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D'Arcy Wretzky

Real name: Darcy Elizabeth Wretzky
Birthdate: May 1, 1968
Status: Dating
Partner: James Iha

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Biography

D'arcy Elizabeth Wretzky (born May 1, 1968 in South Haven, Michigan), also known simply as D'arcy, is a rock musician best known for her work as a bass player with the alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins.

Wretzky was born and raised in Michigan, where her musician mother encouraged her and her sisters to perform music. Growing up, D'arcy played the violin and oboe, and performed in choirs. She also performed gymnastics. D'arcy would later refer to her father, a building contractor with a love of horseback riding, as "a very strange man." A somewhat contentious relationship with her sisters turned D'arcy into a self-described "tomboy". She attended South Haven's L.C. Mohr High School, where she grew interested in post-punk and played in cover bands. After high school, she moved to France to join a band that had already disbanded upon her arrival, so she returned to Chicago.

Billy Corgan and James Iha had formed a band, the Smashing Pumpkins, in mid-1988, but Corgan hoped to add a third member to play bass (at the time, they used a drum machine). Corgan and Wretzky met at a local rock club when Wretzky took exception to comments she heard him making about the band they saw perform that night. An argument and discussion followed, and Corgan, impressed with her attitude, but not necessarily her ability to play bass, recruited her into the band. Jimmy Chamberlin completed the lineup soon afterwards after Joe Shanahan encouraged Corgan to add a live drummer.

D'arcy's time in the band was marked by alternating periods of happiness and discomfort. Finally, in 1999, D'arcy left the band to pursue an acting career. She was replaced with former Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur. In December 2000, the Smashing Pumpkins played their final show before officially breaking up. Iha has sustained a long-time closeness and friendship with Wretzky; meanwhile, Corgan has since called her a "mean spirited drug addict" on his blog.

Wretzky is featured on the Smashing Pumpkins' studio albums Gish, Siamese Dream, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, and Adore. Prior to her departure, she also performed bass duties on all but one track of the band's fifth album Machina/The Machines of God. She is not participating in the current revival of the band.

She was arrested January 25, 2000 in Chicago after she purchased three bags of crack cocaine. According to police, undercover officers observed Wretzky and a male companion enter a building on West Grand Avenue and then shortly afterwards returned to their car. The driver, identified as Tony Young, then drove off without his headlights on and proceeded to make two illegal U-turns before police stopped the car. When searched, the police found drugs in Young's pocket. The driver insisted they were not his, claiming that D'arcy "handed me some rocks to hold." Upon questioning, she admitted giving him the three plastic bags. She could have faced a felony charge, but was not formally charged with a crime. She successfully completed a court-ordered drug education program, and charges were dropped.

Since completing the court-ordered program, D'arcy has been living in Watervliet, Michigan. She owns a horse farm and three antique shops. One of the horses D'arcy owns, "Jet Set Miss", was accepted into the Arabian Horse Pilot Program in August 2000 after passing inspection in Romeo, Michigan. She has remained almost entirely out of the public eye since 2000.



 


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