Billy Corgan Calls Singing at Cubs Game ‘Stuff of Nightmares’
The Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan recalled his performance during a Cubs playoff game, calling it “one of the worst moments of my life.”
Corgan, who was born and raised in Chicago, is a lifelong Cubs fan and has routinely been spotted at Wrigley Field. During a recent interview on the radio show Out of Order, he recalled his role in the team’s cursed 2003 playoff run.
“The day of game six, which was the famous [Steve] Bartman game where he reached over and kept Moises Alou from catching the ball,” Corgan recalled to host Stryker, “that morning the Cubs called me and said, ‘There probably won’t be a game seven, but will you come sing ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ if there is?’”
Traditionally, the seventh-inning stretch rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” has been a source of pride for Cubs fans. For decades, beloved broadcaster Harry Caray would lead the stadium in the tune. Since Caray’s death in 1998, the Cubs have continued a tradition of have special guests deliver the song. Corgan knew that doing so during a playoff game would be an honor.
“What an awesome opportunity,” he recalled thinking, adding that the promise of a luxury box for him and his friends to watch the game made the offer even sweeter.
Watch Billy Corgan Sing 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' in 2003
But fate had other plans. After Bartman’s infamous interference in game six helped the Florida Marlins even the series, the Cubs would be forced into a decisive game seven. By the time Corgan was scheduled to perform, it was obvious Chicago would not be advancing.
“So of course by the time I got to the booth to sing the song, the Cubs were losing - it was like a funeral,” the rocker recalled. “It was a disaster. It was probably one of the worst moments of my life. Not just musically, of my life.”
Corgan went on to recall sitting by the play-by-play announcers, “watching the Cubs completely implode.” He described the scene as “the stuff of nightmares.” Moments later, he heard the words he was dreading: “Ladies and gentlemen, Billy Corgan!’”