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Billy Corgan Grows Older and Wiser

Image courtesy of MadameZuzus.com (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of MadameZuzus.com (via ABC News Radio)

Billy Corgan  turns 47 on Monday, St. Patrick's Day.  The  Smashing Pumpkins  frontman is more likely to spend his birthday drinking tea than green beer, though -- he owns the New York City teahouse Madame ZuZus , where he sells "gourmet tea...[at] prices that are a little higher."

This seems a far cry from the Billy Corgan of the '90s, who screamed lyrics like "despite all my rage, I'm still just a rat in a cage," and it seems the singer's musical sensibilities have also matured.  He tells ABC News Radio that he now understands that "exciting your fans [isn't about] the song that gets on the radio, it's the song that maybe triggers an emotional response."

Corgan says that's not a lesson that was endorsed by his record companies.  "The music business will tell you that's not what fans are looking for," he says, "but I don't buy that."

Corgan had lots of time to touch his fans recently.  Last month, he performed an eight-hour-plus "ambient/musical interpretation of author Hermann Hesse 's novel  Siddhartha " at Madame ZuZus.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio