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    solongfromthestars

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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/12/2018 in Blog Entries

  1. 9 points
    I don't know how many or if any of you remember me, because I haven't posted for way too long. I want to give more than one update, though. Mainly not for the sake of giving an update, but because I know how some of you feel and it might give some of you some hope. I know that when I first came here, I was severely depressed. At school I was the outsider, at hockey I got bullied so much it ended with a broken collar bone. It destroyed me so much because I thought my hockey career would have ended as well. Now, I'm out of school, I study and I'm happy with that. I went through therapy and it helped a lot. The main change, though, was the birth of my sweet daughter. Really, when I first looked into her eyes (she was born with her eyes open) I realized what true love is! From that moment on I knew I didn't need any hockey career to prove myself, I don't need a hockey career to be worth it, I don't need it to have success or be a good person. I had more than I ever wanted. Four months later I got an offer, though. "You've trained here a few years ago. Do you have interest in playing in our team the next season?" Well, I have a baby. I'm alone with my baby. Okay, not completely alone, but would my parents really take so much of their time to help me out there? I told them of the offer. I was scared, nervous and already sad because I thought my answer would have to be a "no, sadly I can't". "I have no idea how we'll do it, but we'll find a solution, so say yes to them". And that's what we did. We found a solution. I played that season and for the first time in yeeaaars I had fun playing. For the first time ever I really felt like I was part of the team and for the first time in years I was really nervous when I played. I didn't want to make mistakes. We're talking about women's first league in ice hockey in Germany (DFEL if anyone wants to google it). But I got better. I'm not one of the best players in the team, but I think I'll get better and better. I'll give my best. I'll be there next season as well, I hope! What do I want to tell you with that? Easy: believe in your dreams no matter how desperate it looks like and no matter what anyone tells you! I was 22 and didn't play for a whole season. Still I got to the place where I want to be! Most people told me I'm talentless. My self-esteem was at point zero and I never believed I would even get out of my depression. Also I was scared I could never care for myself and would do bad at parenting. I know, I can't prove I'm good at it, but my daughter gives me so much love and laughs so much, I just believe her ;D Nothing is impossible!
  2. 7 points
    I'm very excited to announce that @kaylubd has been promoted to GDA Staff! They'll be joining us to help bring some life back to GDA and keep the site updated with Green Day related news for the fans! Welcome kaylubd!
  3. 4 points
  4. 4 points
    If you’d told 12 year-old me these photos were mine, I wouldn’t have believed you. This was one of my photography dreams come true. Enjoy! Kevin was kind enough to take a photo with me after the show, even though they were all in a rush. 10/10 guys. My hoodie from Discount Valley even featured. Bonus fangirl moment: If you'd like to repost my photos, please just ask! I can send you some without watermarks (and I'd much rather do that than see them badly cropped!). I don’t bite, I promise.
  5. 3 points
    I had a hard time trying to decide if I post this here or another place of the forum. But here seems more appropiate, because this be LONG. I've been digesting the new record since the first leak, and trying to understand why Green Day did this as it is. First thoughs were around the "classic" experimentation and eclectic sound, that at this point of their carreer, is the main rule. A lot of people were unimpress, or in the worst of cases, overreacting for the falsettos and that Billie Joe and company has lost their north. To my taste, the band never made such a bold move before, overshadowing Warning by miles. Revolution Radio was the safest record to date, and even if had some sonic innovations added, the mixes and post production killed a good chunk of it. I'm looking at you, bow guitar! But before that, there it was the beloved or hated Trilogy. And Billie Joe stated that it was "half baked" and "it was prolific for the sake of being prolific". But, after the 50+ listens to this new record, Father Of All is the re-take on it. Shorter, more to the point and more adamant. But a question emerges within me: "Why to come back to something that is seen as your worse work in years?" Billie Joe did Longshot, and it was full of Trilogy vibes. Kill Your Friends screams in protest because it isn't on ¡UNO!, Love is for Losers has the ingredients to be in ¡DOS!, and Chasing a Ghost would be a great add to ¡TRÉ! It would seem more than enough to satisfy the artistical needs of Billie, but the reality shows me that it wasn't enough. A more ferocious and viseral comeback was needed to fullfill that desire. The change on management that happened around the RevRad era would take effect on this record. New people to mix and master the record, but most importantly, a new producer. Butch Walker was described by Billie like "almost another member of the band", while putting some rejection on the long time Rob Cavallo. "He was more like a coach", he said. It was time for a new air, at least sonically, because the core of Green Day is still there. The main goal was to have fun, mimic almost too close the motivations of the Trilogy. But with a new fuel, So, starting with the title track, Father of All showed us the old same Green Day tackling garaje rock, as they did on DOS, or more elecuently, on SDR. The added twist, in first place, is the falsetto. But more interesting, are the lyrics. FOA doesn't showcase a party, excess or rivers of booze. It shows a tormented mind, a darker tone than you could expect from a record that only wanted to have a good time. We know that Billie Joe can go dark if he wants, but to my taste, this level of paranoia is only matched by lyrics on Insomniac. "Fingers up because is no one to trust". Where is the fun in to be in a permanent state of emergency? Even if the content of the content of the record in general is not social/political, it shows feelings created by a certain social/political enviroment that is not short in therms of toxicity. I'm even talking about an specific person, political party, instead is more close to us as humanity as a whole. "Looking for a miracle" is the best way to resume this song. I think that we are pretty much fucked up as people, who can't be concerned about the real stuff, instead, we drown ourselves on the easy pleasures, ignoring the biggest problems that humanity has yet to face. A lot of the establishment has lost the last drop of decency they said they had. I'm even an american (in the USA) at least, but a chilean who is seeing that in his own country everything is going to the drain. Corruption and greed, festing with lies and represion at the end of the day. And I feel discouraged. I never been that sad before, even if I call myself a misanthropist. My depression has been the worst ever. I can't say that I'm happy that I can see myself in this song. In the end, BJ and co are safer than me. Fire, Ready, Aim is not so different. How hard has to be the irony to pass a song in TV that attacks how the media in general has become a lie machine? The media is other after the 18-O here