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Billy Receives SPIFC/Listessa Photo Album - Ron Casison
Listessa & The Pumpkins

The subject line gives you the the outcome of the evening... but here is
the whole story, as told by the SPIFC/Listessa Fundraiser Photo Album
Co-ordinator, Ron Casison:


9:30 Club show, April 15th 1999:

     Well, I'm just starting to get my feet back on the ground.  THE SHOW
WAS ROCKING!!!  When Queens of the Stone Age were playing I was getting so
excited, because soon Billy, D'arcy, James, and Jimmy would be together
again on the stage in which I first saw my first Pumpkins concert.  The
crowd was hyped for the Pumpkins to take the stage... and when they
finally did it was such a wondrous moment.  James being his usual
funny self said something about "where's the guitar scientist?" as he
picked up his guitar.  I was kinda surprised seeing D'arcy wearing
a cowboy hat.  I was wondering if she was borrowing it from Billy.  They
immediately broke into "I am One", which was amazing to hear the precise
thunder of Jimmy's rhythmic playing once again.  It was glorious!  It 
followed by Zero, Pug, and a sweet rendition of "La Dolly Vita."  I
immediately knew they came back to ROCK, and ROCK they did, attacking
their new songs with pure gusto!  It was amazing witnessing the elements
of the Pumpkins of old, back in a new, revved up, rockin' arising.
One thing I noticed about the new songs as was hinted with "Cash Car Star"
emotion wasn't the overarching force and content propelling the new songs
as much as the vintage Pumpkins of old... in one song Billy said "Cherry
Cola", and another one was lyrically driven by the refrain "Rock and
Roll".  It's absolutely mesmerizing watching Billy soloing on his guitar.
The new songs were pretty uptempo and he was soloing faster as ever in
sync with Jimmy.  I swear it's more spellbinding and skilled than Michael
Jordan dunking a basketball.  He does it just as effortlessly too and at the
same time he's singing, whereas Michael Jordan is just wagging his freakin
tongue out.  Billy was even winking a couple of times in the middle of
the concert.  It was all just overwhelming!  I started emotionally
weeping, but it was so rockin i didn't have time to for very long.  D'arcy
was in a zone too... she still took the care to rain D'arcy picks on the
crowd but I couldn't catch one.  I think I noticed that on her bass
she had what appeared to be butterfly wings.  After the new songs they
played "Cash Car Star", which sounded tighter and flashier with Jimmy.
Of course, and they played "Ava Adore", and a gothic-y version of "Today".
One of my favorite moments of the show was when Billy broke into a
transcendent rockin' rendition of "Muzzle" followed by a stirring "Soma"
which really got the crowd hyped.  "Muzzle" followed by "Soma"... what a
one two Pumpkins punch.  Near the end of the concert I got pretty worried,
as a lot of people were being pulled out the crowd.  I felt like I was
about to suffocate when this guy behind me kept trying to squeeze me up
against the barricade.  For a second I thought i was going to have to be
pulled out unconscious, but then I was able to catch my breathe.  At the
end Billy was on the stage solo (during the first encore i believe.)
They were beautiful acoustic songs.  One of them really made me pretty
weepy and had an instant connection.  I believe its the song entitled
"Home" and also "Who Do You Love".  I hope they can still make room for
'em on the album, like as the last song or something.  When they came back
on stage I yelled "Mayonaise please Billy!"  Some other people were
shouting for Mayonaise too, but I don't think he heard us.  During the
final encore Billy was having a good time playfully dancing, kicking his
leg, then they played freakin Geek USA and Siva... another unbelievable
Pumpkins one two punch, and Jimmy was in prime form at the end of the
songs.  He did an amazing 20 second drum solo stating that yes, he
was indeed back and I when I saw him walking off stage he had his arms
raised in enthusiasm.  At the very end it was deja vu, D'arcy and James
came huddled around Billy all playing together towards one another with
Jimmy there with them too.  D'arcy was jumping up and down it... was
just like three years ago when they ended huddled together at the end of
Silverfuck.  It was beautiful.

