Tag Archives: Tré Cool

Is This Blog On??

Tap, tap, tap… Testing, testing, one, two, three… is this blog on?

Hello, Green Day Mind readers!

It’s been a “long time no see” situation here on the little old blog called Green Day Mind. You may or may not be following me on my very active Twitter account (and thanks if you are!) but frankly, the blog has gone stone cold silent since December. I can hear the sound of tumbleweeds across these here pixels, for sure. I mean, what was there to talk about? Has anything happened in Green Day land in the last few months? Hmmm… oh yea… this epic trilogy thing called “Uno!” “Dos!!” “Tre!!!” coming out from Green Day beginning this September 2012 and continuing to January 2013. I guess there is something solid to start talking about! I mean, I’ll leave all of the important stuff to the Green Day Authority and GreenDay.com. This little blog here is a specialty site, mostly posting about Green Day, but also branching out to other bands as well.

Green Day “Uno” Banner from GreenDay.com

Now that there’s solid albums coming out (dates are set, the tracklist for the first album released, and some summer/fall tour dates happening in Europe and at least one here in the United States), we have the date of July 16th to look forward to when the first song from “Uno!” entitled “Oh Love” will be released upon the public! Oh yes! Can’t wait!

I’ve read that a theme runs through the three albums, primarily the before, during, and after of a big party or celebration, and the emotional highs and lows that come from celebrating just a bit too much. You can read the most recent Rolling Stone interview on the trilogy at Green Day Authority here.

DOS! banner from GreenDay.com. Click on the link for the teaser!

Green Day has put out multiple 30-second videos while they’ve been in the studio, including the little gem for “Tre!” below. This clip is my favorite for two reasons: I’m very much looking forward to some drumming action from Tre Cool first of all. I have no idea how the writing credits “drum out” in the trilogy, but I suspect that this album will let us really get a taste for Tre’s wide range of drumming skills. I read awhile ago that he had been in Cuba taking lessons and sitting in on drumming sessions with Cuban masters and I’m looking forward to hearing what he’s learned. Plus, I just miss his wacky face.

TRE! Banner from GreenDay.com

The second reason is a little more personal… There’s a super quick segment in the video from Green Day’s Halloween show at Webster Hall Studio that me and one of my favorite super people, David Burgos, are in that includes another super guy, Michael Esper from “American Idiot on Broadway.” In the segment, Esper crowd surfs over both of us, and there’s an awesome shot of David surfing like the pro he’s becoming, too.

Green Day teaser for “TRE!!!”

I know, though, that’s not why you’ll enjoy this clip so much!

Stay tuned for more on Green Day as well as a few other things in the works. I will be at the first CBGBs Festival beginning this week (July 5-8) and will post on the Music and Film Conferences there and some music that I’ll see. In addition, I will finish my post on the KERPUNK Festival from January 2012 (yea, it’s a little late), and will also introduce you to a band I met along the way called Mad Anthony from Cincinnati, talk about my love for The Dopamines, and tell you all about Larry Livermore‘s “The Thing That Ate Larry Livermore” shows at the Knitting Room in Brooklyn last week.

Until then, thanks for sticking around!

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“I Was There” – 1991 and 2010

“I Was There” – Green Day in Costa Rica, 2010 – Part of me wants a video of this on the upcoming Live DVD but part of me wants to keep it locked away in raw memory, too.

This past October, at Green Day’s show in Costa Rica that ended their 21st Century Breakdown tour, the band performed a slew of “Old School” songs, songs primarily from the pre-American Idiot and Warning eras of Green Day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a Green Day fan beg for songs from the old days, usually from those albums that came out from 1990/91-1998: 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, Kerplunk, Dookie, Insomniac and Nimrod. In fact, it’s annoying the persistence of it sometimes, but I understand. A lot of fans love the “old” Green Day and many fans missed live performances since their introduction to the band is from the American Idiot era. These fans can kick themselves (like me) for not following the band from their younger days either because they weren’t into them back then (like me) or not born yet (unlike me).

I bought all of Green Day’s albums over the last sixteen months except for American Idiot (I’ve had that one since 2006), but despite this fact, there are numerous songs from the old school days that I yearned to hear over the course of the tour and several from the 21st Century Breakdown (see what here) album itself that the band didn’t play on the tour. Since I had the good fortune to attend a lot of shows over the tour, I got to hear more than a few new and old songs that were on my mental list, but it’s nothing like actually being there back in the day.

In Costa Rica, the “old school” portion of the night included songs such as “Brat” (Insomniac),Road to Acceptance” (1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours),”Christie Road” (Kerplunk), and Warning’s Waiting,” as well as a song that Green Day may not have played live — except for sound checks — since 1991. Or, at least that’s how long the gap exists between 1991 and 2010 when it comes to live performances of “I Was There” from 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours on Youtube. From 1989-1991, there are five live performances of “I Was There” uploaded that I found. Two of them are with original Sweet Children/Green Day drummer, Al Sobrante (John Kiffmeyer) in Davis, CA in 1989 and at International Foods Day at Pinole High School on May 10, 1990 (there are two versions of the Pinole, H.S. show on YouTube). The other three clips finds Tre Cool drumming the song in Little Rock, AK and at the Starr Club in Tampa, Fl., both in August of 1991 (see below for the Starr Club), and then again in December of 1991 at the Den in Wigan, England, here and here.

The song doesn’t appear again as sung by Green Day themselves (covers of the song are uploaded) until yesterday when Green Day LIVE on Facebook posted a video link of the song from the Costa Rica show from Oct. 29, 2010. Fans of “I Was There,” including me, have been waiting for this to pop up, and just when all hope seemed lost, some nice person uploads a creaky cell phone-recorded version of the song from Costa Rica for us fans who were not lucky enough to have been there.

The video is raw and unprofessional, but personally, I don’t mind that so much. It reminds me of the old school days that way, where the pre-digital, celluloid memories of “I Was There” are clunky with a slight touch of melody, like the unpolished and fast sound that comes out of Green Day’s first EP, 39/Smooth. The videos, with not-so-great sound, syncing issues and chaotic filming, capture not only the rawness of Green Day’s musical youth and the sheer bravado of their performances, but also the fleeting quality of memory itself. Memories are never played in perfect HD in your mind, memories are never clear and crisp, and you never know when a body will come sailing at you in real life, too. Ok, maybe not that last one, but memory is fleeting and rarely accurate as time goes on and we move further away from the the original good moments, the pictures, the places, that we want to make last, despite any troubles we might have in our life… “But I don’t let it get me down, Or cause me too much sorrow, There’s no doubt about who I am, I always have tomorrow … I looked into the past, and I want to make it last, I was there, I was there…”

“I always have tomorrow” isn’t necessarily true, but at least it’s a good rallying cry in melancholy times for anyone, and heck, “I was there,” dammit, having a great time and stamping existence with our presence and always moving forward to the next thing in life. I kinda love this song when I’m feeling full of regret about the past or defiant in creating the kind of future I’d like to have for myself and others.

“I Was There” was written by John Kiffmeyer, the only song on 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours penned by him. All other songs on the album were written and composed by Billie Joe Armstrong. Billie Joe jumbles the lyrics up a bit in the 2010 version in Costa Rica, but for a song that they haven’t played in front of an audience since 1991, it’s as fun and vibrant as when they were kids in sweaty basement venues playing in front of a hundred people, only 1000 times bigger, playing in a stadium of 20,000 people.

I’m glad that Kiffmeyer wrote this song for the band, but I have to say, I’m exceptionally happy that Tre Cool ultimately became the drummer of Green Day. My favorite of these versions besides the Starr Club, below, is the up-close version of “I Was There” from The Den in Wigan, where Mike is running around changing basses, Billie Joe is avoiding bodies on the stage, and Tre starts drumming while waiting for his new and life-long bandmates to kick in. Tre takes it all in stride with his wicked smile, egging on the audience with his licks to keep them moving as fast as possible. Must have been good times. I wish that I had been there.

“I Was There” – Green Day in Tampa, 1991 – Last Youtube videos of this song are from 1991 with new drummer, Tre Cool

“I Was There”
Looking back upon my life
And the places that I’ve been
Pictures, faces, girls I’ve loved
I try to remember when
Faded memories on the wall
Some names I have forgotten
But each one is a memory I
Look back on so often.

I look into the past
I want to make it last
I was there

I look into the past
I want to make it last
I was there

Looking back what I have done
There’s lots more life to live
At times I feel overwhelmed
I question what I can give
But I don’t let it get me down
Or cause me too much sorrow
There’s no doubt about who I am
I always have tomorrow

I look into the past
I want to make it last
I was there

I look into the past
I want to make it last
I was there

Looking back upon my life
Faded memories on the wall
Looking now at who I am
I don’t let it get me down.

Looking back upon my life
And the places that I’ve been
Pictures, faces, girls I’ve loved
I try to remember when
But I don’t let it get me down
Or cause me too much sorrow
There’s no doubt about who I am
I always have tomorrow

I look into the past
I want to make it last
I was there

I look into the past
I want to make it last
I was there

Composed by John Kiffmeyer, 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours


A Week With An American Idiot – Idiot University

Some Dude, aka, Billie Joe Armstrong - American Idiot Talkback, 9/19/10 - Photo by Michelle Lawlor

Three Points - Brooklyn, Wednesday, 9/14/10 - Photo by GDM

Last week in New York began with a storm, literally. On Tuesday, September 14th, 2010, the day that Billie Joe Armstrong was to attend the first of a series of five American Idiot University Talkbacks — opportunities for students to hear the creative team and cast talk about the show and ask questions (a tradition on Broadway) — tornadoes touched down in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens. The storm devastated the trees of our city landscape and caused a hella lot of damage. I can’t say it’s because Billie Joe, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool swept into town that day; they were already here. Billie Joe appeared at the Stand Up 2 Cancer telethon on Friday, September 10th, 2010. [VIDEO/DONATE HERE] On Monday, September 13th, 2010, Green Day, along with touring musicians, Jason White, Jason Freese and Jeff Matika, and the full cast of American Idiot performed “Last of the American Girls” at New York Jets stadium in New Jersey. [AUDIO/VIDEO HERE] I was originally unsure about the choice of songs until I saw the performance. LOTAG at a football game? Come on, it’s about girls, but frankly, it’s about powerful girls, and women that can blow up cars with the strength of their thoughts; have you seen the music video of it? Who needs football when you have that kind of power! [VIDEO HERE]

Green Day and Cast - New York Jets Stadium Opening - Photo GDA Picture Vault

Green Day and the cast sounded great, with the women of the cast surrounding the band, singing in harmony with Billie Joe’s lead and adding some intricate melodies (Tom Kitt arranged, perhaps?), even if their mics were a bit low. The boys of the American Idiot show? They were relegated to the back risers, rocking out and trying not to fall off at the same time. Billie Joe sounded, and frankly, looked, great. Like a rock star, cause he is one.

Billie Joe with PBR Cans for Autographs - Photo by Green Day Mind

There is another side to the dude, though, and over five nights, despite having a head cold, and ending with a huge appearance at the 92StY in a talk with Jujamcyn Theaters president, Jordan Roth, and AI director, Michael Mayer, Billie Joe Armstrong donned his flannels and his old man Kangol hat (which covered up the remaining vibrant and brassy blond still at the ends of his hair) and sat down and just talked about American Idiot, the album, and American Idiot, the Broadway show. Like a dude, who happened to have a show on Broadway, and feeling, in his own words, like a rookie again.

I would love to sit down and have a small group conversation with Billie Joe Armstrong about theater and performance. I love the theater, particularly experimental theater or anything that pushes the performance edge, but alas since that has a slim, if not zero percent, chance of happening, the next best thing was to spend five nights in the St. James Theater, three of them watching American Idiot, five talkbacks, and ending with the 92StY on Sunday, September 19th.

Two Nights with An American Idiot – Berkeley Repertory Theater – September 2009

Heart Like a Hand Grenade

When I saw American Idiot in Berkeley for two nights back in September of 2009, I was worried about two things: that I would hate the show and that my love and sense of experimental theater (which I suffer from acutely), would walk away feeling that the album American Idiot was slaughtered by Broadway. I am not a big fan of Broadway. Too much money and glitz and not enough shows that appeal to my sense of theatrical anarchy. My theater tends to lurk in dark and dank black boxes, with minimal theatrical assets. I’m always looking for the real and the crazy in a show, something that makes me look at the world in a different way, from a different angle. I’m a theater punk, what can I say? Don’t give it to me straight, give it to me strange and odd, is my theatrical motto.

I wrote about the show in a brutally honest way: the book needed growth and character/actor depth, but was essentially solid; the orchestration (and hence the music itself) was the star of the show; there was too much choreography that gave lip service to punk denizens; John Gallagher, Jr. wasn’t bringing the rage and love to the Johnny character; the set was brilliant and video outstanding; the female vocals were fabulous; and the director wasn’t necessarily the right man for the job, but he could sufficiently get the job done. What bothered me most was that the show did not bring the “rage and love” of the iconic heart grenade image of the American Idiot album. I wanted the line, “she’s holding onto my heart like a handgrenade,” made real. Pull that pin out and make it explode, just like the album and the songs as sung live by Green Day do. I wanted that. I didn’t get it from the overall production that first night. I knew, however, that it was in workshop form and still developing, but I was actually a bit panicked about the entire process of seeing the show. I had to have a few drinks afterward and a bit of a cry. [Read GDM Review here: Pt. 1 (Book); Pt. 2 (Arrangement and Cast); Pt. 3 (Choreography and Direction)]

Pull the Pin and See What Happens

On night two, I let the critic and punk theater snob in me go. I listened to the show and watched what I saw onstage from the standpoint of its star, the music and arrangement of American Idiot, and I knew that I would be in love by the time this punk rock opera came to Broadway.

Fast Forward to the Present

The Rookie Again (And What An Outfit) - Photo by Michelle Lawlor

Since September 2009, I’ve seen the show a bajillion times on Broadway. I take every opportunity to tell my Broadway and theater friends to go and see it before it closes, which is currently scheduled for the end of January 2011 (though B’way shows can abruptly close prior to their official dates, so see it now!). The reaction from them has been mixed, but the majority are quite taken with it. My friend Yana Landowne, a director in New York City, recently told me that she saw the show and wept at the end. While she wasn’t absolutely familiar with the album prior to seeing the show, she told me that the music combined with the overall design and the enthusiasm of the cast, along with a powerful story of youth setting out on their own and failing, moved her more than anything she’s seen on Broadway in a long time. Yana and I were both members of the theatrical, satirical and political group, Billionaires For Bush during the 00’s, and we fought hard and long to bring the economic realities of the Bush Administration to the attention of America: the man was made by the elite and wealthy of this country and for those same people. His administration had nothing of good for the economic welfare of middle-class and lower middle-class Americans. We thought we could make a difference if we told the people what was happening, but alas, he was elected President again in 2004. For a long while, we felt like (and still do in many regards), utter failures in our attempts at life, just like Johnny, Will, and Tunny, the three lead characters of the show, with one failing at life in the big city, another suffering from being a clueless and stoned unexpected parent, and the third a kid caught up in the shiny glamor of televised reality teevee-war, who looses a leg, but gains the love of an Extraordinary Girl in the process. They left home and loss the game of life, but at the least they tried as hard or well as they could.

Last week, I saw American Idiot three times. By the time the show ended on the second night, from my seat in the balcony, I was crying from the emotional journey of the young adults onstage who had taken the show and pulled the emotional pin out of my bleeding heart. I’ve encouraged Green Day fans to see the show, too. Some of them are super enthusiastic, while others, not so much. I’ve read more than a few Green Day fans who despise the idea of American Idiot being on Broadway. They have only seen clips of the show on Youtube, or the cast singing with the band on the Grammies, the Tonys, or last last week at the New York Jets game, and because of whatever reasons (‘I want to see the band, not those cast members,’ ‘The actors are trying to get famous from Green Day,’ ‘I hate that Broadway musical shit,’ “The music is destroyed’), their minds are closed to the larger picture of what Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer have created: a modern-day opera of immediacy and relevancy that stays true to the music and ideas that we fell in love with from the album in the first place. It doesn’t destroy the original album but brings it literally, to life.

American Idiot University

American Idiot University with Panel and Set - Photo by Michelle Lawlor

The talkbacks during the week of September 14-19th, 2001, were pretty neat. I’ve noted a few times in posts how I sneaked into two of the talkbacks. I even told Tom Hulce that I sneaked into two, treating them as “second-acting it,” used by Broadway-goers to walk into a theater for the second act of a show. He said, “I understand, I’ve first-acted a few shows in my life. Thank you for coming.” I’ve spoken with Michael Mayer and a few of the cast members here and there at various events, but it was the first time that I had spoken with Hulce. Why I told him that, I don’t know, but I have the spirit and mind of Green Day: a tendency to say anything off the top of my head, and sneak to the pit from the lawn if you can; take the rules and bend them if you must. The opportunity to see a bunch of Green Day fans and hear Billie Joe Armstrong talk about the show was too great of an opportunity to let safely pass by.

On Friday, I found myself hanging out with Larry Livermore, along with Tony Anastasi from England, ToniAnn Graffigna from Staten Island, Lauren Banjo from New Jersey and a few other Green Day fans. I mentioned to Larry (who I’ve met here and there at shows in NYC) that I wanted to one day write academically about the show. When I said it, he scoffed under his breathe, and while at the time it hurt a bit, I had to realize who I was talking to, the man who gave the first incarnation of Green Day, Sweet Children and Green Day, their first starts back in day. He’s a bit of a curmudgeon, and yes, he’s a punk, and he’s probably heard it all when it comes to Green Day and fans. I’ve often wanted to talk to him about the history of Green Day and East Bay punk, but I’m always afraid of getting that same scoffing reaction, so I never bring it up. Sadly.

David Cote, Time Out New York Head Theater Critic - Photo by Michelle Lawlor

David Cote, the lead theater critic of Time Out New York, moderated the talks. Over the five nights the panel included: Billie Joe Armstrong, director Michael Mayer, lightning designer Kevin Adams and set designer Christine Jones (both Tony Award winners for the show), arranger/orchestrator Tom Kitt, video/production designer Darrel Maloney, assistant choreographer Lorrin Lotarro, costume designer Andrea Lauer, music director Carmel Dean and assistant music conductor, Jared Stein, and actors John Gallagher, Jr., Michael Esper, Stark Sands, Tony Vincent, Declan Bennant, Ben Thompson, Gerard Canonico, Christina Sajous, and Alyssha Umphress. The second and fourth nights of talkbacks, I recorded the audio so that I could remember what was said. SundayMorning6AM from the Green Day Community YouTubed the event on 9/15/10, and you can watch the three parts here: Pt. 1, Pt. 2, Pt. 2.

