HAMILTON -- Two Hamilton music store owners got a surprise visit from members of the alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins on Saturday, a day before the band played a sold-out show at the Wilma Theater in Missoula.
Nichole Frisbie and her husband, Cody, owners of Mountain Music in downtown Hamilton, spent a few hours chatting with the band and even got an autographed guitar out of the deal.
So, how did one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed American bands of the 1990s end up in the Bitterroot on a sunny fall afternoon?
It turns out that Nichole Frisbie has a connection with the band’s current bassist, Nicole Fiorentino.
“It started because I used to live in L.A., and I worked with merchandise for the band Veruca Salt,” Frisbie explained. “Nicole used to play in Veruca Salt, so that’s how we know each other.
"When they announced they were going to do the surprise show in Missoula, she took the time to visit the store, and they made a day out of it. They hit some other places in the valley, and they had dinner at the Spice of Life Cafe next door.”
The Missoula concert was announced less than a week in advance after a Vancouver, B.C., stop was suddenly canceled.
Drummer Mike Byrne and frontman Billy Corgan, the founder of the band and the lone original member, also made the trip to Hamilton.
“They were definitely enjoying the scenery,” Frisbie said. “They thought it was beautiful. Billy Corgan really loved Main Street in Hamilton. They all like the downtown historic vibe and the architecture.
"It was really nice of them to take the time out to come down and say hello.”
Frisbie said a few lucky fans got to meet the band members while they were in town.
“A lot of Bitterrooters missed out on getting tickets, so it was pretty cool for them to meet the band,” Nicole said.
“There were definitely some heads turning. The people that spotted them had a nice little surprise. It made some people happy.”
As for the concert, both the Frisbies said it was amazing.
“We’re going to find a special spot to hang up the guitar that they signed,” Nicole said. “It was really cool.”