Mike Dirnt of Green Day and the Frustrators answers original questions! Interview by DJ Rossstar of the Punk Rock Show – Dr. Strange Records Frustrators In-Store, 2/26/11
Jnine F. went to the meet and greet and posted a few pictures.
Jnine with Jason Chandler and Mike Dirnt, Frustrators, Dr. Strange Records In-Store, 2/26/11
Mike Dirnt with Jnine - Frustrators Dr. Strange Records In-Store, 2/26/11
In other Frustrators news, Jnine posted an article about snow and hail hitting Los Angeles yesterday… just about the same time that the Frustrators are touring, two events that no one thought would ever happen. Hell may have just frozen over in both regards. Indeed, I’m sure there is a correlation!
Tonight the Frustrators play their final California tour gig at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Bands include the Phenomenauts, Billybones and Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits. It’s going to be an amazing show!
Terry was interviewed recently by Amp Magazine and he was asked if the band had other plans for 2011. He said: “We’ve already started working on our next full length and will do east coast dates to support that record.” All I can say is: YES! EAST COAST!
I’m writing up my blog post about the Bay shows, so stay tuned. I just got back into town on Thursday, and hopefully will write about it by the middle of next week! If you’re going to the Troubadour tonight, have an excellent time!
BJA "Goodnight New York" Lyrics Owned by Mary Rosenblatt
Back in late September-October 2010 when Billie Joe Armstrong first performed in American Idiot for a week on Broadway, he ended his run on October 3. That night he penned a little song and sang it to New York City before the Good Riddance encore. No one knew then, not even him, that he was going to come back for two months in 2011 to star in the show as St. Jimmy. I went to a lot of the shows that week for fear of never seeing him perform again in the show. Hearing him sing this little song live was one of those bittersweet moments that you only get once or so in a lifetime. Sweet because it was a love song to my city of New York and the amazing experience of the theater, and bitter because all fleeting moments of pure happiness are like that in the end.
The song was called, Goodnight New York.
“I left my blood like bullets over broadway… the fire of the footlights at the St. James… with broken in legs and roses over New York… these goodnight songs of long lost love and war… But I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive like suicide… So goodnight, goodnight, New York.”
The tune possessed a strain of both joy and melancholy that cut right through my heart. Sometimes when I’m really down in New York (as has been the case a lot this winter, particularly since the holiday season started), I repeat in my mind the lyrical refrain, “But I’m alive… I’m alive… I’m alive like suicide… .” I grab onto it like a lifeline so that I hold on and hold out for yet another winter of being alive. Winter is my least favorite season and I get all kinds of down throughout it. The lyric has helped me to fiercely remember the actual joy of life and encourages me to grab onto every bit of it through the tough times, as well as the good ones, that I can.
The lyric itself is a bit of a puzzle and has an odd dichotomy. How can anyone be alive or find life through suicide? What is the nature of that state of being? Is it a metaphorical case of leaving one facet of your life behind and steadfastly screaming out in amazement at the very fact of being alive, or finding life through ending it? No, certainly not the latter example. He sang, “I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive” so emphatically that it cancels out all thoughts of a real suicide. “Alive” sounds like one of those screams of urgency to “rally out the demons of your soul,” not to give up, certainly. It’s a problematic lyric, much like a Japanese koan puzzle or a quote by the Iranian/Persian poet and mystic, Rumi. We all know how much Billie Joe hearts Rumi.
Back to that night in October: Mary Rosenblatt was sitting at the very front of the St. James in Row AA. Mary brought with her a single red rose to give to Billie Joe. After the encore, she gave him the single rose and he ended up giving her the lyrics.
I know Mary from here and there. I saw her and asked if I could take photos of the lyrics, one of which I put up on Plixi that night. Mary was so happy and shocked, and a little dazed at the same time! What a wealth of emotions and memories that one little sheet of torn-off legal paper can give to one person, let alone to people all over the world.
BJA Lyrics with American Idiot Pic - Photo by Mary Rosenblatt - Click to view
I’m an archivist, someone who takes care of the correspondence, photos, audio and video of people and institutions. I’ve held numerous kinds of documents in my hands, from the American Revolution and the Civil War, from famous activists, presidents, and performers. When I briefly held Billie Joe’s lyrics in my hands, the only thing I thought was how, in an instant, one piece of slightly torn paper with scribbles on it can go from the mundane to something that is worth framing and keeping safe for Mary’s lifetime and beyond. This one piece of paper, with scratched out words and chords, is one of those pieces of paper.
