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Category Archives: Foxboro Hot Tubs

Highlights from the Breakdown – Flashback Detour Ahead/FBHT – “It’s Fuck Time” at Don Hill’s

It may be from an entirely different band, but this clip from the Foxboro Hot Tubs did happen on the road to a 21st Century Breakdown, so I think it’s O.K. I was having a flashback to last April when Jill T. posted this video on Facebook. Funny, I was just looking at this earlier in the week. It made for a refreshing walk to work, watching the video. I just made sure that I didn’t kill myself by walking into traffic. I succeeded, barely.

I’m heading to the Susquehanna Bank Center in beautiful waterfront Camden tomorrow for the North American kickoff tour! No jokes about the crime in Camden are needed. It’s still pretty. Green Day will perform in one of many amphitheater settings for this leg of the tour. It’s not stadium-sized like in Europe, but it’s going to be fun and intimate. Rock on. This particular amphitheater pit (not all of GD’s venues have them) is really small; it fits about 300 1000 people, the same capacity thereabouts to that night of Fuck Time at Don Hill’s.

There are reports of a HAIR ALERT from Billie Joe, who’s gone old school blond. OMG, I can’t believe I just wrote the words, HAIR ALERT. And that’s all I’m going to say about it. For now. 🙂

By the way, since I’ve written about that night at Don Hill’s, you should see some of the hits I get on this blog! It’s calmed down a bit, but it was… how shall we say… uh… explicit there for a while.

Without further ado, one of the greatest moments in rock’n’roll history:

Foxboro Hot Tubs, Don Hill’s, April 23, 2010.

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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.


Foxboro Hot Tubs by Bob Gruen

Bob Gruen finally posted photos of the two Foxboro Hot Tubs shows that happened in New York City on his website.

Billie Joe chipped his tooth from the Bowery Electric show… THAT’S how much it rocked!

Thanks to Abbey for posting the link!


“Oh Baby Baby, It’s F♥♥k Time” Bracelets

BJA with "It's Fuck Time" Bracelet by ToniAnn. Photo by ToniAnn Graffigna

ToniAnn, an awesome Green Day fan from New York City, was at both Foxboro Hot Tubs shows this past April 23 and 25, 2010, at Don Hill’s and the Bowery Electric. As you may have heard, the Foxies introduced a new song at these shows called “It’s Fuck Time.” (See video and read about the Don Hill show here.) ToniAnn was so… uh… inspired by the Tubbies song, that she created bracelets with the phrase, “Oh Baby Baby, It’s Fuck Time!” on them. Unfortunately, the company that she got them from wouldn’t let her put “FUCK” on the bracelets, so F♥♥K it is!

ToniAnn saw Billie Joe on the street outside of American Idiot on Broadway last week as she was waiting to give some of the bracelets to cast members of the show. According to her story below, Billie Joe loved it! So I guess that means it’s “street approved by BJA.”* (Read ToniAnn’s story below.)

If you’d like to order one for cost (ToniAnn is not making money from this), email her at FBHTbracelets@gmail.com. DO NOT SEND HER CASH until after you have spoken with her by email. She is going to order a second batch soon, so if you want one, particularly in time for the upcoming North American tour and taking into account wait periods for production and shipping, now is the time to order one.

Here’s her story in her own words:

American Idiot/Billie Joe experience May 18, 2010
Wednesday at 8:41pm

So, a few days ago, me and Steph decided we were going to go see American Idiot on Tuesday, along with my friend Billy. It was raining the entire day. In the morning I was thinking of not even going into Manhattan at all. Steph hasn’t seen the play yet and I said to myself ‘eh, fuck it I’ll go’. [The last time I debated going to the city in the rain, I met all of GD on 3/12/2010]. I went to school, came home, called Steph, got ready and etc.

When I got home, I had a package waiting for me…….the glorious ‘O BABY BABY ITS FUCK TIME’ bracelets!! Well…since the company fucked up my bracelets they say ‘O BABY BABY ITS F♥♥K TIME’ which is still very cute by the way. I took a few with me to the show, because I was going to give one to a few of the cast members.

So I get into the city, walked in the rain to ESPN zone, used their bathroom [haha], met up with Steph, and we walked to the St. James Theater. Lottery was at 5pm, cause the show last night was at 7pm. Billy never made it to lotto, but that’s okay since me and Steph didn’t win anyway. They had a limited amount of box seats so we went with those. We took right box, and then left to go to McDs to eat and bullshit about whatever haha….so finally, we walked back to the theater, and took our seats. I was also very annoyed because once we got to the theater, my phone died.

So like 10seconds before the curtain rises…..I look down to the orchestra and I saw like ‘STEPH THAT’S BILL SCHNEIDER’S FUCKING SIDE BURN!! OMG HOLY SHIT THERE’S BILLIE AND ADIE!’ [then the curtain went up.] So the show starts and all I’m thinking is ‘omgomgomgomgomg I must see him sometime before he leaves!’ So….the show was amazing as always. Me and Steph went to the lobby before “Good Riddance” was on, to look at some merch and etc….all of a sudden, Billie walks out the door, escorted by Eddie [or Frank for those who will LOL at this lmao], and goes through the cast entrance. Eddie comes back, pats Steph on the back and goes ‘He’ll be at the bar a little bit later hang tight!’ and walked away. We were like OMG DID HE JUST TELL US WHERE BILLIE WAS GOING TO BE?!?

Everyone from the theater started leaving, and then a security guard approached us, we told him the deal, and he told us to go to the glass doors outside. Once we got outside, we found out that the cast of GLEE was there [who I didn’t see AT ALL].

Now Billy said goodbye to us, and like 5mins later, not even…….Bill Schneider, Adie, Eddie, and Billie come towards the door. Me and Steph were like UHHHHH….so now Billie comes out and his face like fucking lit up and he’s like HEYY….so I of course asked for a picture, and I wish this was taped because he threw his arm up and in his cute little voice he goes ‘YEA YEAH OF COURSE!’ so Steph took the pic of me and Billie, and then I was like ‘can u take one with her too?’ and he’s like ‘YEAA SURE!’

Now at this point, Steph is trying to spit out that she played “Jesus of Suburbia” last year at MSG on July 27…and she couldn’t get it all out so she was like ‘do you remember me….’ and I was like ‘yeahh she played “Jesus of Suburbia” and he was like ‘yeah yeah I remember you! My friend watches that video all the damn time!’ [GDM: View and read about Stephanie’s awesome performance of JOS at Madison Square Garden here.] So then I took their pic, and Steph started to show Billie her tattoos and then I was like ‘OHH I have something for you’ and he’s like ‘ohhh really?!’ So I stuck my hand in the bag and pulled out the Fuck Time bracelet. He looked at it, and idk who the hell he was taking to and he’s like ‘OMG OMG NO FUCKING WAY THIS IS SO GREAT DO U SEE THIS OMG!!!’ so me n him at the same time were like ‘picture with it’ haha so he took one with the bracelet and then we all got hugs. We couldn’t even deal with the fact that he even remembered the both of us cause he said something like ‘oh yeah and u have a tattoo too’ and like I think I butted over him about the bracelet LOL.

