The year was a very interesting, but strange one for the band. The band finished their fourteen-month tour for Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
in February, and until that time, they encountered many legal situations.
Then began the tedious and precise work for the next album, Adore
. The Pumpkins worked and recorded meticulously once again, but had several problems during the initial recording sessions for the new album.
- In the January edition of Guitar World Magazine, Billy and James both dissect each song from the recently released The Aeroplane Flies High 5-CD box set.
The first date in the final leg of the MCIS tour begins in Reno, NV on the 4th. Fountains of Wayne opened for the 4th leg. On the 25th show at the New Haven Coliseum in Connecticut, concertgoer Peter Jefferey, a Princeton University music history professor, allegedley lost part of his hearing. He sues the band in March of 1999.
The band received seven Grammy nominations on the 7th. They were nominated for:
- Best Record - "1979"
- Best Album - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
- Best Pop Instrumental - "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness"
- Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group - "1979"
- Best Hard Rock Performance - "Bullet with Butterfly Wings"
- Best Alternative Music Performance - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
- Best Music Video Short Form - "Tonight, Tonight"
Billy and James joked about a future appearance on the "X-Files" at a Vancouver appearance on the 8th. However, it led to a series of rumors for many months. The band later announced that they were simply spinning tall tales, and won't be making appearances on the sci-fi hit show.
The band filed a lawsuit on the 9th at Los Angeles Superior Court against their music publisher, Chrysalis Music. They claim for declaratory relief, rescission, damages for breach of contract, slander of title, among other claims. They also claimed that a publishing deal from 1992 for thirty-two songs, was now void since they had exceeded that by releasing four albums. The Pumpkins asked for a minimum of $10 million in damages. However, Chrysalis demanded two additional albums from the band.
Billy joined David Bowie for two songs at his fiftieth birthday party celebration held at Madison Square Garden in New York on the 9th.
Billy denied rumors that he and supermodel Helena Christensen were dating each other on the 25th, in Allstar Magazine. He said, "That is so funny. I'm friends with Helena Christensen, and so is my girlfriend, Yelena Yemchuk, and we flew to Denmark to be with Helena and her boyfriend over New Year's." Billy also announced that he was getting a divorce from his wife, Chris Fabian.
The band won "Favorite Alternative Artist" at the American Music Awards on the 27th. Due to touring conflicts, they were not able to attend.
The Recording Industry Association of America announced on the 27th that Mellon Collie had been certified as going platinum eight times by selling 8,000,000 copies.
Addicted to Noise reported that Billy was expected to produce "three or four tracks, maybe more" for former Cars leader Ric Ocasek's forthcoming solo album, "Troublizing".
The band was announced to do a theme song for the "Batman and Robin" sequel.
- The Pumpkins wrapped up their 165 shows, 14 months, and 5 continent tour in support of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadnesson the 5th in New Orleans.
Billy entered a New York studio to assist Ric Ocasek for his solo effort, "Troublizing". Billy produced five songs and wrote the song "Asia Minor". In addition, he also played guitar on several songs.
The Pumpkins began demoing further for their next album, Adore.
Billy did a solo appearance at the fifth annual Tibet House Benefit at Carnegie Hall in New York on the 17th. He played two acoustic songs solo, and then provided backup guitar, vocals, and piano for the other performers. In his brief set, Billy debuted an unreleased song, "Need", which appeared in a very short form on Adore.
The Pumpkins performed "Muzzle" for the Conan O'Brien show on the 25th in New York.
The Pumpkins won Best Hard Rock Performance for "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" at the 39th Annual Grammy Awards on the 26th. They also perform their hit, "1979", and are joined by former Nine Inch Nails drummer Chris Vrenna with tour drummer Matt Walker as well.
- Billy celebrated his 30th birthday on the 17th, also St. Patrick's Day.
The band was announced to be doing a small summer festival European tour, and at such areas such as the Glastonbury Festival, Belgacom Festiva, Torhout, and Werchter.
- Billy received the #2 spot in Spin Magazine's "40 Most Vital Artists".
A nasty April Fool's Day joke from the band of a breakup had many people in tears and rumors continued until the end of the month.
In the third week, the new Pumpkins song, "The End is the Beginning is the End" hit radio across the country.
The band rejected a request from MTV for an Unplugged session on the 14th.
Rumors of a collaboration project of Billy, Marilyn Manson, and Twiggy Ramirez called Fairy began at the "Private Parts" premiere on the 16th.
- "The End is the Beginning is the End" video premiered on MTV on the 20th.
Billy attended a birthday party for Dennis Rodman, 36, and performed one song with Poi Dog Pondering.
- The Pumpkins released their single, "The End is the Beginning is the End", on Warner Brothers. The single was from the film "Batman and Robin".
The Pumpkins played a clandestine club date at Chicago's Double Door (holding only 500) under the pseudonym of "Audio Vanguard Association" on the 23rd. Fans in attendance were either intelligent enough to read between the lines from advertisements for a Frogs set (which was strange since the Frogs had played at nearby the Metro two nights before), or were lucky enough to stumble into the small nightclub.
The show was done in preparation for a string of European festival dates. Tickets for the show were a mere $7, and the show consisted of mainly Mellon Collie tracks, with the band's latest hits, "Eye" and "The End is the Beginning is the End".