After the show, I sent Mary some special archival polyester sheets and an acid-free folder to keep the lyrics safe and free from damage until she could get the sheet properly framed, which she recently did. The framed lyric sheet is now somewhere on her wall, a wonderful piece of instant history. I can see it one day being exhibited in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Goodnight, New York Snapshot of Mary's Lyrics Taken by GDM After the Show
Goodnight, New York Snapshot of Mary's Lyrics Taken by GDM After the Show
Full video of “Good Night, New York,” sung by Billie Joe Armstrong on October 3, 2010, shown giving Mary the lyrics. Watch for the funny moment with him giving the guitar away, too. It had a transponder in it, and there was a slight hullabaloo when the person who got it wanted to keep the guitar, but the stage hands had to take the transponder out first. She did get the guitar (or one similar to it) at the end of the night.
I’ve gotten to know Mike since that night at Madison Square Garden. I was very wary at first, but somehow this crazy, sweet kid won me over. He’s a legend around the punk and crusty scene in New York, known as an avid lover of music, a little loopy, and an up-and-coming music promoter. When I met Mike late in 2009, he was in a bad place in regards to drugs and alcohol. Since January 2010 thereabouts, he’s been kicking his habit. It hasn’t been easy for him, but it’s never easy to kick a habit and stay true to yourself in a world where everyone wants you to conform… though every once in a while, you might have to confrom just a little, but hopefully not too much.
Mike was really excited (more than usual, which is saying a lot for Mike), about the possibility of having the graphic artist, zine writer and musician, Fly, do one of her PEOP sketches of him. Fly, (whose website can be found here) first published PEOPs: Portraits and Stories of People back in 2003. Her PEOP sketches combine drawings of her subject with conversational dialogue from her sketching session with them. The sketch and part of that conversation are then combined into a drawing. Kristy Eldredge summed up PEOPs in her review from 2004:
The people Fly features are artists, musicians, activists and seekers. A few are well known – Lydia Lunch, Art Spiegelman, John Zorn – but most are anonymous members of what used to be known as the underground. (In these days when the maw of media shines a spotlight on everything in its path, nothing seems underground.) In general they’re creative people who don’t want mainstream careers, draw inspiration from music and find meaning in collective action.
PEOPs #5, which includes portraits of Aaron Cometbus and Jello Biafra, can be purchased at Microcosm Publishing. Mike’s PEOP may be included in the next edition, here’s hoping! UPDATE: As Abbey noted in the comments, a PEOP is also featured monthly in Maximum RocknRoll, so here’s hoping it appears in one or the other.
I’ve noted a few times over the last year when a specific segment of Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdowntour ended [LINK HERE], and this time, it’s the complete end of the tour. Green Day finished off their tour last Friday in Costa Rica and did an amazing bunch of old songs, including a full band version of “Christie Road,” and “Brat” and probably the most rare song of them all, “I Was There.” [SEE SETLIST HERE] According to DJ ROSSSTAR, a mega-fan and host of LA’s The Punk Rock Show [LINK HERE], the band hasn’t performed “I Was There” since John Kiffmeyer left the band as Green Day’s drummer. I would have hocked my Grandma to be there in Costa Rica to hear that one live, but alas, I was not there.
While Billie Joe and the band absolutely hates Youtube and concert videos, I hope that one pops up of “I Was There.” Unfortunately at this point, the only videos that have turned up on Youtube have been of the set’s regular mainstays. Though one person did capture “Christie Road” so far. It’s not the best of recordings, as happens on Youtube, but I literally cried hearing it, but hey, that’s just me.
I’ll Meet You at Christie Road – Green Day in Costa Rica – christian1449
If “I Was There” pops up on the ‘tubes, I’ll probably have to go to the insane asylum and complete my personal 21st century breakdown there.
This is the Future
There is plenty more in the future to come from Green Day, so even if the tour is over, let’s not be sad, let’s celebrate it, not mourn it. In fact, pretty soon, we will be able to look forward to a few things over the next year including:
*Some time in the next year, Green Day will release a new live album featuring songs from the band’s 21st Century Breakdown Tour. Maybe a DVD, too!
*Green Day is already working on a new album.
*American Idiot on Broadway is extended to the end of April 2011, as a new batch of tickets for the show were recently released. For more information on tickets sales, go the official American Idiot on Broadway site.
