After identifying by his full name, William Patrick Corgan, for a few short months, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman has returned to his familiar form of Billy Corgan. Pitchfork points out (with an assist from Alternative Nation) that his grown-up name, fit for an oil baron, no longer appears on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, and Google Play. Every artist page now credits him as Billy Corgan, restoring a sense of normalcy for the first time this year. His 2017 solo album, Ogilala, also has a new cover image, dropping the large “WPC” initials displayed on the first release.
Corgan first explained the name change to Rolling Stone in September. It sounds like he wanted to be called “William” as a child, which I totally could see, but instead adopted “Bill” or “Little Bill,” which evolved into Billy and stuck:
“At some point, ‘Billy’ just gets kind of weird,” says Corgan. “First of all, I’m 50 years old. In my youth I was always ‘Bill’ or ‘Little Bill’ because my dad was Billy. Then I turned 18 and was like, ‘I’m gonna be Billy because I never liked being called Bill.’ But nobody ever called me by my real name, which is William, which I actually prefer. I was obviously Billy in the band, but now I feel like that is somebody else. It’s hard to explain other than it’s like sometimes you just want to change up the wallpaper.”
His time as WPC was not without incident. Corgan gave some contentious interviews, told Howard Stern that he’d seen a human shapeshifter, recently (and maybe accurately?) called Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger an “incredible songwriter,” and compared the pleasure of pop music to porn. However, William Patrick Corgan never appeared on InfoWars, so maybe we’ll have another one of those to look forward to!