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The Pre-Gish Tour Diary - 1990-11-??
Billy Corgan
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October & November, 1990

Hello and howdy from the dark cave we live in. We've been laying pretty low from club dates, but we are gleeful to announce our next show at Cabaret Metro w/ My Life with The Thrill Kill Kult headlining on New Year's Eve. Our Sub-Pop label single ("Tristessa" w/b "La Dolly Vita" ) is due out in late December or in early January. So look for it at Reckless Records and at Wax Trax. Contrary to popular belief, we haven't signed a record deal yet. We're negotiating and still talking, but nothing's been signed. We hope to have the now mythic "Gish" album one day. Also, look for Star Children dates coming your way. Being the amorphous leach that it is, beware of shows featuring pure noise, Jimi Hendrix tributes, Black Sabbath tributes w/ the one and only Nick Galiga on vocals, and more Pumpkins outcasts. There might even be a 4-song Star Children demo for sale- possibly. The Pumpkins just finished 3 dates w/ the Lemonheads in various out of town locales- and we managed to portray all three demons- the good, the bad, and the ugly. In honor of our Seattle trip diary- here's some mumbling about past shows…

October: Kalamazoo, Mich. Since D'Arcy is from this neck of the woods, we stayed with her father in D'Arcy's childhood home. Walking distance from Lake Michigan. We ingested some chemicals and went and sat out on the beach all night- watching the stars. Everyone got sick except your humble writer- and we watched a storm come over Lake Michigan. Guilty fun was had by all. The next day, D'Arcy's father kicked me and Jimmy off the tennis court for playing baseball with a tennis racket. D'Arcy's father also sang THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALENCE while cooking hamburgers. And D'Arcy talked him out of coming to see us play. The show- at a club called Club Soda- was packed, and we played a really good show. Many rock hands were seen flying in the air- and I gave the sign of the cross to the big pictures of Gary Richrath and Duke Tomatoe on the wall. I also spit on the Rick Derringer picture.

Cincinnati: Home of the world champion Reds- we entered the underground which was much akin to a bat cave. One of the shows where our music goes over peoples heads and hits the back wall with a dull thud. Some bad girl bandopened up, pinball became a necessary option. We stayed in a hotel room where there was some type of ongoing college party- and we passed on their invitation to "party" with them.

Indianapolis: Oh barren wasteland, Indianapolis left me with the same feeling that you get after you vomit. The people who were at this show- (limited edition- because there were so few) were very, very nice, but I wonder what they did in a past life to get them stuck in Indianapolis.

Madison: A total freak out- shoes and bodies were being hurtled onto stage at an alarming rate. The energy was fever pitched throughout the show. I wish they were all like this. Afterwards, we went to a party in someone's basement and Jimmy and I jammed with some dudes. I made a ton of noise and tried not to hit my head on a pipe. Madison is very hippie, so our vibe was not mellow enough for this scene. Some guy started yelling at us to get off the street- that we didn't understand things like they did in the sixties. This guy was wearing a security guard uniform. Need I say more?

Milwaukee: The complete freak out to end all freak outs. Three people were up on stage with us to prevent the other 150 from getting up onstage. I think we played 4 encores. We played songs we didn't even know- and Bob English joined us onstage in his Japanese interpretation of "Godzilla." A great, great show and f*cking righteously loud. I think we play better when we eat mexican.

Minneapolis: THREE HYPNOTICS last show before their car crash. We saw them moments before this near fatal wreck- very spooky. We sucked, but let me tell you about their set. At the end of their first set, they went offstage and got very little encore-type applause. The house lights came up and the band came back onstage with very little applause. (Uses my best English accent) "TURN OUT THE F*CKING LIGHTS!" This went on for a while and the band got frustrated and walked off. Two minutes later they returned, again with little fanfare. Bars close at 1 AM in Minn.- and it was now five minutes to one. Forgetting about the lights being on, the band launched into their encore. It lasted nearly 30 minutes (one song) and was one of the most incredible things I had ever seen. Fifteen minutes after close, the management began to freak out, and they threatened to shut off the power. The manager signaled they they would be ending soon- and when they didn't end after three warnings, they shut off the P.A. power, but the band kept playing. The song ended up with the guitar player up against his amp, feeding back, while a member of the audience climbed onstage and worked his wah-wah pedal. Very Spinal Tap-pish, very awesome.

November 9, 10, 11: Milwaukee, Grenell (Iowa), Minn: Our three day jaunt with the Lemonheads. The first show was in the cafeteria of Marquette University. Sitting there watching college students eat their veggies and the rock n' roll element didn't seem to mix. The show started at roughly 5 o'clock- so you can imagine that no one was really in the rock n' roll concert mood. Needless to say, the band was stiff and rusty and all those often horrible things when you don't play out for six weeks showed. The show was followed by a lot of arguing, not a very good start to our little journey. Day 2 we were off to Grenell (grim hell). A seven hour ride across rotting cornfields. We arrived there to find we were playing in a basement conveniently disguised as a place to play. We were led into a building, taken to a room, and given lasagna to eat. The lasagna featured some type of meat featured in many dog food commercials. Anyway, the show went great, seeing as these lowans don't get much excitement. Things definitely improved. The show ended with me being run into by a flying (and I do mean flying) audience member who simultaneously knocked the mic into my face, cut my hand, and broke a guitar string, all in time to the music and the end of the set. After the show- some guy we'll call Charlie, who couldn't even put a sentence together, offered us secret potions. Being cautious people, we let three of the four in our party test this XXX potion to test it's level of toxicity. To make a long night short, our motel room became a mecca of perpetual insanity (until we left for Minneapolis at 10 the next morning) with our hotel guestsbeating at us through the wall and satanic life messages on T.V. Seeing as no one got any sleep, getting to Minneapolis became one of life's greatest chores. Never has the road seemed so cold, barren, long, or moved of it's own volition so much. Nevertheless, we did reach the 7th street entry- site of the Three Hypnotics accident- and for some mysterious reason, played a really great show, probably one of the best we've ever played. I only wish you all could have been there to appreciate it.. I only wish anyone could have been there to appreciate it, cause Minneapolitans don't seem to completely get the Pumpkins. Maybe it's the thinner air (but someone once told me of Minneapolitans holding a prejudice against people who bathe too much, and I also seem to recall a similar remark in a local fanzine of theirs called "Cake." And yet I feel that shouldn't have been a problem with us on that particular day.) Who knows?

I hope you enjoyed these experiences as much as we didn't. God bless the tired and the weary- and watch for our show on New Year's Eve, we think it will come together- dig?!

Billy Pumpkin


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