smashing pumpkins toronto

Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins surprises staff at Toronto record store

Perhaps it's fitting that Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins would show up at a Toronto record shop during a time when everyone is sipping pumpkin spice lattes.

The influential '90s alt-rock band played at Scotiabank Arena for their Spirits on Fire Tour this week, and Corgan popped into Shortstack Records while he was here.

"Corgan has been to the shop once before, the last time the Pumpkins played Toronto, in 2019. But the staff that was working then didn't own a smartphone, so while they had a great conversation with Billy, there was no evidence he was ever there. He was like our own Great Pumpkin," Shortstack Records owner Cal MacLean tells blogTO.

This time, in 2022, they did manage to get a photo with staff that they posted to social media, as well as an autographed Smashing Pumpkins album. Lots of people commented saying it was awesome he stopped by, and there are a handful that want the signed album.

"I'm flattered he decided to come back and that he made the effort to find us, since we had to move recently. He came in mid-afternoon and browsed for a bit," says MacLean.

"He bought about six albums, including T. RexTom Paxton, who's also from Corgan's hometown, Chicago, and jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, not to be confused with the former hockey announcer. He was really nice to the staff again, chatting for a bit and autographing a copy of Siamese Dream for the shop."

While people might literally be smashing pumpkins at the end of this month once we're all done with our jack-o'-lanterns, it's cool to see that this grunge frontman appreciates our local record store scene.

Lead photo by

Shortstack Records


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