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Corrigan Times - Local News

Copyright 2017 - Polk County Publishing Company


Rock star sighting.....................................in Corrigan?


By Chris Edwards

CORRIGAN – The ages-old adage states that it is a small world we live in, and some say it gets smaller every day. With that in mind, it stands to reason that one might run into someone with some degree of fame, randomly, in a place and on a day where such a circumstance could only be described as unexpected. Two weeks ago the City of Corrigan played host to a humble traveler who also happens to be a rock legend and an icon of the '90s alternative rock movement. Billy Corgan, the singer/songwriter/guitarist/ all-around guiding light of the mega-selling Chicago-based band the Smashing Pumpkins, stopped in Corrigan. What brought Corgan into Corrigan was a recent, crosscountry trip on which he embarked. He announced the journey last year through his Facebook page, a documentary project that he calls "Thirty Days," which finds the hulking musician with the bald head traveling across the county and interviewing people he meets along the way, as well as playing new pieces of music on his acoustic guitar, which he has brought along for the ride. Corgan said he is trying "to document this journey [and trying] to come up with some sort of collective vision." Prior to Corgan's stop in Corrigan, he visited Lufkin, and checked out the exhibits on display at the Naranjo Museum of Natural History. Corgan noted that the similarity in his surname and the name of the city, and said that he likely has some ancestral roots in Corrigan. He said his original family name was spelled the same as the city, and the original settlers in the area arrived around the same time as his family departed Ireland in the wake of the Irish Potato Famine. His possible roots in Corrigan is a subject that he hasn't researched thoroughly, but would like to know more about. "I should move to Corrigan and make them change the name," he joked. "They could drop the 'r' and the "i" and get the party started." Corgan walked around town for an afternoon and said he enjoyed stopping in town even more than he thought he would. Most people who saw the tall, black-clad stranger likely had no idea who he was. As it was, Corgan visited around city hall, the Corrigan Times office, and peered in through the window of the Corrigan Area History Center, where he read from documents on display. Although the days have passed when Corgan was an ubiquitous presence on MTV and magazine covers, his songs are still in regular rotation on classic rock stations, and a new generation of youngsters continue to discover the angstdriven melodies and existential, brooding lyrics of Corgan and crew through catchy songs like "Today" and "Disarm". The blend of '70s rock bombast and psychedelic tinges that made the Pumpkins sound unique (along with Corgan's keening vocals) still continues to draw concert crowds as well, as a new version of the band has been a popular touring act for several years and put out records such as Zeitgeist. Corgan is sometimes mentioned in the same breath as other iconoclastic '90s rock singers like Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and Layne Staley of Alice in Chains, but unlike those two legendary artists, Corgan survived his turn with huge mainstream stardom and is still creating music. Albums that Corgan helped create in his 90s heyday, like Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness continue to sell to this day. Recently, Corgan has all but confirmed that the classic lineup of the band behind all of the '90s hits will reunite to play shows. With any luck, maybe Corgan and the Pumpkins will come to Corrigan, Texas.


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