What's the deal with Courtney Love's Smashing Pumpkins cameo?

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Earlier today, Smashing Pumpkins unveiled the full line-up for their bells-and-whistles, star-studded 30th anniversary extravaganza. Along with the Pumpkins, guest spots would be provided by Peter Hook (this makes sense; Corgan is a massive New Order fan), two blokes from The Killers, the guy from Sugar Ray and Deftones frontman Chino Mareno. So far, so predictable.

But one addition left us here at the Louder offices scratching our heads. Alongside the rest of the guest appearances would be... Courtney Love

For those whose memories are hazy, a brief history lesson: Corgan and Love dated for a while back in 1991. According to Love, she and Corgan grew apart after Smashing Pumpkins played a festival with Nirvana in Roskilde; Corgan refused to pay for Love's airfare home, so she travelled back by ferry with future husband Kurt Cobain and his band. It was on this ferry journey that her feelings for Cobain flourished and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Despite their breakup, Corgan and Love managed to stay friends for some time. Until, Love allegedly used a series of songs written by Corgan without his permission on her 2010 solo album Nobody's Daughter – sparking an ugly Twitter feud in the process. Barbs were exchanged from both sides, though the lion's share was served by Corgan, who lashed out with wince-inducing personal attacks. "My face is my face, my heart is my heart, my money is my money. Oh, and my songs are MY songs," he Tweeted. "If you can't write your own songs maybe you should just be happy that you fooled someone into doing your work for you. Maybe you should go [somewhere] nice [and] live off your husband's money, [you] know, the money he made for writing all those great songs."

It didn't stop there. "The world is aware of your lack of responsibility, as seen in the [government] taking away your parental rights," he Tweeted in reference to Love's custody battle with daughter Frances Bean Cobain, who had recently chosen to live with her paternal grandmother. "Only you could abandon such a beautiful, incredible child who is smarter than [you], cooler than [you], and better than [you]. Oops, did I say too much?"

Corgan had previously told Rolling Stone that he had "no interest in supporting her in any way, shape or form. You can’t throw enough things down the abyss with a person like that." Essentially, Corgan was king of the internet beefs before they were even really a thing, and he'd just crowned his new queen.

As recently as July 10 this year, Love – a woman with countless high-profile squabbles – was quoted as saying she'd gotten over them all, bar one. The one that still stuck in her craw? You guessed it: Corgan. "At this point in my life, no one is my enemy. Any grudges or issues with that past? I'm done with it. The only person I'm concerned about is [Billy] Corgan. I'm like, 'What is your problem?' I just wish he'd mellow out. That's all. We're older. Get over it." 

Cut to today, and their beef has, it seems, vanished. Don't get us wrong; we're thrilled the hatchet appears to have been buried. But considering we're dealing with two of rock music's most notoriously difficult and ego-driven characters, you can forgive us for feeling surprised – and just a tiny bit cynical. What happened? And why now? There must be some reason behind his sudden U-turn. You don't just decide to invite your longterm nemesis to share in the biggest night of your recent career unless you've got something up your sleeve.

Corgan spent the start of this year trailing a original line-up reunion, though when it came to the crunch and the tour was announced, it transpired original bassist D'arcy Wretzky wasn't invited along for the ride – thanks, in no small part, to another high profile media spat between her and Corgan. The former wife of Kurt Cobain – and rockstar in her own right – filling in on bass for a couple of classic Pumpkins numbers would be both the ultimate 90s celebration and slap in the face for D'arcy – and as proven by his comments to Love, Corgan's not shy about hitting below the belt. 

Only two people know for now what's gone on and if the rift has been healed for good – and we're going to have to wait until August 02 to find out what the pair have in store. For now, our money's on a bit of lukewarm stage energy and a three-song Pumpkins-Hole medley. But if they're really, finally sorted, then the sky's the limit. Love on permanent bass duties, a 90s grunge roadshow featuring Hole and the Pumpkins, perhaps even a little mediation between Love and her other main nemesis Dave Grohl. The possibilities are endless, and we can't wait to see what happens. 

Briony Edwards

Briony is the Editor in Chief of Louder and is in charge of sorting out who and what you see covered on the site. She started working with Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Prog magazines back in 2015 and has been writing about music and entertainment in many guises since 2009. She is a big fan of cats, Husker Du and pizza.