in Chile. It showed all its flaws, and they still going like nothing happened. I don't watch TV besides to catch Roger Federer playing, but all the times that I got to see "the news" in the last time, is straight bullshit. I wish, again, that something like this could stop. But things must change to feel remotly safe again, if there is something like that. I worked on media for a few months. I'd prefer to eat shit before going back there. And media has to be changed. The true is that probably it won't happen. Ever. Oh Yeah is a profundization of the state of emergency showed on FOA. Again, I'm not fond to see myself depicted on a song. I'm sort of glad that BJ has put himself - again, sort of - into the position of a normal guy. Is not funny how we are losing hope, even we have a lot goodhearted people in the world to make it worth. The problem resides in the 1% who controls and owns everything. And they don't wanna lose an inch. I remember how Andronico Luksic (a rich entrepreneur of my country) did a video that quicky become a meme, where he defended himself from attacks in the social media. The audacity to be such a bastard and make stuff to show you as the victim is unreal. I was hearing the voice of a traitor. Is not like he was an ally before (rich man never is), but I'm getting more and more anxious as words are put. MMOTR seems like is a relaxed number after three of them being so hard. And it seems so, because the ability of these man to craft tunes that comes with surprises has to meet its limits yet. I want some peace of mind, but it seems I want to pick some drowning lessons too. I wonder how high is my low. The last time was pretty bad. I almost end up breaking up with my long time gf. Seems like losing control is the only answer that is remaining to me. I'm tired to feel desperate. I always knew that I was broken, but it was manageable up that point. Now I don't know that to expect for myself when another braking point is reached. I wanna go where the good times go, but not at this price. The ilusions are getting weirder when I listen to this song. I was a teenage teenager seems a very dumb title at first sight. Very dumb. Then it comes. The very first line is a hard one. "I don't wanna freak you out but I cannot lie". Is something like I use to say to my girlfriend all the time. I don't do drugs, at least in a classical sense. I'm sort of gambler. I play TCG's all the time, trying to hide some pain, making time to pass the day and extending my already useless life. She always told me that I'm not useless, just I'm depress. That I'm a great guy, but looking at myself, I'm just an alien visitor. I can't strees enough how hard is to me to apreciate my talents better. I think that BJ speaks to my soul on this song. I feel detached from my past. School fucking sucked. I can't retrieve good memories from there. At least, something that I can remember with love or gratitude. I don't know what Billie Joe was trying to do with "Sex, Drugs and Violence" and returning to school. Maybe he wanted another chance to make the things right. Maybe he wanted to be a normal guy and not a rockstar. But I wouldn't go back to school. Land of idiots. I don't need more in my life. I don't know what to say about Stab you in the heart. Maybe I want to that to myself. But not yet. Maybe I'm a fake and I'm lost within myself. It still rocks hard. I think this is the only number who is "fun" with its own right. Right now, seems pretty obvious that the main theme of this record is anxiety, generated from a lot sources. As I said, I don't do drugs. At least the ones that are mentioned in Sugar Youth. I mean, the closest sugar that I use is the one that I drink with my coffee or tea, depending in how my stomach is in certain times of day. I don't care about fucking a prom queen, but I care for the voices that makes interference with my thoughs at 5AM. Sometimes I want to choke myself and end this suffering, but my desires to make stuff are stronger, yet. I don't know much time I have left, but I got that feeling. I wish I could stop feeling like shit all the time. But maybe this is the first step to solve something. Is the reason why I think that BJ still writes about drugs, pain and despair. To know it better and fight it better. I don't wanna lose control to drink all the poison in the water. If wanted to end my life, I'd do it faster. I have said before. Junkies in a High is the hightest point of this record. Not only because sounds rad, with that mix of Dark Side of Night and X-ray Hamburger, with those elements that makes you eat the dust of the desert, but also because - going full theory on this - it showcases very well how Billie has felt all these years dealing with the failure of the Trilogy. Is like a well done Nightlife. I remember that BJ said in a Longshot show that "I wrote 37 songs that nobody gives a shit". Well, I do, and I know that a lot of fans also do, but also it has - or had, I don't have any information to backup this - a huge amount of haters. As a songwriter, you tend to see your songs as your sons. And its painful to see that they don't perform well. Dealing with rejection is difficult. Slowly losing his mind, then becomes clear that feeling detached of the past is a common denominator, even if he tried to make amends with it. Specially with all the flashbacks he got making the East Bay documentary, his coming back to Gilman and the introduction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Is too wild. But then comes this actual world, that is a piece of crap, almost unbreathable. It doesn't matter how much help you can bring, is never enough. I can't deal with that idea that whatever I can do is useless to the big amount of people and living beings in this world, and then this guy, that actually had made an impact in millions of lives, mine included, is stating that what remains is to watch the apocalypse. I felt disgraceful, but nothing too different for what I think of this world. I always believed that one of my sources of my depression is that I can't deal with the losing of this world to make an step forward into the total destruction without any contemplations. I'm stuck into that state of shock. And it seems I cannot help with it, just watch it until dust remains. I got no money to offer, but if I could pay to some people to leave me alone, I would do it. Maybe there is the peace that I strife for. Being alone. At least no one could bother me anymore. Until final judgement comes, of course. Maybe my soul will rest on Graffitia. In a city that mimics my own decadence, mirror of the world we still live on. Is getting uglier as we come to know more and more. Is part of growing old. Is this the best record? I can't tell. Is this the record that I needed to hear? Probably yes. I will make my dance into the darkness, at least rocking with style. PD: I'm fine. Nothing to worry about
  6. 3 points
