James Iha plays with Smashing Pumpkins; Axl Rose joins AC/DC in studio

Smashing Pumpkins in 1999

Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, right, and frontman Billy Corgan perform at Metro in December 1999.

(John Lee / Chicago Tribune)

Two classic early-'90s rock bands, two unlikely collaborations from members old and new. 

On Saturday night, the Smashing Pumpkins played a show at the Ace Hotel in downtown L.A. Billy Corgan’s longtime rock outfit has constantly toured with various lineups, but this show brought an unexpected familiar face to the fore.

James Iha, the band’s guitarist from its most beloved ‘90s lineup, returned to the band for a show that focused largely on tracks from 1993’s “Siamese Dream.”

Iha hadn’t payed with the band since 2000, but joined the band onstage for canonical Pumpkins tracks like “Mayonaise,” “Today,” Disarm” and “Soma." Iha was also celebrating his birthday that night, and it all seemed like a very happy reunion indeed. There was no sign of “Siamese"-era bassist D’arcy Wretsky, but now that Iha’s back, maybe it’s time to keep watch for her?


Speaking of bands reuniting in the L.A. area, photos have emerged of Axl Rose meeting with AC/DC in an Atlanta rehearsal studio. The pics, from TMZ, lend more credence to the eyebrow-raising rumors that he’ll be joining the Aussie rockers as a replacement vocalist for the injured Brian Johnson.

Guns N’ Roses will, of course, be plenty busy re-uniting with much of their original lineup at next month’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and an upcoming tour. Reps for the band did not immediately return requests for comment, but we already need an offstage oxygen chamber just thinking about that kind of vocal responsibility.

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