BJA Street Approved. Graphic by ToniAnn Graffigna

Here are two more pictures from ToniAnn and Stephanie with Billie Joe, who’s looking a little like he just got off his shift at Best Buy with the shirt and jacket combination:

BJA with Toniann. Photo by Stephanie Vera-Tudela.

BJA with Stephanie Vera-Tudela. Photo by ToniAnn Graffigna

Michael Esper. Photo by ToniAnn Graffigna

John Gallagher, Jr. Photo by ToniAnn Graffigna

ToniAnn tracked down John Gallagher, Jr. and Michael Esper and gave them bracelets as well. As you may know, John and Michael are in the cast of American Idiot and were also at the FBHT Bowery Electric show.

*Disclaimer: the bracelets are not officially endorsed by members of the band or cast… just beloved and… street approved


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


Two Nights of Fuck Time with the Foxboro Hot Tubs in New York City, Night One

Read about Night Two here

*This has turned into a monster post. I need an editor! But hey, it is a Breakdown DIARY after all.*

Foxboro Hot Tubs at the Bowery Electric. Photo by Jen Maler.

Sometimes I wonder what people think when I tell them that I blog about Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown tour as a hobby. Here I am, a professional, grown person who happens to love punk (or pop punk or whatever) and the mayhem that comes with it, from dancing wildly to the great majority of political and social pontificating that goes on with it. I’m not a wild child but I do possess a certain idea that life is meant to be lived to the fullest and danced to the wildest. Sometimes the energy of life gets so stuck inside my soul and my head and my body that what I need is to let the primal spirits have their way with me. To me, it’s like going to Church… the Church of Lushotology.

A few weeks ago I was blessed, because I’m not cursed, to have had one of the most amazing times of my life, and I’ve had some pretty amazing moments on this planet. This post is about attending Church with the Reverend Strychnine Twitch and the Foxboro Hot Tubs.

In the Beginning

Green Day… uh… Foxboro Hot Tubs fans had a feeling that something spectacular and special was going to happen around the opening week of Green Day’s new musical, American Idiot on Broadway. Opening night, Tuesday, April 20, 2010, which I attended (you can read about that and other shows I attended here), was a star-studded event with the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Donald Trump, Michael J. Fox and others. The only people I wanted to see were the members of Green Day and the cast of American Idiot and my fellow Green Day fans, but after the show, I walked by the bar, and my bag poked Ed Norton in the rear end! That, I must say, was quite exciting as Norton looks pretty good, and I was looking pretty good, too. We exchanged looks, I apologized for my bag, and while he kept looking, I walked away. But, I digress.

On Friday, 4/16/10, four days before the official opening of American Idiot, Green Day’s Twitter blurted out the following message, which sent scores of people in the know into… well… a twitter. The simple message from the band was:

Ladys and germs!The tubbies are officially in nyc! Ready to stop drop and bukak! Oooh! Baby girl! Stay tuned for a big bash soon? STING

Was NYC ready? Does a bear poop in the woods? I do believe the answer to both questions is yes! The playful hide and seek between the Foxies and their audience was on. We were waiting with baited breath to hear from the Tubbies themselves about the show, and willing to wait (mostly) patiently for news of when and where the show would take place. The Rev himself pretty much told us where in a radio interview anyway (the Bowery Electric). The playfulness of the moment was diminished somewhat by a well-meaning, but probably unknowing of the playful interaction between FBHT and its audience, DJ. DJ Rich Russo, from 101.9 RXP tweeted out the fact that he knew information that everyone wanted to know about the show. He had been chosen to announce the event on his (fantastic) radio show, Anything, Anything. People followed him on Facebook and Twitter and after 12 hours of taunting (“Which borough will the show take place? Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, New Jersey?” “Will the opening band be a local band?” “Does the Staten Island Ferry run 24 hours; is there maintenance on the L train this weekend?”), some folks (yes, I’ll admit it, like me), got annoyed. It stopped being fun and funny. I mean, the show would be announced and happen when it happened and Green Day fans can be a tad frenzied at times. Sadly, I lost my temper and finally tweeted out to him to stop causing a frenzy, there was frenzy enough! I think that FBHT might have read posts at the Green Day Community about the overall annoyance, because the next thing everyone knew (and was surprised at), Greenday.com announced the venue as the Bowery Electric on the official website. Though, with Greenday.com, who knows if they did it on purpose or by mistake? It can be like that with them, sometimes. However, DJ Rich Russo, I will buy you a drink one day. Just name the time and place!

So, that “secret” was out of the bag and at first 120 tickets were announced as available for the Bowery Electric, a minuscule amount compared to the hundreds of people who would want to see the Tubbies. There was a good reason for that, which I’ll explain on Night 2 of a separate post.

Friday Show – Foxboro Hot Tubs Party! Party! Party! with Honah Lee and the Mystic Knights of the Cobra – Don Hill’s – 4/23/10

Surfing with the Rev, Don Hill's, 4/23/10. Photo by XGeneralsX.

I met some of the Mystic Knights of the Cobra at Toot’s Bar in Crockett, CA (where a few of them bartend) on an adventure back in September 2009 when I traveled to California to see the working run of American Idiot at the Berkeley Rep. I saw the band perform for the first time at the Uptown in Oakland on February 16, 2010 when I traveled again to Berkeley to see Pinhead Gunpowder in action at 924 Gilman. So, when it was announced that they were touring the NY/NJ area with Trenton-based band, Honah Lee on the Party! Party! Party! Tour, I was hella excited and offered to help them from the East Coast in any way that I could. MKOTC had toured with the Hot Tubs in 2008, so there was hope that they would join them on one of their New York tour stops. I was not privy to information on whether the Foxboro Hot Tubs would perform with the Cobras on one of their stops in the two States (though I heard “maybes”), but I was hoping that something fantastic would happen. To everyone’s great delight, it eventually did. At that time, though, the Foxies had only announced that they were playing the Bowery Electric on Sunday, so everyone figured that that was it for New York City. Hope is a crazy thing, though.

Party! Party! Party! with the Mystic Knights of the Cobra and Honah Lee

The Party! Party! Party! Tour began at Arlene’s Grocery in Manhattan and moved on to Asbury Lanes in NJ for a show on Thursday 4/22. At 2:09PM while the Party!… Tour was in transit to Jersey, Green Day’s Twitter posted the following message: “Dear baby girlz, foxboro hot tubs will be playin with the cobras at Don Hills nyc! Friday april 23!Be there sluts!! Sting!! – the rev” It was on. Needless to say, panic and pleasure ensued for everyone.

