Bands that stand the test of time

Don’t wanna be an American Idiot? Why not? – a brief history on Green Day, told through the eyes of a lifelong fan

Where it all began... for me!
Where it all began… for me!

Ahhhhhhhhh that album cover brings back so many memories!

Before I begin: yes, the lifelong fan is ME!

In all honesty though, when I say ‘lifelong’ I mean the last 21 years.

I was inspired to write this article when I saw on the Rolling Stone website that Green Day’s “lost” ‘American Idiot’ documentary will be released mid-October this year.

When I read the Rolling Stone article, it occurred to me that I hadn’t thought about these guys for a long time.

Then, I saw on Facebook someone was asking how many people were a fan of Green Day BEFORE ‘American Idiot.’

A valid question, I thought, and one where I wanted to participate and tell my personal Green Day story! (I’ll get to it, don’t worry)

Then, some buzzkill arsehole commented and accused us all of being hipsters trying to prove how great we were because we’ve known Green Day longer than everyone else.

That fried me. There is nothing worse than douche bags who throw around words they don’t understand and try to make others feel like shit. We were all simply answering the question that was originally asked, I was enjoying reading about others’ experiences with the band, and this ignorant guy had to come in and try to ruin it.

I say ‘try’ because he didn’t actually succeed in ruining anything: I feel sorry for people like him, whose soul purpose in life is to shoot down the sharing of the joy of music. Is it jealousy? That’s all I can think of: jealousy, that others know more about a topic than him. Jealousy, that they have nothing to contribute to the conversation.

So, what’s the deal: I’m not allowed to admit that I have been a Green Day fan for over two decades, that they shaped and changed the way I thought about music forever, leading me to pursue my passion (music writer), all because I’LL BE LABELLED A HIPSTER?!

Sorry, but: fuck that!

Okay, rant is over. Sorry guys, I went off on a tangent there. lol I guess my point is: don’t let people like that get to you. If you appreciate music, appreciate art, appreciate, gardening, appreciate stamp collecting, whatever it is!

Let the petty insults be like water off a duck’s back, and you keep on enjoying your passions and pursuits! 😀

Allow me to start from the very beginning as it is, so I’ve heard, a “very good place to start.”

THIS is how I remember them :-) taken on the streets of NYC in 1994
THIS is how I remember them 🙂 taken on the streets of NYC in 1994

The year was 1994. The radio station was 105.3 New FM and I was a 14 year old girl with a chip on my shoulder. Enter, ‘Longview’ from Green Day’s third studio album Dookie!

“BITE MY LIP AND CLOSE MY EYES! TAKE ME AWAY TO PARADISE!” I naively belted out, only discovering a few years later what the song was actually about :-/

In quick succession, after ‘Longview’, I heard other tracks like ‘Basket Case’ and the absolute timeless smash ‘When I Come Around.’ When I discovered they were all from the same album, I didn’t hesitate: I used my pocket money to buy the CD — the very first CD I ever bought.

I. DEVOURED. IT. Played it countless times, read the lyrics over and over to store in my memory bank, bought a couple of Green Day T-shirts. It’s safe to say I was obsessed.

After Dookie, I then went on to realise there was more to the music world than what was played in the Top 40 charts. It was largely because of them, I realised I didn’t have to be told what to listen to: I could find my OWN music and enjoy it when I wanted!

Thanks, Billie Joe Armstrong!

Alrighty, so then life went on, I got older, and I did notice when albums like Nimrod were released. I was like “oooh, Green Day are at it again! Cool! Good on ’em” then I’d get back to what I was doing.

But when ‘American Idiot’ was released in 2004 (marking the decade anniversary of my GD (Green Day) fandom, I sat up and took notice again.

It was hit after hit after hit, and in my opinion was the commercial turning point for them. People, who previously hated them, seemed to warm up to them now, seemed to “get” them. They were more ‘likeable’ I guess you can say. I mean, I’ve always liked them! But not everyone else has! lol

Boulevard Of Broken Dreams was a biggie, and you can really hear the growth and maturity they’ve gone through. Less anger, more love and hope.

My point is: yes, I am a fan of both phases of GD. There is no one true GD moment that is better than the others, because each is different with its own merits.

Personally, they have evolved over the years and have really gotten ME, strangely enough, at each stage of my life when I was already feeling the emotions they invoke.

Don’t be afraid, and don’t let others make you feel small, for starting in the middle and working your way backwards and forwards. And yeah, you don’t HAVE to like EVERYTHING an artists does, but you also don’t have to feel bad for liking everything if that is your genuine opinion. Stick to your convictions 🙂

Oh I almost forgot! Back in 2012, I actually wrote a review of part 1 of their 3-album trilogy released one after the other: UNO! I’ll leave you with this, now. And Kudos to GD for standing the test of time!

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