Wrestling, tea and tunes with Billy Corgan

Courtesy PhotoThe Smashing Pumpkin founder Billy Corgan has ventured outside of the music realm and has opened a tea house as well as a wrestling company.

Courtesy PhotoThe Smashing Pumpkin founder Billy Corgan has ventured outside of the music realm and has opened a tea house as well as a wrestling company.

The Smashing Pumpkins founder Billy Corgan has been a veritable whirling dervish lately, whipping out the new 13-track “Oceania” (which the band is playing in its entirety in the current tour’s first set, along with vintage chestnuts), as well as overseeing EMI’s expanded catalog remasters. Box sets of “Gish,” “Siamese Dream” and “Pisces Iscariot” already are out; 1995’s definitive “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” will be released in December. He also just opened a Chinese-style, 1930s-Paris-inspired tea house in his native Highland Park, Ill.  And there’s more.

#link_box { width: 150px; height: auto; margin: 0; padding: 0; margin: 10px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 10px; background-color: #fbfade; /* ecru – light yellow */ border: 1px solid #343a25; /* green – for summer arts */ float: left; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; } #link_box img, #link_box a { border 0px; border-style: none; outline: none; } #link_box h1 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #8A0808; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; } #link_box h2 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #000; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 10px; text-align: center; } #link_box ul { list-style: none; margin: 0; padding: 0; border: none; } #link_box li { margin: 0px padding: 0px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; } #link_box li a { display: block; padding: 5px 5px 5px 15px; /* Padding for bullet */ /* border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; */ color: #000; width: 100%; width: auto; /* height: auto; */ /* border: 1px solid blue; */ margin: 0px; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: 14px; text-decoration: none; } #link_box li a: before { /* background-position: top left; */ } #link_box li a:hover { background-color: #ddd; color: #000; }

So you’re branching out into strange new ventures?

Don’t forget the wrestling company! I have an independent wrestling company in Chicago called Resistance Pro, and we hold shows and I write the storylines for actual wrestling promotions. It’s a fascinating subculture, and I really like being in the business. I get treated really well, and they really like me helping to sell the sport. I get treated far better in wrestling than I do in rock and roll. So yeah — I’ve got the tea house, the wrestling company. And the band.

But what inspired your tea house, Madame ZuZu’s?

It has to do with where I live. There aren’t many cool places to hang out on the North Shore, so we just thought we’d create one. And I’d had an idea for years about having an art-type space, so it’s meant to be a place where you can hang out, show off your work, and even play for free, and there won’t be any clinking-at-the-bar noise while you’re playing. It’s all acoustic — there’s no P.A. amplification. So if you’re going to get across to an audience, you’ll have to figure out how to do it old school.

Are you a tea connoisseur?

<p>Yeah, I’m a tea guy. But we’re not trying to out-snob anybody — we’re trying to create a vibe. But we’re trying to get teas from interesting places. Like, our green tea will taste different because it’s from North Africa. And we have vegan desserts — we’re more on the health-conscious side.

And you played Madame ZuZu’s grand opening last month?

Yes. And we have a small capacity, like 40 or so. So after every set we encouraged people to rotate out and let others come in, and people were actually really good about it. So throughout the day, we had maybe 300 folks coming through. But then I held my breath the next day, because it’s one thing if I show up and fans come, and another to have a viable business. But business has been great!

artsBilly CorganmusicPop Music & Jazzthe smashing pumpkins

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

District Attorney Chesa Boudin announces charges against former SFPD Officer Christopher Samoyoa in the 2017 fatal shooting of Keita O’Neill at a press conference outside the Hall of Justice on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
DA Boudin charges fired SFPD officer with manslaughter over fatal shooting

Ex-Officer Christopher Samayoa to face criminal charges in killing of Keita O’Neil

The area near the Castro Muni Metro Station is expected to be affected by construction work on the Twin Peaks Tunnel, with lane closures on Market Street and some loss of parking. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Construction on Twin Peaks Tunnel to begin November 30

Area around Castro Muni Station will see greatest impacts including lane closures on Market Street

(Genaro Molina/Pool/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Newsom calls latest surge of COVID-19 cases ‘unprecendented’

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation California’s latest surge of COVID-19… Continue reading

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, during a news conference on March 10, 2020. (Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
LA County suspends outdoor dining at restaurants as coronavirus surges

By Alex Wigglesworth Los Angeles Times Los Angeles County public health officials… Continue reading

Renderings of the main entrance to upcoming Mission Bay elementary school on Owens Street. (Courtesy photo)
SFUSD offers first look at planned Mission Bay elementary school

San Francisco school officials this month unveiled the design of a planned… Continue reading

Most Read