There was no guarantee that I would get into the the show. I’m nobody, a friendly (but rockin’ fun) hanger-on with benefits. I had already taken Friday 4/23 off from work for something else, so when Don Hill’s announced that the lineup would start at 4:00, I asked people who were already lining up by 6:ooAM the day of the show what was going on. Yes, you read that right, 6:00AM. (Never trust a venue when they give a time for a show line to begin.) I did what I had to do that day and headed over to the venue to lineup. Green Day fans formed their own government and gave out numbers for people who were in line (and some Universal Street Team showed up later on), while Don Hill’s quietly began selling tickets. I think I got number 23 this day (I got number 60 of ultimately 100 first tickets on Sunday), and we were contacting people coming in for the show from England (Tony) and Virginia (Abbey) on how the line was progressing. Tony unfortunately missed his Heathrow flight (he was crazy to even attempt it in the first place, but GD fans are focused) and Abbey made it in plenty of time. I don’t think the show sold out, so anybody who wanted to come could have.

Memories of Party Mayhem

I went for a bite to eat at the Ear Inn and then to a Starbucks to recharge my dying iPhone for the night. I got back to Don Hill’s around 2:00 or so and MKOTC and Honah Lee arrived in the city about the same time after playing at Asbury Lanes and staying in a crazy (and possibly haunted) hotel in Asbury Park. They were nervous and wrecked, but really excited. I was sad that I had missed the show and the Party! antics in Jersey, but I attended the 4/22 showing of American Idiot where Green Day performed as the encore, so it was all good. I helped Honah Lee and MKOTC load in. From this point on, I’m a little unsure of time since time (Fuck Time, maybe?) became a bit jumbled once I got inside of Don Hill’s, but I think around 4:00, the Foxboro Hot Tubs were soundchecking. And I was just… hanging out in Don Hill’s and helping with stuff and watching. I don’t remember what songs they did and I took one blurry photograph, just to keep for my memory’s sake (sorry, Billie Joe) to remember that I was actually at this intimate soundcheck.

Soundcheck

I think they did “A Quick One” and maybe “Stop, Drop and Roll.” I was tired and dazed and being as nonchalant as possible. At the end of the soundcheck, some greasy, long-haired dude with the venue came over and screamed at me, asking what I was doing, yelling, “this is a place of business, not a rest stop.” I told him I was with the Party! Tour but he didn’t care, so I walked toward the door and started talking with someone and just stayed inside. Whatever.

The FBHT soundcheck was over and it was time for MKOTC and then Honah Lee to start theirs. Tre had a bicycle and he and his girl rode off. Other members of the band did something or another, and some of their crew went downstairs or outside. The venue wanted to clear everyone out who wasn’t soundchecking, so outside we went. Plus, the other 1/2 of the Party! Tour had made it to the venue (this was around 6:00, I think), so we just hung out. We needed regrouping and cigarettes anyway. Michelle (a fabulous up-and-coming rock-n-roll photographer and girlfriend of Jim of Honah Lee) gave me a Party! Party! Party! Tour All Access Pass that she made for the crew (thank you, Michelle!) and I talked with GDC buddies in line including Abbey, ToniAnn, Chickenman, David, Fallyn, J’net, Cheryl, Jaime, Andres and others, and we all generally paced for the next 35 minutes or so. And smoked a lot of cigarettes. I got a bit of the lowdown on Asbury, particularly the hotel, and I could only chuckle at the strange night in a place straight out of The Shining. We were let back into the venue first, collecting our wristbands, and less than  a 1/2 hour after this (time, again, was a bit fucked at this point), the first of the line entered.

"I Hate My Job"

Tim and Tony

Jim and Tony

Honah Lee went on first and played a 1/2 hour or so set. I love Honah Lee and their “nerd punk” sound, particularly their single, “I Hate My Job” and “Sobered, So Bored!” Tim, Jim, Dim, and Tony are very fun and earnest and have a good stage presence. They got a bit overlooked during the night as I don’t think they were on FBHT’s radar. Later in the night as The Reverend was thanking MKOTC for the show, FBHT crew who were in the booth yelled out, “and HONAH LEE,” but Billie Joe couldn’t hear a thing. For most folks in the audience, it was their first exposure to Honah Lee but I’m sure that they are a band to keep on your radar for the future. (Their CD isn’t for sale online at the moment. You can listen to them at their MySpace page, buy their CD on their current Mid-West tour, or hit them up on Facebook for a copy.)

Click to Buy

Baby Cobra and Lady Cobra

Dirty Nasty and Call Me Donna Cobra

Chino Cobra and Night Moves Cobra

Next up on the Party! Party! Party! Tour were the Mystic Knights of the Cobra. The Cobras had toured with FBHT in 2008, so hardcore fans were already aware of them if not necessarily familiar with their album entitled “There Is No End.” As the band was setting up, the opening act, Dirty Nasty the Filthy Gentleman magician and his lovely assistant, Donna, began their magic act, but unfortunately, the mic wasn’t on and the audience couldn’t hear the lovely but cheesy jokes. The audience may have also wondered if they were actually part of the show. One of things I love about the Cobras are their opening vaudeville-like acts, of which Dirty Nasty is one. At one point Dirty Nasty took out a large walking stick from nowhere and I yelled out, “Oh, what a big stick you have, Dirty Nasty,” which got an acknowledgment and a wink from the magician himself. They continued mic-less and valiantly, and then it was time for the Cobras to start. Their sets are always a bit chaotic and charged, and Friday’s show was no different. In other words, I had a great time! I don’t exactly remember the setlist, but I think it included “Ray Town Massacre,” “Mutafuko’s Revenge” (a great song to scream along with), “Grappling Hook,” “Tribe Called Cobra,” “Meth and Viagra,” “Nunchucks,” “Sunday Funday,” and of course, the now classic “El Camino,” written by Call Me Donnie Cobra (RIP). I think they also did “Bad Girl,” but don’t quote me on that.

Update: And speaking of overlooking, the band made up by members of Green Day’s tech crew, including Micah and Kenny, who I think are called A Hot Mess, played between the Mystic Knights of the Cobra and the Foxboro Hot Tubs. Sorry, guys!

Mike, Jim of Honah Lee and Me. Photo by M. Dirnt

After MKOTC’s set, the three bands went downstairs. I talked and joked around with Honah Lee and the Cobras and just chilled out before the FBHT went on. I have mentioned before that I’m not the biggest fan of asking celebrities for either their autographs or photos. I figure it if happens, it happens, but I never personally ask. (Though I did drunkenly ask Joan Jett the next night to take a picture with the Cobra girls. More on that later!) I didn’t speak with Billie Joe or Tre during the night, but the nicest thing happened with Mike. He came up toward me and introduced himself (which I thought was the bee’s knees), and I mumbled to him that Jason Chandler, Mike’s bandmate in The Frustrators, had let me write about their possible upcoming album. I don’t think he quite caught that, but he said that he recognized my face from the concerts I’ve attended this year. It was really lovely of him to acknowledge that (yea, one more crazy Green Day fan) and then the funniest thing happened. Jim of Honah Lee and I were trying to take those silly “self-portraits” that everyone takes and were failing miserably. Finally, Mike grabs my camera and says, “You’re doing it all wrong” and points the camera at our direction and takes a shot of the three of us. Thank you, Mike. Much appreciated and hella funny! What I love about the shot is that Jim and I look like crazed fans (wait! we are!) with Jim groping over Mike in a little bassist-to-bassist love and me trying to get my mug next to Mike’s. The look on his face is classic and hysterical. I love you, Mike. Thanks!

