Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer School of Rock - Green Day

Do you have the time to listen to me whine about nothing and everything all at once?

I highly suspect that the answer is YES because my Tuesday rants are one of the most popular things around here. I'm channeling Green Day sometimes when I write them. True story.

They totally wrote that song about me, by the way. It's my personal anthem.

I keep neglecting this series because I am easily distracted by shiny things.

I suppose that's probably okay though, because I am fairly certain that several members of the band also have ADHD and would forgive me for it. Honest.

Jazz hands.

I was telling my husband that I've been slacking with this series for a while now, unintentionally, and asked him which band of a few I should write about. Green Day was on that list, and he gave me this look of horror that I hadn't covered them yet.

He has a thing for them, as I suspect a great number of people our age do.

Then again, he did go to Lollapalooza in '94 and still has the t-shirt to prove it.

From their site,
Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt have been with the group ever since they formed in 1987. John Kiffmeyer was the drummer for well over a decade and has been replaced with Tre Cool. Jason White was added officially in 2012, though by that point he had already been touring with the band for 13 years.

They were edgy and weird, they complained about stuff that most teenagers could relate to, and they were way more punk rock than garage band. They have always stirred up controversy, whether it was if they were punk enough, or too loud mouthed or too political.

They released Dookie in 1994, their first record and one that went on to sell over 10 million copies...which is just crazy. That album contained some of their most popular songs ever and provides a decent amount of material to my personal soundtrack. It was our senior year of high school, the year of transitions and new experiences and angst and all that shit. Green Day just made sense. They won a Grammy for that album.

Dude...check out how young Billie Joe was. That album was full of goodness. The She performance below is from 2006. Billie Joe, still bouncing off the walls. It's got to be hard to stay that punk rock when you're as old as we are...amiright?

They released several more albums in the years that followed, none of which reached the same ridiculous degree of success as Dookie, but all of which were hits. They tested the waters away from their punk roots and found some success, particularly with the song Good Riddance. You know....the song. That song that made all of us sit back and reflect on our lives so far at the time.

They waned a bit in popularity in the late 90s and early 2000s, some claiming they had lost their relevance. In 2003 they teamed up with punk icon Iggy Pop to record a few songs, including this one.

American Idiot came out the following year, debuting at number one. It solidified their place in music history, made them relevant to an entirely new generation of music lovers and launched their longest tour. It also did something inspired a Broadway theatrical production.

Funny story about that. When it was announced that they'd inspired a musical, I gave my husband crap about it, picked on him and them a bit. His response was that it was fine because...well....ABBA had a musical too. And then I laughed and I laughed because ABBA is about as far from punk rock as a band could ever hope to get. Truth is, I think it's awesome that they inspired the production because this particular genre was of music was and is so culturally relevant. Plus, it probably got people into a theater that wouldn't normally be interested in live stage productions. Win.

They released Uno!, Dos!, Tre! and Cuatro!(that last one is a documentary) in 2012 and 2013. We were supposed to go see them on that tour, but Billie Joe had to go to rehab and they canceled the rest of the tour. He was drinking heavily and abusing prescription meds for anxiety and insomnia.

I feel ya, Billie Joe. Really, I do. I know a lot of us do.

We're rooting for you.


The other bands and artists profiled already, in no particular order.

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