Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan Pays Tribute To Sinéad O’Connor


Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan has paid tribute to Sinead O’Connor.

The lead singer paid homage to the late Sinéad O’Connor, recalling how he got to know her while she was living temporarily in a mutual friend’s attic.

The pair met after O’Connor had moved to Chicago to stay with Morrissey drummer Matt Walker in Spring 2016.

Walker and Corgan also became friends after Walker had deputised as Smashing Pumpkins’ drummer in the absence of Jimmy Chamberlain. Billy Corgan and Sinéad O’Connor got to know each other over at Walker’s home in Chicago.

“relationships in life”

In a recent interview with The Irish Times, Billy Corgan spoke about getting to know O’Connor over dinner along the suburb of Wilmette.

“I’d met Sinéad once at a show,” Corgan said.

“We talked a little bit, but I can’t say I knew her. So now she’s living at my friend’s house, where I go for Sunday dinner. Four or five, six times I was over for Sunday ham and Sinéad would come down and have dinner. And then I finally got to know her as a person. We talked about her children a lot and relationships in life and her struggles”, Corgan revealed.

He continued: “She was very, very honest. I mean, almost to a fault. This bare-your-soul honesty. Such a beautiful woman, such an incredible talent – just in awe of her talent”. 

“Of course my friends were calling me on the side, asking me for advice on what to do with the rock star living in their attic. They love her and they’re trying to support her through a very difficult time”. 

“struggles were real”

Elsewhere, Billy Corgan recalled how one Sunday morning in mid-May that same year, Sinéad O’Connor had left Matt Walker’s home at 6am for a bike ride, and did not return.

A day later, Wilmette police released a statement, saying that they were “seeking to check the wellbeing” of the singer, raising concerns among those who knew her.

Corgan explained: “My friends are calling me, freaking out, because they don’t know what to do… I had an interesting inside perspective into this critical time in her life. It was hard to watch, because, you know, her struggles were real”. 

“Sinéad was not an actor”

Sinéad O’Connor was discovered the same day. She sadly passed away last year, which sent shockwaves around the world of music.

On her death, Corgan stated: “If you can take anything from her passing, it was to see this incredible outpouring of love and respect for her”. 

He also added: “Sometimes it’s [sad] it takes a passing for people to come into contact with how they feel. People realise now that we lost someone who probably should have gotten more attention and support when she was here. Because her gift was so rare. And her gift had a lot to do with her pathos. Her incredible gift of singing had a direct line to her heart. That’s so rare in singers. Most singers are actors. Sinéad was not an actor”.

Back in March, Sinéad O’Connor’s estate called out former US President Donald Trump for using her music at political rallies.

In April, Corgan’s band The Smashing Pumpkins unveiled their new guitarist, after receiving more than 10,000 applications for the role.

The band opened up an application via social media, following the departure of Jeff Schroeder, eventually deciding on YouTube sensation Kiki Wong. More on that story here.

Smashing Pumpkins launch their European tour, ‘The World Is A Vampire’ on June 7, in Birmingham, UK.