Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Super-early Smashing Pumpkins

Hardcore Smashing Pumpkins fans know that many years ago, Billy Corgan was in a band called the Marked.  They picked this name because both Billy and his partner Ron Roesing had rather prominent birthmarks: Billy on his wrists and Ron on his face.  Billy,  Ron, and a guy named Dale Meiners formed the band in Chicago and later moved to Florida to get involved in the death metal scene there. 

That move lasted about twenty shows before the band gave up and moved back to Chicago where they broke up by the end of 1986.  This is where the story gets a little murky.  Ron (who is now living in England) says that he was with Billy when James Iha came into the picture.  That’s when the band changed their name to the Smashing Pumpkins. 

A demo tape called Nothing Ever Changes was recorded in early 1987–and according to some sources, the players on that tape were Billy, Ron, James–and a drum machine.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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