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The Pumpkins Meet Listessa - Jennifer Sloan
Listessa & The Pumpkins
1996-10-14


	Frequently, I get requests from Listessans to have a copy of the
meeting which took place backstage after a show in Winnipeg, September 
24th, 1996, between Karl Daher, myself, Tanya Klassen, and the Pumpkins.  
The purpose of the meeting was to present Billy, D'Arcy, and James each 
with tribute books we all made for them, called "Our InfiniteDream: 
Listessa's Tribute to the Smashing Pumpkins" (they also received Listessa 
t-shirts).  The Pumpkins absolutely *LOVED* them.  Remember, this was at 
the time in which we did not even know the songs on the box because it 
wasn't released yet.  It's quite long, extremely detailed (I've included 
most of the dialogue that took placebetween us and the band), and I've 
added a few kewl extra notes that I had forgotten the first time I posted 
it.  Enjoy!!


AFTER CONCERT: BACKSTAGE!!!   The concert ended, and I was tired, sad and 
happy all at once, knowing that I would be in the Pumpkins' presence in 
only a few minutes.  I gathered up what I had in front of me as the lights 
came on, ensuring the end of the concert.  I walked through the crowd of 
people, butterflies in my stomach, trying to get through as fast as I 
could.  I reached the clearing and headed down to our meeting place, and 
took out my backstage pass.  It had the picture of a scene from "Planet of 
the Apes" on it, all in green.  (I scanned it and put it up on the page,
too!)  Anyway, I walked up to a security guard and asked her if where I
was was the certain section I was looking for in the first place, just to 
make sure I had it right.  She said yeah, and asked me if I had an All 
Access Pass, but I only had the backstage one, so apparently I was
supposed to wait on the other side of the building.  Karl and Tanya 
showed up a few seconds later with the bag of books, t-shirts and 
other things.  We walked to the other end and sat there, waiting to be 
given the OK to go in.  We stood there talking with a security guard, 
smiling and discussing how excellent the 2 hour and 45 minute long show 
was.  We talked for about 10 minutes, and then another guy take me out and 
told us to put our backstage passes on so they were visible (they were 
stick-ons).  He then led us through and asked us to sit at a table, saying 
it would be just a few minutes, and left.  We all figured the Pumpkins 
would come out and sit with us there, so we began to take everything out 
and got it ready.  The guy came back then, and told us to come with him 
once again.  We gathered everything up, knowing that this was it..this was 
the moment! :> We were led around some corners and through a corridor, and 
as we walked through it I noticed the door which we were walking towards, 
the door to the Pumpkins :>  We arrived at it and looked at one another.  
"Okay guys, you ready?" the guy asked.  And we were there :) The door 
opened to a colourful, dimly lit room, fairly large, a table at the far 
end full of food, a big stereo close to our side, and couches in the 
center, on which they sat :> Billy, D'Arcy, Dennis, Matt, Jimmy the Frog, 
the managers, the roadies, all of them :> James was walking around, fixing 
the light or something.  And it was so weird, so amazing and wonderful.  
"Hey, come on in,"  Billy and D'Arcy said.  They all greeted us.  I 
noticed Billy and D'Arcy eating.  D'Arcy said something like, 
"Eeeewww...gross, this is disgusting."  Then she put whatever it was she 
was eating back in the tin foil wrapping.  I guess the food wasn't that 
great.  (Remember, "Stay away from the deli-tray"...  Hehe..  We walked 
into the room, and I was amazed at how cool and relaxed the band was, just 
chilling out.  No other fans were there, just us, and that was really 
cool 'cause it made it so personal and special.  All I could do was smile 
and look shyly over at the members.  We stood in the middle of the room 
then, Karl to my left, Tanya to my right.		
	"Okay, introduce yourselves, guys," a manager said.		
	Karl introduced himself then.		
