Revisit The Smashing Pumpkins’ bizarre therapy sessions, 1994
Back in 1994, following the release of the B-sides and rarities compilation, Pisces Iscariot, Smashing Pumpkins revealed their long-form music video ‘Vieuphoria’.
Originally released on VHS on October 4, 1994, the video consists of various Smashing Pumpkins performances—largely from their most recent Siamese Dream tour—mixed humorously with comedy skits, interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and other entertaining short clips.
One of their comedic sections, a mock therapy section which was somewhat carelessly written, features all four members of the band airing their dirty laundry to a therapist who repeatedly asks: “I hear you’ve been having some problems with your band, and I wonder would you like to tell me about them?”
While the skit is quite clearly a joke, an emotion which is resonated by guitarist James Iha’s role in the clip, the rest of the band features comments which blur the lines between humour and reality. Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin and D’arcy Wretzky may be better actors than I’m giving them credit for, but sections of the session includes comments ridden with emotion and deep-seated resentment; most prominently in the story told by frontman Corgan.
“Just let me just make this analogy,” Corgan begins with his session. “You wanna go to the circus. And to get in to the circus, it costs you five pence. So, you stand in line, you don’t have five pence, but you really wanna go to the circus. So someone comes along and says: ‘well, I’ll take you in the circus and I’ll pay the five pence, but you gotta pay me back later’. So you get taken in the circus, they take you out, ‘oh, ok… well when [are] you gonna pay me back?’—’Oh, I don’t know, I’ll get around to it sooner or later’.
Corgan concludes, rather cuttingly, by saying: “That’s the story of the band” before the camera cuts to the therapist’s slightly awkward eye roll.