Located in Illinois, Chicago has a remarkable musical tradition from blues clubs in the 30s and 40s, through a developed dance and house scene in the 70s, up to the heyday of American alternative rock. Nevertheless, this Windy City resounds first and foremost with guitar riffs.

The Smashing Pumpkins is a rock band formed in 1988 in Chicago by Billy Corgan (vocal, guitar), James Iha (lead guitar), D’arcy Wretzky (bass guitar) and Jimmy Chamberlin (drums). They are considered one of the most significant groups of the 90s and to this day have enjoyed the well-earned status of a legend in musical circles. Its lead vocalist, Billy Corgan, worked in a music store in Chicago, where he met Jamesa Iha. After some time, D’Arcy Wretzky, who played the bass guitar, joined this creative duo. The Pumpkins still lacked a drummer, but soon became complete with Jimmy Chamberlin, who although considered himself a jazz musician, quickly got accustomed to the world of alternative rock sounds.

Buildings in Chicago

Every single, concert or album had to be mentioned in “The Chicago Tribune”, one of the five biggest newspapers in the United States. The newspaper has been continuously published since June 10, 1847. Its headquarters is located in the famous Tribune Tower (435 N. Michigan Ave) – but this may soon change as the building has been sold to investors from Los Angeles. Regardless of who the current owner of the Tribune Tower is, you should visit 435 N. Michigan Ave. and admire this impressive neo-Gothic building entered in the list of Chicago landmarks. This historic skyscraper is 35-storeys high and was built in the Windy City in 1925.
Another construction considered one of the city’s symbols is The Old Chicago Water Tower (806 N Michigan Ave). It was constructed in 1869 to draw water from Lake Michigan for the citizens. The Tower is 47 meters high and houses a 40-meter standpipe. It gained prominence after surviving the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that is considered one of the biggest catastrophes of the 19th century in the USA. Today, the Old Water Tower houses a tourist information centre. One of the parts of Loyola University Chicago was named after it – a University of the Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha who studied graphics there.

For those who want bread and circuses

Wrigley Field Baseball Stadium is the favourite place of the band’s vocalist. Little Billy was taken to Chicago Cubs games by his… grandma, of all people. The stadium was opened in 1914 (address: 1060 West Addison) and can hold up to 41 000 fans. An interesting fact about Wrigley Field is its nickname “The Friendly Confines”. Those who are not interested in baseball, may be attracted by the fact that Wrigley Field has appeared in many film and television productions, one of them being the undoubtedly
the best classic romantic comedy “Sleepless in Seattle”.After some sports emotions, it is best to go to East Village where Inner Town Pub (1935 W. Thomas St) is located. According to the owner, The Smashing Pumpkins liked to come here to have a drink and grab something to eat. Wine card will not disappoint even the most demanding connoisseurs of stronger drinks, whereas friendly service and loose, slightly hipster atmosphere, will encourage visitors to return to the friendly Inner Town

City after twilight

One of the first clubs that opened its door for The Smashing Pumpkins to present themselves on its stage was “Avalon” (Avalon Nightclub 959 W. Belmont Ave) in Chicago. The entry fee was just one dollar at that time. The band performed for a group of fifty people, quite a big audience for beginners, and after the successful gig, there soon came an offer for more concerts. “Avalon”, which had been operating since 1987, was closed in January 1995. [/one_half]
Meanwhile, the parties started taking place in the club at number 954 located just a few streets away. The Smashing Pumpkins also often performed in the famous “Metro” (3730 North Clark Street) were such stars as James Brown, Prince, Bob Dylan or Nirvana gave their performance. Luckily for tourists who want to experience the night life of the city, the club “Metro” is still open and proudly celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012.

Must-see sites in Chicago
Must-see sites in Chicago

Millennium Park

a public park that is an ideal place for relaxation, weekend picnics and concerts. The park features the characteristic sculpture Cloud Gate, a.k.a. “The Bean”, which reflects the city’s panorama.

The Willis Tower

the highest building in Chicago and second highest in the United States. It is a 108-story and 442.3 meter high tower with an observation deck located on the 103rd floor.

Beach near Navy Pier

the best view of Lake Michigan guaranteed. There are numerous cafes and restaurants on the boardwalk and pier.

The Chicago Picasso

one of the city’s symbols located near the city hall. The sculpture designed by Pablo Picasso even today raises a lot of controversy – it has as many fans as opponents. It appeared, among others, in one of the scenes in “The Blues Brothers” film.