	"Hi, I'm Jennifer Sloan," I said next, shyly but very happily :>, 
but I guess I said it too quietly, 'cause I was asked to speak up.  I 
think it was Billy who said, "We're all deaf, so..".  I repeated myself.
	Tanya introduced herself next.	Karl then introduced us a bit 
more, explaining that he ran the list, that I thought up the idea for the 
bookand that Tanya made the cover and helped organize too.  "And here are
the books and t-shirts."  He pulled them out and gave D'arcy, Billy and
James each one.  He went on to explain a bit more about the books and
shirts...  And this was the big moment, the presentation! :>  The band
absolutely loved them!  D'Arcy exclaimed, "Oh, wow!" as soon as she took
hers.  They began looking through their books, commenting on the drawings 
and pictures, leafing through the pages.  The band made comments like, 
"Wow, this is really amazing.  Thank you!"  And, "This is really great!"  
Things of that nature, and the whole time I just thought to myself, 
"YES!!  They love the books :>"  I was just in total bliss because it was 
so succesful and the band was so enthused while looking through them.  
Throughout the rest of the visit, we got comments from the band, the 
managers, and the roadies, such as, "This is amazing, you guys.. this is 
just incredible", and "I'm really impressed." Well, you get the 
point..hehe.	I looked over and saw that Billy was sitting off to the 
side, looking through his book on his own and that D'Arcy was sitting 
beside Dennis, talking to him about some of the pictures, smiling.  "Hey, 
yeah, that looks like James, and Jimmy (Chamberlin)!" And, "Hey look, I'm 
a horse, ha ha!"  She looked over at Billy and they both laughed and 
smiled.  Then they inspected the pic more, seeing that Billy was known as 
"Farmer Billy", James was a dog, and Jimmy, a pig -- a picture by Riley 
Manion's of what she thought of when listening to "Meladori Magpie", which 
is really cute and funny (they loved it, Riley! :>).  It was hard keeping
track of James, but I think he was sitting in a chair, looking through
his book.  They absolutely loved everything, though, and it was so
incredible sitting there watching the Pumpkins, right in their presence.
  	It was funny listening to D'Arcy and Dennis talk.  D'Arcy at one 
point said something like, "He says I never move around on stage.  I move 
around on stage!"  D'Arcy was in an awesome mood all night, totally 
laughing and having a good time.  It was really cool how nice they were.
	"Help yourselves, guys."  I think it was the manager who said 
this (it's hard remembering right now, I was sort of dazed at that 
moment). He was referring to the food on the table.  I was incredibly 
surprised that we were offered food, because we thought that we would only 
be able to stay a few minutes.  We actually stayed about an hour and a 
half, maybe close to two hours, and left when the band had to leave for 
the tour bus to the next city :>  Karl, Tanya, and I looked at one another 
and smiled.  "Wow, awesome, thanks!" we responded.  I took a coke, and 
Karl and Tanya took some drinks themselves.  We stood for a couple of 
minutes looking around, while they sat reading their books.  James walked 
close by then and Karl caught his attention by asking him how Bugg was.
  	James stopped and talked to us for quite a bit, "Well, it's been 
about five days now (?), and well, he's an old dog, but he's the same.  
He's a dog."
	Karl then made a funny remark, asking if Bugg wanted a divorce 
from him since he was away for a lot of the time.
	"No, he...he...understands."  He said something like, "So, are 
you disappointed in meeting us boring people?"
	We replied, "Of course not, why would we think that?  What were 
we supposed to expect?"
	"That we'd be juggling or something," James replied.  He's so 
damn funny :>
	"No, this is great, awesome,"  We all replied back.  Tanya then 
asked about how the tour was going.
	"It's going pretty well... we're really tired, though."
