Billy Corgan
Musician, Songwriter, Producer, Author
Billy Corgan
William Patrick "Billy" Corgan, Jr. is an American musician, producer, lyricist, writer, and occasional poet, best known as the frontman and sole permanent member of The Smashing Pumpkins. Formed by Corgan and guitarist James Iha in Chicago, Illinois, in 1987, the band quickly gained steam with the addition of bassist D'arcy Wretzky and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin.
Biography
Billy Corgan's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Billy Corgan from around the web
Billy Corgan promises new music as he embarks on another trip around U.S.
Chicago Times - about 1 month
Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan is hitting the road again for his new project "Thirty Days," a sequel to his 2016 cross-country trip. "Gonna wander around America again for 30 days. No destination, just gonna wander around and talk to a lot of different people," Corgan announced Tuesday...
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Chicago Times article
Rodney Cromwell's Uplifting Synth Pop
Huffington Post - 3 months
I was glad to receive some upbeat music in the face of the present moment's constant, relentless stream of bad news. "Rodney Cromwell" aka Adam Creswell created a tight group of retro synth-pop songs which slapped a smile on my face, despite all the anxiety pressing down upon humanity. This music feels like a necessary antidote, a placebo perhaps, but I don't care. I'm glad to be smothered in joyful synth-pop, and I imagine you will be too. His new lo-fi disco laments are joyfully simple and painfully funny. 'Fax Message Breakup' EP released last week, following up his debut 'Age of Anxiety' LP and 'Black Dog' EP. He reveals the inspiration behind five key tracks from his output here: Barry Was an Arms Dealer (from the album 'Age of Anxiety') Inspired by a friend who suffered from severe paranoid delusions. His delusions were not of 'reds under the bed' but more the sort of far-left paranoid assertions that if you are not growing your own organic mung beans, doin ...
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Huffington Post article
Billy Corgan: "Nothing you or God can do to stop" Vince McMahon from buying TNA
ABC News - 5 months
With the impending sale of TNA Impact Wrestling and the status of Sunday's Bound For Glory pay-per-view card still unresolved, minority owner and creative lead Billy Corgan is hoping for a miracle. Corgan, the iconic frontman of The Smashing Pumpkins who joined TNA in 2015 and was later elevated to president in August, was a guest on The Dan Le Batard Show on Thursday. "We have been in the same situation the last three times we have done this and we have had a 'Music City Miracle' three times in a row, so I am kind of counting on a fourth one," Corgan said. "I don't expect anybody is going to do anything too ridiculous to make sure that [Sunday's PPV] doesn't happen. It would put a lot of people out of work." Corgan has been forced to personally finance the past three rounds of TV tapings at the last minute as TNA continues to face financial trouble. He is hoping to resolve that issue with a new vision for the company, provided he can...
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ABC News article
A Dinner For All Senses, With a Billy Corgan Song
Yahoo News - 5 months
A new concert and dinner in New York aims to stimulate simultaneously all five senses, with the goal of maximizing happiness. The project, conceived by composer and chef Ysanne Spevack, will revolve around a meal that emphasizes crowd-pleasing cacao as well as music, visuals and smells that are equally aimed at mass enjoyment. Spevack, who calls her project "Yntegrity" and the event "Cacao in E Major," said that people in the natural world would have a greater balance among the five senses.
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Yahoo News article
Smashing Pumpkins a creative - and nostalgic - force at same time
Chicago Times - 10 months
Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan last shared a Chicago stage with guitarist James Iha at the group's farewell concert at Metro in December 2000. Following a March reunion of the warring former bandmates in Los Angeles, the two teamed up again Thursday at Chicago's Civic Opera House when Corgan...
Article Link:
Chicago Times article
Smashing Pumpkins a creative - and nostalgic - force at same time
Chicago Times - 10 months
Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan last shared a Chicago stage with guitarist James Iha at the group's farewell concert at Metro in December 2000. Following a March reunion of the warring former bandmates in Los Angeles, the two teamed up again Thursday at Chicago's Civic Opera House when Corgan...
Article Link:
Chicago Times article
Billy Corgan: Smashing Pumpkins belong in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Chicago Times - 11 months
The Smashing Pumpkins deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because "we were one of the prime bands of our era and we continue to be a top band," frontman Billy Corgan told Rolling Stone magazine. "Next year will be, technically, our 30th year. So the fact that I've been in this band,...