American Idiot University Q&A

Below are paraphrased questions and answers of two of the talkbacks that I attended. I’ve transcribed things as well as possible, but hey, I do not get paid for this, so take it with a grain of salt at how completely accurate exact “ums” and y’knows” are. The majority of questions were asked by Cote. Please note for Green Day fans who may not be familiar with theater jargon, there is technical stuff about theater below in general, i.e., “ownership” means taking the play/musical form within yourself as an actor in a performance, going all out in portrayal of character and script; “movement,” is the contrast between ‘real’ everyday movement and that portrayed as stylized in a show, can be used in dance or non-musical performances as well as musical ones and comes primarily from experimental theater ideas.

I’ve taken the time out to transcribe two of these sessions because I feel it’s really important for Green Day and non-Green Day fans to understand where both Green Day and the cast are coming from… a place of love for what they have created. Of course, for those who haven’t seen the show, many things may not be understandable in terms of the stage action.

Of course, my personal highlight of the entire five nights is that my blog was mentioned as an opening comment on the second night. You can see that below.

Green Day Mind Blog Mentioned at American Idiot Talkbacks. Thank you, David! – Video by sundaymorning6am

Are the characters in the show punks by your definition?

Billie Joe Answers A Question - Photo by Michelle Lawlor

Billie Joe: Not necessarily. I don’t think so. It’s like the outcasts come in all different forms, not necessarily a punk rocker, whether you are, I have no idea, all the other alternative lifestyles out there… I think from us, that’s our background for sure, and it’s ground zero for us, and we are like, the mafia, once you think you’re out, you’re back in.

Billie Joe on hearing a workshop of the show for the first time.

Billie Joe: … The first time everyone was sitting down and I didn’t know what to expect and I had a really bad hangover. So, I came in and I watched. We came in on the West Side Highway and it was slow and there was this big… very large man with his asscrack hanging out in a car that was stopped in front of us, ‘What the hell is this guy doing?,’ and we’d go and take off, and we actually get there and uh… I had a bagel and some Advil. So we were watching and all these voices came out with Tom Kitt who did all the musical direction, so all these voices came out, it was like whack-a-mole… y’know, out of nowhere, here’s this voice here and it’s coming all together, and it was just beautiful to hear the arrangements put in that way. And for a while I so wanted to get away from American Idiot because we were doing 21st Century Breakdown, but to hear it performed in that way, was just like, it was totally refreshed. And it was brand new to me.

Can you tell us a little how you first got introduced to American Idiot and what attracted you to it?

Michael Mayer, Director and Book Co-Writer, American Idiot - Photo by Michelle Lawlor

Michael Mayer: I listened to the album when it first came out.. and I was driving everyday [in L.A. working on a movie]… and that was the CD I listened to in the car, pretty much non-stop for six weeks. Wherever I left off, I would drive and listen to it on the way back. And after a while I realized I was hearing a story inside it, and listening over and over to it again, and it started calling to me in the same way that a cast recording would call to me, like when I was a little fag back in Rockville MD, when I was listening to live show tunes, “Oh this is my favorite song, this is my favorite song.”… So it was this incredible collection of songs, but the story in it spoke to me, maybe because I’m from Rockville, MD (where one should not go back to) and moved to the city, and was like the character of Jesus of Suburbia, so I related to it. And it seemed really stage-worthy to me, and it felt like a punk rock opera, or rock opera, or something opera-ish.

Can you address the arc of the story, it starts with incredible dissatisfaction with suburban blandness, but ends with a homecoming. As someone that doesn’t speak too well of returning to Rockville, is there a message there?

Michael Mayer: … Where you come from is a little bit of who you are. And something essential gets lost in a person if they look for… something that… can’t be integrated into themselves, and these characters are all in danger of losing themselves. And part of what the homecoming is, is that they come back and reclaim something that is essential about themselves and may be the thing that will bring them to a better future than what they had before their journey.

David Cote to Darrel Maloney, video and production designer on the pattern and chaos of video used in the show.

Darrel Maloney: I think we all knew what “American Idiot” [the song] was going to look like, and how that was going to work, but then after that… I was kinda terrified whether the video screens would stay on after that and what’s that going to be and how people would react in front of this video that was happening. And oddly enough as it went on, we started adding more video, and what I realized was two things that people could [react to]: one was chaos and one was pattern, but if you turned a video monitor on to one side of the theater, people would look there and be distracted, but if you have 43 of them, they could actually sit back and watch all of them as a background to the actor.

Michael Mayer: You know what else was kind of cool that we discovered in the process was finding when the video projection would happen… on the walls, using the whole set as a screen because that changed how we would have to light everything and the staging. We thought early on [in the show] that we would use it more, but decided not until “Holiday,” until we were actually making a movie up there.

Lorrin Lotarro, assistant choreographer, on the rock concert-type movement in the show.

Lorrin Lotarro: We saw Billie Joe jump off the stage and into everybody’s arms and we decided to put that into the show, body surfing… into the show… The thing about [choreographer] Stephen Hoggett that is so brilliant, that he opened up my mind to what movement means, dance is movement, just simple movement, that it doesn’t mean that it has to be technical movement, and we had this group of amazing actors who were great movers, but if you asked them to warm up at the barre [a railing used by ballet dancers for warm-ups], they would bring in some beers. What Stephen did was to create a way of movement that meant something to the actors that everyone could do…. and [was worked on] collectively and collaboratively. Bring two moves into rehearsal that would bring out your idea of living in a small town, punching, anything you want… We faced each other in a circle and taught each other the movement…. The actors felt a real sense of authority, and I’ve never had to give a note on acting full out since they all felt a sense of ownership of the material.

Michael Esper (Will) on the violent (frenetic) movement in the show and how the actors work with it and not twist ankles. Esper noted that he had twisted both of his ankles during the show.

Michael Esper: We do feel a sense a ownership and we’ve created it as a sense of family and we became a family so easily, so it’s easy to… do it together and have a good time. Injuries are all worth it in the end because you are doing American Idiot.

Stark Sands on the development of his character, Tunny, who goes off to fight in the war and takes a wrenching personal journey in the process.

Mayer, Gallagher, Jr., Sands, and Vincent - Photo by Michelle Lawlor

Stark Sands: I played a soldier a few times before this, and that really helped me sort of build the ideas of where he’s coming from. I’ve never played someone who joined up, they were already in to it. So that was very interesting investigating what would make someone want to… Michael was really great in helping me and allowing me to build this with his help in deciding why this guy would join up, why he would put himself out there like that. I was too scared to walk onstage and just sing pretty because otherwise… I found a way to make it meaningful for me and hopefully that carries out. It’s a really wonderfully rewarding journey to take, and at the end of it, I feel like I walk away with something… I’ve actually found something to take home and I don’t end up punching and kicking, up on the stage.

Billie Joe: There’s a lot of vets that have come to the show, and I’ve heard a lot of comments about his performance and how they relate to it. I think that’s a big deal, especially with a lot of these guys coming home right now.

John, your character loves and looses in a big way. Do you draw a lot of personal history from that?

John Gallagher, Jr.: Absolutely, as much as you can. In Johnny’s case, it’s rather extreme, I think… Johnny and the other characters are in a state of arrested development where, y’know, I’m 26 years old, and we decided that he’s about 25-26, at this point where he should be in a different kind of place in life, a much more developed and mature place, but for a variety of different reasons, he’s really stunted, he comes from this really broken family. It’s the love story that you find in a lot of adolescent kinds of films or plays or stories, that first love you find when you’re about 17-18 and you fall in love. I don’t think that his character, other than the camaraderie and the love that he shares from his brothers, his best friends, Will and Tunny… I don’t think that he’s ever been shown any real love since his father passed away at a young age. This is the story that we came up with for him, that’s only hinted at in those letters and journal entries. While that is kind of vague… we really wanted to make sure that was solid and that we had a full backstory [an actors ‘blueprint’ to a character]. And in his case, it’s really complicated because when you haven’t been given the tools to figure out how to love someone and be loved, it can be really messy. He’s going through this troubled time with this kind of split personality situation going on with St. Jimmy and this entity that is not real comes between them [Johnny and Whatsername] and ultimately tears them apart. But there is a lot to be learned from the love… and the loss.

The book [story of the show], the lines between the songs as well as the story that actually doesn’t get spoken, is that all from you, Michael? I know that there is a booklet from American Idiot?

Mayer: Once Billie first gave me the permission to go ahead and start dreaming this up in a real way, he made some materials available to me that I didn’t know about, including a special edition booklet of American Idiot [LINER NOTES HERE], that had these letters and journals entries that [Billie Joe] had written. I was like, oh, OMG, this is gold, y’know… I started playing with them right away and at first, I was extremely faithful to where they were in the booklet as they related to the lyrics. And then I started pulling them apart. By the time we came to New York, I gave some of them to the two other guys [Will and Tunny]… it was just Johnny at first… and then we started finding that we needed fewer of them and I basically changed a few little things here and there… but it’s all grounded in those little journal entries.

I want to ask about the audience reaction to the show. What’s the sort of thing that is happening at the stage door with people? What kind of reactions are you getting from fans?

Ben Thompson: [Gets joking sad face] They all hate it, it’s awful. [General awwh and laughter from audience] No, I mean tonight was a great example, you guys were incredibly exuberant, and I’ve found that, generally, to be the case. I’ve said it before, but we have two… main types of people coming to the show, we have theater fans, and then we have Green Day fans. [Wooo! ensues from audience] Many times at the stage door, people will be like, this is my first B’way show, or I’ve never heard their music before. A great example is my dad. He knew who they were from me, but he had never heard their music… and he now owns, I think, every album. So we are making Green Day fans into theater fans and theater fans into Green Day fans, so it’s like two different groups of people who you would never think could exist in the same world, and thanks to Billie and Michael, they do. [Applause]

Billie Joe: Speaking of fathers, Alysha’s dad surprised her the other day with a Green Day tattoo, a really, really, big one. Alysha tried to show us the tattoo on her cellphone; and related that her dad flew in for Monday Night Football and they were having lunch, and he showed her the tattoo. She literally thought that it was a decal at first. It is the Heart/Handgrenade image of American Idiot.

