D'arcy Wretzky

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D'arcy Wretzky
D'arcy Wretzky.jpg
D'arcy Wretzky performing with the Smashing Pumpkins in 1998
Background information
Also known as D'arcy
D'arcy Wretzky-Brown
Born (1968-05-01) May 1, 1968 (age 50)
South Haven, Michigan, U.S.
Genres Alternative rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Bass guitar, vocals
Years active 1988–1999
Associated acts The Smashing Pumpkins, Filter, Catherine

D'arcy Elizabeth Wretzky-Brown (born May 1, 1968) is an American musician. She is the original bass player of the alternative rock band the Smashing Pumpkins and is credited on their first five studio albums. She left the band in 1999.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Wretzky was born and raised in South Haven, Michigan, where her mother, Vikke Anderson, a musician working as a lounge singer, encouraged D'arcy and her sisters to perform music. Growing up, she played the violin and oboe, and performed in choirs.[1] She also performed gymnastics.[2] Wretzky intended to start a musical career since she was 10 years old.[3] She would later refer to her father, Jerry Wretzky, a pipefitter with a love of horseback riding, as "a very strange man."[2][4] The young Wretzky was a self-described "tomboy," and had a contentious relationship with her sister.[5] Wretzky suffered from severe stage fright during her childhood.[6] She attended South Haven's L.C. Mohr High School, where she grew interested in post-punk and played in cover bands. After high school, she moved to France to join a band, but the band had already disbanded upon her arrival, prompting her to return to the United States. She then moved to Chicago and spent the summer living with friends and attending concerts.[7] Wretzky stated that she is a self-taught bass player.[8]

1988–1999: Smashing Pumpkins[edit]

After a concert at a local rock club, Wretzky overheard Billy Corgan criticizing the band that had performed. An argument and discussion followed, and Corgan recruited her into his band, the nascent Smashing Pumpkins, which, at the time, was merely Corgan, James Iha, and a drum machine. Wretzky accepted, and Jimmy Chamberlin completed the lineup a few months later, after Joe Shanahan encouraged Corgan to add a live drummer.

Wretzky is the credited bassist on the Smashing Pumpkins' first five studio albums: Gish, Siamese Dream, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Adore, and Machina/The Machines of God. It was confirmed by both her and Corgan, however, that Corgan played the bass tracks for Siamese Dream because he could complete them in far fewer takes.[9][10] Wretzky often contributed backing vocals in concert, and on studio albums. She contributes vocally in some Smashing Pumpkins songs including "Daydream" from Gish, many songs on Siamese Dream, "1979", "Cupid De Locke", "Farewell and Goodnight", "Beautiful"; "Where Boys Fear To Tread" from Mellon Collie, and "Dreaming" and "The Bells" from The Aeroplane Flies High. Wretzky also co-wrote one Smashing Pumpkins song, "Daughter".

1999: Final tour, recording sessions and leaving the band[edit]

Wretzky's time in the band was marked by alternating periods of happiness and discomfort. Corgan considered her the "moral authority" and "moral conscience" of the band.[11] In the aftermath of the success of 1995's Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Corgan said she began an "apparent slow descent into insanity and/or drugs (take your pick)."[12] After the short, nine-date "The Arising!" tour in April 1999 which saw all four original members performing together for the first time since 1996, Wretzky decided to leave the band with intentions of pursuing an acting career. The band were recording Machina/The Machines of God and Machina II/The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music at the time and consequently she performed very few bass parts on the album. Most of the bass parts were handled by Corgan himself. Shortly after leaving the group, she was arrested for possession of crack cocaine.[13] Corgan later said she was "fired for being a mean-spirited drug addict who refused to get help."[14] She was replaced on 2000s Machina tour by former Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur.

1999–present: Life after the Smashing Pumpkins[edit]

Wretzky did not participate in the Smashing Pumpkins' reunion. In 2008, she and her former bandmate James Iha filed a lawsuit against Virgin Records for selling ringtones of Smashing Pumpkins songs without their consent.[15]

Wretzky is a Sci-Fi fan of both Star Trek and The X-Files.[6][16] She has stated that space travel and aliens are a recurring influence on her creative ideas, and still a possible influence on acting aspirations and talked about future plans for a solo album.

After many years out of the spotlight, Wretzky resurfaced in July 2009 by calling in unexpectedly on Chicago's Q101 FM with Ryan Manno.[17][18][19] During the interview, she stated that she was not healthy enough to be a musician, and repeatedly professed her admiration for Monkees frontman Davy Jones who was known to be an early romantic crush of Wretzky's. She also discussed her appreciation for the band Silversun Pickups who have a sound influenced by the early Gish era of the Smashing Pumpkins. She also mentioned that she then lived on a farm in Michigan, that she had briefly lived in Austin, Texas, sometime during the previous decade, and that former fiancé Wendell Green had died.[17]

Wretzky was jailed in February 2011 for missing four court dates related to a ticket she received for failing to control her horses.[20] She spent six days in jail.[21] She was also arrested on February 7, 2011, on a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge in South Haven, Michigan.[22]

In 2013, Wretzky's relationship with Corgan remained tense.[23] In September 2014, she tried to re-establish contact with him.[24]

