Smashing Pumpkins' Tumultuous Career Coming To An End

Band has endured death, arrests, lawsuits, falling sales.

When singer Billy Corgan announced Tuesday (May 23) that the Smashing Pumpkins would call it quits before year's end, he ended months of speculation among fans about the art-rock band's survival.

The Chicago outfit has endured more than most of its rock peers, including death, arrests, lawsuits and falling sales.

The band's ups and downs have been many, as the chart below details. (Click here for a full report on Tuesday's announcement.)

Mellon Collie, The Infinite Sadness And Everything In Between


Billy Corgan (vocals, guitar) and D'Arcy Wretzky (bass) form the Smashing Pumpkins in Chicago. The group is later rounded out by James Iha (guitar) and Jimmy Chamberlin (drums).

May 28, 1991

Band releases debut album Gish, which includes future fan favorites "I Am One" and "Siva" (RealAudio excerpt).


Band releases Lull EP.

July 27, 1993

Band releases major-label follow-up Siamese Dream, which includes "Today" (RealAudio excerpt).


Pisces Iscariot collects B-sides and early recordings.

Oct. 24, 1995

Band explodes with concept double-LP Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

Disc spawns hits in "Tonight, Tonight" (RealAudio excerpt),

"1979" (Real Audio excerpt) and "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"

(RealAudio excerpt) and sets group's reputation as ambitious art-rock outfit.

July 12, 1996

Touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin overdoses on heroin in New York. Chamberlin is arrested on heroin possession charges and later fired.

Band later resumes tour with Filter's Matt Walker on drums.

Nov. 26, 1996

Pumpkins release singles box set, The Aeroplane Flies High.

October 1997

Band settles with Melvoin's widow for an undisclosed amount. She sought reparations on behalf of her infant son, alleging that the

Pumpkins should have monitored Jonathan more closely to ensure that he did not use drugs.

February 1998

Virgin Records sues the band for failure to deliver albums. Case is later resolved.

Feb. 10, 1998

Iha releases solo album Let It Come Down.

June 2, 1998

Band releases Adore, an album cut with programmed percussion, along with help from drummers Walker and Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.).

Though the disc eventually ships 1 million copies, its electronic textures fail to connect with mass audience of Mellon Collie.

Corgan later expresses his frustration.

June 1998

Band launches summer theater tour with Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp)

behind the drum kit, raising almost $2.7 million for children's charities.

Sept. 8, 1998

Hole release Celebrity Skin. The title track and several other songs are collaborations with Corgan.

November 1998

Band splits with Q Prime management company.

April 1999

Chamberlin's return to the Pumpkins showcased on spring club tour.

Aug. 24, 1999

Corgan-penned score for supernatural thriller "Stigmata" released.

September 1999

Wretzky quits band to pursue acting career.

December 1999

Ex-Hole bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur debuts with the Pumpkins.

January 2000

New manager Sharon Osbourne (wife of heavy-metal singer Ozzy Osbourne) quits.

Pumpkins later sue Osbourne for fraud and breach of contract.

Jan. 25, 2000

Wretzky arrested for crack cocaine possession.

Although she maintains her innocence, she agrees to attend four drug-abuse prevention classes in exchange for having charges dropped.

February 2000

Band mounts U.S. autograph-signing tour.

Feb. 29, 2000

Band releases what will become its final album before breaking up, MACHINA/the machines of God,

a return to rock that includes the singles "The Everlasting Gaze" (RealAudio excerpt)

and "Stand Inside Your Love" (RealAudio excerpt).

May 23, 2000

Corgan announces on Los Angeles' KROQ-FM that the Smashing Pumpkins will disband before the year's end.