	Karl at one point asked him if he'd ever heard of Listessa or had 
gone on the Internet.  He hadn't, no doubt :<  Karl then asked him if he 
had anything he'd like to say to all the people on their computers out 
there.  "Like any cool quotes," I added in.  James couldn't really think 
of any, but we could tell he was extremely exhausted.  Karl then mentioned 
the masturbation quote at James said during the Dublin concert broadcast 
over the net, and reported that people often used that one at the end of 
their emails.  We all laughed and James said that he couldn't remember 
when he had said that.  Oh well...hehe.	At one point James said something 
like, "So, you're coming on the road with us now, eh?"
	We replied, "Yeah, sure!"  Karl then said something like, "I'll be 
the water boy!"  We all laughed. :>
	Billy walked close by then and asked us what we were discussing.  
This part, for some reason, is blurry for me.  I can't remember what Billy 
or James said to one another.  I think I was just too focused and in awe 
at the whole band in their presence rather than what they were saying at 
times.  That probably happened a few other times as well.  Billy then 
walked away and we continued talking to James for a bit longer.  He 
eventually had to go off and do something in the other room, so he said 
to us, "Thanks for the book."  We all thanked him back and I replied, "It 
was our pleasure.  We'd do it all over again in a second."  We turned 
around looking at rest of the band members.  Matt was chilling out on the 
couch; in fact, they were all chilling out on the couches, looking at 
their books.  Then they looked up at us.
	"So, you guys have any questions?" Billy asked.
	Karl asked about some threads that frequently occur on the list.  
The first question was about the next single (which, at that time, we 
didn't know about.  We didn't even know whether it was "Thirty-three" or 
not).  Billy came straight out and answered, "Thirty-three".
	Karl: "So it's not 'Muzzle'?"	Billy: "Nope!" 	D'Arcy said, 
jokingly, pouting: "I wanted 'Muzzle' but no one else did."  We all 
laughed.
	"Okay, kewl," we said.  Karl then asked about the box-set (which 
we now know about as well).
	Billy: "Yeah, we're gonna have a compilation out called 'The 
Aeroplane Flies High'.  It'll be a collection of b-sides plus 5 covers."
	Billy recommended buying the box-set when asked.  "Yes, 
definitely..,"so make sure you guys go out and buy it (if ya haven't yet)
 	There was a moment of silence then, and I said, "I had so 
many questions that I was gonna ask you guys, and my mind is blank now."  
I decided to ask about "X.Y.U.", since it's an endless thread on the list.  
I still see posts about it.  
	Billy came straight out and said: "Ex, why you?"
	Karl: "Alright, cool.  Makes sense.  Another faq, who's on the 
PI cover?"	
	Billy: "Chris, my wife."  (Hopefully this will end that 
thread!!:>)
	Karl then asked about the "Daughter"  Flexi-disc and whether it 
was coming out or not, and Billy said no.  He asked if Karl had heard 
that off a bootleg, and Karl answered yeah and nodded.  I nodded as well, 
myself owning bootlegs.  I missed the transition point, but somehow, "The 
Naked Man" came into conversation.  It was pretty funny, and Billy 
apparently got really pissed off by the guy.  I would have too.  He said 
if the show wasn't being broadcast, he would have kicked the guy offstage 
himself.
	Billy then had someone put on some songs from the box-set to give 
us a listen.  Karl, Tanya, and I took a seat on a couch across from Billy, 
and it was just so weird and wonderful what we were doing.  We were 
sitting around with Pumpkins, listening to their unreleased music, just 
chilling out.  The band was so hospitable, and everyone was enjoying 
themselves.  For the next 20 minutes or so, we sat and listened to the 
music, relaxed and feeling quite at home.  I must say that the 
"Thirty-three" single sounds EXCELLENT!  Very kewl :>  One of the first 
songs we listened to was "The Aeroplane Flies High".  When it came on, 
Billy said something like, "This is 'The Aeroplane Flies High', one of the 
encore songs you heard us play."  "The Aeroplane Flies High" and "The 
Last Song" were the ones that stuck out in my mind the most.  "The 
Aeroplane Flies High" changes from loud to quiet and, as said before, 
contains the "Pastichio Medley" riff, "Disconnected."  It's absolutely 
amazing and really powerful.  Rawking tune :>  That one song makes the 
single worth getting.  "The Last Song" is a ballad, really pretty, slow 
and peaceful, an it made me want to bawl at times just from the beauty of 
everything.  "Transformer" is a rawking tune as well, hard and heavy, 
rather catchy.  "The Bells" is a very nice tune by James.  "My Blue 
Heaven" is a nice, light, pretty one, catchy..  (If you're familiar with 
old 40's music, you know the song... just picture Billy's beautiful voice 
singing it :>)..	
