Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan debuted a new song called “Photograph” during a benefit show last night (July 27) at his tea house Madame Zuzu’s in Chicago. The song was inspired by the tragic mass shooting that took place in Chicago suburb Highland Park during a Fourth of July parade earlier this month.
Corgan has lived in the Highland Park area of Chicago, Illinois for about 20 years now and plays shows at his tea house from time to time. During the Together and Together Again livestreamed benefit show he played for the Highland Park shooting victims, he performed a portion of his set with Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and touring bassist Sierra Swan, according to Stereogum.
The singer also played part of the benefit show solo, performing some Smashing Pumpkins songs and debuting his song “Photograph.” “This is my reaction, I guess you could say, to what happened. I don’t know if it’s a good song or a bad song, but it certainly expresses the way that I feel,” Corgan told the viewing audience.
He then explained to the crowd, “So in the opening scene, I’m explaining to somebody that I found a photograph of us standing in the spot where this horrible thing happened. It’s as simple as that, how something so simple as a photograph taken on a beautiful day right over here by the ice cream shop where we go sometimes for a fancy sorbet and suddenly you look at a photograph and suddenly it has meaning. My god, we were in that spot.”
“That’s what something like this does, it turns everything upside down,” says the singer. “Good things become bad, bad things become good. Simple things become complicated and complicated things suddenly have no meaning, certainly no resonance.”
Corgan then talked about a dream that he had about the mass shooting, and then played the new song which was “directly inspired by the tragedy of the mass shooting.” The mass shooting left seven people dead and 48 people injured.
“For [the community], it’s been very heavy,” Corgan said according to WGN-TV. “So just the power of music to bring some energy into the room, get people laughing and clapping along”.
You can listen to “Photograph” which is around the 1:37:00 mark of the livestream video of the show here. All proceeds from the livestream on The Smashing Pumpkins’ YouTube go to the July 4th Highland Park Shooting Response Fund of the Highland Park Community Fund. Corgan also debuts some other new songs during the benefit show, including “Scimitar” and “Like Lambs.”
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