During a Deerhunter show last Friday at the Orange Peel in Asheville North Carolina, frontman Bradford Cox recounted an altercation at the venue between him and Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan. The incident supposedly happened after a show back in June 2007, when Deerhunter was chosen to open for the alt rock legends. According to Cox, he was thirsty so he took a bottle from a pile of VOSS water that was “arranged like a pyramid”. He was immediately accosted by someone in Corgan’s crew, who proceeded to grab him and push him on a wall. The bodyguard allegedly said, “What the fuck are you doing? That’s Mr. Corgan’s water.”
According to Cox, he was greeted by a woman the following day who told him that Billy Corgan was waiting for him. Cox entered the venue to see Corgan seated at the stage. This is what the Smashing Pumpkins frontman said according to Cox:
I hear you’ve been causing a lot of trouble. Do you know who you are? You’re shit. You’re a shitty little insignificant fucking indie rock band. And you’re invited — not by me, who knows what fucking idiot in my management did this — but you are invited to open for the Smashing Pumpkins.
Cox told Corgan that he was basically manhandled by Corgan’s bodyguard, an accusation that was dismissed by Corgan. Cox recounted peeling off his backstage pass and slapping the sticker on Corgan’s leg. Corgan then accused Cox of assaulting him and threatened to sue. Deerhunter was thrown off the venue.
A manager for The Smashing Pumpkins told reporters that they will be forced to resort to legal action if Cox doesn’t retract his story. In a press release, the manager said:
Several eyewitnesses can attest that Cox’s account is a complete fabrication, probably to get some much needed attention. He is correct about one thing, that the whole thing is on tape, and that we have a video of the encounter. Since this is intentionally slanderous, I will likely suggest we pursue charges unless a retraction is forthcoming.