Who knows what else the band has in store for us, too? Heck, maybe a little Foxboro Hot Tubs record? Maybe Billie Joe will go back to Broadway for a bit? Maybe Mike Dirnt and his bandmates, Jason Chandler, Art Tedeschi and Terry Lineham, from The Frustrators will finish their new album, too! So, don’t be sad, be happy! Celebrate the future! It is bright!
Green Day Fans Celebration on May 28, 2011
Coming up for fans in May 28, 2011, there will be a huge Green Day fan and environment celebration, put together by fans for fans! The event is still in the planning stages, so I don’t have much to write about so far, but once there are final details, I’ll post something about it. The Green Day Authority may also be providing information on this event, too.
The Future of Green Day Mind
Just a note on this blog: I said I was going to end the blog when the tour ended, but I’ve decided instead to expand it a bit beyond Green Day and write about other bands, theatrical events, and just plan life crap, too. So, if you have enjoyed anything from this blog over the last months, please continue to visit and thanks for stopping by. I’ve always appreciated the positive feedback I’ve gotten from the blog, and your comments have always made my day. If you’d like to write anything about bands, fanzines, concerts, crazy theater or anything of the like, feel free to send in stuff. While I may not use everything depending on the writing and the topic, I’d love to share the best of your opinions, new discoveries of bands and events, and happy fan stuff, Green Day-related and otherwise. Thanks!
First of all, Happy 15th Anniversary, to Insomniac!
As you may all know, I bought my first Green Day album in 2005, American Idiot. It wasn’t until 2009 when I became a bit… uh… focused on Green Day… did I buy the remainder of their music catalog, so all of the music that I missed from Back in the Day is really fresh to me. Yea, yea, I’m a noob, sue me. For me, Insomniac (as well as Nimrod) has some of the hardest-hitting, “I hate me and everyone else, too” songs from Green Day, mean, furious, frustrated, from “86,” to “Jaded,” to “Armatage Shanks,” and of course, “Walking Contradiction,” “Brat” and ” Geek Stink Breath” and the seriously neglected, “Panic Song.” Ah, when I’m in a mood for destruction, Insomniac is the one for me.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand, general silliness, I like that I discovered Green Day fully after they (and me) matured a bit, because they still like to act the stupid, and I think it’s a great way to live your life.
Short Dude on a Llama Somewhere in Colombia - Photo presumably by Chris Dugan
The photo, tweeted out last night sometime after their arrival in Colombia, came before Billie Joe tweeted that the Minnesota Twins would win over the New York Yankees in the Playoff Series Game. Well, that was a bit of Lushie Wishfulthinking cause of course, the Yankees won over the Twins. The Yankees go on toward yet another possible World Series win. Blech. Baseball isn’t even fun anymore when the same damned team wins all the time.
Anyhoo, here are the series of Tweets from yesterday, great for a chuckle.
These tweets came the day after Billie tweeted that he was in Venezuela watching the government channel, En Vivo Television and that country’s leader (a man reviled and loved in that country and the world, with a lean toward reviled), Hugo Chavez, was talking with kids on the teevee. Billie mentioned that Chavez looked like his dad, Andy Armstrong, and then he called himself, “Billie Chavez.” Boy oh boy, did that cause a storm of replies back at him about Chavez, which may have prompted Billie’s later Tweet about the baseball game, “Oh shut up. It’s just a game”… which could easily be translated to, “Oh shut up, it’s just a joke” about Chavez and his dad. I’ve only seen one picture of Billie’s dad, and frankly, he does look a bit like Chavez. Billie likes to name himself different things in his Tweets… such as Billie Jonas and St. Jimmy. He’s got a new nickname these days, too, from fans. “St. Billie.”
I had a vivid picture in my mind when I first saw the Plizi photo, at first of Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator, a parody of the Nazi era. Chaplin is mistaken for the rule of Tomania, and hilarity, with an ending serious message, ensues. Of course, Billie Joe would never be an evil dictator, but I can see Billie Joe as the leader of his own little liberal Greenmania, somewhere deep in the Rain Forest, where that million-person sex party he tweeted about a few weeks ago should take place. I’m just saying. It would be an awesome venue for it, lol.
