William Patrick Corgan Jr. was born to Bill Corgan and Martha Corgan on March 17, 1967, St. Patricks Day. He was born in Chicago, his father being a blues musician and his mother a flight attendant. Billy grew to be a "four-track-cassette making geek" who played guitar in his spare time while working at an old record store and then at a pizza place as a delivery boy. He played guitar up in his bedroom, learning scales and progressions. The basics.
In 1985, Billy formed a band called Hexen. A video tape exists of them playing, but nothing other than a small clip shown by VH-1 has actually been seen. Then, in around 1986 he formed a band called the Marked. They moved to Florida because Chicago already had enough goth bands. The band had little success, so they broke up and Billy moved back to Chicago and lived with his father. In Chicago, he met James Iha, which started the basis for the Smashing Pumpkins. The two played at a Polish bar in 1988, just two guitarists and a drum machine to keep the beat. James and Billy played together for a few months, when Billy met D'arcy outside a nightclub. She joined as the bassist. Billy wrote all of the songs. Then, later that year (1988), Billy hired Jimmy Chamberlin to play drums for the opening slot for Jane's Addiciton. The band was complete.
Billy has few known interests outside of music. He has produced albums for the Frogs, and the Smashing Pumpkins, and was co-writer on 4 songs on Hole's 1998 album "Celebrity Skin", including the title track, as well as 4 songs on their 2010 album "Nobody's Daughter". He was an advisor of sorts for the 1998 Marylin Manson album, "Mechanical Animals", and has appeared on several soundtracks as a solo artist, including the "Ransom" soundtrack, and the "Stigmata" soundtrack. Billy has been known to credit John Lennon, Judas Priest, David Bowie, Blondie, the Cure, and My Bloody Valentine as musical inspirations. He also takes an interest in the music of Radiohead, Spiritualized, the Frogs, and Garbage.
After the Pumpkins split in 2000, Corgan wasted little time before forming Zwan with former TSP drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and 3 other members. Zwan released only 1 album before disbanding, after which Billy worked on a solo album. Surprisingly, though, on the date of his solo album's release, Billy put out a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune, publicly stating that he wanted to work again under The Smashing Pumpkins. 2 years later, the band would re-form with Billy and Jimmy, and new members Jeff Schroeder (guitar), Ginger Reyes (bass) and Lisa Harriton (keyboards). After finishing their tours for Zeitgeist, the first album since the breakup, Ginger, Lisa and Jimmy departed, and Nicole Fiorentino was brought in on bass, and then 19-yr-old Mike Byrne on drums.