	Believe me, it is an absolute must to buy the box-set!  We also 
got a chance to listen to the cover songs, and they were quite cool.  A 
couple were sort of techno, so we're looking at quite a difference in 
sound.  I think they sounded pretty cool, myself, but quite different.  
Lots of synthesizers, so it's like a window to their new sound.  BUY THE 
BOX-SET!! :)	During some of this time, I looked over at Billy and 
noticed him reading his Listessa book intently, and concentrating, really 
into it. At some point, he bookmarked his spot, set the book down on the 
side-table, rested his head on his hand, and sort of gazed off for a bit, 
thinking to himself, I guess.  It was a really beautiful scene, watching 
the band we know and love reading and looking at a book we all put 
together for them.  Wow! :>
	James, unfortunately, had left some time back :<  It was obvious 
that he was really tired, and I saw him going out the door with a 
brown leather jacket on.  I thought he would come back, but I guess he 
didn't:<  I feel bad in a way about having ignored Matt and Jimmy the 
Frog, because most of my attention was on Billy, James, and D'Arcy.  I 
wish I had gone and talked to them or something, but it just sort of 
happened the way it did.  You always think and say you're going to do 
something or act a certain way if you're in a certain situation, and you 
plan it all out, but once you are in the position, you never really do it 
the way you planned, and then you blame yourself later :<  It was all
utterly amazing, though.  I sat beside Karl and Tanya on the couch, 
looking over at the band members, smiling to myself.  Billy and D'Arcy were 
mouthing the words along to the songs, doing hand movements at mepoints 
(the swimming motion), laughing and smiling.  A guy (maybe a roadie?), at 
one point, pretended he was playing one of the guitar parts in one of the 
songs.  The whole time, Billy just looked up at him from where he sat and 
smiled and laughed sarcastically.  Karl, Tanya, and I all laughed at the 
guy, who was really getting into the music, going all out.  I listened to 
the music and nodded my head up and down, keeping time.  Karl and I looked 
over at each other at one point and just smiled and laughed.  It was so 
unreal, and yet it was all happening.  We all said nothing while listening 
to the beautiful sounds, and we just sat and gazed around us.  At one 
point I would think to myself, "Jen, go up and talk to them, now.  This is 
your last chance," and I still anger myself about that, but when I look 
back now, I think that it was a good thing to stay on that couch and not 
go up and ask the band all these questions, because the band probably 
wanted it that way, just wanted to sit back and relax with a few of their 
fans.  It was also such a wonderful experience, sitting there with Karl 
and Tanya, that I think it would've ruined the moment.  It was right to 
just sit back and take it all in, even if it was my only chance.  
Something about that one moment, just being in that position, will always 
come back to me when I think about the meeting.  Just sitting there across 
from THE best band on earth, taking in all that they are, knowing that it 
would end in just a few more minutes but holding onto each last second in 
total bliss.  It will flash before me every time I listen to one of the 
b-sides from "Thirty-three" or one of the covers from the box-set.  I'll 
never forget..	Sadly, time was running out.  Karl asked Billy one more 
question about "Thirty-three" and the significance of the name.
