Commentary by Tim Horrigan, July 8, 2007 (revised January 3, 2009)
Here is some video of the Smashing Pumpkins performance at Earth 2007 (at the "New York" venue which was actually across the Hudson River in New Jersey, at Giants Stadium.) They were one of the headliners of this global music/agitprop extravaganza, along with with Madonna, Al Gore, Bon Jovi, and Spinal Tap.)
They played four songs: "United States," "Bullet with Butterfly Wings," "Tarantula," and "Today." You will notice in the first segment that Alec Baldwin is hosting. There was an ugly incident about an hour before the set: Alec barged into the band's dressing room and began screaming that he had flown all the way across the country just to straighten Billy out and tell him what an inconsiderate little bitch he was. Billy was still visibly upset when showtime came around, but he decided to go ahead and let Alec do the intro.
I am being a bit of a hypocrite by putting this video up on my web site. This performance was (apparently) on live free TV and I missed it, even though I was home at the time (around 9:00pm Eastern Time, 07-07-07.) One of my Second Life avatars was working at The Galaxy during the Smashing Pumpkins' set. I did have the TV next to my computer on, but it was tuned to the Pepsi 400 instead (which Jamie McMurray won by .004 seconds.)
These videos were originally posted by a YouTube member nicknamed "DiscountMetal." It disappeared the day after I found it — but I found other video to replace three of the songs. The performance of "Tarantula" seems to be permanently missing from YouTube— but a recording of a cable TV feed has turned up on a site called DailyMotion. The performance of "United States" exists in the form of several different pirated amateur videos. I picked the one with the most interesting and closest-up visuals. My choice doesn't have the best sound, but it doesn't have the worst either. Someday I may try to edit those various videos together into one.
United States (courtesy of AngelMalachite)
Bullet with Butterfly Wings (courtesy of
You can also see Live Earth video of "Bullet with Butterfly
Wings" and "Tarantula" at:
(courtesy of Willard260)
The Forgotten Liars, by Timothy Horrigan
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