Sharon Osbourne, loving mother and bitch-on-wheels manager extraordinaire, is famous around the record industry for her no-nonsense approach to the music business.

There is no better example of this than her short stint as managerÊofÊthe Smashing Pumpkins. After just three months with the band, Osbourne issued a press release that she had left the job for health reasons because, she said simply, “Billy Corgan was making me sick.”

OK, so Corgan is an asshole. No argument here. But even if he does need his diapers changed on a regular basis, he is still a talented songwriter and musician, something most ’90s rock cynics seem to forget.

As evidence, check out the band’s April 26, 2000 hometown show at Chicago’s United Center Arena, the first of the band’s final two concerts before their break-up. The show can be downloaded legally (along with thousands of other live shows from hundreds of bands) for free from

Lasting nearly three hours, the show spans the band’s entire catalogue and offers drastic — and surprisingly great — re-workings of the Pumpkin’s biggest hits. It’s almost enough to make you wish you were back in junior high — minus the wedgies, of course.

–Andrew Roach