Stark Sands: And speaking of parents, that’s another thing I would add is that in addition to these two types of people that Ben is talking about, one thing that I really notice is that there are parents who bring their kids here who come out and will be very honest and say, “You know, I didn’t think I was going to like this, but it was awesome!” So that was another wonderful thing to change someone’s perspective for their 13th birthday or something.

I remember one of Michael’s previous shows was Spring Awakening. I wrote a book about it [Spring Awakening, In the Flesh by David Cote]. Parents and children talked about it after the show and the show is about adults exploiting children and children rebelling in various ways. In this, we only see the adults, but has there been some kind of dialogue about the world you’ve created?

Spring Awakening: In the Flesh by David Cote

Mayer: I certainly have seen a few conversations about drug use. I have certainly seen a few parents yanking some kids down the aisle when they see the syringe use, they panic a little bit, but the ones who stay, they see that there is a method to our madness in that regard… But other than that, by and large, it really isn’t about a generational disparity. It really isn’t. The adults that are referred to in this play are absent. It’s a very different world… it’s not about that struggle, it’s about people who should have individuated at this point anyway. It’s more about people becoming an adult as opposed to being a kid and moving into adolescence.

David Cote: I heard somewhere that the show has affected you, Billie Joe [Uh, probably he heard it on this blog?] in the sense that you have added the words [Rebecca Naomi Jones’] “Wake Up” to the song “Letterbomb,” live?

Billie Joe: We weren’t even playing Letterbomb. We’ve only played that song a few times since [it came out], but this last tour we ended up adding it, and I just ended up doing it cause Rebecca Naomi Jones is kinda badass…”

Billie Joe on what it is like to have his songs sung by women.

Billie Joe: Yeah… That was… yeah, that was nice. I remember when Mike first heard them and he said, ‘Wow, your songs sound better when they are sung by women.’ … These women can sing like acrobats, and it’s just beautiful…. Y’know… a lot… uh… They sound better than what I do. They are just beautiful singers, all around. Because of the arrangements, you don’t really know… I mean… Me and Mike and Tre are a three-piece and we are fighting to be heard. I think that’s been the main argument of our band, [us fighting to hear who will be louder]. So hearing arrangements with these women singing them, everything is almost like the music is pulled back and the vocals up in front, you just hear… it adds a whole new dimension, dynamic, and range. I mean, they can sing a frigging dictionary, it’s amazing.

WTF? Maloney, Armstrong, Mayer - Photo by Michelle Lawlor

Iconic image of the album, a handgrenade with a bloody hand, what is the image about?: Billie Joe: Rage and Love. Heart, pull the pin, it’ll explode.”

Where did the idea come from?

X - Unclogged

Billie Joe: John Roecker [director of Live Freaky!, Die Freaky! and the unreleased Green Day documentary, Heart Like A Hand Grenade],… inspired by an illustration [Roecker] did of a bloody heart on an X album, and the American Idiot cover illustrator, Chris Bilheimer, came up with the image. Michael Mayer asked, “What came first, the lyric or the image?” Billie Joe: “The image came first, and since we had that, we changed the lyrics. In fact, I was talking with [cast member] Alysha Umphress  and I told her that some of the lyrics got changed because of the art image and she asked me what lyric got changed and I said, ‘Well, “she’s holding onto my heart like a handgrenade, [laughter] and then I said… that’s uh, pretty much it.”

In terms of the original album, The Wall and Tommy and this show have a view of youth culture as perverted and also an attraction to a messianic figure, a sort of darkness, and militarism. Where the Wall and Tommy influences?

Billie Joe: “Yeah, sure, but I would say even before that… I would also say “A Quick One” by the Who… Every single part of that song is catchy; You take power pop to an extreme level, like a song “Dream Police” by Cheap Trick, super catchy chords, very melodic, three chord mayhem, that’s what’s we were trying to go for, very big, very broad strokes.”

Question for Sands, Gallagher, Vincent, Armstrong from 9/19/10 Talkback “Keeping the energy high, balancing rage and love, St Jimmy, meeting veterans, military and relatives” – NYCForest

Audience Questions:

Audience Question: Obviously the audience experience is quite different from a rock show vs a musical, and I had a hard time not moving my feet tonight. What do you think is gained in this adaptation to the stage and the audience member’s experience in a rock show and do you think anything is lost between the two?

Billie Joe: It’s just two different things altogether, really, cause it’s more storytelling here, where in a rock show it’s storytelling, but short storytelling or whatever, where people are… it’s just kinda people losing their shit. I would encourage people to do the same thing here, you don’t have to sit down here. Y’know…. I don’t know, I think there was a lot gained in this experience, I don’t think anything was lost. For me, I think the first time I heard it and it was quieter, that was a real adjustment for me, but you have to hear the story, and that was part of the learning process for me.”

Audience Question: The show is very accessible. I’m thinking of the accessibility of the show vs maintaining the edge of the album, which gives the album resonance. Does the accessibility of the show and the reception of the show surprise you in any way? Because I know that as a band, one of the things you thrive on is being on the edge and being actually perceived that way.

Billie Joe: I think that Michael Mayer is on the edge, that’s what I think we share in common. He didn’t want to do anything that was safe, and that’s why I think he got it and he was right, and that’s why he chose us. Yea, I don’t know, I guess, you might as well be dangerous, there’s no other place to be.

Michael Mayer: I think it’s to the extent that we made any accommodation to this venue, it was all in the service of the story, and never about making the story easier. In some cases from Berkeley to New York we made the story more brutal, we had Tunny loose a leg and in Berkeley he was injured in a kind of non-specific way, and that’s something you don’t see too often, in a realistic way, in a Broadway musical.

David Cote: That reminds me of a question from last night when someone asked about “Time of Your Life” being played at the end of the musical, he said it’s like a happy ending.

"That guy was a smartass..." - Photo by Michelle Lawlor

Billie Joe: Well, the funny thing about that song is that it’s not called “Time of Your Life,” it’s called “Good Riddance” and that snarky little bastard (I’ll say it), he was kinda… he was kinda… a cunt. He knew good and damned well what the answer was to that question, he just wanted to be a smartass. It’s an encore. So, the curtain goes down, and everyone has acoustic guitars and that’s sorta like the rock show aspect of it.

Audience Question: Is there some song that you wished had been put into the show?

Billie Joe: I remember Tom Hulce saying that “East Jesus Nowhere” could have made it into the show. Michael Mayer: Hulce’s assistant is still insisting on trying to put it in somewhere in the show.

Audience Question: For Kevin Adams, lighting designer, I was looking around and you have a shitload of [lighting] instruments, and I’m wondering if doing the lighting design for this show was different from other shows and what were the difficulties of moving the show from Berkeley?

Kevin Adams: The hard thing, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but for the past few years, these rock-pop theater shows have been popular, and I have been very lucky to ride that wave. So I’ve been very lucky that I’ve been able to do Spring Awakening, Passing Strange, Next to Normal, Hair, and this, I think I’ve … so it was just trying to find a way to find different vocabularies for each show. I knew this show was coming up, and I wouldn’t let a bag of tricks, of strobe tricks, that I had be used for Hair because I wanted to use them for this show.

Audience Question: What kind of struggles did you face with trying to develop the album into a stage production, particularly in terms of story and character development?

Michael Mayer: Well, the whole thing was a process, and I wouldn’t say it was a struggle, because it was a beautiful challenge. And I have to say that we all… we had a wonderful time making it. So even where we got stymied at times about how something should look or could function, it was always a groovy experiment, do you know what I mean? That said, I think one of the big challenges was how to parse the lyrics in a way that would make sense as dialogue, monologue, as hallucination, as a source of connection between people that got penetrated by another force coming through at times. How to create true simultaneity, which is one of the great gifts that the design team gave us in this world that can sustain a multiplicity of voices and lives and images and experiences that cascade around each other and impact each other. It was the surgical approach that was a little painstaking. This line has to actually have a question mark… even if you don’t get the rest between that note and the next. That was the trickiest part.

Lauren Banjo, who got Billie Joe to sing the song “Misery” at a soundcheck in Las Vegas last year, asked a question. She wore a tye-die shirt, which is a bit of a running joke between her and Tre Cool, who at the same soundcheck (I think), told her that he ‘hated tye-die and that she couldn’t come to the show unless she changed her shirt.’ So he gave her a Green Day shirt. [Lauren wrote in to say that it was Chris, who ran the Verizon soundcheck contest from last year, the shirt. ] Lauren asked Billie Joe: In 2005, you said in an interview that an American Idiot musical would only happen over your dead body. I have the recording of the interview on my phone if you want to hear it. Billie Joe responded: “Will it be as loud as that tye-die shirt you’re wearing?” Lauren went on to ask why he changed his mind.

Billie Joe Disses Lauren (But hey, the shirt deserved it!) — laurenbanjo

Lauren with Signed Misery Lyrics from Soundcheck in Las Vegas - Photo by GDM

Billie Joe: No, I don’t remember… things come out of my mouth… I can’t even remember… I believe you, you don’t have to play it for everyone… I don’t think it was… we immediately wanted to do it as soon as we were were asked. We were interested in what they had… what Michael had to say. We saw Spring Awakening. We really didn’t know what was going on with musical theater. We saw Spring Awakening, and I was blown away by it. Because it was y’know, something different, y’know, it was new. He’s a revolutionary dude, so…

Audience Question: Was it hard or easy to put the music into a story?