In August 2016, Billy Corgan posted a video to Facebook acknowledging that he and Wretzky had recently reestablished communication saying "I’ve been in communication with D’arcy for the first time in 16 or 17 years, it’s awesome to have my friend back." Corgan emphasized that this did not necessarily mean the band was getting back together instead insisting "my primary interest in the old band was us having good relationships again."[25]

On February 14, 2018, Wretzky gave her first interview in nearly 20 years. In it she is highly critical of Corgan and their past.[26]

Wretzky claimed she had been offered a contract to rejoin the band on the upcoming "Shiny and Oh So Bright" tour, but Corgan rescinded the offer soon after.[27] Corgan released a statement denying the claims, stating "Ms. Wretzky has repeatedly been invited out to play with the group, participate in demo sessions, or at the very least, meet face-to-face, and in each and every instance she always deferred".[28]

Other musical work[edit]

Wretzky joined the band Catherine as a second vocalist for their final album Hot Saki and Bedtime Stories. She also appeared in the video for Four Leaf Clover. At the time, Wretzky was married to Catherine member Kerry Brown.

Wretzky contributed vocals to the track "One and Two" on James Iha's 1998 solo album, Let It Come Down.

In 1999, she contributed vocals on a Filter song, "Cancer". During this time, she worked with cellist Eric Remschneider, whom she had worked with when he had recorded with the Smashing Pumpkins.

In May 2016 in an interview with Loudwire, Filter lead singer Richard Patrick spoke of a romantic relationship he had with Wretzky saying she was the subject of a song he wrote called "Miss Blue" [29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goldberg, Michael. "Smashing Pumpkin D'arcy Dares to be Happy." Addicted to Noise, December 1995. Retrieved on 2007/09/23.
  2. ^ a b Marks, Craig. Agnew, Eric trans. "Zero Worship." Spin Magazine, June 1996. Retrieved January 2015
  3. ^ "interviews : Addicted to Noise Interview: D'arcy". Spfc.org. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  4. ^ Bureau, KIM INGALLS - H-P South Haven. "Lawyer by day, derby girl by night". 
  5. ^ "A Babe in Boyland." Mademoiselle, December 1995. Retrieved on 2007/09/23
  6. ^ a b "James Iha and D'arcy Wretzky Interview with Matt Pinfield on Scratchie Records – 1996/11/XX". YouTube.com. May 23, 1998. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ Pullen, Doug. "Michigan Native D'arcy Ready For More Successes." The Flint Journal: 1996/06/26. Retrieved on 2007/09/23.
  8. ^ "interviews : D'arcy Wretzky, The Beak". Spfc.org. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  9. ^ Chamberlin, Jimmy; Corgan, Billy (interview subjects). Inside the Zeitgeist (Reprise Records, 2007).
  10. ^ Azerrad, Michael. "Smashing Pumpkins' Sudden Impact". Rolling Stone. October 1993.
  11. ^ Blashill, Pat (October 1996). "Out on a Limb". Details Magazine. 
  12. ^ "Billy Blog – April 13, 2005". Billycorgan.livejournal.com. April 13, 2005. Archived from the original on December 22, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  13. ^ Johnson, Tina (February 15, 2000). "News – Articles – 1434166". Mtv.com. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Billy Blog – February 17, 2004". Billycorgan.livejournal.com. Archived from the original on December 22, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  15. ^ "James Yoshinobu Iha & D'Arcy Wretzky-Brown v. Virgin Records America" (PDF). Aolcdn.com. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Quotephoria – D'arcy Wretzky Quotes". Netphoria.org. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "Smashing Pumpkins' D'Arcy Speaks!". Pitchfork. July 14, 2009. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Q101 Posts Unedited Audio of D'arcy Wretsky Call-in". Hipstersun. July 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  19. ^ "(1 of 2) D'Arcy Wretzky calls some Chicago radio station". YouTube. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  20. ^ "D'arcy Wretzky Mug Shot – Arrested for Horsing Around". TMZ.com. July 20, 2010. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Former Smashing Pumpkins bassist D'arcy Wretzky's probation on drunken driving arrest now half over". MLive.com. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Former Smashing Pumpkins bassist D'arcy Wretzky arrested on drunken driving charge in South Haven". MLive.com. February 11, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  23. ^ Buchanan, Brett (September 26, 2013). "Former Smashing Pumpkins Bassist D'arcy Wretzky Rips Billy Corgan". AlternativeNation.net. Archived from the original on November 21, 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  24. ^ "D'Arcy Wretzky Seeks Whereabouts of Billy Corgan". Loudwire.com. September 10, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  25. ^ Buchanan, Brett (August 16, 2016). "Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan Talks Reconciling With D'arcy Wretzky". 
  26. ^ Buchanan, Brett (February 14, 2018). "Smashing Pumpkins Bassist D'arcy Holds Nothing Back In First Interview In 20 Years". AlternativeNation.net. Retrieved March 6, 2018. 
  27. ^ Kreps, Daniel (February 14, 2018). "D'arcy Wretzky Slams Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins Reunion". RollingStone.com. Retrieved February 15, 2018. 
  28. ^ Kreps, Daniel (February 12, 2018). "Smashing Pumpkins Explain D'arcy Absence Ahead of Rumored Reunion". RollingStone.com. Retrieved February 15, 2018. 
  29. ^ Loudwire (May 25, 2016). "Filter's Richard Patrick - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?" – via YouTube.