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Billy Corgan to Let Fans Suggest Upcoming Set List, Planning to Release Early Demos

Ian Gavan, Getty Images

Sounds like yesterday is the greatest day Billy Corgan has ever known.

The Smashing Pumpkins frontman is planning to revisit the past in the immediate future: He’s asking fans to submit their own “dream Billy Corgan” set list for a career-spanning performance at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival later this month. He’s also said that his next release will be a multi-volume collection of home demos recorded between 1985 and 1990.

Corgan is set to headline Aug. 30 at the Ravinia Festival — a series of outdoor concerts held between June and September in Highland Park, Ill. — and the Panopticon (the “official Smashing Pumpkins nexus”) is hosting a contest for fans to submit their own personal 20-song set list for the performance. Although there’s no indication Corgan will actually play the winning set, the winner will receive a private meet-and-greet with Pumpkins frontman at the festival.

In the meantime, Corgan also announced he’s planning to release some of his earliest, pre-Pumpkins demos, of which he said there’s around 800 lying around. “A word of caution, as these ‘works’ are all over the place in terms of quality, etc, as I was just a kid of 18 when I started making my own recordings,” Corgan posted. “Not only do my influences show a little too hard in places, but so do my inadequacies as a sound engineer.”

He said that short sound clips of each release will be made public before he decides what will be on the records. “Many [songs] are instrumental or ‘vibey’ in nature and may not appeal to everyone,” he wrote. “I didn’t really start singing my own songs until I was 19.”

There’s no official release date as of yet, but Corgan said the first installment won’t arrive for at least two or three months. Wondering what you can expect? Here’s a video from one of the Pumpkins’ very first performances back in 1988 — five years before they broke into the mainstream with ‘Siamese Dream’:

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