Billie Joe: Making that record was really hard, really difficult to make. If it’s not hard, you’re not doing it right.

Audience Question: How do you as actors prepare for the show?

Ben Thompson: During the rehearsal process, early on, starting at Vassar, our amazing choreographer, Stephen Hoggett, basically put us through boot camp and got us into shape, got our bodies ready for this amazing car wreck. Y’know, I think we each have our own ways of preparing for it. These guys [Gallagher, Esper, Sands, etc] , y’know, their emotional journey that they have to go through every night is a different kind of preparation that is a whole other story. We have a mandatory warmup, which is kind of odd for a Broadway musical. That company that Michael was talking [having been created by the cast in a first workshop stage] about at Vassar… the first five minutes of the warmup, it never fails, [we talk to each other about what happened during the day, even if we just saw each other the night before] and it’s like, ok guys, can we focus, ‘[but] we haven’t seen each other since yesterday!?…’ But the warmup really gets us to start that… unity… that we enjoy.

Audience Question: Since you’re acting opposite St. Jimmy for most of the play, I’m kinda confused. Do you consider him a real character or a feeling? I have also heard another interpretation, that St. Jimmy is like a drug?

John Gallagher, Jr.: That’s a great question. The trickiest part of the rehearsal process… was figuring out the relationship between Johnny and St. Jimmy… What made the most sense was that for the first half of the show is, Johnny is in such a fractured and freaked out place, alone in the big city that he’s come to, doesn’t have any friends, wants to meet girls, he’s feeling like a complete screwup. His buddies, he feels, have abandoned him, and he creates what he needs in that moment, which is… this… protector, and this person to guide him. Guides him down a very dangerous and ultimately, wrong path. I made the choice that Johnny really does think he’s a real person, up until that moment when he says, “It’s time to wake up” after Wake Me Up When September Ends, and he sees St. Jimmy’s face turn into his face on those television sets, it’s that moment where he’s probably sober for the first time in months and realizing… the kind of feeling I read about with a lot of addicts when they look in the mirror and say “That’s not me.” To believe the stakes of the show, Johnny really needs to believe that he’s a real person.

Audience Question: To the cast, how does it feel to be working with Green Day in general?

Alysha Umphress: Amazing. They have been nothing but… so completely generous and involved, I think that has been the best part of it. A lot of times when you have famous people involved in shows, it’s like they show up at opening night and they put their name above the title, and y’know, they take some pictures…. They have been so involved from the very beginning, and it’s been so inspiring, they are amazing. No one can top them.

Audience Question: Billie Joe, how did you reach out to society to write the lyrics to inspire so many?

Billie Joe: How did I reach out to society? I don’t know, um… I’m still struggling with that… rephrase the question… let’s get deep… Audience member: “You write about very important things that are going on in the world. Did you interact with anyone that influenced you to write about these important things?” Billie Joe: I think for me, it was my own confusion about what was going on. I never grew up during a time of war, that kind of chaos, that close to a dictatorship, with a president, ‘he who will not be named’ [Crowd whoops]…. There was a lot of reality television happening at the time. Everyone wanted to see these people who weren’t talented and they just had calf muscles and fake tits and put ‘em in a room and eventually, they’ll fuck each other. And then, with this other side, you need this kind of toothpaste or your teeth would fall out. Or your dick’s not gonna get hard because you’re not taking this kind of pill. And then you mix all that in and you see these embedded journalists that were going into Iraq and everything was coming together and seeing this on television. And to see those planes smashing into the World Trade Center, seeing it live, right there. I don’t think we ever really as a society, we’ve never seen anything that that’s up close. These are handheld video cameras, this is the kind of stuff that you shoot your little fucking kids with, you see kids growing up, you see the first time you change a diaper, but here what you see is war, that other side of it, and I don’t think anyone expected it. I know I didn’t. It was just chaos. I was just so confused, I just felt paralyzed, I didn’t know what to say. So the song “American Idiot” was the first thing that came to mind.

Audience Question: Bullet in a Bible was recorded of the biggest punk rock concert in history with over 65,000 people. How does it feel to know that you are trying to recreate that feeling with people [onstage]?

John Gallagher, Jr.: I don’t know that we are necessarily… we can’t… that’s something we couldn’t in a million years do, there is something that happens at a Green Day concert that… can’t ever be recreated by anybody that’s not Green Day, especially at a place like Milton Keynes arena, seen by thousands and thousands of people… But bringing it to this kind of venue [a Broadway theater], especially from an actor’s viewpoint, it’s been so rewarding… but it’s rewarding to me as an actor in a way that some plays can’t… bring you to that place. There is something so cathartic about these songs and this music and performing it, and being given a platform to allow it to grow and dig into it and create these characters. The total sweetener is just the fact that it’s Green Day, some of the greatest music ever written and we get to sing it every night is a total gift.

Green Day as Gateway Drug to the History of Punk and Inspiration to Kids in Flannel Departments Everywhere - Photo by Michelle Lawlor


Sacre Bleu! Green Day in Montreal, 8/21/2010

It’s been over a week since I went to Montreal to see Green Day. This post is a little overdue, but I was hoping that the xGeneralxS would post a few more pictures that she took of the show, but she’s been busy with life and seeing Green Day in Colorado on 8/28. I have two more shows to go, in Chula Vista and San Francisco, and it’s hitting me a little hard that the tour will soon be over. After those two shows, the boys have a month off and then hit South America finally, and then… it’s all over. This blog, except for occasional updates, will be over and then what do I do, ha! It’s been an amazing tour. I really hope the fangirl fever that I’ve attempted to keep under some control this past year, despite blogging about the tour, won’t come to a head and have me bawling like a freaking baby at Shoreline, but we’ll see. Thank you, Green Day! Thank you!

BJA Montreal - Green Day, August 21, 2010 - Photo by xGeneralxS

I had contemplated heading up to Montreal to see Green Day since the second and final leg of shows were announced earlier this year. I love Montreal. It’s a nice city, with beautiful vistas and lovely buildings. I know a few folks from Montreal, both English and French, and love them dearly. Sometimes the French can get a little overbearing, but on the whole, a chance to see the band again in a foreign country was way too tasty to let pass by.

Tired, Happy, Wet - Nicole W-M and GDM in Montreal

I had no idea, though, how I would get up there. I didn’t want to go by myself, even though I knew some Canadian fans who were going. The bus was 10 hours and $139. The train, 12 hours and a bit more. Flying, one hour and $327. Uh, choices, choices, choices. My friend who lives there offered me a place to stay, and I hadn’t seen her and her family, including her son, now seven, in a few years. It would be a perfect time to get away, see the band, the city, and my friends. It would never have happened if Nicole W-M had not said yes when I put the idea of going up to Canada on the evil Facebook after the Holmdel show. We ended up getting into Nicole’s hybrid car, which got us to Montreal on one tank of gas for $35. What a deal!

Green Day Flags in Montreal - Photo by GDM

The show was scheduled for Saturday, August 21st. Nicole and I left at 4:30 AM on Saturday, and got to Montreal at noon. It was the first time that Nicole had been to Canada, and I was happy when we parked, got into line and Nicole was able to walk around the beautiful area of Old Montreal. Of course, it was raining — Montreal had been sunny and bright the day before and when we got there, boom! — rain, rain rain. The show would go on rain or shine, and it did. It was wet and wonderful.

Canadian Idiot Flag - Photo by Silvi Kingsland

We waited in line and I finally met up with a photographer whose photos I use a lot, xGeneralxS and her sister. I was happy that they came up from New Jersey to make the show. Naomi, who I had last seen at Madison Square Garden back in July 2009, was there, as well as her fellow Canadians Silvi and Jaymee!, and I saw a couple of the Aussies, Liz and Aska.

The venue was open air and unlike the previous amphitheater shows that I made it to (Camden, Hartford, Holmdel), the stage was high and the band seemed far away again. I was a little worried about the entire space being General Admission. I had heard that one of the roughest shows so far of the tour had happened at Green Day’s gig at the Parc des Princes in Paris, and if that was any indication, the French-Canadian fans would be a crowd of wild-children. Well, they were, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Jacques Cartier Pier - Green Day, Old Montreal, August 21, 2010 - Photo by GDM

The site itself was magnificent! If you’re never been to Montreal, particular Old Montreal, it has an Old World style with winding, small streets, and ornate stone buildings. Many of the streets along the waterfront are closed to traffic and you can just walk around and stare at people and things, and pretend like you’re walking around old Europe instead of Old Canada. Old Quebec City is even more beautiful, if that’s possible, and I highly recommend going to these two great Canadian cities… though I’m not sure about attending a rock or punk show there.

The show itself took place on a pier that juts out from Old Montreal, and when we got to the site, there were already about 300 fans standing in line. We met a few people from Canada, including one funny fellow and his girlfriend who had seen Green Day play at the Belle Center in Montreal last year and was raring to see them for a second time. We finally were let into the site around 6:00 or so, and made a run for the front barrier. Nicole W-M went to her favorite spot, to the right of Mike’s stage side, at the front, the xGeneralxS was near her, and I went to the heart of the pit, in front of Mike, and where I could see Tre. I love watching him drum, and he makes some pretty funny faces during a show. There’s also opportunities to just play with him, and it’s always fun to play with a crazy drummer.

