Best known as the guitarist, singer, and head songwriter for the Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan was one of alt-rock's leaders and focal points for much of the '90s. Born on March 17, 1967, in Elk Grove, Illinois, Corgan's first true exposure to music came from his father, Bill Corgan, Sr., who was a blues guitarist. After his parents divorced, Corgan moved from one relative to the next as a child, and by age 14 he began playing guitar himself (citing such hard rock bands as Cheap Trick and Van Halen as important early influences). In 1985 Corgan formed his first real band, a goth metal group called the Marked. After gigging around the Chicago area, the Marked soon relocated from Illinois to St. Petersburg, Florida in pursuit of greener musical pastures. However, the change of scenery did little to improve the group's fortunes, and so ...
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