Ocasek of the Cars, Catherine, Eddie Vedder, James Hetfield, and David Bowie, to name a few...
-Billy came up with the name "Smashing Pumpkins" before there was a band. He used to tell everyone that he had a band called "Smashing Pumpkins", and he kept the name because people remembered it.
-Billy thought of calling the band "Siva".
-Billy owns 4 Zero shirts because he says, "the superhero needs a costume."
-The sacred heart on the back cover of Gish was actually an "ornament" given to him by a woman when he lived in Florida. He used to wear it around his neck. He gave it to his girlfriend and had to "pry it out of her" to use it on the album.
-Billy draws a lot of the artwork for the band, including the infamous SP heart.
-Rumor has it that in high school, Billy once cut off a cat's tail during dissection and wore it around school in his back pocket.
-2 common rumors about Billy that are NOT true:
1. Billy was in the TV show "Small Wonder" when he was a kid.
2. Billy and Marilyn Manson once snorted Sea Monkeys.
-Billy met D'arcy in an argument over a band that he hated, but D'arcy liked. His first words to her were "You're full of shit"
-Billy's father complains because he looks like Billy.
-The X-Files is one of Billy's favorite tv shows. He also likes Regis & Kathie Lee.
-Billy has said he would like to come back as a turnip.
These are some pics of Billy Corgan when he was in school (first 3 courtesy of Candace LilyAnne Raphael):
1. Billy on his 6th grade basketball team
2. Billy in 8th grade
3. Billy in 9th grade
4. Billy at age 13
5. I don't know what year this is, but it looks like it's in high school
Well, that's about it for now...I might put up more later, but it's already pretty long... If there's anything I'm missing, or if there's anything that's wrong, please tell me..Thanks.