September 1996 - Penguin Studios and Chung King, NY

Produced by Billy Corgan; Engineered by Chris Shepard; Mixed by Neil Perry


Recorded in about a week, this was just Billy Corgan and Matt Walker recording riffs for the Ransom Soundtrack. Billy's scant vocals were recorded on a mini tape dictaphone recorder.   These songs were curiously copyrighted as Parallel Stories. Appels + Oranjes made its first recorded appearance at this session. 

While grunge rock superstars Smashing Pumpkins were in Syracuse for a Sept. 7 concert at the OnCenter War Memorial, the band needed a quick studio fix. The Chicago-based Virgin recording artists realized that they were going to miss a deadline to submit three all-instrumental tracks to film director Ron Howard for an upcoming movie. So their road manager, former Syracusan Tim "Gooch" Lougee, steered them to Steve Feldman's Penguin Studio in East Syracuse.

"At 11 a.m. on Saturday, the day of the concert, (lead singer-guitarist) Billy Corgan walked into the studio," Feldman said. "He was a little tired from the road, but we had a good time working together. He was really laid back."

The head-shaven Corgan helped Feldman mix down the three instrumental tracks, "Worms Part One," "Rat's Tail" and "Squirrels," for 4 1/2 hours. "Billy is obviously really good at what he does," Feldman observed. "And he seemed to like the studio. He had no complaints."

Feldman noted that the Pumpkins have previously worked with another Salt City producer, Jeff Molesky, now located in the Windy City.[1]

Billy Corgan: I just did some music for the Ron Howard movie, Ransom, and some of it is indicative to me of what is ahead-not necessarily the music which is very aggressive electronic music, but the process by which I'm going to approach it. If we do decide to make another record, we feel completely free of the burden of having to do anything, including playing live. I think if we do anything, it will be more music focused and less grind focused.[2]

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  1. Russ Tarby, "Penguin Rescues Pumpkins", The Syracuse Times, Sept 18-25, 1996
  2. Greg Kot, "Future Tense", Request Magazine, January 1997