Corgan ‘blown Away’ By Benefit Concert Support

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July 30, 2010 | 11:45am EST

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan was “blown away” by the support of fans in his native Chicago, Illinois who helped raise more than $800,000 for injured Madina Lake rocker Matthew Leone.

The bass player was attacked and knocked unconscious after he attempted to break up a violent domestic dispute between two strangers in the city at the beginning of the month.

He suffered a broken jaw and nose and a fractured skull, and underwent a life-saving operation to remove part of his skull to reduce swelling on his brain.

Fellow Chicago rockers Smashing Pumpkins offered to play a benefit concert to raise money for Leone’s medical care, and the Tuesday night show was an all-round success.

The gig at the Metro venue raised more money than the band had expected, and lead singer Corgan admits he was overwhelmed by the community’s support.

He tells the Chicago Tribune, “I was inspired by Matthew’s courageous defense of a woman he didn’t even know. What pushed me to do the benefit for his medical fund was how much he is loved by close friends of mine who know him well. I spoke to his family at the benefit and they all said that it didn’t surprise them at all that he did what he did to stop an injustice.

“I was blown away by the Chicago community coming together to put this benefit on so quickly. It put an emotional charge into our show that was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I was absolutely honored to be standing on the Metro stage, my musical home, showing our support for one of our own. It was a great night in the long, storied history of Chicago. And an epic show.”