Anyhoo, then another thought came up, sparked by a conversation on (evil) Facebook about the photo:
ANNE: hahhaa….he is lookin for us…..not used to us not being around him……….WHERE OH WHERE ARE MY FAN FREAKS??? HA HAA
GDM: ”Where are you? Our fans from far away? From Australia? Europe? East Coast? West Coast! These fans are new and awfully cute, but I can’t find you!” lol.
GDM: ”I shall take my llama and ride it upon this land of South America until I find you!”
GDM: Oh man, I’m gonna have to blog that, Anne. 🙂
BM: haha, love it Anne & GDM! 🙂
he’s soooo ‘green’.
how i’d love to be below the equator with them.
GDM: Yep. Oh well.
ANNE: We could all take my jet, that is parked in my garage…..no one else can see it but me though……I don’t get that……xxxoo
J. EIGHTY-SIX: This pic is so awesome. Is there a story to go with it, or is it just a question of when in Rome…?! Either way the llama looks proud to have Billie on its back.
GDM: Rome. Billie. Lllama. When. And yes, he does, lol! Ha, man, they are just having the time of their life. I hope that we see some ones of Mike and Tre, that would be awesome! Maybe in a rainforest or something. Ha.
J. EIGHTY-SIX: …with monkeys….
GG: ~ LOL ~
BW: who doesn’t want billie on their back? just saying
J. EIGHTY-SIX: Haha, this is very true BW…
Ground Llama with Green Day - Fun with Photoshop by Fabionei
Yes, that’s what he’s doing, in our minds… looking for us fans from Australia, Europe, South Africa, the Far East, the West Coast, the East Coast and Middle America who didn’t get to head down to the wonderful (despite all the problems many of the countries have) places in South America to party with the boys. I’m sure there are many lovely new fans down that way who you will meet, hungry after a ten-year absence to have God’s favorite band, Green Day, perform with them. Though cheer up, leader of Greenmania, Billie Chavez! I hear there are more than a few folks heading down to Costa Rica to meet new fan friends from Central America and party hardy with you, too. In the meantime… going to Pasa-llama, indeed. I think we all need to hitch a ride on “Ground Llama” as well as the new (fake) Green Day airline enterprise jokingly dubbed by photographer, Michelle Lawlor, as “Idiot Air” and get on down to Pasa-llama, stat!
Going to Pasa-llama! - Signature by @StickIt2daMan (Twitter) - Logan Kimber
Green Day in Paris - Photograph by Mathilde Oremus
When I went to Berkeley to see Pinhead Gunpowder [VIDEO] [AUDIO] [BLOGPOST] and the Mystic Knights of the Cobra back in February, I met Marjorie Beaugad at 924 Gilman’s Pinhead Gunpowder show. Marjorie was from Paris, and she was just finishing up a year of study in San Francisco. She had seen some excellent music over her year at school in San Francisco, and also attended Green Day’s small venue show last year at the Trabendo on May 12th, 2009 in Paris. She even sang “Longview” with them.
Soon after the Pinhead Gunpowder show, Marjorie’s year in San Francisco was over, and she moved back home to Paris, a beautiful, if complicated, city. She and her friend, Mathilde Oremus, attended this past June’s Paris gig at Parc des Princes stadium. Mathilde shot some excellent views, and I asked her if I could highlight images here. Mathilde’s full set of 168 photographs may be found on her Facebook page.
Mathilde photographed all three bands that appeared at Parc des Princes: Billy Talent, Paramore, and of course, Green Day. She took some especially nice photographs of Mike, as well as photos of Billie Joe, Tre, and fans, including the Aussies!
Aussies in Paris - Green Day - Photo by Mathilde Oremus
Here’s a little slice of Paris for you:
Mike! in Paris
Mike Dirnt in Paris - Green Day - Photo by Mathilde Oremus
Rock Like An Egyptian - Mike in Paris - Green Day - Photo by Mathilde Oremus
Mike Dirnt Blesses You - Green Day, Paris - Photo by Mathilde Oremus
Tre and Billie Joe in Paris
Tre Cool - Green Day, Paris - Photo by Mathilde Oremus
Billie Joe Armstrong - Green Day in Paris - Photo by Mathilde Oremus
Billie Joe Armstrong in Paris - Green Day - Photo by Mathilde Oremus
Billy Talent and Paramore
Billy Talent - Paris - Photo by Mathilde Oremus
Paramore - Paris - Photo by Mathilde Oremus
French Girls - Green Day in Paris - Photo by Mathilde Oremus
French Boys - Green Day in Paris - Photo by Mathilde Oremus
The Aussies are Here! Kerry Harris and Mates Travel to Europe for a Bazillion Green Day Shows - June 2010
A marvelous gang of dedicated Australian fans who attended almost all of the shows that Green Day performed in Australia last year, decided to take a huge road trip for the second leg of the European tour. I don’t know how many shows that they went to in the United Kingdom and Europe, but I do know that they had fun!