Other than that, what happens in the basement of Don Hill’s stays in the basement. Don’t worry, all that happened was another night of beer drinking and shit talking. Good times! After the downing of many free beers (thank you, thank you!) the Hot Tubs were ready to rock and we left them to hustle up to the dance floor for the show.

The Foxies are Ready to Rock... after just one more beer... Photo by GDM

I made my way back toward the front to where Michelle was standing and a newly-made Green Day fan acquaintance, Nicole and her husband. The excitement in the room was palpable. There was a lighthearted buzz as the Foxies were about to make their NYC debut. The band came marching on, the Rev in his slowly evaporating and torn signature jacket, carrying his alligator head on a stick through the crowd. He kept asking, “How many people want to dance tonight?” and everyone in the joint let out screams of enthusiasm (Video here, front view here). The guitar notes of “Stop, Drop, and Roll” started, Tre’s drums pumped in, the first “Wooaahh” went out, everyone jumped the joint, the beer went flying, and the first of many, many stage divers flung themselves into the crowd. From there, it was a non-stop dance party for the next two or so hours.

Laying on of Hands.

A relaxing position

The band went on to play “Stop, Drop and Roll” about eight times throughout the night, and we were treated to a brand new song, called “It’s Fuck Time”… six or seven times. Everyone in the audience learned the words to this simple song’s lyrics, heavy breathing, and chorus within … oh… three or four times of it ever being played in front of a live audience. It’s a shocking song, very straight forward, to say the least,  and reminds me a bit of that other band, The Network, in its tone. I’ll always remember The Rev throwing himself off the stage and being handed over the crowd and then hanging upside down from a water pipe. Sigh. (Later on in the night, my crazy Crockett friend Brasesco (and awesome Cobra bus driver!) would do the same thing, but he crawled along the pipe from the back of Don Hill’s to the front of the venue until he was told to get down by security. See the Youtube clip for “Supermodel Robot” below to see him go!)

It’s Fuck Time Chorus

Aahhh, aahhh, aahhh

Oh baby baby, it’s fuck time
You know I really wanna make you mine
Oh baby baby, it’s fuck time
Do you wanna stay, yeah
When you look into my eyes
I wanna hold you ’til I’m paralyzed

Whoaaa

“It’s Fuck Time” by the Foxboro Hot Tubs. Don Hill’s, 4/23/10. Video by xGeneralsX.

El Camino! El El Camino! Photo by Kimberly Martin

During the FBHT song, “Broadway,” Twitch invited folks to dance with him and about 30 people climbed onstage, including Baby Cobra and Lady Cobra, who then led the crowd in a rousing chorus of “El Camino.” I tried to get onstage to dance as well, but I’ve never had good luck with these things. Back in the 80s at a Eurythmics concert, the audience was invited onstage, and the moment I got there, was the moment that they began throwing people offstage, including me. I fell into the pit and landed on the floor and literally didn’t know which was way up. Luckily this time, I found myself actually sitting on stage, almost underneath Mike and squished between a monitor and a girl and her boyfriend who were pinned to the stage. Needless to say, I was in a better position than they were, but not by much.

Broadway (FBHT)/El Camino (MKOTC) – Don Hill’s, 4/23/10

Play "Teenagers from Mars!" Photo by xGeneralsX

Don't Touch Kevin's Guitar! Photo by xGeneralsX

A little after “El Camino” the band took requests and did a sweaty rendition of “Earth Angel .” Chino Cobra climbed onstage at some point and started to play Jason Freese’s keyboards, trying to get The Rev to sing “Teenagers from Mars.” At one point Chino took Kevin Preston’s guitar and tried to play. Billie Joe lured him in by pouring a beer down his throat, which distracted Chino long enough so that one of the band’s security guards could deftly take the guitar away and lead him offstage. Chino’s the man! Beer is always the distraction!

The band did other great cover songs, including The Network’s “Supermodel Robots ” and Green Day’s “Blood, Sex, and Booze ” and “St. Jimmy ” (with Chino, the Man, attempting to sing along with Jason Freese). After seeing Tony Vincent and John Gallagher, Jr., do “St. Jimmy” together so many times over the past month prior to this show (and a fine job they do with it, too), I was delighted to be a witness to the power of “St. Jimmy” in such a small space. I remember when I first saw Green Day do this song last year in Albany, and Billie Joe went a bit crazy onstage (the cast of American Idiot attended the Albany show). I was astounded by the way he throws himself into the song, and this night was no different. The crowd went as crazy as he did. And yes, he did fling that girl from the stage into the audience. Heh. Girl, you were lucky you had a crowd that didn’t let you fall to the ground like I did at the Eurythmics show. Yep.

Stage Right Wins and Yes. He. Does. Photo by XGeneralsX

It was just about now that my legs, bent underneath me, were losing all feeling. Hmm. Again, I was in a better position than the girl next to me, as she had managed to pull her legs up onto the stage, but it wasn’t comfortable for her. The Rev asked for a cigarette, and we tried to find one for him. Her boyfriend, who I saw at the American Idiot soundcheck, said, “he doesn’t smoke.” I was like, OK, and helped find a cigarette for Billie Joe. By the time a slim, lit Capri, came my way, stage right had already gotten a cigarette to Billie Joe. So I took the Capri for a moment and smoked it. Not for long, though. My lungs, at that point, needed all the air that they could get. (Smoking is bad for you kids, don’t start!)

FBHT Setlist, Don Hill's. Photo by xGeneralsX

At some point, I kept trying to stretch my leg out, but the only place to go was over the monitor, and I didn’t want to interrupt the sound to the band, so I didn’t drape my now dying-log leg over the monitor. I had on burgundy Chucks. The band started to play The Clash’s “I Fought the Law,” and just for a moment, I let my leg hang over the monitor. Billie Joe came over and pulled my leg. There was no way I was going up that way, dragged over the monitor, so I held out my arm, he grabbed it, and the girl’s boyfriend (sorry, I wish I knew your names!) helped me get up. Thank you! We (or I), danced like mad people. After the dance, Billie Joe turned to the audience and I didn’t know what to do. So I comically went to the left and then to the right, and then Eddie the security dude pointed outward, toward the audience. I was like, what the heck! My first stage dive! (The Eurythmics one does not count.) And it was brilliant. Lol.  Tony thought that The Rev was waiting to dance with me again toward the end, but I was gone. I don’t know about that. All I was thinking was, “OK. Time to go now.”