	Billy responded something like this: "Thirty-three is a 
significant number to me, as 66 and 99 are."  I'm not sure of what that 
means totally, but I don't think the name "Thirty-three" is in any way 
biblically related.  Sorry I don't remember this more clearly, but it was 
another one of those times where I became so focused on the bandmembers' 
faces rather than their words because I was sitting right in front of 
Billy... hehe... I couldn't help it!	We all got up and did the ritual 
of signing.  Karl and Tanya had some of their things signed first.  I 
walked up to Billy and stood right beside him.	Me: "Could you sign this 
for me, please?" I asked so shyly as I gave him my copy of the Listessa 
book.  I'm looking at the book at this verymoment, the inside cover, "To 
Jennifer... much thanks and love, Billy, 1996."  This book keeps me from 
asking the constant question, "Did it really happen, or was it all a 
dream?" :>  I then gave him my "Tristessa/La Dolly Vita" vinyl cover.  The 
pen he was using to sign it began to run out and he said something like, 
"Oh, pen ran out.. anyone have a sharpie?  Someone gave him one and he 
held out the ink pen that had run out.  For some reason I hesitated to 
take it... I wasn't sure if he wanted me to 'cause the pen wasn't mine.  I 
assumed he did and I took it from him and handed it to a guy sitting next 
to him. The guy just said, jokingly, "Hey, don't give it to me...it ain't 
mine."  I discovered it was Karl's and Tanya's and handed it back to them.
	Billy signed the back of the vinyl cover, as well as the front, 
drawing all over his face, putting in three 6s and a goatee and horns.  It 
was really awesome.  He wrote, "Billy, 1996" on both sides.  During the 
signing of them, I began saying that I hoped he liked the book.  He didn't 
hear me and said, "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you," while holding my arm to 
get my attention.  I repeated myself, along with a "Thank you," and an "I 
love you guys so much, you're just amazing" sentence which didn't really 
come out well.  I'm not even sure Billy heard me completely or not.
	Next I walked up to D'Arcy and handed her my Tristessa/La Dolly 
Vita vinyl cover.  On top of her pic she wrote, "Me", with an arrow 
pointing down to herself.  Later, in the car, I noticed that she hadn't 
signed my Listessa book, which surprised me quite a bit 'cause I thought I 
had given it to her.  I guess I totally forgot about it, caught up in the 
moment.  I wish I had gotten it, but at least she signed one of them.  It 
was disappointing that James left early, because we never got to receive 
his autograph.  It was kewl to get a chance to just talk with him, though.  
Somehow we never got autos from Jimmy the Frog, Matt, or Dennis, don't ask 
me why.  Everyone was up and about, so they had gone by the time we got up 
to leave.  Oh, well.
	Karl and Tanya had their books and their "I Am One" vinyl signed. 
Billy and D'Arcy were amazed.  They couldn't believe that Karl and Tanya 
had found something so rare, and they were also really surprised because 
they just hadn't seen it in ages.  D'Arcy said something like, "Even WE 
can't find this anywhere!"  It was pretty cool and they continued to 
talk about it for quite a while.
	The final goodbye.  We all stood up, and we each shook Billy's 
hand. He thanked us again, and we all returned our thanks once again.  It 
was a really great experience, and then he walked past and got his coat 
on.  D'Arcy and Karl had a conversation before we left, discussing the "I 
AmOne" vinyl some more, amongst other stuff.  I wish I had had more time 
to talk to all the members, but in a way, it was perfect, and I wouldn't 
change any of it even if I could.  We all walked out with the band, Karl 
and D'Arcy talking still and laughing about things.  I swear, it was as 
if Karl and D'Arcy were long lost friends.  It was great seeing Karl and 
Tanya meet the band and talk with them, 'cause they are probably some of 
the biggest fans you'll ever find.  As we walked out the door, we turned 
our separate ways and I saw the Pumpkins getting smaller and smaller.  I 
turned back around and continued to walk down the corridor and out into 
the darkness.  It was a beautiful night, nice and peaceful.  I looked at 
Karl and Tanya, and we walked to the car, talking, smiling, and 
laughing... all the way home.	


			Jennifer Sloan




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