    This year, I published a book of Green Day fan stories and art. I wanted to document the band’s incredible impact on a diverse fanbase. So, I gathered stories and fanart from fans of all ages, from Greece to California to Costa Rica to China. All 161 pages are a truly wonderful testament to how Green Day have changed lives and the devotion of their fans. I knew I was going to be proud of it – and everyone in it – but quite how proud I was didn’t hit me until I opened up the box. How it all began I was making My Rage My Love My Life – a documentary of my own experiences following Green Day on tour – when I got the idea. I knew I was going to exhibit my photos. They'd quickly become a document of the fan community as a whole, rather than just myself. I thought a little book of other fans’ stories would be an amazing addition. I asked for submissions – at this point just for stories, not fanart – and made a short book in InDesign. Then I exhibited it. It was the most popular part of my exhibit (sadly, no one got in my survival bag). Exhibiting My Rage My Love My Life in Cornwall A while later, I put the book up for sale so everyone could read it. It was surprisingly popular! We Are Revolution Radio, Volume 1 I knew at this point – shocked by quite how much the stories moved me and knowing there were even more out there – that I wanted to make a bigger, better book. This time, I asked for fanart submissions, too. It would be the final book, so it had to be good! Volume 2 Looking for more stories and art was a slow process. A lot of people who weren’t too shy, or too busy to submit already had. I kept plugging the submission page, but there was little interest. I tried approaching fan artists on Instagram, but they didn’t reply, deleted my comments or blocked me. With my 9 to 5 job, I didn't have much time to continue going out of my way to get submissions. The deadline passed, but I never got around to printing. I felt very disillusioned with the Green Day fandom and its drama and hierarchies at the time, too. How much the book meant to me and what a great project it was faded from my memory. When I pinned My Rage My Love My Life as an Instagram highlight, I included a few excerpts from the book. Unexpectedly, a lot of people messaged me saying they wished they’d been part of it, that they weren’t even aware of it until then, or that they wanted a copy. I went back to read it again. It immediately reminded me why I was doing it and how important it was to me and to document this. So I reopened submissions (feeling bad that I'd never got it done before!). People now had months to submit. It was, again, a slow process, but this time I wasn’t letting it go until I’d got as many fans as possible into it! Getting more submissions I tried a few different strategies. One was offering the option to submit in Spanish, French or Portuguese, but no one did. I made fun and more ‘serious’ calls for submissions. I encouraged friends who’d previously expressed interest or I thought would like to be in the book. Half of my attempts were successful. My most successful plan was recruiting my East Bay native partner to speak with fan friends in the area and one in LA. Some were shy or struggled to write, so I ‘interviewed’ them or we just chatted about Green Day and pieced together stories. They were stories I’d never have found by only appealing to visible or ‘super’ fans – but they were some of my favourites and moved me to tears! The biggest obstacle was definitely convincing shy or uncertain people their stories or art were absolutely worth a place in the book. I don’t know if I made a mistake giving people months to submit. Other than my partner’s unpaid internship at My Rage My Love My Life, the most submissions came in with my last minute reminders. Maybe I should have done that all along. It’s so easy to procrastinate or just forget to make time when you have forever to do something. Deciding whether to publish an eBook I had a long think about this. At first I was definitely going to offer a cheap eBook version to make it more accessible to everyone. A few weeks later I thought about how if I did, a free PDF would be much more likely to end up on the internet for anyone to see. Which isn’t inherently bad – I wasn’t looking to make money from it, after all. But the contributors shared personal stories under the assumption it would be a limited physical print people had to buy to see, not an easily accessible PDF. I also felt it wouldn't be fair to people who’d previously bought the physical book. So I decided against it. It’s a shame because I’d love it to be more accessible, but I don’t trust the internet with everyone’s stories. Why not make more books? A few people have expressed disappointment they weren’t in the book. Some felt I should make more books. Volume 2 is the final version, though. For starters, I don’t think expecting people to keep paying for extensions of the same book is fair. In total, people had almost two years to submit. I chased a lot of people who said they wanted to be part of it and approached others I thought might be interested. The majority didn’t reply or just never got around to it. Most genuinely didn’t have time and that’s a real shame. Before printing, some people had been waiting months to buy the book, so continuing to extend the deadline wouldn't have been fair to them either. I really wanted as many people as possible to be part of this, but if people don’t submit, there’s not much I can do. The same will happen if I make another book. A few more people will submit, but most who didn’t have time last year won’t have time this year. I did make it clear when I opened submissions for Volume 2 that it would be the final book, so I don't think it's unreasonable. Printing This time, with the book being over three times longer at 161 pages, I had to use a professional – and pricier – printer instead of the simpler company I’d used before. In early February, I put the book up in my store for £14.99 until February 18th. After that, I’d put in a bulk order. If I only sold a few books, I’d lose a huge amount of money and end up paying to send the books out. It was a scary gamble at first, but I soon sold enough to cover everything. As February 18th approached, I finalised the file in InDesign and prepared to send it to the printer. Despite having learned all about this at university, I was nervous. After all, studying something in a classroom and actually executing it are totally different things… and I wanted the books to be perfect for all the amazing people who’d supported and contributed to the project over the last two years. What if I messed it up somehow? I had a quick chat with the printer to make sure I was doing everything right and then I sent off the file. A heavy box arrived with DPD on March 6th. I opened it and there were all my very own, professionally printed books! It was surreal. Opening the book box (having excitedly taken a few out already!) They were thicker than I expected. Even though I’d already published one book, this even better final product was somehow even more incredible. Flicking through and seeing everyone’s amazing art and stories there, in full colour and all their glory – I felt so proud! Despite having stared at my own art and story on InDesign for months on end, I was excited and a bit emotional to see that there, too. I knew then exactly why I’d done this and, regardless of inevitable drama, how special Green Day’s fandom really is. Shipping the books This was quite a big job, but also exciting! The first five orders got a little gift for their support. After carefully wrapping the books, I passed them to @Rumpelstiltskin2000 to be sealed in mailers. Her sellotape fortresses then went into a Primark bag, ready to be shipped the next day. The parcels were transferred to some transport sacks (also known as my Pokémon backpack and Berkeley Bowl shopping bag) and we took them to the Post Office. I was a bit worried the Post Office lady might run away screaming. But no, she was professional and got it all done quickly. She even knew American Idiot. I left with a stash of comically long receipts. And then it was done. My books had officially been published and dispatched. I felt like a proud parent. I sent out dispatch notifications, finished this and now I'm going to rest and play Pokémon. I hope this might inspire or help anyone thinking of making their own book. If you need any guidance, feel free to get in touch!