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Chicago Times article
Greatest Hits: 10 Notable Episodes From The First 10 Years Of Dynasty Podcasts
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Back in summer of 2005, I launched Dynasty Podcasts as Chicago's first ever and longest-running music podcast. Over the last ten years, I've been fortunate enough to conduct interviews with some genuinely remarkable artists and industry figures from the Chicago music community. What follows are ten episodes of Dynasty Podcasts from the last ten years that stand out to me for one reason or another. From Metro owner Joe Shanahan to Flosstradamus to The Lawrence Arms and more. Enjoy! (Photo: Joe Mazza/BraveLux) Joe Shanahan (Metro Chicago) In 2012, Chicago's iconic Metro concert hall celebrated its 30th anniversary. To mark the occasion, Dynasty Podcasts visited venue founder and owner Joe Shanahan at a visual retrospective for the venue held in a Chicago Loop event space. Joined by graphic designer Ryne Estwing, Shanahan reflect on the venue's past three decades, recalling relationships with legacy artists like R.E.M. and The Smashing Pumpkins. For an enhanced version of this int ...
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Huffington Post article
Legendary Singer David Bowie Dead At 69
Huffington Post - about 1 year
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Huffington Post article
Legendary Singer David Bowie Dead At 69
Huffington Post - about 1 year
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Huffington Post article
Billy Corgan welcomes first child
Chicago Times - about 1 year
Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan welcomed his first child last month, his rep confirmed Tuesday. Augustus Juppiter Corgan was born Nov. 16 to Corgan and Chloe Mendel, the daughter of fashion designers Gilles Mendel and Jenny Mui. Corgan, 48, was married to museum employee Christine Fabian...
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Chicago Times article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Billy Corgan
    FORTIES
  • 2016
    In 2016, he characterized progressive political campaigners as "social justice warriors", compared them to Maoists, cult members and the Ku Klux Klan, and called them a threat to freedom of speech.
    More Details Hide Details He also praised the candidacy of Donald Trump. Corgan has also in recent years increasingly espoused conspiracy theories, voiced his admiration for radio host Alex Jones and frequently appeared as a guest on the latter's radio show, where he has endorsed conspiracy theories such as "chemtrails" and the connection between vaccines and autism, decried the "emasculation" of men in contemporary society. Corgan sometimes seems to be "wearing all of his clothes at once" or otherwise oddly dressed during these appearances, and has expressed strong political views, such as that swine flu was an "Obama conspiracy" and "propaganda". On March 10, 2009, Corgan testified in front of Congress on behalf of the musicFIRST Coalition. Corgan spoke in favor of H.R. 848, the Performance Rights Act, which gives musicians and artists their share of compensation when their music is played on music radio stations.
    On September 8, 2016, Corgan announced via a Facebook live video, that he had recorded a new solo album with producer Rick Rubin, and it will consist of 12 or 13 tracks.
    More Details Hide Details He described work on the album as being near completion, though a release date was not given. Billy Corgan has struggled with depression for much of his life and has endured bouts of self-injury, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and suicidal thoughts. Corgan attributes these problems to the abuse he endured as a child as well as personal anxieties and issues. Corgan has since become an advocate for abuse support networks.
    In August 2016, Corgan took over as the promotion's new president.
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  • 2015
    Corgan's girlfriend, Chloe Mendel, gave birth to a son named Augustus Juppiter Corgan on November 16, 2015.
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    He later joined Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2015, becoming its president in August 2016.
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    In April 2015, Corgan was announced as the new Senior Producer of Creative and Talent Development for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), where his role was to "develop characters and create story lines", which he has called "a dream come true."
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  • 2014
    In March 2014, it was reported that Corgan was in discussions with American television channel AMC to develop an unscripted reality series about Resistance Pro.
    More Details Hide Details The premise being a behind the scenes look at the promotion as Corgan "takes over creative direction for the independent wrestling company." The show was given the green light by AMC, under the working title of "Untitled Billy Corgan Wrestling Project," the same month.
  • 2012
    In 2012, he opened a tea house in his native Highland Park called Madame Zuzu's Tea House.
    More Details Hide Details He is currently at work on his spiritual memoir, entitled "God is Everywhere from Here to There".
  • 2011
    In 2011, Corgan formed an independent wrestling promotion called Resistance Pro.
    More Details Hide Details Two years later, in 2013, he starred in a commercial for Walter E. Smithe Furniture, using the platform to promote his wrestling company.
    In 2011, Corgan founded a Chicago-based indie pro-wrestling corporation called Resistance Pro Wrestling.
