Jimi Hendrix
Sure, one almost has to include Hendrix on a list of any guitar player's heroes. But the manual tape-flanging techniques employed on Siamese Dream were a Jimi Hendrix signature, and the '60s-style psychedelic trippiness found on much of Gish also owes a heavy debt to the one true guitar hero. The tastefully lo-fi "Glynis" — a song on the No Alternative compilation that finds the band drawing from Hendrix's "May This Be Love (Waterfall)" — also reveals the influence.
Sonic Evidence: "Bury Me," "Hummer," "Glynis"

The Cure's Robert Smith
Corgan is adept at creating darkly moody atmospheres with his guitar (especially on Siamese Dream and 2000's Machina/The Machines of God), similar to those Robert Smith constructed with synths on the Cure's 1989 masterpiece Disintegration. But Smith's influence also shows through on the drum-machine-driven "1979," with its bouncy, simplistic and clean guitar line. Corgan often employs the same type of straightforward, technically facile riffs that are Smith's trademark, but then juxtaposes them with denser passages of frenzied playing, which adds to the Pumpkins' dynamic intensity. (The band also covers the Cure's "A Night Like This" on the "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" single.)
Sonic Evidence: "Soma," "1979," "The Everlasting Gaze"

Queen's Brian May
The natural harmonic overtones and super-fuzz lead lines of "Rocket" sound about as close to Brian May as anyone can get. (May is known for building his own unique effects pedals and has a modified guitar rig.) In fact, the Pumpkins' most epic guitar constructs emulate the layered orchestral bombast of Queen records. "Thru the Eyes of Ruby" incorporates a harmonized symphony of intertwining guitar lines that echo vintage Queen, calling to mind much of May's thickly overdubbed soloing on A Night at the Opera.
Sonic Evidence: "Rocket," "Thru the Eyes of Ruby"

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