Billy Corgan: "Kurt Cobain was my greatest opponent"

16 May 2023, 14:46

Kurt Cobain and Billy Corgan - rivals?
Kurt Cobain and Billy Corgan - rivals? Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Brian Rasic/Getty Images

The Smashing Pumpkins frontman claims the loss of the Nirvana legend meant he was no longer challenged in songwriting by "the best".

Billy Corgan claims that he mourned the loss of his "greatest opponent" when Kurt Cobain died.

The Smashing Pumpkins star wept when the Nirvana frontman's death by suicide aged 27 was announced in April 1994.

Speaking on Apple Music 1, 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.”

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Cobain was found dead at his Seattle home in April 1994, just as Smashing Pumpkins were breaking through with their second album Siamese Dream.

However, Corgan has previously admitted he and Kurt "didn't get along".

He told The Independent in 2014: “I had a much more personal perspective, because I’d been in contact with Courtney [Love, Kurt's widow] through a lot of the setting up of that period, and afterwards.

"I found it devastating because, whether we wanted to admit it or not, he was quarterback of the football team, leading the aesthetic and integrity charge. He knew how to navigate those things.”

Billy added: “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.”