Dave Grohl Won The Greatest Gen. X Musician Race, Says Billy Corgan

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Let’s face it, people are competitive by nature. As human beings, we set goals for ourselves. A lot of the time, achieving what we desire means winning a position over someone else. Whether it be based on status, economics, power or romance, each of us is usually trying to beat someone else.

Smashing Pumpkins mastermind Billy Corgan drew attention recently when referred to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain not only as the voice of Generation X, but also his “greatest opponent.”

For Corgan, Kurt “was the most talented guy of our generation.” Viewing the iconic grunge musician as a rival, his passing was all the more catastrophic for Corgan. He said: 

“When Kurt died, I cried because I lost my greatest opponent. I want to beat the best. I don’t want to win the championship because it’s just me and a bunch of gabronis, to use a wrestling term.”


Given these comments, Corgan was asked in an interview with WRIF’s Meltdown to name the artist to name his competitor since Kurt’s passing, to which he revealed (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar):

“Well, if you look at Gen X, Dave Grohl has really won the race, which says a lot about Nirvana. Because not only did you have Kurt in the band, you had Dave, who, of course, contributed to so many great songs, but then went on to make so many great songs of his own. I think Dave continues to perform at a very high level, obviously, there’s been tragedy of late and [I’m] certainly sympathetic because Taylor was a wonderful person.


“I guess… I tend not to think about it that way anymore, because I really think your greatest competition is yourself. At this point, I have a wonderful life; I’ve been very, very blessed, and blessed with a beautiful family. Music, for me, at this point, is a choice. I don’t have to do music, and I’m not saying that as a snob. I’m saying that I really, really want to do music.


“So I have to really want to do it at a high level; I have to really care and want to spend those hours in the studio, I have to really care to, on a sunny day, when everybody is out at the beach, I’m in a studio and not hanging with my children. I have to really, really want to do that.


“So, I think my greatest competitor at this point is just myself, and my own wacky brain.”

Billy Corgan Considered Kurt Cobain His 'Greatest Opponent'