Let’s Go Pumpkin Spotting

With the Smashing Pumpkins now smack in the middle of their nine-show residency at the Orange Peel, it’s only natural that we locals would make a game out of our brief, non-musical brushes with the band that helped define the rock sound of the 1990s. Who can blame us for wanting to hear these tales?

For instance, a barista at a local coffee shop recently told me about how genial Billy Corgan was when he came in for a tea, remarking that he handled the gawkers and semi-sycophants that instantly glommed onto him with the demeanor of a true professional. Others, such as this story from Corgan’s own blog, detail seemignly un-rock-star stuff, such as being smooched by a sock monkey. (It’s worth noting that this image was snapped by local sock monkey connoisseur Michael Traister.)

Given that there are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of such stories now floating around the town, we thought it’d be a good idea to provide a place for Xpress readers to share their stories. Post your experience with the band in the comment fields below, but please read the following ground rules first.

1. No griping about not getting tickets, your personal problems with the Orange Peel or your problems with the non-locals who have come to town for the show. There’s another thread for this.

2. Keep on topic, be polite and keep with the spirit of the thread. The last thing we want this to become is a troll-fest.

3. No fake posts about events that didn’t happen. We’re only interested in actual stories about encounters with the band.

4. If you have photos or video of the band uploaded on a blog or Flickr account, feel free to paste the URL in your comments. If there is questionable material on the site that isn’t safe for others to view in a public situation (such as work), please mark it with the phrase “Not Work Safe” prior to the URL.

—Steve Shanafelt

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6 thoughts on “Let’s Go Pumpkin Spotting

  1. Rebecca Bowe

    Well, I caught a glimpse of Billy Corgan a few days ago when he was eating lunch at the Flying Frog. Had he looked up he might have noticed me, pressed up against the glass of a second-story window across the street, bursting with excitement and probably annoying the hell out of my co-workers.
    Later, I went into the Flying Frog for a drink and casually asked one of the bartenders if he planned to e-bay Billy’s napkin or anything like that. He laughed heartily, but I suspect that he was more than a little excited to have Corgan drop in for lunch: I saw that same bartender two nights later inside the Orange Peel where, like me, he let out a shout of joy at hearing the first few bars of “Starla.”

  2. I spoke to him briefly walking down Broadway on Tuesday. He seemed very nice. Me being a hard hitting investigative journalist asked him (and this is a direct quote) “How’s it going?”. He replied with “Fine.”

    I then told him to “take it easy”. As I walked away I realized that this guy was a rock superstar, and that I had just inadvertently quoted the Eagles to him.

  3. Tara Babb

    I was at the opening Pumpkins show at the Orange peel on June 23rd. Let me say, AMAZING SHOW! They really got ahold of the crowed and wouldnt let go. I am an Asheville native and am thankful that I got tickets. After the show that night, we headed to Hannahs where a little while later, the drummer and one of the guitarists showed up for a few drinks with a couple of girls (all looked giddy) and the band members looked tired but completely stoked about how well their first show went (well, at least thats what i am assuming they looked stoked about.

  4. lil rebel

    so- i was at work in the salon the other day, and one of our clients asked, “Is that the dude from the smashing pumpkins?” i looked out, and low and behold, it was billy! the young recent high school graduate asked, “are you going to go talk to him?” and i said, “Nah- doesn’t look like he needs a hair cut,” but the excited young man said, “well i am” and ran out. later in the week he called and said he’d scored tix, and put two aside for me and my husband. so, even if we aren’t “pumpkin heads” we did/do enjoy thier music, and as locals, are honored and stoked to go to this show tonight!!!

  5. lil rebel

    we are now officially pumpkin heads…that show rocked my socks off, and was the best i’ve seen at op so far. even with the sound problems, which led to an impropmtu accoustic sing along between band and crowd plus you can’t beat a double encore- hell yeah…

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