Uh, Yahoo! Now, which way is off?

“I Fought the Law” – Foxboro Hot Tubs, Don Hill’s

Skull and Sweat. Photo by Rafe Baron

I was surfed off toward the bar area, and landed not far from Nicole Gary, her husband, Michael, and Chickenman. It was good to see them! Nicole’s awesome husband bought tickets on his lunch break without telling her until later and Chickenman was having a blast, on his best behavior. I was happy, but a bit crazed, and while the FBHT were still onstage, I went downstairs for a moment to get some air and water. The smooth and sexy MKOTC keybordist, Trell, last seen wildly dancing at one point on the floor, was downstairs, drenched and happy. There was sweat everywhere. I drank a bit of beer, and went back upstairs. I walked up just as The Rev was communing with a silver-painted skull. OK, it had become THAT point of the night.

The show was over soon after. But not until after one last “It’s Fuck Time.” I think.

Long-winded epilogue

Happy Birthday Stef!

And with that, I don’t remember much else. The night ended long after that. Somewhere. But I really don’t remember that either.

I do remember everyone singing “Happy Birthday” to a great guy, Stef!

Next stop: Trenton. Trell and Rachel

The next day was a travel day for Honah Lee and the Cobras. I went home, though I should have just brought my stuff and headed to Jersey like I had planned, but I was exhausted and needed my own bed. I ended up in Trenton the next day, hanging with the Party! Party! Party! Tour at the Millhill Basement in Trenton. Sigh. Great night in Jersey.

Sunday would find me back in Manhattan, at a little (literally) place called the Bowery Electric. FBHT II with friends. A different sort of night than Don Hill’s, but just as great. I hope to write about that over the weekend and maybe touch on some controversy about the Don Hill show, but I’ve yet to decide on whether to do that latter part as of now. The next post will be shorter. I promise. Haha.

One more thing. The amazing rock photographer, Bob Gruen was at both shows. He’s only posted one photo so far, on his Facebook page. I am wont to actually post it here, but it’s brilliant. I can’t wait to see his other shots from both of these shows.

Foxboro Hot Tubs by Bob Gruen

Hmm. That wasn’t as long-winded as I thought it would be.

Here’s a Playbill Review of the show:

Friday’s show at Don Hill’s (review at Playbill here)

Read about Night Two here


The Reverend Meditates on Poor Yorick, Don Hill’s, 4/23/10

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the shenanigans of the two Foxboro Hot Tubs shows that I attended in NYC (Don Hill’s and Bowery Electric) a few weeks ago. It seems like a dream, and since my bruises have all healed, I ask myself: Did it really happen? I’m pretty sure it did, there’s photographic evidence! I’ll write about the shows, I promise! In the meantime, go and take a look at some photos on Flickr of the crazy time had by all!


American Idiot On Broadway Preview and Opening Weeks

Green Day Over Broadway. Photo by Gavin Boyd, Rolling Stone

Four dates in the life of the Broadway baby called American Idiot stand out for me since seeing the show in Berkeley back in September: The invited Press and Fan Final Soundcheck on 3/23/10, the first preview on 3/24/10, opening night on 4/20/10 and the MTV Special Viewing that occurred on 4/22/10. Since I live in NYC, I had the great fortune of attending all of these special events. This post is a roundup of some of the goings on with the show this past month here in NYC.

Press and Fan Final Soundcheck 3/23/10

An unprecedented invited Press and Fan Final Soundcheck was announced through the Idiot Club and the American Idiot on Broadway Facebook page a few days before the show was to begin its first Broadway preview. The soundcheck press conference occurred in the middle of the day and I made arrangements with work to take a long lunch to go. I attempted to get a blogger press pass and wrote a professional letter to the show’s press agent, and included the name of one of my friends, a top NYC theater critic, who recommended that I write to them. Unfortunately, I wasn’t afforded the courtesy of a reply. At least when I asked at Berkeley, they very kindly sent me an email saying no. I don’t want to sound bitter, but I know that both the production company and press agent for AI have come to this blog. Some sort of reply would have been nice, but I’m not legitimate enough for the courtesy of a reply in New York City. I even mentioned to them how I appeared in the Daily News regarding the show. In fact, several Facebook friends asked me “what I did for the show” and one of them, a television producer who I’ve known since acting school also asked me. And yet… well… whatever. No reply at all. At least a no is a response.

Putting aside all of that, the final soundcheck was a magnificent day. We waited outside for the Idiot interns to check us in, and they recognized me from the American Idiot On Broadway Facebook page and said hello. After about an hour, I went across the street from the theater to wait for the band to show up to take pictures, and shortly thereafter, Green Day was driven up to the theater and deposited at the front doors. I managed to snap two shots of Billie Joe, Mike, and Tre coming into the theater. It was nice to see Mike for the first time with his blond hair, and Tre was carrying what seemed to be a drumstick case.

American Idiot Soundcheck Billie Joe and Tre, 3/23/10. Photo by Green Day Mind.

American Idiot Soundcheck Mike, 3/23/10. Photo by Green Day Mind.

After they moved into the theater, I went back across the street to wait with everyone, and eventually, the first fifty fans in line, who had been told that they were going to sit in the Orchestra seats, were let in first. About 10 minutes later, the remainder of the line was shepherded into the theater up to the Mezzanine. The folks who had been told that they were going to sit in the Orchestra were actually sitting in the Mezzanine with the rest of us. Official word was that there were too many people in the press corps in the Orchestra, and needless to say, the first fifty fans in line were disappointed. I have a feeling that they were afraid that people would try to rush the stage and attempt to get autographs from the band or cast, a very legitimate possibility.

We bitched and moaned with them for a few minutes, and then the lights started to go down and the sounds of the opening strains of the musical — news and television clips from the Iraq War era — began to play. The huge red velvet curtain slowly went up and the cast stood onstage with their backs toward the audience (a definite and effective change from the Berkeley show), all looking toward the 20 or so television screens embedded in Christine Jones’s excellent set design for the show. The guitar riff to “American Idiot” began, and the cast was off, singing the title song to the show.

American Idiot Sound - Tre Climbs in Bed, 3/23/10. Photo by Green Day Mind.

AI Cast Headbanging During "American Idiot" Soundcheck. Photo by Green Day Mind.

After the song, director Michael Mayer, Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool, and Mike Dirnt walked onto the stage to loud claps from the crowd in the peanut gallery. Mayer spoke for a bit about the show and his inspiration and collaboration with Billie Joe on the book. Billie Joe spoke, then Mike, and Tre said something for a second. While Tre was talking, Mike and Billie climbed into the onstage bed prop, the cast piled on top of them, photo ops were had by all, and the event was over. I went back to work while the rest of the Green Day Community gang hung out and went to lunch. Green Day and the cast headed over to Sardi’s, a famous restaurant down the street from the St. James known for its Broadway clientele for more interviews with the “legitimate” press.

