Billy Corgan Reflects on Losing ‘Greatest Opponent’ Kurt Cobain
Billy Corgan has looked back fondly on Kurt Cobain in recent years, and in a new interview, he continues to examine his relationship with the late Nirvana singer.
Speaking with Zane Lowe, Corgan said, “I will go down always as saying, Kurt was the most talented guy of our generation. Kurt had so much talent. It’s like frightening. It was like a John Lennon level of talent, where you’re like,’How can you have all this talent?’ Or Prince, right? But Kurt’s not here, sadly. So I looked around, I was like, ‘All right, well, I could beat the rest of [my contemporaries] for sure.'”
Corgan has touched on the competitive nature of the ’90s alt. rock scene in various interviews over the years. It’s clear Corgan viewed Cobain as his biggest competition, as both a singer and a songwriter.
Corgan recalled, “When Kurt died, I cried because I lost my greatest opponent. I want to beat the best. I don’t want to win the championship because it’s just me and a bunch of jabronis, to use a wrestling term. It’s like, Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest sports competitor I’ll ever see in my lifetime. I mean, you want to talk about an alpha. That guy wanted to win the valet tip. You know what I mean?”
Back in December 2014, Corgan touched on the competitive nature with Cobain in an interview with The Independent. At the time, he said, ” … In the purest sense of the word, we were competitors. He and I were the top two scribes, and everybody else was a distant third.”
Corgan further noted, “Now, he and I didn’t necessarily get along. But I like to sing his praises, because he really was that talented. I like to think the world with him would have been a better place, and I like to think a lot of the crap music that followed wouldn’t have existed if he had been around to criticise it. Because he had the moral standing to slay generations with a strike of the pen.”
Smashing Pumpkins are heading out on tour this summer beginning July 28 in Las Vegas. Complete details can be found at SmashingPumpkins.com.