  7. 3 points
    **PERSONAL AND GUSHY ADVICEY POST** Okay, so in my short 20 years of life I have had my fair share of relationships. Most of them short-lived and uneventful, as most high school relationships go. But, that doesn't mean that relationships (high school or not) don't hurt when they end. I've kind of taught myself little things that help me when relationships go sour (even platonic or familial relationships!) so I don't completely break down or lose myself. This Person Doesn't Owe Me Anything A real problem with ending relationships is feeling the desperate need to have that person in your life still and feeling dictated by it. I always tell myself, if this person doesn't owe me money or something of that sort, they don't owe me anything and therefore have no purpose in being in my life. Helps me move on real quick. (got this little tip from @stephaniebrite on Instagram.) Just Because This Person Is No Longer in My Life, It Doesn't Mean I am Unlovable One of my biggest failings as an individual is placing my self worth and my personal definition of myself in the hands of others. When someone rejects me or pushes me aside, it can have a huge impact on my self esteem. That's when I remind myself that one person's opinion of me is not the true definition of who I am. Their disinterest in me does not make me less valuable, less special, or less loved. I think this is something crucial to remind yourself when going through a rough breakup. All Things Happen For a Reason Yes, this is cliche as all get out. But it is true! Whether you believe in fate or not, logic dictates all actions and decisions are made with some sort of reasoning. If a relationship ends, it simply means that you and that person are just not meant to mingle. Sometimes letting go is a good thing! I Can Be Me Without Them In life there will always be at least ONE relationship - romantic or otherwise - that's end will bring you to your knees and question even life itself. That is when it is crucial to surround yourself with a supportive network of people in your life - family, friends, therapists, doctors, coworkers, etc. It's also a great time to reflect on your life, before and after this person was in it. You were you at one point before them, right? Well, you're still you! This really helped me when my dad abandoned me. It helped me remind myself that being fatherless didn't mean I was helpless. I Can Still Love Them and Not Live With Them My mom's best friend married and divorced the same man 3 different times. I asked my mom why she kept marrying him and my mom told me this amazing tidbit of advice that has stuck with me: "Sometimes you can love someone with all your heart, but you just can't live with them." That has stuck with me. Moving on doesn't necessarily mean the love or feelings disappear, it just means you understand them and yourself better. I hope some of this helps someone, it also helps get these things off my chest!
  8. 3 points
    To this day, I still get chills when I hear the intro to 21st Century Breakdown. I can still see my favourite band, as if in slow motion, running onto that stage like the heroes they were to 14 year-old me. I can see Mike thumping his heart and Tré sitting to play the show’s first beats. I can still feel the unbridled joy, the disbelief and looking back, how my life changed in that very moment. This tour was arguably the biggest act of Green Day’s career. It was also the biggest turning point in my own life. If you’ve read my Italy recap, you know I was unwell when I saw Green Day for the first time. For three years I’d barely left the house. I never went to school. My hope for the future was gone. While my single mum worked herself to exhaustion to support us both, my only company was Green Day’s music. 21st Century Breakdown, bringing with it the excitement of a new era, inspired me. I wanted to be like Gloria. I wanted to be able to say, one day, that I’d found a home in all my scars and ammunition and I’d never put away my burning light. Through that, I found hope. For the first time in years, I could see a light at the end of the tunnel. ‘Gloria is a person that’s trying to hold the torch for staying inspired, even as you lose a certain sense of your own naivete.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, Radio NRJ, 2009 The first British dates for the 21st Century Breakdown Tour were announced later that year. My mum, as big a fan as me, bought tickets for four shows. I didn’t know if I could even go. After all, I could barely leave the house. How could I stand in a crowd of 16,000 people? Before we knew it, we were in our Green Day shirts on the bus to the station. The local bus was one thing. A train to Birmingham, an unknown city, was a different story. I felt painfully obvious, like my illness was on display for everyone’s amusement. Of course, it was all paranoia. There was no one lurking to laugh at me. But either way, my love for my favourite band was stronger than my fear. We got off the train at Birmingham Airport. It was quiet. Past a lake was our hotel. To its right was the LG (now Genting) Arena, white against the overcast sky. We checked in and wandered. Kids with multicoloured hair sat on the cold concrete, lining up to secure their spots in the pit. A line soon formed for seats. No one needed to join that so early, including us, but we were too excited not to. The arena’s walls were pink inside. We bought shirts and went to find our seats. It was when I looked at the stage, saw the album art I loved so much there, it suddenly became real. My now well-worn shirt from my first show Prima Donna were supporting. They opened with the jingling piano of Soul Stripper. Singer Kevin Preston soon tossed his leopard print jacket aside. Their glam rock sound kept the crowd entertained and dancing while they waited. My chest was tight after their set. Not because I was afraid – because, to my surprise, I wasn’t. As the drunk bunny stumbled around to YMCA, it was sinking in that all the live videos I’d watched of a show that seemed so far out of my reach… I was about to experience that for myself. The bunny was gone. The Ramones’ Do You Remember Rock ‘n Roll Radio? played. Then the crackling static that introduced Song of the Century echoed through the arena. The crowd of 16,000 sang along in unison. My heart was pounding with the first chords of 21st Century Breakdown. Tré Cool ran onstage. The Big Three. Mike Dirnt. Then, finally, Billie Joe Armstrong. With flicks of his wrists he drew roars from the crowd. My voice was another scream in the tumultous applause. The crowd clapped along with Tré’s hits of the bass