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  • 2010
    He started dating Jessica Origliasso from The Veronicas in 2010 and was still dating her until early June 2012 when the pair broke up. "It's one of those things.
    More Details Hide Details It's really difficult when you spend so much time apart", said Origliasso of the split. Corgan is a pescetarian since 2013, which he mentioned on the official Smashing Pumpkins website.
    On August 26, 2010, Corgan took part in a professional wrestling storyline with wrestlers from the Mexican promotion Asistencia Asesoría y Administración, during a concert for MTV World Stage.
    More Details Hide Details He also ran his own professional wrestling company called Resistance Pro based in Chicago. As far as other entertainment, Corgan once commented that all he watches on TV are "sports and Three Stooges." In March 2008, he was spotted in the crowd at the final day of the cricket test match between New Zealand and England in Wellington. In early 2014 it was rumoured through many wrestling news sites that AMC were picking Resistance Pro up for a backstage and in-ring look at Corgan's promotion. He incorporates elements of Catholicism and Buddhism into his spiritual philosophy, even though he has not publicly aligned himself with any one faith. In 2009, he launched Everything From Here to There, an interfaith website that is devoted to "Mind-Body-Soul" integration. He mentions praying each morning and night to be able to see through Christ's eyes and feel with his heart.
    On April 26, 2010, Corgan appeared live on the SIRIUS Satellite Radio program Right After Wrestling with Arda Ocal to discuss his love for pro wrestling and the importance of unique theme songs for characters.
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    In March 2010, Corgan stated in an interview in reference about Love "I have no interest in supporting her in any way, shape or form.
    More Details Hide Details You can't throw enough things down the abyss with a person like that" and said he parted ways with her. Shortly after, when Hole's Nobody's Daughter was released, Corgan unleashed on his Twitter a set of anger-filled tweets against her in reference to including two songs he wrote, "Samantha" and "How Dirty Girls Get Clean", that ended up on the new album without his permission. Love then wrote an apology to him on her Facebook, but things heated up. Corgan took to Twitter again in six tweets, attacking her again. Love responded to Corgan's tweets, saying "All i am is nice about you so if you wanna be mean be mean i dont feel anything. i have too much to feel dear."
  • THIRTIES
  • 2009
    In 2009, Corgan was linked with pop star Jessica Simpson.
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    In summer 2009, Corgan formed the band Spirits in the Sky to play a tribute concert to the late Sky Saxon of the Seeds.
    More Details Hide Details He then toured with the band, composed of ex-Catherine member and "Superchrist" producer Kerry Brown, the late Electric Prunes bassist Mark Tulin, Strawberry Alarm Clock keyboardist Mark Weitz, frequent Corgan collaborator Linda Strawberry, flautist Kevin Dippold, "Superchrist" violinist Ysanne Spevack, new Pumpkins drummer Mike Byrne, and Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, playing covers and new Pumpkins material at several clubs in California. At the end of the tour, Corgan, Byrne, Tulin, and Brown headed back to Chicago to begin work on the new Smashing Pumpkins album, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. The lineup at the time which included new bassist Nicole Fiorentino, toured through much of 2010, then spent 2011 recording the "album-within-an-album" Oceania and mounting tours of the US and Europe. However, Byrne and Fiorentino would later leave the band in 2014. In April, Corgan announced a new solo record of "experimental" recordings he made in 2007, via the Smashing Pumpkins' website. The album, entitled AEGEA, will be released exclusively on vinyl, with 250 copies being made; 200 copies being sold online, through Madame Zuzu's Tea House's online store, 30 being sold at Madame Zuzu's Tea House itself, 10 being sold by way of famed Vintage Vinyl, in Evanston, IL., and 10 being set aside for promotion. The album was released on May 15.
    Chamberlin left the band in March 2009, and Corgan elected to continue under the name.
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  • 2008
    Corgan said after the 2008 presidential election, "I'm very proud of my country right now for doing the right thing."
    More Details Hide Details He has since said that he has been disappointed with Obama's presidency and lacks faith in both major political parties. In 2009, he posted a transcript of a webcast by political activist Lyndon LaRouche to the official Smashing Pumpkins forum.
    In 2008, Corgan said, "I've had a bad marriage and seven bad girlfriends in a row", a perspective he attributes to his dedication to music.
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  • 2007
    Corgan and the rest of the Pumpkins toured extensively throughout 2007 and 2008, also releasing the EP American Gothic and the singles "G.L.O.W." and "Superchrist".
