“My friend called me: ‘You won’t believe this, and it’s probably not gonna happen, but I gave Billy Corgan your number. He might call you, he might not…’” Ginger Pooley reflects on her time with the Smashing Pumpkins – and why she had to give it up

Ginger Pooley
(Image credit: Denise Avalos)

Ginger Pooley went from playing bass at local parties as a SoCal teenager to holding down the low-end in a Christian ska group then pulling double duty on the Vans Warped tour, to playing bass in the Smashing Pumpkins alongside Billy Corgan.

That’s a trajectory that few players can claim, but Pooley – formerly known as Ginger Reyes and Ginger Sling – possesses a multi-genre versatility and an unmatched work ethic. She earned both by hauling her gear around in beat-up Honda Civics and Isuzu Rodeos by herself, which helped when it came to learn dozens of Corgan’s new and old songs.

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.