Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan debuts new song at Highland Park fundraiser

Virgin Radio

29 Jul 2022, 09:01

Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan

Credit: Getty

Billy Corgan has performed a new track inspired by the Highland Park mass shooting, at an benefit event in the city where he lives. The song, called Photograph, was one of two new tunes that the Smashing Pumpkins frontman played.

The fundraiser was organised by Corgan, and took place on Wednesday evening (27th July) at Madame Zuzu’s, the tea house and performance space that he runs with his partner, Chloé Mendel. 

The event was available as a live stream, whereby fans could watch the show remotely and donate money to Together And Together Again, which is a charity set up by Corgan and his partner to support victims of the shooting. 

Corgan said that he wrote new song Photograph after having a dream in the aftermath of the shooting on July 4th, in which seven people were killed and dozens injured by a gunman at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois. “This is my reaction, I guess you can say, to what happened,” he told the audience at the event. “I don’t know if it’s a good song or a bad song, but it certainly expresses the way that I feel.”

The artist has lived in Highland Park for many years, and launched Madame Zuzu’s just over a decade ago. He opened the tea house and performance space there in 2011; it is located close to where the tragedy happened.

Corgan also played another new song, called Scimitar, and delivered a few Smashing Pumpkins classics, as well as a cover of the Beatles’ With a Little Help From My Friends.

As well as playing a chunk of the show solo, he was also joined by his partner Chloe Mendel, Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, and touring bassist Sierra Swan. Jane’s Addiction legend Perry Farrell also teamed-up with him for a duet of Jane Says.

“There are so many people here affected by this tragedy,” Corgan and his partner Mendel said. “It’s very close to our hearts, and we hope you’ll participate and support as well.”

You can watch the full video of the event on YouTube. Photograph starts at approximately 1 hour 37, and Scimitar is at 2 hours 17.