All in all (and despite my bitching), the press conference was a great way to start off the feverish run of American Idiot in New York City. The celebration lasted for a solid month and ended with a spectacular bang with good reviews, solid changes to the show, a special MTV showing with the band, hanging with old and new friends, and one of the best After Parties Ever — two appearances by the fabled Foxboro Hot Tubs (more on the latter in a later post).

APRED Clip of American Idiot Cast Singing “American Idiot” and Press Conference, 3/23/10

More of my pictures from the Press and Fan Soundcheck may be found here.

First Preview, 3/24/10

I didn’t intend to go to the first preview and hadn’t bought a ticket for that night. My first “official night” of seeing American Idiot was actually scheduled for 4/7/10,  but a bunch of Idiots had traveled from around the country to come into New York to see the show, and one of them, sadly, couldn’t bring her friend as planned because of her friend’s cancer treatment. She had an extra ticket so I offered to give her some cash for it (which I still have to do), with the proceeds going toward her friend’s cancer fund. The show at this point was in the working stages from the move from Berkeley to Broadway, and they were working kinks out and adjusting to the larger set and staging of the show. I was quite impressed with the changes in the choreography, the storyline, and the passion that I felt from the cast. Over the course of time from the first Preview to Opening Night, I saw the show three times (3/24; 3/27 and 4/7) and noticed that there were several changes and reworkings during that time until Opening Night and the MTV Special Viewing. (All together, between Berkeley and Broadway, I’ve seen the show seven times.)

Green Day, of course, was there that night, and it was a three-ring circus! Their wives and kids were in the audience and just before the curtain went up, Billie Joe’s bodyguard (a nice guy who I’ve spoken with a few times who does an excellent job of crowd control and protecting Billie Joe) brought him down to sit next to Adrienne. They were so damned cute together, too. I didn’t stare too much, being the nonchalant New Yorker that I am, ahem, but of course, a stare or two couldn’t be helped during the show. There was a palpable excitement and nervousness in the air as the audience, clearly in the show’s corner for an exciting time, was bouncing up and down in their seats in anticipation.

After the show, the circus continued outside. I’m not a fan of getting autographs or photos with famous people, so I just hung around outside until I could find the contingent of folks I had come to the show with. The sidewalk outside of the St. James was packed with people, and many folks had to stand in the street just to let people pass through. Of course, those of us standing in the street kept getting yelled at by cops and security to get out of the street. I would move along, put a foot on the sidewalk, and then head back into the street while people crowded the sidewalk.

Here’s a video link to the scene outside of the theater on the first preview.

Billie and Adrienne and Rebecca Running to Sardi's after the first preview. Photo by Green Day Mind.

American Idiot First Preview After Show Madhouse, 3/23/10. Photo by Green Day Mind.

Eventually, the cast started to roll out of the theater on their way back to Sardi’s for the preview after party. They were asked for autographs (you can see Stark Sands, “Tunny” being mobbed in the photograph below), and after it calmed down a bit more, probably 30 minutes or so after the show when some of the crowd had dispersed (but not by much), Tre kind of quietly walked out a side door to the restaurant first, followed later by Billie Joe, Adrienne, Rebecca Naomi Jones (Whatsername), Mike and Mike’s wife, Brittany. My friends and I went down to Sardis and stood outside for a bit, watching Tre stand in the window of Sardi’s looking down at the crowd. Girls were screaming up a storm, and I’ve got a bad reputation for telling them to shut up (sorry, I just hate screaming girls or boys, my bad), so after awhile, I got tired of the spectacle and headed back down to the theater. Tony Vincent came out and we said hello to each other (we met at Berkeley and spoke online during the Berkeley run), and eventually, John Gallagher, Jr. came out of the theater, after most of the crowd had dispersed or were at Sardi’s. John knows me by name (probably because I drunkenly told him at Rockwood that he needed to bring more of the angst and also from talking with him at the Character Approved Awards a few months ago), so it kind of shocked me that he remembered my name.

John Gallagher, Jr. at Rockwood, 1/18/10. Photo by Green Day Mind.

When I first saw the show at Berkeley, I wasn’t impressed with his performance, but then again, I had major issues at the time with the entire show. My biggest concern was that during the Berkeley run when I saw it, I didn’t see the seriousness of the material coming from him nor did I feel the depth of the character. I also say that off-Broadway runs and previews are the time for steeped criticism, particularly in regards to something one feels passionately about, and I’m a jaded theater person from back in the day. If everything is perfect at the beginning, there is no room for improvement. And shows and performances can always be improved. John steadily won me over, as I was pulling for him, particularly after I saw him perform his own material at his residency at Rockwood on the Lower East Side this past January. He’s a heartfelt kid, super-sweet, and a talented dude who obviously is in love with this show and the band. Watching him grow into the role of Johnny has been a pleasure and I give him all the kudos in the world for a brilliant and successful run. And I hope he gets a Tony nomination as well. American Idiot is one of the most bone-breaking shows I’ve seen on Broadway. These kids, led by Gallagher, throw themselves around that stage, and every night Gallagher leads the way. I’m sure it’s not easy.

My Wall Signature.

Once John went inside the restaurant, things got pretty tame outside of the St. James, but people were still bat-shit screaming in front of Sardi’s. The kids outside couldn’t get into the bar at Sardi’s, but since my friends and I are of age, we hung out in the bar at Sardi’s and talked with the bartender who has worked at Sardi’s for years, a real old skool New York character. Outside some of the kids were yelling up to the 2nd floor window asking that Billie make an appearance and show them his tattoos. He did, and then one girl screamed for him to sign her arm for a tattoo when he left the bar and he mimed that he would.

At some point during the night, I went upstairs to the bathroom, where the after party was taking place, and walked right into Brittany Dirnt. I didn’t say anything to her. Heck, what are you going to say to someone in the bathroom? When I walked out, Mike was on the phone near the bathroom and Gallagher was hanging out talking with people. I went back downstairs and chatted for a bit longer. I left at 12:30, but the others stayed until 1:00. I guess I should have stayed for another 1/2 hour, but I had to work the next day. From what I understand, the cast and eventually Billie Joe came out of the party and Billie Joe asked for a “fucking” cigarette. (Yes, he does smoke on occasion, get over it.) My friend who had taken me to the Preview was just about to put a cigarette in her mouth and instead, she gave it to him. Bonus! LOL. Oh, and he did sign the girl’s arm, too.

Here’s a video of Billie at the Sardi’s window and coming out of the restaurant, with cigarette and signing.

Opening Night, 4/20/10

American Idiot Opening at the Irish Rogue. Photo by Michael Gary.

What can I say about Opening Night? By this time, I had seen the show three times in New York, and I was ready to just sit back and enjoy what was about to happen. The opening was a star-studded event, with the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Michael J. Fox and Donald Fucking Trump… oh and a bunch of Idiots who are stars in my book. I didn’t see the Donald, and that was probably a good thing, but I did see the other three, and that was a good thing, too.