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    The new album, titled Zeitgeist, was released in the U.S. on July 10, 2007, and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts.
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  • 2005
    In 2005, Corgan dated musician Emilie Autumn for a number of months.
    More Details Hide Details The pair collaborated on multiple occasions during this time, with Autumn providing vocals and violin on his solo album and costume for a supporting music video. In early 2006, Corgan moved in with Courtney Love and her daughter, Frances Bean Cobain. According to Love, he had his own wing in her new Hollywood Hills mansion. Two years later, Love criticized Corgan publicly over the latter's alleged refusal to attend Frances' sweet 16 birthday party.
    According to Corgan, his breakup with her contributed to the themes of his 2005 solo release, TheFutureEmbrace.
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    He nevertheless described the circumstances of his marriage in his online Confessions in 2005.
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    In 2005, Corgan took out a full-page ad in Chicago's two major newspapers (The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times) revealing his desire to reform the Smashing Pumpkins.
    More Details Hide Details Several days later, Jimmy Chamberlin accepted Billy Corgan's offer for a reunion. On April 20, 2006 the band's official website confirmed that the group was indeed reuniting. The band went into studio for much of 2006 and early 2007, and performed its first show in seven years on May 22, 2007, with new members Ginger Pooley (bass) and Jeff Schroeder (guitar) replacing Wretzky and Iha.
    Corgan toured behind his solo album with a touring band that included Linda Strawberry, Brian Liesegang and Matt Walker in 2005.
    More Details Hide Details This tour was not as extensive as previous Smashing Pumpkins or Zwan tours. Prior to recording TheFutureEmbrace, Corgan had recorded some 72 songs inspired by Chicago history for the largely acoustic ChicagoSongs project, which have yet to be released.
  • 2004
    Also in 2004, he began a solo music career, landing on an electronic/shoegaze/alternative rock sound for his first solo album, TheFutureEmbrace, co-produced and arranged by Bon Harris of Nitzer Ebb.
    More Details Hide Details Released on June 21, 2005 through Reprise Records, it garnered mixed reviews from the press and only sold 69,000 copies.
    In late 2004, Corgan published Blinking with Fists, a book of poetry.
    More Details Hide Details Despite mixed reviews, the book debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list. Around this time, he began posting autobiographical writings online under the title The Confessions of Billy Corgan.
    In 2004, Corgan began writing revealing autobiographical posts on his website and his MySpace page, blaming Iha for the breakup of the Smashing Pumpkins, calling Wretzky "a mean spirited drug addict," and criticizing his former Zwan bandmates' fixation with "indie cred" and calling them "filthy", opportunistic, and selfish.
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  • 2003
    On September 17, 2003 Billy first presented his poetry at the Art Institute of Chicago's Rubloff Auditorium.
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    In the midst of their supporting tour for the album, mounting conflict between Corgan and Chamberlin and the other band members led to the cancellation of the rest of the tour as the band entered an apparent hiatus, formally announcing a breakup in September 2003.
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  • 2002
    The quintet performed throughout 2002 and their debut album, Mary Star of the Sea, was released in early 2003 to generally positive reviews.
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  • 2001
    Following a brief stint touring with New Order in the summer, Corgan reunited with Chamberlin to form the band Zwan with Corgan's old friend Matt Sweeney in late 2001.
    More Details Hide Details According to Neil Strauss of New York Times, during his few live performances with the band, Corgan says "is still a work in progress". The lineup was completed with guitarist David Pajo and bassist Paz Lenchantin. The band had two distinct incarnations, the primary approach being an upbeat rock band with a three-guitar-driven sound, the second, a folk and gospel inspired acoustic side with live strings.
  • 2000
    In 2000, the band announced they would break up at the end of the year, and soon after released Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music free over the internet.
    More Details Hide Details The Smashing Pumpkins played their last show on December 2, 2000 at the Cabaret Metro.
    Strong album sales and large-scale tours propelled the band's increasing fame in the 1990s until their break-up in 2000.
    More Details Hide Details Corgan started a new band called Zwan, and after their quick demise, he released a solo album (TheFutureEmbrace) and a collection of poetry (Blinking with Fists) before setting his sights on reforming Smashing Pumpkins. The new version of Smashing Pumpkins, consisting of Corgan and a revolving lineup, has released and toured new albums extensively since the 2007 reunion album, Zeitgeist. In 2011, Corgan entered the world of professional wrestling, founding Chicago-based indie professional wrestling promotion Resistance Pro Wrestling.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1998
    This shakeup, coupled with Corgan going through a divorce and the death of his mother, influenced the somber mood of the band's next album, 1998's Adore.
