Billy Corgan Talks Guitar Solos, Dave Navarro’s Abs

Anybody who has downloaded “A Song for a Son,” the first track from Smashing Pumpkins‘ newest epic opus Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, knows that it’s a stellar slab of rock, complete with a pair of features that are somewhat endangered on the rock scene: Guitar solos. The two six-string diversions on “A Song for a Son” are the type of blistering burners that recall guitar greats of the past like Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page and Slash. When Corgan stopped by the MTV Newsroom last week to give us a preview of the first song and an explanation of the 44-track free album, I asked him where the inspiration to dive back into guitar heroics came from, and apparently we have Jane’s Addiction axeman Dave Navarro to thank.

“I’m having a strange renaissance with the guitar solo,” he said. “I think playing with Dave Navarro on the Spirits in the Sky tour reignited my desire to totally go there. He was just kicking my rear all over the place. He’s so good, and it made me get competitive.”

As Corgan points out, you have to go toe-to-toe with Navarro on the guitar because it’s difficult to compete with him in other areas. “You can’t compete with the abs,” he said. “He’s about the handsomest guy ever — girls are melting over railings to get to him. The solo is the only way to compete!”

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“A Song for a Son” is currently available for free on the official Smashing Pumpkins Web site, with more tracks from the album coming soon.