Over the past three years, Reverb has launched over a dozen official artist shops selling the personal gear collections of rock icons. But the Official Billy Corgan Reverb Shop, launching August 16th, is unlike anything we’ve done before.
Both the sheer inventory size — over 150 listings — and the provenance of the items make this shop required browsing for any Corgan fan, or, for that matter, anyone who cares about the history of rock. This is the core gear used on the albums and tours all of which helped define Corgan as a musician.
When The Smashing Pumpkins broke onto the scene in the early ‘90s, it was immediately clear that the band represented a new front in rock music. The band’s albums from that period showcase Corgan’s smart songwriting and unforgettable vocals, but it was arguably Corgan’s massive, layered guitar work on that run of modern classics that turned the music world on its head.
Now, some of the great tools Billy Corgan used to craft that sound — the pre–amps, heads, combos, guitars, basses, and more — are going up for sale. Most of the sounds you hear on albums spanning from Gish (1991) through Monuments to an Elegy (2014) can be traced back to gear you’ll find in this shop, so many of these items could just as easily be put in a museum as in the hands of a fan.
This shop goes beyond The Smashing Pumpkins, too. You’ll also find gear used during his time with Zwan, including his main Gibson Les Paul Special and plenty of guitars and amps used for his first solo record, TheFutureEmbrace.
Here are a handful of our favorites:
- Corgan’s #2 Stratocaster. A modified, star–covered 1988 Fender AVRI Strat that recorded most of Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie, including “Today,” the solo of “Cherub Rock,” and many more.
- A pair of Marshall JMP-1s that were the main preamps for Mellon Collie album and the tour.
- Two Alesis drum machines, one used for the loops on “1979” and another that was used to record many early Pumpkins’ demos before Jimmy Chamberlin joined the band.
- The modified 1990s Les Paul Special used to record much of the Machinaalbum and played regularly on that tour, and the two backup LP Specials from the tours.
- The rackmount ADA MP-1 preamps used to record Gish.
- A Fender Subsonic Stratocaster in Sonic Blue from the Zeitgeist era signed “This is what true freedom looks like. Billy Corgan.” One of the few items in the shop signed by the guitarist, it was originally set to go to auction in 2008 before Corgan decided against it.
- The Fernandes sustainer guitar used in the studio and on tour for most of Adore.
- A 1969 Gibson EB–3 Bass in Walnut dubbed the Mountain Bass used as a “secret weapon” on everything from Mellon Collie to Machina.
- The small Crate combo amps used to get the distortion sounds on Machina.
- The arsenal of Diezel and Bogner amps used to record and tour for Zeitgeist.
- Dozens of collector–grade vintage guitars, including two ’58 Strats, a ’63 Candy Apple Red Strat, a 1953 Gibson Super 400, and a ’66 Rickenbacker 360.
- A vintage 1950s accordion and an autoharp used on the Mellon Collie tune “We Only Come Out at Night.”
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll also find a handful of pre–CBS Fender Stratocasters, a few vintage Gibsons (including a beautiful ‘54 Les Paul Junior and an ultra rare ‘53 Super 400 CES), the acoustic guitars used to write many of Corgan’s most famous songs, and rare prototypes from Ibanez, Reverend, and Fender. There are also plenty of pieces that true fans will especially appreciate: think of that electric sitar on “A Stitch in Time.”
For a closer look at all of Billy Corgan’s gear that you can buy, check out the galleries above. Be sure to sign up for email updates to be the first to learn when the shop goes live next month.