Billy Corgan was the musical guest on Monday’s quarantine edition of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he performed “Hard Times”.
The song comes from the Smashing Pumpkins frontman’s 2019 solo album, Cotillions. Ordinarily the song featured a full band, but due to coronavirus restrictions the song was performed by Corgan solo on acoustic, adding to the song’s topical message.
Appearing onscreen looking like he just got back from a sad walk on the beach in the middle of winter, Corgan immediately asserts himself as the prince of gloom. From a muted beige room, because what other color could it be, he begins those melancholy guitar strums that bring back unlimited memories of alienated adolescence. Even though the song is not from the Pumpkins’ catalog, and also came out 20 after their heyday, the song still feels like it could be an outtake from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The droll refrain of “it’s hard times/it’s hard times” makes it a no-brainer of why Fallon and company chose the song for the broadcast. Yet, “Hard Times” was written in 2019, long before coronavirus, serving as a gentle reminder that things were tough before all of this, and they’ll be tough again after.
Watch Billy Corgan perform “Hard Times” on Fallon.
Bill Corgan — “Hard Times”
The recently-reunited Smashing Pumpkins were due for a big 2020, with headlining slots at Beale Street Music Festival and Shaky Knees Music Festival that were originally scheduled for earlier this month but have since been postponed. Additionally, the band was set to hit the road on the Rock Invasion 2 tour this spring, as well as open a number of shows for Guns N’ Roses on the band’s summer stadium tour. The Rock Invasion 2 tour is currently scheduled to begin on October 6th at the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville, SC. Visit the band’s website for more information.