Smashing Pumpkins’ Drummer Arrested; Musician Dead

Concert in mid-June, along with Billy Corgan and a reporter.

Following
the death of Smashing Pumpkins’ touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin,
who over-dosed on heroin early this morning in a New York hotel room,
the group has postponed the rest of it’s July tour dates. Their
tour–including shows tonight and Saturday at Madison Square Garden
have been postponed, as well as a show Sunday night at New Jersey’s
Meadowlands–is booked through the end of the year, but it’s unclear
at this time when they will begin performing again. Police released
Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin on his own recognizance after
arresting him at noon today and charging him with criminal possession
of a controlled substance (heroin). Chamberlin’s arraignment has been
set for next month. A source close to the group said that Chamberlin
has a history of drug use, and has been in rehab on at least two
occasions. However, our source said that Chamberlin seemed to have put
his problem behind him. “Everyone in the band has been giving Jimmy a
lot of support,” our source said. “Everyone has been spending a lot of
time with him on the road. Obviously he still has a problem. What we
don’t know is, how often has he been using? Is this the only time in
the last six months? They [the band members and their associates] all
thought he was doing pretty well. The tour has been going great. This
was a real surprise.”

Chamberlain and Melvoin were staying at a
different hotel than the rest of the band. According to police,
Chamberlin and Melvoin showed up at the Regency Hotel at about 11 p.m.
last night, went to Melvoin’s hotel room and shot up. Chamberlin
passed out, and when he awoke he discovered that Melvoin was dead and
called 911. “After Jimmy called 911, he called the tour manager. The
tour manager called the group’s management and woke Billy [Corgan]
up–so a few people went to the hotel where he [Chamberlin] was.
Corgan went over, both tour managers, as well as one of the group’s
managers.” According to our source, police were already at the hotel
and “anyone who came in while police were there, they took them all
down to the station.” After questioning, everyone was released.
According to both police and our source, the group and their entourage
were extremely cooperative, and the police “acted with total
professionalism.”

The group is apparently “totally destroyed” over
this tragic turn of events.
The Pumpkins hired Melvoin at the beginning of the year, as a keyboardist
for the tour in support of the band’s latest release, Mellon Collie and
the Infinite Sadness,
though he did not work on the album.

“This is a young man who got his first
real break and he’s dead before he should be,” said our source.
“Everyone feels terrible about it. It’s a very sad thing. There was a
great feeling for Jonathan among band members… It’s very sad to lose
somebody.”

The Smashing Pumpkins and their associates have yet to make an official
statement about the situation. It is still unknown how this will affect
their current tour, or the future of the band.

Melvoin, who made his home in New Hampshire, comes from a family of
musicians. His sister, Wendy Melvoin, was a member of The Revolution,
Prince’s backing band in the 1980s; another sister, Susannah, also worked
with Prince as a member of The Family. Melvoin’s father, Mike Melvoin, is
a longtime session musician and former president of the National
Association of Recording Arts and Sciences [NARAS].






Pumpkins Initial Report


Smashing Pumpkins’ drummer Jimmy Chamberlin
was arrested and
charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance (heroin) in New
York at noon (EDT) today (Fri., July 12). His arrest followed the
death of Smashing Pumpkins’ touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin, who
was found dead of a heroin overdose in a Manhattan hotel room early
this morning, according to New York police. Officer Vincent Gravelli
told Addicted To Noise that Chamberlin and Melvoin had gone to a hotel
room at about 11 p.m., Thursday night, where they had “intravenously
injected” heroin. Chamberlin apparently nodded off. When he awoke he
called police. He was taken to the 19th Precinct for questioning late
this morning, and was arrested there.
Gravelli said police found the body of Melvoin, 34, in his
bed in a
room at the Regency Hotel on Park Avenue at 4:15 a.m. The group’s
three New York area concerts–tonight and Saturday night at Madison
Square Garden; Sunday at Meadowlands in New Jersey–have been
postponed. The Smashing Pumpkins, which in addition to Chamberlin
includes singer/guitarist Billy Corgan, guitarist James Iha and
bassist D’Arcy, have been touring for seen months since the release of
their smash album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Last
month they were one of the bands that performed at the Tibetan Freedom
Concert.