The Stage - Photo by GDM

AFI went on first again, and I have to say, while I’m not a big fan of their music, I think of the five opening bands that I have seen for Green Day this tour (The Bravery, Franz Ferdinand, the Kaiser Chiefs, and Prima Donna), AFI and Prima Donna were the two bands that really got the crowd pumped up prior to Green Day coming on. I even found myself humming AFI songs afterward, once I got back home. They did about a 35-minute show and several members of their fan club were in attendance, and they certainly catered to them. At one point, Davey Havok came down to where they were standing at the front and rocked out with them for a bit. They left the stage, and the rain, which had held off for about two hours or so, started coming down again as Green Day went onstage. I was lucky for the most part because I was so close to the front of the stage that the top awning shielded most of the front area from the rain.

Naomi (BJ's Entourage) and Silvi - Photo by GDM

The all General Admission crowd rushed forward when Green Day came on and pushed us all into the barrier. It was fun for the first few songs, and then things just got crazy. I love crowdsurfers and being in the pit, but there are happy pits (Pinhead Gunpowder at 924 Gilman back in February was one of the roughest pits I’ve been in, but everyone took care of each other out of sheer joy) and then there are pits with crazy fans who don’t give a fuck whether they kill you or not. Both are fun, but seriously, if you’re trying to kill me, I’m going to try and kill you, too. That’s just the way it is. Fans elbowed other people and got into stupid fights, and in general were assholes. Good times!

Americans with the Funny Canadian Dude and His Girlfriend - Photo by GDM

The highlights of the show for me (Billie Joe tweeted that his highlight was “Armatage Shanks”) was hearing “Platypus (I Hate You),” “F.O.D.” again, and my favorite Green Day song, “Welcome to Paradise,” which was dropped from earlier amphitheater tour shows that I’ve seen, but was on last year’s tour setlist. For me, these three songs together summed up how I felt about the Montreal crowd, though I have some special love for the wonderful and enthusiastic fans from Montreal at the Green Day Community and I will always love the city. I had to leave the pit center during the Shout Medley. I had had enough after I threw out a expletive at a French-Canadian fan who had said to no one in general, “If you all can’t handle the pit, you all should just go to a Justin Bieber show,” and I realized that my F.O.D. level was way too high. Despite wishing earlier that the band wouldn’t hose the crowd because of the rain, I was hella happy when they did, but at that point, my anger and the fact that I was dehydrated, was too much. I got out and was completely rained on. I paid $4 for a bottle of water (egads), and went to Jason White’s side of the stage, which is always a bit saner. I spent the first encore there, and was very happy for the remainder of the show.

“Armatage Shanks” and “Paper Lanterns” – Billie Joe’s Highlight – Green Day, Montreal, 8/21/2010 – xGeneralxS

“Welcome to Paradise” – Green Day, Montreal, 8/21/2010 – zanth214

We all really have to thank the Lushie Gods for the Crazy Band of Australians who have managed to follow Green Day from Australia to Europe, and now, to our shores here in North America. One of the them, Aska, requested “Take Back.” Billie Joe looked at her like she was a bit crazy, but then said, all right, what about “Platypus (I Hate You),” a song that they haven’t performed on this tour yet. He turned around to Tre and made a bunch of hand movements while Tre was like, “What, are you nuts? OK, yes, you are,” and then boom, into “Platypus (I Hate You), they went. I posted two videos of “Platypus (I Hate You)” in a previous post [LINK HERE], but here’s an additional awesome clip that Green Day LIVE on Tour on (Evil) Facebook posted of Tre banging the drums during this song like the King of Drumming he is, and what a face he makes afterward:

Tre Drums Out “Platypus (I Hate You) – Green Day, Montreal, August 2010 – Brian

Speaking of Tre’s drumming, during the soundcheck earlier in the day, the crowd could hear Green Day rehearse, and we heard “Church on Sunday,” which made us all really happy. [LINK HERE] A video popped up that someone took that showed the big screen, which was focused mostly on Tre during the band’s rehearsal of “21st Century Breakdown.” You can clearly see him drumming the song, and since I’m a bit fascinated with his drumming and love the jig of 21CB, I am in love with this video of a laid back Tre practicing for the show.

“21st Century Breakdown” Soundcheck, Tre Dumming – Green Day in Montreal, 8/21/2010 – GSPInsights

With that, Nicole and I waited for a bit after the show for the crowd to thin down, and we said our goodbyes to people we had met up with throughout the day. We were pretty high-strung and happy from the drive, the rain, and the show, and we finally got back to the car, went to my friends’ house, and crashed, hard. The next day, we had a wonderful Canadian breakfast with them, got in the car ($35 worth of gas from Montreal to New Jersey), listened to Green Day again all the way back to New York, where she dropped me off and I went home. We drove through some of the worst weather ever, but in the end, despite the crazed fans and that same rain, to see Green Day again, it was all worth it.

I’m off to the shows in Chula Vista and Homecoming in San Francisco, the last show of the tour until the band heads to South America to end the 21st Century Breakdown altogether. I’m really hoping that I hold it together in San Francisco. I’m a bit afraid that I am going to bawl like a baby at Homecoming and embarrass myself to no end. After 18 months of blogging about the tour, it’s going to be a bit overwhelming to me that it will end. See anyone who’s going to the last two shows there. It’s going to be a blast!

Montreal Setlist after the jump…

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Highlights From The Breakdown: Scattered and Dancing With Myself – Green Day at Mansfield, MA

A friend of a friend thought that they saw Billy Idol in attendance at Holmdel. A very tall, very white-blond fellow in an all-white demin outfit was in attendance. I did a double-take when I saw him walking around myself, but the fellow at Holmdel was younger and taller than Idol, who was actually playing a gig out in L.A. (Thanks to all those on the evil Facebook who told me about Idol’s show in L.A. when I asked.)

“Scattered” and “Dancing With Myself” – Green Day at Mansfield, MA – August 16, 2009

I have no idea who the fellow in white was, but I chuckled when I saw this wonderful clip of “Scattered” leading into “Dancing With Myself” by Billy Idol from Green Day’s show in Mansfield, two days after Holmdel. This clip is shot from above and focuses well on Tre’s drumming. Last year I posted some clips that were shot from above trying to focus slightly more on a view of Tre at the drums, and while the ones from last year weren’t that great in video quality, this one from above is clear and crisp. [For other clips shot from above, see, Johnny B. Goode, St. Louis, 2009; Song of the Century and 21stCB Intro, San Jose, Ca, 2009]

I saw Green Day perform “Scattered” at the MSG2 soundcheck, but I think that has been the only time live on this tour that I’ve heard it. The band sounds like they are having fun, and really get into the “Dancing With Myself” part. Tre offers a steady bridge throughout and sounds awfully good, while Jason White gets so into it that he jumps the highest up that I’ve ever seen him go! Nice!

Green Day (presumably Billie Joe) said that Mansfield was their favorite show so far on this leg of the tour, and if this video is a witness, it sounds like it was a blast.

I’m going to finish up my post about Hartford and Holmdel in the next day, and then… I’m sneaking across the border with a passport and Nicole and we’re going to see Green Day in Montreal. Sacre bleu! This makes up for missing out on what will be the epically crazy show in Irving later this month. Green Day’s shows in California, their home state, are crazy affairs. I will be heading to Chula Vista and San Francisco, but work timing and other factors prevent me from hitting Irvine. I have never been to a concert in Canada before, even though I lived close to Windsor, in Ontario and across the border from my hometown of Detroit, while growing up. I love Montreal, and if I could have pulled it off, I would headed for the Quebec show as well. I’ve spent previous time in both Quebec City and Montreal, and love them dearly. It will be nice to see Green Day in Old Montreal, at the Jacques Quai Pier. It’s open air, and if it doesn’t rain, it will be way rad. Haha, I said rad. I’m pretty sure I won’t be dancing with myself, but with a bunch of crazy French-Canadians, in the next few days. OUI!


Tre Cool on the Radio

Green Day Tonys Splash

Yesterday, June 7, 2010, Tre Cool did a series of on-air interviews with various U.S. radio stations. I listened to two of them yesterday, one from KROQ Radio (h/t DJRossstar) and one from a podcast called Cara’s Basement (h/t Robin) from Chicago’s WTMX. Take a listen as Tre, calling from Helsinki, talks with Cara about Rock Band, Lollapalooza and verbally confirms that the band will be flying into New York for the Tonys. This last part makes me happy because even though there’s a big splash page at Greenday.com saying that the band was “set to take the stage” for the Tonys, there was still confusion among fans as to whether or not Green Day would fly into New York for the June 13 Awards, as they have a gig in Austria the night before on June 12. However, I noted a while ago somewhere around here that they have a break in their European tour schedule until June 16 when they hit Manchester, so, God willing and the crik don’t rise, the boys will be with their American Idiot cast kids no matter what happens at the Awards. I couldn’t even imagine Green Day not being with them for it.

You can click on the image below to hear the interview:

Tre Cool Interview in Cara

Update: The Green Day Authority posted two more interviews from yesterday:

93.3 in Denver [AUDIO]

This interview link is no longer available: 93.3 WMMR Philadelphia [AUDIO] GDA notes that the interview comes at 1:50


Two Nights of Fuck Time with the Foxboro Hot Tubs, Night Two

Read about Night One here.