    More Details Hide Details Featuring a darker, more subdued and heavily electronic sound at a time when alternative rock was declining in mainstream cachet, Adore divided both critics and fans, resulting in a significant decrease in album sales (it sold 1.3 million discs in the US). Chamberlin was reunited with the band in 1999, and 2000 saw Machina/The Machines of God, a concept album on which the band deliberately played to their public image; critics were again divided, and sales were lower than ever. During the recording for Machina, Wretzky quit the band and was replaced for the upcoming tour by former Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur.
  • 1995
    In late 1995, he started dating photographer Yelena Yemchuk, who later contributed to several Smashing Pumpkins videos and album art.
    More Details Hide Details He continued to date Yemchuk until around 2004.
    Corgan and Fabian separated in late 1995 and divorced in 1997.
    More Details Hide Details Corgan refused to discuss the subject in interviews, saying "There is not and will not be any public record on my marriage – that's one thing I have to draw lines around."
    Their appearance on Saturday Night Live on November 11, 1995 to promote this material (their second appearance on the show overall) also was the television debut appearance of Corgan's shaved head, which he has maintained consistently ever since.
    More Details Hide Details During the album's tour, the band was plagued by Chamberlin's heroin addiction. On July 12, 1996, touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin died of a drug overdose in a hotel room. Chamberlin was present at the scene but could not revive him. The Pumpkins made the decision to fire Chamberlin and continue as a trio.
  • 1993
    In 1993, he married his longtime on-again, off-again girlfriend Chris Fabian, art conservator and artist.
    More Details Hide Details They were married at a small ceremony at his house in Wrigleyville.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1987
    Corgan performed with Wayne Static in Static's first band Deep Blue Dream, in 1987/88.
    More Details Hide Details Upon his return to Chicago, Corgan had already devised his next project – a band that would be called The Smashing Pumpkins. Corgan met guitarist James Iha while working in a record store, and the two began recording demos, which Corgan describes as "gloomy little goth-pop records." After recording their first two demos that Corgan wrote, Iha decided to write one for himself. After looking over it, Corgan criticized it. Iha took this very seriously and did not talk to Corgan for about another two months, until one day they just decided to make some more demos. He then met bassist D'arcy Wretzky after a local show, arguing with her about a band that had just played, The Dan Reed Network. Soon after, the Smashing Pumpkins were formed. The trio began to play together at local clubs with only a drum machine for percussion. To secure a show at the Metro in Chicago, the band recruited drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and played for the first time as a quartet on October 5, 1988.
  • 1985
    Not finding the Chicago music scene to his liking, he moved from Chicago to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1985 with his first major band, The Marked (so named for the conspicuous birthmarks of both Corgan and drummer Ron Roesing).
    More Details Hide Details Not finding success in St. Petersburg, the band dissolved; Corgan moved back to Chicago to live with his father.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1970
    Corgan was born in Elk Grove Village, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, as the oldest son of William Corgan Sr., a blues/rock guitarist, and Martha Louise Maes Corgan Lutz. His parents had one more child, Ricky, before divorcing in 1970.
    More Details Hide Details His father was soon remarried to a flight attendant, and Corgan and his brother went to live with them in Glendale Heights, Illinois. During this time, Corgan alleges he was subject to much physical and emotional abuse by his stepmother. Corgan also developed a protective bond with his younger half-brother, who had special needs as a child. When Corgan's father and stepmother separated, all three children would live alone with the stepmother, with both of Corgan's birth parents living separately within an hour's drive. Corgan, who grew much faster than his fellow students, was a strong athlete in elementary school. In addition to being a member of his Marquardt Middle School baseball team, he collected baseball cards (amassing over 10,000) and listened to every Chicago Cubs game. However, by the time he began attending Glenbard North High School in Carol Stream, Illinois, he had become only an average athlete. He decided to start playing guitar when he went over to a friend's house and saw his friend's Flying V. Corgan gave his savings to his father, who bought him a used Les Paul knock-off. Corgan, Sr. steered his son stylistically, encouraging him to listen to Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix, but offered little other support, and the younger Corgan taught himself to play the instrument. His musical interests in his formative years included hard rock like Guts-era John Cale, heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath, and mainstream rock like Queen, Boston, ELO, Rush, and Cheap Trick.
  • OTHER
  • 1967
    Born on March 17, 1967.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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