The Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman has taken a different tack, and name, on the solo album “Ogilala.” (Courtesy Alpha Pan)

The Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman has taken a different tack, and name, on the solo album “Ogilala.” (Courtesy Alpha Pan)

Meet William Patrick Corgan

Smashing Pumpkins bandleader Billy Corgan is reintroducing himself to fans this year.

At 50, the proud father of Augustus (his nearly 2-year-old son with girlfriend Chloe Mendel), the musician has released his most grown up work to date, under the classy sobriquet William Patrick Corgan.

The nonsensical-titled, Rick Rubin-produced, acoustic-based solo record “Ogilala” reveals his songwriting acumen in bare-bones glory. He’ll be playing the album in its entirety in the first set of his two-night run at The City’s Herbst Theatre this week; he’ll also perform catalog chestnuts.

“This is probably the first time in a long time where I didn’t think about things too much; I just let whatever happen, happen,” says the Chicagoan, who became president and owner of the National Wrestling Alliance, an extension of his former involvement in the sport’s Resistance Pro organization.

“I’m out of intellectual options now, so I’m going to go with the intuitive ones. It’s like, Door No. 1, Door No. 2 and Door No. 3 — you can argue why Door No. 2 makes more sense all day, but your gut tells you to pick Door No. 1. So you just go for it, and you’re willing to live and die by that decision.”

When Rubin first received Corgan’s skeletal piano-guitar-vocal demos, he was intrigued, and he immediately scheduled studio time to hear the music performed live.

Corgan says he doesn’t even remember writing the jangly “Processional,” with its forlorn refrain, “Won’t you christen me.”

He adds, “But I remember first playing that song for Rick and thinking, ‘Is this too boring?’ Because it’s basically a folk round with no choruses that cycles back down like a Dylan song. But Rick was excited, and said, ‘You’re really on to something here! This is awesome!’ And I was like, ‘Wow! I didn’t even know what I had!’”

Other loping cuts — including “Shiloh,” “The Spaniards” and “The Long Goodbye” — were inspired by vintage Sons of the Pioneers, and flicker past like smoky campfire singalongs.

“There’s a lot of space in those early 1930s country songs,” says Corgan, who felt vindicated when he discovered that William Randolph Hearst regularly hired the Sons to play at Hearst Castle. “In Hearst’s weird brain, they were having their little rodeo time eating baked beans in his castle, and somehow that all works in my brain, too.”

The biggest “Oglilala” influence is probably Augustus, who is featured on the album cover. “He came into the world a strong spirit,” dad says. “So my job is to just get out of the way and figure out how to help him. And it’s been nice to be No. 2 for a change.”

IF YOU GO
William Patrick Corgan
Where: Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 1-2
Tickets: $55 to $75
Contact: (415) 392-4400, www.livenation.comAugustusBilly CorganChloe MendelOgilalaPop MusicRick RubinSmashing PumpkinsWilliam Patrick Corgan

Just Posted

On Sunday, California bore the brunt of what meteorologists referred to as a bomb cyclone and an atmospheric river, a convergence of storms that brought more than half a foot of rain to parts of the Bay Area, along with high winds, concerns about flash floods and the potential for heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada. Much of the Bay Area was under a flash flood watch on Sunday, with the National Weather Service warning of the potential for mudslides across the region. (NOAA via The New York Times)
Bomb cyclone, atmospheric river combine to pummel California with rain and wind

What you need to know about this historic weather event

National Weather Service flood watch in the San Francisco Bay Area for Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (National Weather Service via Bay City News)
Storm pounds Bay Area, leaving over 145,000 without power: Closures and updates

Torrential rainfall causes flooding, triggers evacuations in burn areas

Plan Bay Area 2050 is an expansive plan guiding the region’s growth and development over the next three decades. The regional plan addresses progressive policy priorities like a universal basic income and a region-wide rent cap, alongside massive new spending on affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. (Shutterstock)
Plan Bay Area 2050: Analyzing an extensive regional plan that covers the next 30 years

Here are the big ticket proposals in the $1.4 trillion proposal

A collaborative workspace for a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in Coordinape is pictured at a recent blockchain meet up at Atlas Cafe. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Business without bosses: San Francisco innovators battle bureaucracy with blockchain

‘The next generation will work for three DAOs at the same time’

Most Read