Smashing Pumpkins navigated a successful rock/punk/metal course between the extremes of destructo-punk Nirvana and the aloof Pearl Jam, endowing alternative rock with rock-star status by journey's end. Founder, muse and the-buck-stops-here man Billy Corgan assembled a band that managed to satisfy alienated-youth angst and allay radio station anxiety, no small feat, over a 12-year career that began in Chicago as an opening act for Jane's Addiction. Through depressions, deep lyrics, and dream pop sequences, intramural liaisons, Lollapalooza and drugs, S.P.'s success was both mantle and scourge depending upon one's proximity to mainstream. The band that never turned down a good tour opportunity played its final concert on December 2, 2000 at the Chicago Metro, the place where it all began. In 2007, Corgan staged a Smashing Pumpkins comeback with an album called Zeitgeist and high-profile tour, though he pissed off longtime fans through his corporate distribution plan and use of the band name without most of its members.
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