"Thanks" from Fans in Paris -- Green Day in Paris, June 2010 -- Photo by Chris Dugan, greenday.com
Oh Twitter, how I love thee!
As some of you may know, a strangely odd tradition popped up at Green Day’s shows back in Summer of 2010: the appearance of hundreds of signs at shows, ranging from “Thanks” to “Merci Beaucoup,” and morphing into “Awesome as Fuck,” and “Welcome Home.” Last night, Green Day (ok, Billie Joe) tweeted:
Greenday: When we do the talk back on sunday, everyone should hold up signs that say Awesome as Fuck. That be.. Uh.. awesome as fuck?
"As Billie Joe sang the last song, the fans in the front all held up homemade signs saying 'THANKS'. No one in the band or crew had ever seen this kind of mass sign of appreciation from an audience before.. " Greenday, Parc des Princes, Paris, August 2010 -- Bobgruen.com
Oh Billie Joe, that would be awesome as fuck, as American Idiot on Broadway continues to rip up the traditions of Broadway and turn them on their heads. I am sure there will be photographs taken as the signs are held up at the Talkback on Sunday, which will make a wonderful photographic memory. I’ll be at American Idiot today (I have a ticket to the show), as well as the Talkback. The AI talkbacks (I have somehow managed to see all four of them so far), have been pretty awesome as fuck themselves!
There was some hullabaloo when the signs first morphed into “Awesome as Fuck” from the “Thanks” signs of Paris. Parisian fans, bless their hearts, felt like their “tradition” was being taken over. It was a momentary lapse of reason for them as they felt that they had gotten no recognition from the band regarding the signs, but we talked them down from the brink, and they came to realize that they had begun a wonderful tradition as a sincere measure of the gratitude of their (and our) hearts in regards to the gift of music and fun that Green Day has given to all of us. We also reminded them that they had an awesome picture of the signs published by the famed rock photographer, Bob Gruen, himself.
Since Billie Joe tweeted it last night, I thought I’d write up a short little history of the signs, to make sure that all of the people who had a hand in this crazy tradition get the recognition that they all deserve. As Bob Gruen said when he posted his photograph of the signs from Paris, “No one in the band or crew had ever seen this kind of mass sign of appreciation from an audience before.” I have never seen something like this at a concert before, have you?
So, here goes. If there is any discrepancy in the history, please feel free to update the history in the comments to this post!
The signs started out in Paris with “Thanks.” Greendaylove38 (Abbey) then suggested that fans continue the signs of “Thank You” in Virginia based on what happened at the Parc des Princes in Paris. When the “Thank You” signs materialized at the Virginia show because of Abbey and other Green Day Community folks, Billie Joe tweeted after the show, “Great times in virginia and surrounding areas! Now that was hot! Not like randy jackson hot dawg…. Highlight-thank you signs”
Variations of the Paris “Thanks” signs continued to show up throughout the remainder of the North American amphitheater tour. In Montreal, there were “Merci Beaucoup” signs. I was at that show with a sign; Billie Joe tweeted: “Have you ever played the game Mafia? Aka wolves and villagers. Good times in montreal! Love those signs. Highlight- armatage shanks”
As the signs popped up at more shows, Gnash, a commentator at the Green Day Community (and others), suggested that the signs be turned on their head. What new craziness could we surprise the hell out of Green Day with? After all, how many variations of “thank you” were there, anyway? When Abbey had first written in the Green Day Community thread that attendees should bring “thank you” signs to the shows, her first post mentioned that the signs themselves would be “AWESOME AS FUCK.” Gnash then wrote, “I think for the next show you should hold AWESOME AS FUCK signs up instead of THANK YOU. Just to spice it up a bit, y’know?” It was a brilliant idea, to say the least!
Abbey and Beth (shesarebel on Twitter and **nobodylikesyou**” on the GDC) conspired together to present these new “AWESOME AS FUCK” signs at the Denver show. Billie Joe tweeted afterward: “Denver! Highlight- cigarettes and valentines – twice! – awesome as fuck?” The AWESOME AS FUCK signs were around in other shows, too, and by the Homecoming show in San Francisco, the signs became simply, “Welcome Home.”
At the Denver show, when the signs first came out during the second encore, they made Billie Joe laugh. And then, he magically incorporated the phrase into “Good Riddance.” Watch the video by xGeneralxS at 4:12, you’ll hear him sing “awesome as fuck” in the video below. A photograph of those signs may be found on TwitPic, by shesarebel, below, as well as an actual sign at the show (I think by Chris Dugan).
AWESOME AS FUCK -- Green Day -- Photo by Chris Dugan?
“Your awesome as fuck…” at 4:12 — Second Encore, Green Day at Comfort Dental, Denver — xGeneralxS
And with that, if you are coming to the talkback at American Idiot this afternoon, I hope you bring your “AWESOME AS FUCK” signs with you. I have one from the Irvine show, but those never really materialized at that concert because security stopped people from bringing signs into the venue at the front gates. I held onto the one given me. Beth and Abbey are bringing some signs today. I think it’s going to an AWESOME AS FUCK photograph, don’t you?
"Welcome Home" -- Green Day at San Francisco Shoreline, Mountain View, CA -- Photo by Green Day Mind
Welcome Home - Green Day at Shoreline, 8/4/10 - Photo by Green Day Mind