Green Day Bracelets in Front of the St. James, Opening Night. 4/20/10.

We Idiots met for dinner and a powwow at the Irish Rogue, having snacks and drinks. Carolyn had brought new Green Day Friendship bracelets to the theater, and she had an extra one and gave it to me. I already had one, but I took it anyway, in anticipation of seeing the show with Becky Walter (of the Facebook page Green Day LIVE on Tour) on 4/22/10. Becky was flying in from Minnesota to New York for the first time ever for the MTV Viewing on 4/22.

We walked down to the site as a group and got more excited as showtime came closer. Our seats were in the balcony and with the crowd, it took a bit of time to get up there. I wasn’t sitting with the Idiots from the restaurant, unfortunately, but I was anticipating meeting up with two special friends, Rachel and Michelle, who were sitting next to me. We three had shared some incredible moments out in Berkeley over the last few months, and Rachel was there to help manage the Mystic Knights of the Cobra tour that was starting the next day and Michelle is the spectacular photographer who took photographs of the Pinhead Gunpowder show back in February. She’s also the girlfriend of the bassist (Jim Graz) of Honah Lee, the accompanying band with the Cobras on their Party! Party! Party! Tour of the East Coast. The tour had been something I was hella looking forward to for months now, and I knew that when I saw them, that the REAL party was about to begin. More on that in a coming post.

The audience, if possible, was even MORE excited to see the show than on the first preview. Everyone was dressed to the nines and there were a few times when the audience shouted out lyrics to the songs with the cast, which was very exciting. I loved it.

After the show, we made our way downstairs and waited around for a little bit to say hello and goodbye to people. We were standing in the St. Jimmy Bar and as I was trying to walk into the area, my bag poked Ed Norton really hard in the ass. (Lucky bag.) He turned around and I apologized, and he smiled, and since I was looking hella good, he looked for a bit longer than usual. And I let him. Haha. And then I turned away and decided that the only thing I wanted to do was leave and hang out with Cobras and start the next phase of this wondrous opening week. So we hopped in a cab and went downtown.

The Real Party Begins. Hanging with the Cobras in the East Village, 4/20/10.

I did not go to the Opening Night Party, but the Green Day Community’s Katie McPansy Grogan won the American Idiot on Broadway Facebook contest. She had a fabulous time in NY, got to meet the band, interviewed Rebecca Naomi Jones, had excellent seats, and went to the After Party. I highly recommend visiting Katie’s Video Blogs of American Idiot on Broadway Opening.

A Shout Out to Nicole.

Lastly, a word of thanks to Nicole Gary. Nicole and I met on the Green Day Community and have been theater buddies in NYC since then. We were also in the Daily News photo shoot together back in March. She told me on opening night that she had attempted to get me a press pass for the After Opening Party festivities and had almost succeeded, but things didn’t work out. Thank you, Nicole, for believing in me and my blog, and for being a good buddy. I appreciate your friendship.

MTV Special Viewing, 4/22/10

J’net (an awesome moderator at the Green Day Community, thank you!) had bought us tickets to the 4/22/10 showing when tickets first went on sale. At the time, tickets weren’t on sale for Opening Night, so 4/22 was the next best thing going at the time (and it proved to be pretty amazing). I was hoping for something weird and special, as I had heard that weird and special things might happen on this night, so I was in weird and special mode. When tickets went on sale on 4/1/10 for Opening Night, I regretted my decision a bit to attend this performance. The Cobras and Honah Lee had played the night before at Arlene’s Grocery, and they were off to Asbury Park for a show at Asbury Lanes. Truthfully, I wanted to be with them as I don’t get to see them very often. But, we make our choices and I had to work on Friday anyway, and ok, shoot me, since all in all, I’ve been way lucky and it’s all good.

Minnesota Gal in NYC. Becky of Green Day LIVE on Tour Comes to NYC.

Things always work out best for those who love the Lushie Gods. Becky Walter, a friend of Niki Lee’s (Seize the Green Day), had won tickets to the MTV Special Viewing but was a bit panicked about making her first major trek from a small town in Minnesota to New York City. I had seats in the Mezzanine that night, but I told her that I would help her navigate through Manhattan and she gave me her second ticket. Niki, Dorie and I talked her through it and encouraged her to take the bull by the horns and conquer her fear of coming to NYC by herself. After all, we don’t bite… hard… here. We told her it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and she really wanted to come see the show, and having free tickets was half the battle since the ticket prices can be high. She flew in the day of the show, walked to my work to pick me up so that we could navigate down to the difficult to find Pop2Life offices for the tickets, and then whizzed uptown to meet folks at the Westway Diner for dinner. We proceeded to the venue a bit later and I gave her the Green Day Friendship bracelet that Carolyn had given me the day before. Our tickets were in the left Orchestra, not far from were I sat on the night of the first preview. Also, by Becky giving me the ticket, Andres from the Green Day Community was then able to share this special night with everyone by taking my original Mezzanine seat with J’net, Dawn, and Sherri. The Lushie Gods are good!

As the show was about to begin, Armstrong, Dirnt, and Cool family members walked in and filled the seats in the Center Orchestra. Billie Joe’s mom is the cutest thing ever, and she was beaming from ear to ear. Adrienne walked in with her and sat about two rows from us. As the curtain bells were ringing, The Edge from U2 entered and sat in the Center Orchestra not far from us, followed by Tre, Mike and Brittany, and finally, Billie Joe, who sat in the aisle seat next to Adrienne. Needless to say he caused a stir when he came in, but then the lights went down and the curtain went up.

Is this thing on? Green Day sings during American Idiot on Broadway. Photo by Green Day Mind.

It was kinda funny looking at him as an audience member. He was mesmerized by the show and his mouth was kinda hanging open in amazement the entire time, but something kept distracting him and he ran out of the theater twice during the performance, but came back in. Just as the show was ending, Green Day left the theater and a stage tech brought two mikes onstage. Afterward, the band took their rightful places onstage with their kids, the cast of American Idiot. Billie Joe had some issues with his guitar set-up for a minute, but they worked it out and he noted that it was “his first time on Broadway.” The crowd stood up as they came on and were treated to the “real” version of “American Idiot” and a great rendition of “Basket Case.” The month-long ride from Preview to Opening was complete, and this new baby called American Idiot was on Broadway.

Y’know what… I missed seeing them onstage

Green Day sings on Broadway, 4/22/10. Photo by Green Day Mind.

Green Day sings on Broadway During American Idiot, 4/22/10. Photo by Green Day Mind.

All in all, it has been a great ride with American Idiot, and I’m glad that the show is up and running and is good. It’s gotten exceptional reviews for the most part, and ticket sales are good. It’s fucking up Broadway, and in my book, that is always a good thing. I’ll write up something one day with my thoughts on the actual production, but really, just go and see it and make up your own mind is all that I can ultimately say.