Interestingly enough, the Frogs opened the surprise set in a mock Pumpkins' drag outfit. They played nothing but pre-Mellon Collie songs.
In the third week, an obsessive webhead fooled scores of fans, corporations, and magazines. The webhead posted to several mailing lists and the newsgroup posing as a Virgin Records representative and "announced" of two new Smashing Pumpkins albums.
The summer festival mini-tour continued with a Glastonbury, UK appearance on the 27th.
- Addicted to Noise reported on the 1st that James was considering doing a solo album.
The brief summer tour ended on the 9th in Prague, CZ.
Recording sessions for James Iha's solo record, Let It Come Down began and several musicians from his record label, Scratchie, appeared. Matt Walker helped out as the drummer. The recording continued throughout the summer, and eventually released in February. D'Arcy and Kelly Deal teamed up to cover the Rod Stewart '70s hit, "Tonight's the Night". The cover was hoped to appear on a Rod Stewart tribute album.
Billy Corgan, Marilyn Manson, and Chris Vrenna's supposed side project, "Fairy" is canned after Vrenna leaves the band to work on Axl Rose's solo album.
The Pumpkins received four nominations for the MTV Video Music Awards, all for their video "The End is the Beginning is the End". The band received nominations in: Best Cinematography in a Video, Best Editing in a Video, Best Special Effects in a Video, and Best Direction in a Video.
- The band headed to Chicago Trax Recording and Hinge in Chicago with producer Brad Wood, most known for his work on Liz Phair and Red Red Meat (a band that opened for the Pumpkins during the MCIS tour as well). Wood first worked with Billy as a co-producer on a 1990 single by Chicago band Catherine. Sessions with Wood were later scrapped. Wood also departed just before the band moved to Los Angeles. Billy had said "I felt like he was not completely grasping everything that needed to go into making a Smashing Pumpkins record.". Billy also felt that Wood was not experienced to working with someone "like Liz Phair, whom he can mold, and I'm not the kind of person you can mold". He started to feel that Wood was taking on an engineer role and was dropped once the band moved to LA. Flood was also in the crew, and Billy felt that "he helped focus us, and take the album to another place."
The TIG insurance sued the band for $200,000 for allegedly damaging equipment on January 26th at the War Memorial Stadium in Rochester, New York. They wanted to recover damages that "amounted to complete destruction of the equipment" and cited four projectors, four zoom lenses, and four mounting frames all used in the Rochester show.
- The band unfortunately lost all four nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards on the 5th.
Addicted to Noise reported on the 9th, that the band had taken a turn in the opposite direction and were going unplugged on the new album, according to the publicist Gayle Fine.
Billy was announced on the 26th to be one of the artists featured in a '97 "Very Special Christmas 3" album due out October 7th. Billy delivered an original Pumpkins holiday tune, "Christmastime". The song had renowned arranger Arif Mardin and a 45-piece string ensemble.
Billy began taking voice lessons in a whim from his dissatisfaction to the current state of his voice. He believed that it was from something more troubling and permanent. He said "I'm not technically proficient as I should be, and that really holds us back.". His voice teacher informed him that he was singing "completely wrong". Nonetheless, there is a noticeable improvement on several of the softer songs in the album Adore.
The New York Post reported on the 29th about a "cyber psycho" named Sam Menzie, 15, who assaulted and murdered an 11 year-old boy. Sam was a big pumpkinhead, and the story linked his obsession with the Pumpkins a possible reason or influence for the murder. Go figure.
- The Pumpkins played two shows on the 18th and 19th, each 50-minute sets, for Neil Young's annual Bridge School Benefit (usually an all acoustic gig).
The band debuted two new songs on the 18th, "To Sheila" and "Ava Adore". Marilyn Manson and his bandmate Twiggy Ramirez joined them onstage for two songs, "Eye" and "The Beautiful People".
The band played one new song on the 19th, "Behold! The Night Mare". They were joined onstage by Blues Traveler frontman John Poppper for "Porcelina of the Vast Oceans". In a later interview, Billy explained that the 'night mare' in the title was referring to a horse, running along at night, not a bad dream.
Addicted to Noise reported on the 22nd that the band had reached an undisclosed settlement with Laura Melvoin, widow of their late touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin. Laura sought reparations from the band on behalf of her infant son and alleging that the Pumpkins should have monitored Jonathan more closely to ensure that he did not use drugs.
- The Pumpkins opened up for the Rolling Stones on the 1st at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
The Pumpkins did a surprise appearance opening for Jane's Addiction on the 3rd at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom. Billy was decked out in a long licorice-red wig, day-glo lipstick, and a black and red, full-length velvet dress. The band did a potent six-song set drawn from Mellon Collie. There was some nostalgia involved in returning to the Aragon. Billy told the crowd, "We played our first show here back in '88 with Jane's."
Addicted to Noise reported on the 14th that tour drummer Matt Walker left the band to pursue his own rock band, the Cupcakes, whom signed a record deal with Dreamworks. Walker's last gig was to be when the band opens for the Rolling Stones in Miami on December 5th.
- Ex-Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron tried out for the Pumpkins in the first week. He was among several musicians and drummers who contributed to Adore.
The band opened up for the Rolling Stones again in Miami, Florida. The second of two shows, it was also the final performance for tour drummer Matt Walker.
The band moved to Los Angeles to do recording sessions for Adore. They recorded at Studio A at Sound City in Van Nuys, California.