Smashing Pumpkins Sell Their Souls To Visa

After previously saying he wasn’t comfortable licensing Smashing Pumpkins’ hit “Today,” frontman Billy Corgan apparently changed his mind on his definition of sacred, selling the tune to Visa for use in a new credit card commercial.

In a 2004 interview with Newsweek, Corgan said he turned down two seven-figure-plus deals to license “Today” and “Tonight, Tonight.”

“The record company’s literally begging me: go ahead and take these commercials,” Corgan told the paper. “At this point in my life, I don’t feel comfortable. Those songs are the reason I’m alive. If your music is not sacred to the point where it’s a really, really, really heavy decision about whether or not you would allow somebody else to exploit it, then what’s not for sale?”

Photo: AP Photo
Spike TV Scream Awards, Greek Theatre, Los Angeles.

Corgan said “Today” saved his life.

“I was completely suicidal, and I wrote that song in a cold bedroom on a day where it was like, ‘I’m either going to kill myself today, or I’m going to live because I’m sick of thinking about this,’ Corgan told Newsweek.

Hmmm. I wonder if Visa offered Corgan an eight-figure deal? Or maybe the song has become a little played out and he’s over the tune? Then again, in this crappy economy, who couldn’t use some extra dough? pointed out that it’s a strange time to choose to license the song considering the unpopularity of the financial industry. Well, odd timing if Corgan is afraid of offending any fans who might call him a sellout. He’s not.

“I’m not romantic about the notion of ‘selling out.’ People who are not in your position deciding what is and isn’t selling out I always thought was a crock of s—,” Corgan told Newsweek.

That’s a fundamentally difficult position to be in. At this point, it’s just free money. Song’s already been played. It’s been exploited.


Read the Newsweek article here.

Read the Huffington Post article here.