Party! Party! Party! Tour Last Stop: Trenton, 4/24/10

The Party's Over. Party! Tour Says Goodbye

Baby, Lady, Chinatown, Night Moves, Gryptron at Don Hill

The day after Friday’s Foxboro Hot Tubs, Honah Lee, and the Mystic Knights of the Cobra, gig at Don Hill’s in Manhattan, I scrambled to catch a train out to Trenton, to be picked up by Michelle. We headed to Honah Lee Tim’s backyard for a BBQ in the garage made into a bar (an awesome space for clandestine outdoor shows some day), and chilled out before heading to the MillHill Basement for the last stop on the Party! Tour. Honah Lee’s Jim, Dim, and Tony were there while most of the MKOTC had stayed in Manhattan except for Trell, who smartly went to Trenton after the Don Hill show to chill in “the country.” Everyone didn’t meet up again until we all arrived at the little basement venue in downtown Trenton, a room three times smaller than the Bowery Electric would turn out to be, with much lower ceilings.

Now That's a Low Ceiling! Millhill Basement, 4/24/10

Honah Lee's Tim Introduces the Cobras at Millhill. Photo by Rachel K.

It was bittersweet, this last show of two crazy “area” bands, Trenton, NJ and Crockett, CA. East Coast met West Coast and it was good.

As there was the wet of sweat everywhere from Friday’s show at Don Hill’s, Saturday brought the wet of rain from the miserable drizzle happening outside. Both bands were exhausted (four straight nights of playing and partying is hard to do, particularly when you open up for one of the biggest “secret” bands on the planet by the third night) and the smallness of the room, with a tighter, packed house of about 75, was suffocating. Honah Lee and the MKOTC took full advantage of the lack of room and air and the excess of wet, and were all up in the audience’s faces. Though both bands possess the ability to confront their audience, Friday’s extreme FBHT performance rubbed off on both of them. They threw themselves at the audience and the audience, a bit shocked, began throwing themselves back at ‘em. The rain kinda made the fact that the party was over, a bit sadder. At bar closing time, the Cobras headed to their hotel, and I went off with Honah Lee. After all, I am of the East Coast, and as always, I had to break myself away from the pull of the East Bay. Plus, the van was full.

Party Squirrel

The next morning, Michelle, Jim, and I went to the Cobra hotel for one more goodbye. Tim, last seen distraught on the sidewalk outside of Millhill, was way too hung over to attempt a goodbye, and Dim and Tony… who the heck knew where they were? With Bryan behind the wheel (he was the engine for the MKOTC, driving the van and wrangling the instruments) and some of the MKOTC having left earlier, I hitched a ride back to the City with the Cobras, and gave my return train ticket to photographer and music buddy, Michelle, who I hoped would go home, change, catch the next train to Manhattan, and come to the FBHT show with us for one last fling with friends. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and it was the final parting of the Party! Party! Party! East Coast Tour.

Pre-Sunday Show – 4/25/10

I dropped my stuff off and went to the venue. I was 60th in line. There are two reasons why I wanted to go to this show. Of course, FBHT was one of them. The other? I wanted to be with friends. Folks who had made each other’s acquaintance, in many shapes and forms and of all political persuasions, over a band. Sometimes it feels like a wonderfully dysfunctional family. And it’s always a hella good time.

Tre and his Bike. Photo by unknown photographer

The line was made up of the usual suspects and many new folks that I had never seen or met. Beth from Missouri (so happy she came back!) and J’net from Oklahoma (who had had a great week all around); Dawn showed up with baked goods (and yummy they were) though she couldn’t stay for the show; crazy sexy Zoe from Oregon with her British dude; Jaime (who provided me with food as I was broke and hadn’t really eaten yet and was feeling faint; the shot of J.D. that I had in line didn’t help either); Cheryl and her husband, and the vivacious ToniAnn, the latter three from the Island of Staten. Andres from the Green Day Authority had stuck around and was holding Dawn’s baked goods to give to the crew. (I would see them eating the delicious brownies later after the show.)

Foxboro Hot Tubs Bowery Electric ticket with morning after sake.

I stood in line from about 3:30 and they gave out tickets at 6:00 or so. It was rainy and cold and miserable outside. By the time 6:00 came around, I was exhausted and barely had energy to stand. Once the tickets were distributed, I went back to the Cobra hotel to hang out, dry off and sit down for a few hours before the show, maybe take a nap. I was close to collapse. By the time we walked back to the venue, I was running on fumes and needed to find a second wind somewhere. Or maybe a fourth by this time. I walked up with the Cobras, but they were on a list, and I was determined not to, at the least, look like, a hanger-on. I had my ticket in my hand and parted from them, walking up to Bill Schneider who was handling the guest list and I sorta proudly flashed my ticket up to him. “See, I have my ticket, baby,” I thought only to myself. Of course he had no idea that my brain had melted from over the last week between the American Idiot opening on B’way and the Party! Tour or at least he probably thought that I was just crazy from the look on my face. I’ve never spoken to him, and he didn’t seem in too good a mood at the start of the show. Probably a lot of stress managing two Foxboro Hot Tubs shows in three days. I can only imagine the logistical nightmare of it all.

Sunday Show – Foxboro Hot Tubs and Emily’s Army – Bowery Electric – 4/25/10

Tiny Space, Big Band. Photo by Bob Gruen

Sunday’s show at the Bowery Electric had a different feel to it from Friday’s more laid-back Don Hill experience. Whereas Friday seemed more lighthearted and giddy, Sunday’s gig seemed darker, grittier, drunker, and slightly more raw. (Then again, I realize that I don’t remember that much about it, except in chunks of drunk.)

(Read a review of Sunday’s Bowery Electric show at Rolling Stone here, though note that RS reported that FBHT did only one GD cover, “St. Jimmy,” when they actually did two, including “Blood, Sex and Booze” as well as “Supermodel Robots” by that crazy German electro-pop-insane band, The Network.)

The Bowery Electric is a split two-level basement site with a high bar rail separating and overlooking the deeper pit area of a floor and stage about the size of my old studio apartment in Brooklyn. Ok, maybe a teeny bit bigger. Sunday’s Foxboro Hot Tubs show was a semi-private party for the cast of American Idiot and friends of the band. One hundred fans were lucky to get tickets to this show, and probably 80 or so friends and family of the band were in attendance. (Larry Livermore, in his blog post on this show, said that there were “100 or so fanatical fans” in attendance. I’d like to say for the record, that we are “focused” not fanatical, thank you very much.) I have no idea how many people the place actually holds, and I avoided looking at the occupancy sign on the wall.

Clicky!: Emily's Army Widget

Sunday night introduced the band, Emily’s Army, to New York. Emily’s Army consists of Cole, Travis, Max, and Joey. (The band has a pretty cool Widget here.). One of the four members is Billie Joe Armstrong’s eldest son. If you don’t know which one he is, it’s time for you to find out. You’ll hear his name, as well as the names of his bandmates, in musical circles for years to come. You can view some YouTube videos of Emily’s Army at Gilman from last year. I’m not that familiar with the band, so you might want to go and read Larry Livermore’s blog posting about this show, which talks a bit more about their set. I liked them and their sound (and it was great to see the Armstrongs being proud parents, too), but they seemed so young to me that I felt a bit like a creepy old woman staring at teenagers and I had to walk away… but from what I saw, Joey is an already excellent drummer and Travis (lead singer and guitar), Cole (guitar), and Max (bass) are solid and have grown stronger since last year’s Gilman videos. With a few more years and experience, this band and its members may lead the next generation’s version of punk. Let’s hope so.

After Emily’s Army set, the 15-year olds were sent home to pats on the back and a “what’s up” here and there. It was now time for the “grownups” to tear the place up.

That second wind I mentioned earlier appeared after I was fueled by a shot of Jägermeister, a drink I hadn’t touched since the mid-1990s when I got so drunk on it, I threw up in neon green. There’s a reason why the Germans call it “liver glue.” As it swept down my throat I fully remembered why I hadn’t consumed it in years, it tastes like NyQuil, but it does the trick in an instant. One shot and you’ve come unglued. Two shots… well, I didn’t let it go that far. I let out a big whoop and felt as if I could move mountains on the dance floor. I would have to. The bar was packed to the gills, but not as tight as the dance floor that I would hit when the FBHT started to play.

John and Rachel.

Some cast members from American Idiot walked in about this time, including Michael Esper, Christina Sajous, Chase Peacock, Theo Stockman, and John Gallagher, Jr. Once again, the sweet and kind Mr. Gallagher shocked me when we ran into each other and he greeted me by name and we shared a teeny moment. Later in the night, we would share dance space during “A Quick One.”

Joan Jett, the Cobra Girls and Management.

During the break and after the Jägermeister, I could do just about anything, and that’s when Joan Jett walked up to near where I was standing with the Cobra Girls, Baby and Lady, along with the tour’s tougher-than-steel management, Rachel K. and Call Me Donna. I turned around, and Jett, who looked like she wanted to talk to the Cobra Girls, was a foot from me. I leaned toward her and said, “Joan Jett, the Cobra Girls would love to take a picture with you!” (I went cameraless this night, so Rachel K. gave me her camera and I clicked a few shots.) Jett said that she had heard about them and wanted to meet them. Needless to say, it was a nice moment. Here we were, in close proximity to a hot and legendary lady of rock ‘n roll. She is opening for Green Day during some of their European shows, including London’s Wembley Stadium. I have a ticket for the show, but I can’t afford a flight to England. Sigh. I saw Joan Jett open for the Police back in 1983, and she was booed by the stupid-assed Detroit crowd. I’ll never forget her walking off of the Cobo Arena stage (now Joe Louis Arena), but not before she said, “Fuck you, Detroit.” She became a heroine to me. I’d wanted to say that same thing to my hometown for years. I would love to see her again in a stadium full of people. Sometimes, though, luck runs out with the Lushie Gods. No Wembley to write about for me. :(

The Dark Side of Night with the Foxboro Hot Tubs

That setlist looks familiar! - Bowery Electric, 4/25/10

What can I say about this show that I can actually remember? Hmm. Not much. Once the Hot Tubs went on, the night became a complete blur of bodies and heat. I remember plowing to the dance floor with Bryan and Brasesco at the first strains of “Stop, Drop and Roll,” and jumping in sync with everyone around me. I was about two body rows away from the too-low stage at the Bowery Electric, which came to just under the kneecaps. Once you got toward that stage and the bodies behind you pushed forward, you could kiss your knees goodbye forever. Or at least until the bruises healed.

