THE SMASHING PUMPKINS raised over $80,000 (and counting, with a revised figure to follow) at their sold-out benefit concert Tuesday, July 27 at Chicago’s Metro for Matthew Leone, bassist for Chicago band Madina Lake. The money will go to the ongoing medical care needed for the musician who last month was hospitalized with severe brain trauma after intervening to stop a woman he passed on the street from being beaten by her husband. Matthew—whose medical insurance had lapsed just two months prior to the incident–was taken to UIC Hospital for emergency brain surgery wherein a third of his skull was removed to alleviate swelling. He’s currently in stable condition awaiting an additional brain surgery to reapply the removed portion of his skull.
“The Smashing Pumpkins’ benefit show at Metro Tuesday night was triumphant and tearful, inspiring and rousing, open-hearted and generous—as well as a stark reminder that sometimes it takes a village to get a crime victim adequate health care,” wrote the Chicago Tribune (7/28/10). The event was attended by Chicago governor Pat Quinn, who proclaimed Tuesday “Matthew Leone Day” in Illinois and said, “We have a true American hero right here in Matthew Leone” (as noted in the Chicago Tribune piece).
“I was inspired by Matthew’s courageous defense of a woman he didn’t even know,” said the Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan. “What pushed me to do the benefit for his medical fund was how much he is loved by close friends of mine who know him well. I spoke to his family at the benefit and they all said that it didn’t surprise them at all that he did what he did to stop an injustice. “I was blown away by the Chicago community coming together to put this benefit on so quickly,” Corgan added about the event that was announced on July 20. “It put an emotional charge into our show that was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I was absolutely honored to be standing on the Metro stage, my musical home, showing our support for one of our own. It was a great night in the long, storied history of Chicago. And an epic show.” As soon as the band finished playing “1979,” Corgan pulled his guitar off his neck and auctioned it off to the crowd, selling it for 10k.
Said Joe Shanahan, owner of Chicago’s Metro: “This past Tuesday was one of my most memorable nights within Metro’s walls–the outpouring of support and encouragement for a true hero, Matthew, was overwhelming. From Billy Corgan and the Smashing Pumpkins’ donation of their time and talent to the cause, to Governor Pat Quinn’s proclamation of Matthew Leone Day, to the generosity of the crowd with their pocketbooks, the night embodied the love and solidarity of the Chicago music community for one of their own. Now, all of us at Metro pray for a quick recovery for Matthew and someday his own return to the Metro stage with Madina Lake.”
Noted AOL Spinner: “For the encore, the Metro staff and opener Kill Hannah joined Corgan onstage to sing ‘1979.’ After, the band closed with the distorted bliss of ‘Gossamer,’ as their guitars thundered and strobes flashed. When their over two-hour set finished, a smiling Corgan and his band threw their commemorative drumsticks and guitar picks into the audience, capping a heartfelt tribute to Leone. ‘You made this city proud tonight,’ Corgan told the jovial crowd. ‘Thanks for stepping up.’”
All proceeds from the raffle and concert will go to the Matthew Leone Fund at Sweet Relief. Sweet Relief Musicians Fund is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. For more information on Sweet Relief, visit http://www.sweetrelief.org
Metro is the club where, on October 5, 1988, the Pumpkins played their first show. They also chose the venue for a farewell concert on December 2, 2000, a four-hour-long show that featured 38 songs spanning the group’s career at that time. The Pumpkins have a long history of supporting other Chicago musicians.
Metro is one of the country’s most renowned independent concert venues. Established in July 1982, Metro has become a playground for new and developing local artists as well as showcasing the best cutting edge bands from around the globe for twenty-five years. For more information, visit www.metrochicago.com
About THE SMASHING PUMPKINS:
The Smashing Pumpkins have created one of the most acclaimed bodies of work in musical history and sold over 30 million albums. Formed in Chicago in 1988, they released Gish
, their influential (and platinum) debut in 1991, which was followed by more platinum and multi-platinum albums including the nine-time platinum Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness
and the four-time platinum Siamese Dream
as well as the platinum certified 1998 album Adore
. The pivotal group’s many hits defined the alternative music era and continue to resonate on modern rock radio, influencing a whole new generation. The Pumpkins returned in 2007 with their gold-certified and acclaimed sixth album Zeitgeist
, which entered the charts at Number 2 in the U.S. and in the Top Ten internationally. Since their triumphant return to the stage in 2007, the Pumpkins have headlined some of the biggest events around the globe including the Reading Festival, Rock Am Ring, and the V fest. In 2008, the band was inducted into Hollywood’s RockWalk. Their first post-major label release was the song “Superchrist,” issued via the Guitar Center CD Fresh Cuts Vol. 2.
They subsequently recorded the song–the modern rock hit–“G.L.O.W.” for the Guitar Hero® World Tour
game, marking the first time a band has recorded a new song exclusively for the franchise. In November 2008, the band released their first live DVD, If All Goes Wrong. In December 2009 The Smashing Pumpkins began releasing Teargarden By Kaleidyscope
, a 44-song work with songs being released online one at a time for free (4-song physical EPs will be made available as the songs are released). The group’s BILLY CORGAN has said the new music “harkens back to the original psychedelic roots of The Smashing Pumpkins; atmospheric, melodic, heavy, and pretty.” www.smashingpumpkins.com