I will say, though, that seeing Green Day back onstage made me realize how much I just wanted to see them perform again. The cast is great and the score is wonderful and kudos to everyone involved in the show, but Green Day is… well… Green Day. I silently offered supplications after the MTV Special Viewing, “please let the Foxboro Hot Tubs play a show this weekend, please let me get to see it.” Cause you know what? There is nothing like Billie Joe, Mike and Tre onstage together. And luckily, the Lushie Saints granted my wish. Twice. More on that in a later post.

And with that, faire thee well, American Idiot on Broadway. May you have a long life and prosper, may your actors stay healthy with no broken bones, and may you always Fuck Up Broadway.

After the break, stay tuned for ToniAnn and Fallyn on MTV being interviewed about the show and some additional links.

Continue reading


On the Foxboro Hot Tubs and New York City

On the Band Known as the Foxboro Hot Tubs Making a Holy Appearance in the NY/NJ Area During the Opening Week of American Idiot as Stated by the Band Known as Green Day

It's Lushotology by Kryssi Kay

Some wiseguys were on the radio back on March 28th (listen to the audio to the 10:30 mark) and said that the band known as the Foxboro Hot Tubs would love to play around the opening week of American Idiot on Broadway (March 19-March 25). And of course, when some wiseguys said this, it sparked a frantic, “OMG OMG, The REVEREND in NYC!?!” squeeeeee heard ’round the world. Yes. I squeeeed. Shoot me. Of course, the wiseguys did not elaborate on important questions such as WHERE?? and WHAT?? when the DJ asked whether an appearance by the Reverend Twitch (“last seen in London throwing up on a jet”) and the Hot Tubs in the Greater New York City area was possible. Or likely. Mike and Billie Joe joked around and Billie Joe replied, “[I would love for the Rev. Strychnine Twitch and the Foxboro Hot Tubs] to do something around the opening of American Idiot, maybe at the place, Bowery Electric.” And then the band known as Green Day, Mike, Tre and Billie Joe shared a “tee-hee” moment of giggles.

London Call to Worship

Beautiful Hot Tubs in London by Chris Dugan

All I have to say is that I won’t get into a holy frantic over it until it happens. I learned my lesson in London last October when I made my supplications for a holy sighting of the band. Unfortunately, I picked the wrong weekend to see some band in England and missed Communion by a week when a surprise Hot Tubs show was announced on 11/1/09 at the Islington Garage (see Kerrang article about that show in the next section). Sigh. Patience is a virtue, right, Reverend Twitch?? The longer the wait, the harder the… uh… well… revelation… uh… will be… so let’s just say if it happens its going to be hella happening. (See all Foxboro Hot Tubs-related posts here.)

Cut to the Holy Chase

Wild Night in London Town - Foxboro Hot Tubs

Anyway, Mike and Billie Joe mentioned the “Bowery Electric.” I read somewhere that on March 11th, 2010, they attended the Bowery Electric for Adeline Records artist Jesse Malin‘s Burning The Bowery residency. A group of well-researched people (uh, y’know) did some digging and came up with speculative venue locations. There is a “Private Event” listing at the Bowery Ballroom on 4/19. And there’s a date on the Bowery Electric site, too, that is marked as “Surprise Show” on 4/27. And the must-see Mystic Knights of the Cobra will be in NYC and New Jersey from 4/21-4/24, too. The Cobras toured with FBHT in 2008. Hmmm.

Of course —>ALL OF THIS IS SPECULATION<— and only the Lushie Gods know when and if they will play, and who knows what could happen, but there are many possibilities! Now, if there’s a Kevin Preston (guitarist for the Foxies) or Jason Freese (he’s been known to play sax with them) sighting or if Billie Joe’s hair of a sudden turns blond, we’ll know for certain that something is afoot.

Other than that, I suggest checking Twitter feeds uh… religiously… during the opening week of American Idiot (last preview is Monday 4/19; show opens on Tuesday 4/20 (International Pot and Lushotology Holy Day) and the last show that week takes place on Saturday, 4/25) in order to keep abreast of any last second show announcements. Cause that’s how the Hot Tubs roll: at the last second and on the sly. Can’t let Warner Brothers know EXACTLY where the Foxboro Hot Tubs will show up! lol. And the Rev never says anything that he doesn’t mean. Right? Right??

If a show does happen sometime during Opening Week of American Idiot, Billie Joe noted in the interview that a prerequisite of the Foxies is “more people onstage than are actually in the band,” and Tre stated that there also must be “more beer than air” and Mike insisted on a low ceiling. New York Lushies are willing and able to commune onstage with beer under low ceilings! No worries about any of those prerequisites!

Get thee to a … bit of guilt

Actually, I’d like to say one other thing: There were a few people that I chatted with after the interview aired who were talking about heading to NYC for the Foxies without even knowing if the band were actually going to play. The only problem with that is that they are much-O brok-O right now and can’t afford to come that week but would love the chance to worship with the Foxies. They would be awfully disappointed if they traveled to NYC on a shoestring and a miraculous sighting of the Holy Fathers did not apparate (wait, how did Harry Potter get in here?) at some time in a New York Lushotologist’s future. So, don’t tease the Lushie Nuns unless you’re gonna do it. It would be scandalous to the Church!

I’m applying the guilt found above more so in the form of a fetish dungeon then in the form of a “guilty religion” dungeon, so I’m pretty sure that I’m not breaking any tenets of the Church of Lushotology. If, of course, there were any Lushotology tenets besides drinking to break.

Whatever happens,  NYC is waiting.

A Call to the Lushie Nuns

Won’t you, oh Lushie Nuns, add your supplications for an appearance in the NY/NJ area in the comments? Remember, make them Lushly!


It’s Lushotology with John Roecker and Kryssi Kay!

I’ve been meaning to highlight another Snoo that I met in England (see “Los Luchadors and Las Luchadoras“), Kryssi Kay. Kryssi was pulled onstage during Green Day’s show at London’s O2 on October 24th when Billie Joe excitedly saw her in her Snoo mask during “21st Century Breakdown.”

Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown – London, October 24th featuring Kryssi Kay at 4:03 as the “Snoo”

It's Lushotology!

Kryssi has her own Zazzle site and she’s got some nice merchandise. You can use the image to the left to meditate on the wise words and actions of the Reverend Strychnine Twitch and the Church of Lushotology. For wise words from the Reverend (ok, it’s not the REAL Reverend, but some wise words happen anyway), check out this Facebook page.

Speaking of Lushotology, John Roecker, the mad punk genius and Black Pope of the Church of Lushotology, has created a video all about the Church and its “tenets.” You can watch that below.

Afterwards, head on over to Roecker’s new Svengali World site to watch his ongoing episodic detective series featuring him and Tim Armstrong while your at it. Just know that it’s not safe for work! Catch up with the all of the episodes at Home of Svengali World on Facebook.

What is the Church of Lushotology with John Roecker