The gang was led by Kerry Harris who also created some excellent paintings of the band that I highlighted here last year. Kerry is also a photographer and took some beautiful and fun shots during the tour, including probably one of the prettiest shots of Billie Joe that I have ever seen. I asked her if I could post some of her photos. They show a lot of the onstage antics of the band and captures one fan’s viewpoint of many different shows.
Prettiest of Them All - Billie Joe Armstrong - Europe June 2010 - Photo by Kerry Harris
Here’s a selection of photographs taken by Kerry:
Joan Jett - Photo by Kerry Harris
Dirty Pink Bunny - Photo by Kerry Harris
Jason White is a Pirate - Photo by Kerry Harris
Kiss Me Quick! - Tre and Billie Joe - Europe June 2010 - Photo by Kerry Harris
We're Looking at You, Mike! - Europe June 2010 - Photo by Kerry Harris
Mike is Cool - Europe June 2010- Photo by Kerry Harris
Tre in Shorts, It's Hot in Europe! - Europe June 2010 - Photo by Kerry Harris
Tre Sees YOU! - Europe June 2010 - Photo by Kerry Harris
Billie Joe's Got a Gun! - Europe June 2010 - Photo by Kerry Harris
Billie Joe's Got a Hat! - Europe June 2010 - Photo by Kerry Harris
Billie Joe Armstrong - Europe June 2010 - Photo by Kerry Harris
Tre in Mid-Air - Europe June 2010 - Photo by Kerry Harris
Static Noise Podcast with Art Work by Violeta Kalfova
Last week, the Green Day Authority began a new weekly podcast that’s now available on iTunes. The first episode is out and features GDA admins Andres and Alex as they talk about the new podcast and discuss all things Green Day. You can listen to last week’s show on iTunes or at the Green Day Authority itself. There’s a link on the site to the Green Day Community, where you can see the topics discussed and a mess of links to Green Day Rock Band and Rock Band Contests, European tour updates, American Idiot on Broadway news, and a few articles that featured the band, including Vogue, Kerrang! and Big Cheese! [Click the links to view scans.]
I’m not too sure about the Vogue spread, it’s a strange magazine to see the band in, but it’s got some interesting insights on the “Rebel Yell” in regards to a new slew of musicals out in New York, including American Idiot, Fela! and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. While I haven’t seen Fela!, Bill T. Jones’ work on the legendary singer and leader, I have taken the opportunity to see Bloody Bloody and I highly recommend the show. It’s currently at Joe Papp’s Public Theater in New York’s East Village and tells the tale of Andrew Jackson’s American presidency in rock ‘n roll musical form. The show has been extended three or four times off-Broadway and it’s slated to move to the Broad Way later this year. The guy who plays Andrew Jackson is pretty hot, too, so I guess along with great music and book, a great theme surrounding American exceptionalism and the awful Trail of Tears (the forcible removal of Native Americans from the South to the West,) and awesome set design, it’s certainly worth a look! It’s also quite funny and surprisingly even-handed on handling both good and bad criticism of Jackson’s presidency and the American public itself.
The next podcast will be available for download on iTunes on June 8th, and there will be, I’m sure, extensive talk on Green Day’s Rock Band as that is the game’s release date also. On June 16th, tune in for Andres Martinez, joined by Green Day Community Admin J’net Newton and Katie Pansy McGrogan, one of the two fans chosen to come to New York to cover the American Idiot opening. Katie will talk about her moments on the red carpet and all three discuss the opening night cast party that they attended at the Roseland Ballroom. A “don’t miss” for fans of American Idiot!
Green Day Mind Banner 2009 by Violeta
A big shout out goes to Violeta Kalfova, who did the artwork for the GDA’s “Static Noise” Podcast Cover. The talented Violeta also does the banners for this site. Awesome as always, Violeta!*
Uh... Everybody... Vogue. Vogue Magazine "Rebel Yell" June 2010.
*GDA and GDM share no official affiliation, but definitely share an appreciation of the same subject matter!
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 muchlower 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.
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.
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.
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.
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