The Church of Lushotology was in session.

Two of Eight? Renditions of “Stop, Drop and Roll”

More Dark Side of Night… or what I can remember of it…

Adrienne Armstrong and Michael Mayer. Photo by Rachel K.

Theo in a boa. Photo by Rachel K.

Luckily, there are a few YouTube videos that have helped jogged my addled memory. Watching the limited video from this show on Youtube is a bit like clutching at dabs of manna from hell. When I look at them and see the brick walls of the club, packed with people and the tiny stage, I’m reminded that this party will be one of those that goes down in rock ‘n roll history. Small and intimate, packed with fan, friend, star, nobody, one on top of each and all going hog-wild in dancing and celebration. Sure, some folks like Adrienne and Michael Mayer, along with Joan Jett (I don’t think she came down into the pit, as I lost sight of her once I headed into it), stayed up by the rail, but I can’t really picture Michael Mayer crowdsurfing. I stayed with Bryan and Brasesco for a long while, and when the first “It’s Fuck Time” broke out, the pit went even wilder than I could imagine [Video]. Inhibitions were gone and it felt damned good. American Idiot cast members were flying left and right and hogging Billie Joe’s stage and he was loving it, until he finally told them that he loved them, but that they had to “get the fuck off of my stage.” No one stays on his stage for very long.

While Michael and Theo and John from American Idiot had some fine crowdsurfing moments, it was Steelthorne from the Green Day Community who wowed me with his surfing skills from the video below. I’ve never met Steelthorne, but we were both at last July’s (2009) Albany show (where I met Bryan and other Green Day Fans for the first time). Albany was my first real Green Day show. There’s a great Chris Dugan picture from either the Albany or Madison Square Garden shows of Steelthorne with a feather boa. Steelthorne gives Billie Joe some of the best boas. See him surf like a pro to “The Pedestrian.” Note also the expert beer exchange and how much The Rev seems to be enjoying it.

Steelthorne Surfs Like a Pro – “The Pedestrian” – Foxboro Hot Tubs, Bowery Electric, 4/25/10

Theo Surfs. Photo by Rachel K.

OMG! Photo by Bob Gruen

There is a picture that Bob Gruen took that I would love to buy and hang on my wall. I actually emailed his representative about licensing the photograph (goodness only knows how much that would be), but I haven’t heard back from them. Gruen has a thumbnail posted at his site, of Kevin Preston onstage undoing Billie Joe’s belt buckle with his teeth. The look on each individual face that can be seen captures the dynamic of the room as only a seasoned rock ‘n roll photographer such as Gruen can do. You can see me in the horde with a completely shocked OMG! face. I seriously don’t remember Kevin undoing The Rev’s pants. The only thing I remember is that I was so hot at this point that I had to walk off of the dance floor or spontaneously combust. You can make of that what you will.

Hot Pants. Photo by Rachel K.

It was Reverend Twitch’s red pants that caused the room temperature to go up many notches, surely.

When I walked off and back up toward the bar, I confronted a wall of people on the stairs, mesmerized by the stage.

Mesmerized

I somehow made my way through them, and folks were buzzing about Bill Murray having been there, but that he had left. I have no idea. I downed a few glasses of water and hit the pit again.

Chino and The Rev. Photo by Chris Dugan

The Cobra Men, Chino, Night Moves, and Gryptron, along with Bryan and Brasesco, had moved down into the pit front and were forming a tall and thick blockade on Jason Freese’s side of the stage. I couldn’t get near them, and found myself toward the middle of the pit, while Brasesco tried to get me closer to the front, but it wasn’t working. I motioned him to turn toward the stage. I was content on where I was. My knees had already been crushed against the stage front and I didn’t wish to replicate that particular pain. I turned toward my right and stared right into John’s face, who was screaming, “A Quick One!” “A Quick One!” Knowing that that song comes at the end of the show, I said to him, “They’ll play it, they’ll play it,” but I couldn’t get it out that if he requested it too soon and they played it, the show could abruptly end. It’s like yelling out “Minority” too early or “Good Riddance.” These songs signal the near end or end of a Green Day show, just as “A Quick One” symbolizes the end of an FBHT show. Sssshh! They’ll get to it. There were still a dozen more “Stop[s], Drop[s] and Roll[s]” and “It’s Fuck Time[s]” to go!

Probably the oddest of many odd moments from the night happened when a fan surfed onstage and called his wife. Apparently they had had a fight and the guy wanted Billie Joe to persuade her to come back to him. Unfortunately, they got her voicemail. Billie Joe said that it wouldn’t work out because he couldn’t talk to her, but that he had a beer for him (which appeared like a miracle out of nowhere), and a song called “Stop, Drop and Roll… and get the fuck off of my stage.” Poor guy. Well, at least they both tried.

Call My Estranged Wife… Please – FinksEntourage

Peanut Gallery. Photo by Rachel K.

Bob Gruen posted a surprising photograph of Billie Joe, who apparently re-chipped his front tooth sometime during the show (click to see at his site). Everyone who saw the photograph and had attended the show from the Green Day Community were shocked. When the hell did THAT happen? I remember the show being pretty wild, but I don’t remember blood dripping down Billie Joe’s face that one person mentioned on this topic. Sometime during the night, Christina Sajous from American Idiot was onstage and got kicked in the face by a roaming crowdsurfer. This I remember clearly as it seemed like it was a hard kick and looked like it hurt. The Rev pulled her back from the stage front and she watched the rest of the show from above the stage. Both of these incidents add a bit of special meaning to the screamed “I’m Alive” portion of the FBHT song, “Highway One.”

“I’M ALIVE!!!!” – Highway One – Foxboro Hot Tubs, Bowery Electric, 4/25/10 (Smshnpmpkn)

After “The Pedestrian,” the Hot Tubs did “Broadway” interspersed with a cover of the Mystic Knights of the Cobra’s “El Camino.” Gallagher and Stockman were onstage for most of the song, clearly smashed (like the great majority of everyone else in the room) and having a great time. Baby Cobra eventually made it onto the stage and helped with the “El Camino” chorus.

John, Theo, Baby Cobra, et al – “Broadway” / “El Camino” – Foxboro Hot Tubs / Mystic Knights of the Cobra – Bowery Electric, 4/25/10 (Smshnpmpkn)

The night began to wind down and it was time for the most mellow song of the night, Stop, Drop and Roll‘s “Dark Side of Night.” The Rev dedicated the song to Michael Mayer and gave a bit of a shout-out to New York City.

“New York City, Motherfucker!” – Dark Side of the Night – Foxboro Hot Tubs, Bowery Electric 4/25/10 (Smshnpmpkn)

Yeah I'm Rocking.

Sometime after the jazzy part of the night happened, came the final songs of the show, “St. Jimmy” and the moment that John Gallagher, Jr. had been waiting for… “A Quick One.” By this time it seemed everyone was holding each other up on the dance floor and the women in the front were begging people not to surf over them anymore. But still, there was an energy left in the room that sustained itself through the long and rambling “A Quick One.” John was so happy and it was fun to see him and everyone having the time of their lives. There is one YouTube video of “A Quick One,” but the sound goes in and out and it’s not that good, but that’s ok. Some things are better left to memory (or lack thereof). Just knowing that we were all there for a trip to the Dark Side is sometimes good enough.

At the end, The Rev said goodnight, dropped his mic on the ground and walked off. He and everyone else, were done.

And then it was over…

Josh and Rachael. Photo by Rachel K.

This party culminated a week of excitement that you can read about if you travel back through this blog. When I say that the week of April 19th-April 25th, 2010, spent over the opening of American Idiot on Broadway and the subsequent Party! Party! Party Tour and Foxboro Hot Tubs shows, was some of the best times of my life, it’s not hyperbole. It’s hard, cold fact. I’ve had great moments on the planet, but few can compare to this week of good performance, good music, good friends, good times.

As the Cobras would say, <143.

All Together Now. Don Hill's. Photo by Rachel K.


Hey Foxies!

I realized that my FBHT post was heavy on the Billie Joe, but most of the pictures that I’ve seen are of course, of him. But here are a couple from the Don Hill show of Mike and Tre and one of Jason White.

Hey Mike! Photo by R. Klausner


Tre and Mike at Don Hill's by Rafe Baron.


Jason White at Don Hill's by Rafe Baron.


Photo by Rafe Baron


BJA and GD: Approved Characters (USA Network Award)

I wrote that the USA Network will be honoring Green Day (among other artists) tonight with a “Character Approved Award” cocktail party put on by Vanity Fair. A friend of mine is going to this, though he will be huddled by the free food for most of the night. I’ve asked him to bring me any extra goodies that they may be handing out. Vince Mediaa over on Facebook posted the Billie Joe vignette that USA Network will be showing on their network over the next month or so. The cocktail party itself will not be televised, from what I understand. Anyway, go and watch after the jump!

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Los Luchadors y Las Luchadoras

I was listening to The Network today while rearranging my mind, and started thinking of wrestlers… Luchadors, Luchadoras and Snoos…

El Luchador. Table Top, San Loco, Avenue A, NYC

The First and Only Luchador: The Snoo

More Luchadors and Luchadoras after the break!


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