After the show presenting the SPIFC/Listessa charity photo album:

After the show, I had to go back to my car to get the photo album.  I was
rocked, excited, nervous but focused on giving the album and reading the
letter, wanting to do listessa proud.  A lady had told me to go upstairs
after the show.  When i got upstairs after getting the album from my car I
showed my pass and the 9:30 Club guy was like "they already left" and I
was sad, worried, and in disbelief for a second there. Then I saw the same
lady and she told me she was worried, wondering where I was.  I said I had
to go get the album from my car.  She lead me to the door and right away I
saw Billy standing inside about 5 ft away talking to someone.  I stopped 
there in my tracks when i saw him.  I was in nervous awe knowing that in a
couple of seconds I would be talking with him presenting the album.  The
lady I was with noticed the nervousness that had siezed me asked me if i
was ok.  I was suddenly at ease and pretty focused, considering it was the
first time really meeting him.  Once I went through the door I went up to
him and said "Hi Mr. Corgan" and he said "Hi Ron" and I reached out and
shook Billy's hand.  At that moment and I said "On behalf of Listessa, I'm
presenting this charity photo album", and asked him if he had heard of our
efforts.  He said "Yeah, for Starlight right?" and I said "Yeah!" and that
I was honored to present the album to him on behalf of Listessa.  I 
noticed that D'arcy, James, and Jimmy weren't there.  There was about five
or six people there but they all seemed to disappear even though they were
there.  So Billy was standing right in front of me I had reached in the
bag to get the album. (I'm only like 5'8, I thought he'd seem even taller
I know he's 6'3" but I guess I thought he'd seem taller because when I see
him on stage he looks more than twice the size of me... I guess the stage
makes him look even taller.)  Then I said "I would be more nervous but I
always dreamed i'd meet you someday" and I told him that I thought the
world and heavens of him.  I told him that Karl wants me to read this
letter to you, and he said "Oh, you're going to read it to me?" and I said
"You can read along with me" and he was like "Sure!" and he sat down I
think it was like on a vent on the side of me so i read the letter and
a poem. The poem went something like this:
      by Starlight beloved Pumpkins we've honored you
      with the promise and inspiration of your
      generosity, concern, and kindness
      we hope we made you feel happy in 
      aiding, brightening the lives of
      Starlight's special youth
      and where will we go, what will we do?
      bright eyes courageous hearts 
      through this symbolic gesture we're
      proud to say we've honored you
      as lovely as a wish granted true
      as truly devoted fans we've followed you
      lost and found in your tunes
      thank you for brightening our own lives
      bright eyes, beloved courageous hearts

While I was reading the poem, our mission statement, and the letter to
him, I looked over a couple of times merrily realizing he was right beside
me listening he seemed genuinely happy and pleased about our efforts!
After I finished reading it to him he said "Can i see it?" and I said
"Sure, go ahead flip through it."  He stood up and opened it to one
page and I think Yelena came over wanting to look at it too.  Billy
happily chuckled to himself about something, although I'm not quite sure
what.  Billy asked me "How did you like the show?" and I said "IT ROCKED!
That was the rockingest concert ever!" I told him that their performance
at the 9:30 Club three years ago was my first Pumpkins concert, and that I
couldn't go to Lollapalooza because I was just 15 at the time.  I also
told him how much his band's music has meant to me, and how much it has
helped me through tough times... pretty much what many of you expressed in
the book.  I told him I share the sentiments of my fellow Listessa
members.  Well, I knew he had to get going so I asked him if I could take
a quick picture with me and he said "Sure!" so i took my Poloroid camera
out and he noticed I couldn't open it.  So he tried to open it then gave
it to the lady who had helped me that night.  Billy placed his winged hand
on my shoulder and the picture was taken.  I wished Billy good luck on the
tour and that I hoped he'd cherish the album as much as we cherish their
music and he said "Thanks!" and then he was gone. I thought I'd be too
nervous but actually it was the first time i was never really shy!

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