drum. With exploding pyros the show began. I was screaming my favourite lyrics, the words that lifted me from stagnation, back at my favourite band. Billie Joe commanded us all to stand up. We already were, clapping as if our lives depended on it. Green Day’s ferocious energy reached from the front row to the highest tiers. In my seat that looked down on them as specks, I felt as part of the show, the mass of bodies obeying Billie’s every command, as I ever have on the floor since. It was a sense of belonging. A sense of acceptance. I felt understood. I knew I, like the other 15,999 people in that room, mattered. Photo by Rob Ball, another fan coincidentally sat a few seats from us at two shows. We bought them from him afterwards. The first fan was pulled onstage in Know Your Enemy. He staged dived to the pyros. Their sound was all enveloping, like a pounding warmth that attacked every cell. Everyone, on the floor, in the seats, was dancing. We repeated Billie’s ‘whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh!’ to East Jesus Nowhere religiously. In the bridge he announced he was going to save someone from the crowd. He stubbornly made his way up into the seats, heading for a young girl called Catherine. There was a long exchange before he returned. Unsuccessful in recruiting Catherine, he called up his own 11 year-old son, Jakob Danger (ensuring we knew his middle name was Danger). Jakob obediently waved his arms before allowing himself to be ‘saved.’ The crowd chanted his name while Billie sang ‘the sirens of decay will infiltrate Jakob!’ and he fell to the floor. Once the song ended, he tried to make a quick escape. Billie announced ‘hey, where are you going, Jakob, you little shit? Come here for a second!’ and promptly planted a kiss on his forehead. ‘Alright, see you later. That’s Jakob – Danger – Armstrong! Danger is his middle name.’ Jakob Armstrong onstage with dad Billie Joe to be ‘saved’ in East Jesus Nowhere. Photo by Rob Ball. Then Billie yelled ‘do you wanna start a fucking war?’ and the show resumed with Holiday. Watching Bullet in a Bible, it was hard to imagine how chanting ‘hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!’ back at Billie in the bridge really felt. It was like a reeling high. As we screamed along to ‘the static aaaaa-aaaaaa-age!’ I just couldn’t believe I was there. The sweltering heat and my hoarse voice were reminders it was real. Back then, we weren’t looking at setlists. My mum had no idea they were about to play one of her all-time favourite songs – Give Me Novacaine. I can still see the disbelief on her face. After all those years, working so hard she could barely wake up, she was free. Billie even announced that he was now one of us: ‘We’re still alive, Birmingham! It’s been a long fucking time, goddamn I’m so fucking happy to be back in England, you have no idea. Goddammit I’m fucking moving here, fuck this shit, I’m fucking moving. Packing my bags, I’m gonna get on a big old fucking aeroplane, I’m gonna take all my shit across the pond, and I am officially fucking English as of now! I’m bringing it back home!’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, October 27th, 2009 Another fan came up for Are We The Waiting. With a disco ball reflecting skulls around the room, it was like being in the starry nights, city lights coming down over me. It was anthemic. That dirty town might as well have been burning down in my dreams, because nothing mattered but singing at the top of our lungs. The world outside was irrelevant. Photo by Rob Ball Billie darted around the stage to St. Jimmy. It was more ferocious, more passionate than I could have imagined watching videos. The crowd was deafening through Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Then they burst into Murder City, a performance that was recorded for GreenDay.com. I didn’t expect that and I was thrilled. I was even more thrilled when, two songs later, they played At the Library. People were confused, wondering if this was a new song. We were the only ones in our block screaming every word. Now I wasn’t just seeing Green Day. They even went and played At the Library and Murder City. Playing At the Library. Photo by Rob Ball. When I Come Around’s old-school charm wasn’t lost in the dazzling show. Dancing to Brain Stew and Jaded, I didn’t feel I’d missed a thing by hearing them live 14 years after their release. Green Day were every bit the band they were in the 90s – except even more energetic. Everyone around us, young or old, was jumping. As Knowledge came to a close, Billie announced a band of fans would finish the song. He sought out a drummer first. I was a drummer. I’d bought a poster before the show, which up until this point had been inconvenient. Without thinking, I waved it around. Then Billie was actually looking at me, pointing up into our seats like he did with Catherine. There was an exchange with security. Then I chickened out. I put the poster down. Looking confused, he went to find a bassist instead. Maybe he wouldn’t have picked me, even if I’d had the balls, but it’s still sort of funny. Basket Case and She followed. The hits were every bit as invigorating as the rarities. The extended King for a Day, with all its goofiness, floor-humping and cover snippets, was a fun and amusing break in the intense set. Could anything top At the Library? Probably not. ‘It’s not written for two people. It’s written for about 20,000.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong on 21 Guns Or so I thought, until King for a Day’s silliness faded to 21 Guns. I already loved this song. The music video was my all-time favourite. But I could never have imagined its rawness live. I was moved beyond words as I watched the fire rain down to ‘as a liar looking for forgiveness from a stone!’ and Billie’s added ‘whoa-ohs’ that seemed to come from the depths of his heart. Following that was emotional piano absent on the studio version. The band were silhouetted against the music video playing on the screen behind them. I might have been crying. I don’t remember. Billie described 21 Guns as not being written for two people, but 20,000. He was absolutely right. 21 Guns. You can see everyone dancing in the seats opposite us! Photo by Rob Ball. Then the show was uplifted again with Minority. Billie thanks every crowd countless times after the solo, but each word remained sincere. Blue and white confetti burst from the stage, sprinkling the crowd as the song closed. Green Day confetti during Minority. Photo by Rob Ball. Finally, with American Idiot and Jesus of Suburbia, the show too was coming to an end. The crowd, drenched in sweat from the pit to the seats as if at the end of a journey with the band, watched the inimate Last Night on Earth, still and in awe. Billie began with an acoustic guitar. We didn’t yet know that with lights flooding the darkened stage, the full band would return. An emotional Wake Me Up When September Ends followed. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life), a hate song turned revelling closer, ended the set. The band bowed and waved. It was over. We charged down steps to scoop up confetti from the floor, filling two tissue packets before security chased us off. Green Day played hundreds of shows every tour. Yet this, my first show that to anyone else was just another city on a list of tour dates, was still so special. That, how every show is a precious memory to be treasured forever, is why I follow Green Day on tour. Tré Cool tweet about the Birmingham show Sunset over Birmingham LG Arena We prepared to do it all again the next day. This time our seats were closer. My new-found wellness could stretch so far, though. By Holiday, a panic attack so bad I was throwing up left me listening to East Jesus Nowhere from the toilets. First aid sat me beside someone with a broken leg. There was nothing they could do. I remember passing the back of the pit, seeing the crackling gas mask image in The Static Age. As When I Come Around echoed from inside, drunks assured me I wasn’t missing anything, because Green Day suck now. It was almost comical. I didn’t want to leave, but I was too sick to stay. We returned to the hotel. It took a while, but I convinced my mum to go back. Arriving to Billie humping the floor, she recorded 21 Guns for me and saw American Eulogy, Christie Road and Macy’s Day Parade. It was a huge setback. I was more afraid than ever to go on to Manchester. But maybe it had to happen, because it also strengthened my resolve. Mental illness would not take my favourite band from me. It could have my future, my dignity, but not my spark of hope. We arrived in Manchester. On the bus to our hotel, we met another mother-and-daughter pair on their way to the show. I stuck six A4 sheets together to make a ‘PLAY ¡VIVA LA GLORIA!’ banner before we left. The Manchester Evening News Arena from the bus. This is a terrible photo, but this view was so exciting at the time! My ‘Play ¡Viva La Gloria!’ banner This time our seats were on Mike’s side. Watching Prima Donna and the drunk bunny, I was nervous. But once I heard those opening chords of 21st Century Breakdown, saw my heroes run onstage, I knew I would be alright. I knew whatever plagued me in Birmingham, I had overcome. The songs I was hearing for a second, third time were as fresh as ever. Those I heard from outside in Birmingham were even better knowing nothing could take this from me. Billie with seated fans during East Jesus Nowhere. Photo by Rob Ball. Security followed Billie as he ran up into the seats in Know Your Enemy and East Jesus Nowhere. In Boulevard of Broken Dreams, he announced he’d split his pants. ‘Did anyone see my balls?’ Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Photo by Rob Ball After Boulevard of Broken Dreams, I held up my banner. Billie stopped and squinted. People around us were screaming ‘he’s seen it, he’s seen it, he’s seen it!’ and he pointed before yelling into the band mic. They began 2000 Light Years Away. The guys behind us were laughing, saying he misread it. I have no idea if it was really anything to do with my banner, but it was funny either way – and thrilling since they weren’t playing that regularly at the time. Oldies section. Photo by Rob Ball. Hitchin’ a Ride was followed by Coming Clean. It was a furious performance of a poignant song. I’m sure there was the odd homo/biphobe in that crowd, but everyone was dancing. This time, I noticed a stencil of Gloria was the backdrop for She. With that, the 15 year-old song joined the narrative of 21st Century Breakdown. In King for a Day, Billie sang snippets of Stand By Me, I Fought the Law and Champagne Supernova. 21 Guns remained as emotional as that first night. Maybe even more so. Because, though I hadn’t quite figured out what yet, I knew something was worth fighting for. That bridge was my favourite moment of every set. Minority It was all surreal. Watching the confetti spray out again; hearing a passionate Jesus of Suburbia and seeing the show close, lights dimmed and band bowing, with Last Night on Earth, Wake Me Up When September Ends and Good Riddance. The show closing with Good Riddance. Photo by Rob Ball I’d reclaimed my missed show. I would reclaim it even more if I made it through the second night. ‘I like playing big places a lot. We got a chance to be playing these arenas, and I’m really grateful for that. I’m not going to sit here and say “fuck our fans, man, they’re not true Green Day fans because they heard us on MTV.” These people are paying to see me play. A lot of those kids have never heard the kind of music we play before, and a lot of them are from somewhere where there’s a single parent that works their ass off to give them $12 to go out and see us play our show. The last thing I want to do is slag on them for coming out to our show. They made us as big as we are.’ - Billie Joe Armstrong, Rolling Stone Magazine, 1996 Green Day merch in Manchester It was Halloween. I hung back while my mum looked at merch after Prima Donna. Music was playing inside. It sounded awfully familiar. Was I hallucinating? Because I was sure I could hear Stop Drop & Roll! I squeezed past people to alert my mum. ‘Prima Donna are playing the Foxboro Hot Tubs!’ My mum stopped. Listened. Then her eyes widened. ‘That’s not Kevin, it’s Billie!’ We saw this tweet later We ran from the merch stand to our seats. In our mad charge down the steps, we knocked over someone’s beer. They just laughed. Steps buckled and we almost fell. Everyone around us, as we stumbled clapping and singing into our seats, looked baffled. The Reverend Strychnine Twitch, AKA Billie, sprayed Carling beer – a British replacement for his signature Pabst Blue Ribbon – over the front row. His blond head darted all over the stage. Tré wore a leopard print shirt and Jason a fluffy white coat. In Mother Mary, Billie threw down his tambourine to leap into the crowd. Security helped him back up. ‘My name is the Reverend Strychnine Twitch and yes, we are the proverbial Foxboro Hot Tubs.’ The short set closed with Sally. Before we move on, I’d like to share another fan’s recollection of this from the We Are Revolution Radio book. I don’t think any trick or treat will ever match this for anyone! Story by English fan redundantburnout from the We Are Revolution Radio book The intro to 21st Century Breakdown still unleashed butterflies in my stomach. In Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Billie told us ‘last night in the last song I split my pants. I did that splits thing and my whole butt was hanging out after that.’ It was also the last outing of the leopard print thong. #blessed That night, as 21 Guns faded to drum rolls, I expected Minority. Instead, in an explosion of pyros and energy Billie roared ‘MASS HYSTERIA!’ and I was swept up in exactly that; mass hysteria as I screamed along to one of my all-time favourite songs, American Eulogy, that I missed in Birmingham. In my own blurry video, I’m deafeningly loud as I bellow ‘vigilantes warning ya, CALLING CHRISTIAN AND GLORIA!’ over Billie’s ‘RIGHT HERE IN MANCHESTER!’ It was unreal. Thousands of people were in a shared ecstasy conducted by a tight performance. We watched through moments of quiet while Billie stamped his foot to solos, basking in the band’s talent and energy, religiously echoing ‘heeeeeey-ooooohhhhhh’ as Mike sang his last verse… ‘I can hear the sound of a beating heart, it bleeds beyond a system that is falling apart, with money to burn on a minimum wage…’ …and we screamed in unison – ‘I DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THE MODERN AGE!’ …and the song exploded into its final chorus. ‘I don’t wanna live in the modern world! I don’t wanna live in the modern world! I don’t wanna live in the modern world – MASS HYSTERIA! In the modern world – MASS HYSTERIA! In the modern world – MASS HYSTERIA! In the modern world – MASS HYSTERIA! In the modern world…‘ Then the music stopped and 21,000 voices, alone with Billie’s and Mike’s, echoed that we didn’t want to live in the modern world, mass hysteria… until Billie sang like an anthem, ‘nobody likes you, everyone left you, they’re all out without you, having fun!’ over Mike and, as Tré conducted with his drumsticks, we joined him. The world could have ended then and I would have felt the bricks crashing down were healing gold dust. I could hear the sound of my own beating heart. The heartbeat of a kid stifled by mental illness now impassioned, inspired and ready to smash the silence with a brick of self control. ‘A lot of people were like, “you saved my life, you saved me from depression, you gave me hope.” All these things – it sounds cheesy to sit there and say it, but it’s true.‘ – Tré Cool, VH2 Dookie documentary As we looked for our train home, my mum was, for some reason, driven to get on the London train. She insisted it was ours. I assured her it wasn’t and even if we wanted to go and attend the Wembley show, after blowing our money on merch we had a grand total of 2p ($0.025). Turned out the Foxboro Hot Tubs played a secret show that train would’ve taken us to. Maybe she should’ve become a psychic instead of working for the UN. I returned to school. Though I was advised not to take on more than English, Maths and Science, I insisted on taking Art, too. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. But I knew now I wanted to be something. One of my GCSE art pieces inspired by Green Day ‘Being in a band, you have to be a fan first. So when you meet people who have something to say about how some song affected them, those are the people I connect with. I still am that person myself.‘ – Billie Joe Armstrong in Spin Magazine, 2010 We began selling our possessions on eBay. Bags of clothes and trinkets swamped our conservatory, where light for taking photos was best. With our meagre results, my mum’s savings and some abandoned bills, we booked to attend four more shows – Hannover, Manchester, Glasgow and Paris. This was my first time, at least that I remembered, leaving England. We could never afford holidays. So we landed in Hannover, Germany, on May 29th. Google Maps and internet access abroad weren’t really things back then. We couldn’t figure our way out of the airport. Expedia told us there was a train, but the ticket machines were broken. We ended up spending half our money on a taxi. Expedia also boasted that Hannover Expo Plaza was full of things to do and a short train ride from Hannover Zoo. We arrived to a barren square of closed-up shops. Hannover Zoo might as well have been on the other side of Germany. The only shop was a distant gas station. We had two days until the show. It resulted in us aimlessly wandering around and filming a variety of videos whirling round on chairs and dancing in the hotel room. The most exciting moment was spotting some Green Day merch and a poster through a window. Green Day poster in Hannover, Germany On the day of the show, we awoke to another day of Expo Plaza fun to find some American band parked outside the hotel. There, we met another British fan, Kate. Her ticket was coincidentally just two rows and a few seats from us. Because there was so much to do in the area, the three of us hung around to see if the band didn’t mind meeting fans. We didn’t meet them, but we did meet a lovely German mother and daughter, Julia and Iris and an Italian fan, Silvia. We also met some guys who climbed on our shoulders to let us know the band didn’t care about us. Before the show in Hannover As doors approached, we waited nervously with our tickets. Inside was a display promoting Green Day Rock Band, where kids tried out the ‘instruments.’ Then we filed in to find our seats. Julia and Iris were on the opposite side to us and spotted our Union Jack flag. Next to us was a Welsh solider stationed in Germany, who never missed a local show. Fans playing Green Day Rock Band at TUI Arena, Hannover, before the show German band The Donots opened. They were great. Then we waited, with excited butterflies, to be enraptured once again by our favourite band. When my mum hears the 21st Century Breakdown intro, it’s this show she remembers. Billie running onstage in his red jeans, pointing at our flag, Tré sitting and blowing her a kiss, the pyros and city backdrop the band were silhouetted against. ‘Dream, Deutschland, dream, I can’t even sleep, the light’s early dawn!’ Mosh pits formed and crashed together as songs rose and dropped. They played Nice Guys Finish Last. Both of us were jumping up and down, pushing each other and dancing in our seats. The intensity between the band and the crowd was something else. I laughed at my mum and Tré’s interaction. I cried to 21 Guns. I was there, in Germany, another country, seeing Green Day. Billie didn’t sing ‘from Hannover to the Middle East,’ but I did. Before we left, my mum bought some tobacco at the gas station and accidentally thanked the staff, who worked through our broken German with us, in Spanish. At least we provided amusement. The airport bid us goodbye with ‘see you again in Hannover – City of International Fairs.’ I don’t even know if the city is nice. We never saw it. The excitement of seeing Green Day never changed. But there is just one thing about those first five shows I’ll never get back. I didn’t know anyone. I was just another fan. I hadn’t acquired an array of stalkers and I was unaware of fandom drama and hierarchies. No one was waiting for me to do something, anything, wrong so they could flaunt it online. There are parts of this I’m hesitant to share because someone will take my vulnerability out of context to use against me. It’s unavoidable when attending a lot of shows and having said all that, I willingly stuck myself in by making a documentary about it. Being oblivious was nice while it lasted, though. When we got home, I saw an ad on the National Express website for coaches to the Wembley show. Well, if it was going to be that easy, we couldn’t say no. We bought tickets. Green Day ad on the National Express website On June 16th, we boarded another train to Manchester. We were halfway when it occurred to me our tickets were open. We didn’t have to go for the seats. What if we could make the front row? Catching a tram to the LCCC, we joined the line behind a group of blokes writing ‘GEORGE’ on everyone. The sun scorched the concrete. It was only after I agreed to become a George that I realised the sun would emblazon it over both of my arms. It was permanent marker. I couldn’t escape my destiny as a George. Then a lady saved me with some breath freshener. My mum has carried breath freshener ever since. The line at Lancashire County Cricket Ground It was still light when doors opened. With a speedwalk across the floor we made second row on Mike’s side. People around us had travelled from all over the UK. They were kind enough to squeeze me in. The girl beside me, who’d also been at the Birmingham shows, taught me how to hold a barrier spot. That was one of the closest things to this mythical ‘punk spirit’ I’ve experienced at Green Day shows. Waiting for Green Day at Manchester LCCC Frank Turner and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts opened. Then we waited for our first close-up experience to begin. The band ran onstage one by one. Up close, Mike looked perfect, as if someone had drawn him. Tré and the Jasons were unexpectedly petite. In Know Your Enemy, Billie ran all the way out to our side. He stopped in front of me and his face lit up as he pointed, looking surprised to see me on the front row. I can still see it now, preserved like a photograph in my memory. It meant the world to 15 year-old me that my hero remembered me, even though he’d only seen me from a distance in seats. Class lad, he is. My first front row view That was my first taste of the front row. It was also my first experience of petty catfights over front row spots, but I remember how in St. Jimmy, that all stopped; we were just one huge, thriving organism losing our minds to music, equal and united. People were being pulled out left right and centre. The heat was sweltering. Yet I loved it. I loved every second of being crushed and punched and my hair pulled. From that moment, seats would never be the same again. ‘I swear to God I would never want to be in any other fucking band than Green Day. I swear to God. I hate when bands break up. All of my favourite bands, either someone died or they broke up. It’s like your parents or something. But you gotta wheel me away in a fucking coffin to get me out of this fucking band, I’ll tell you that.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, Lancashire County Cricket Ground, June 16th, 2010 I watched the show close with When It’s Time with tears in my eyes. Singing ‘we are all born in a world of doubt, but there’s no doubt, I figured out I love you,’ I was sort of speaking to myself, to my own life, knowing love was beautiful and real; and to my favourite band who reminded me how to love when I thought I never could again. ‘I feel lonely for all the losers that will never take the time to say what’s really on their mind; instead, they just hide away. Yet they’ll never have someone like you to guide them and help along the way, or tell them when it’s time to say I love you.’ Because, as I held my mum’s hand threading through the crowd on our way out, my heart was fit to burst with all the love it held. I did feel lonely for all the losers who would never understand. My arm Green Day billboard at Manchester Arena We went home and got straight back on the bus to Wembley Stadium. Doors opened as our bus pulled in. Knowing there was no hope for front row, we hung back, taking in the atmosphere of Green Day’s biggest headline show so far. ‘When I was a little kid doing air guitar to my favorite records I never thought I’d be doing it with an actual guitar in front of that many people.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, Kerrang, 2005 ‘Loooondoooooooooon!’ That yell of our capital city’s name is on the following live album, Awesome as Fuck. ‘Are you with me? Are you with me? This is what I need you to do. This is what I need you to do. When I say one, two, three, four – I want everybody to go fucking crazy! Are you ready? We are the class of, the class of 13, born in the era of humility, we are the desperate in the decline, raised by the bastards – ONE, TWO, THREE, GO!’ It was like a call to arms. At each yell of ‘jump, jump, go!’ Wembley Stadium obeyed. The band radiated energy. ‘Fucking Green Day is going to win the goddamn World Cup, I can tell you that now.’ For the first time since 2004, they played my mum’s favourite song – Waiting. People stared bewilderedly as we lost our minds. We laughed along as Tré played Dominated Love Slave and Billie gleefully hit the drums. Confetti fluttered into the night from Minority to Jesus of Suburbia. I remember looking up and seeing it floating above me; stretching out my hands to catch some. The show closed with When It’s Time and Good Riddance. Me after the Wembley Stadium show National Express buses for the Green Day show at Wembley Stadium A few people were late back to our bus. I took the chance to buy a £2 knock-off poster from a man who said our driver was ‘bein’ a bit of a funny bugger.’ Before we boarded, the driver said there was no way he could possibly drive off without us, because he’d remember my hair. The lights of Wembley Stadium faded away. I was jolted awake at a service station stop. We all piled off the bus. I nearly left my bag and merch, but I thought better of it. I left the knock-off poster. We bought a couple of cold drinks. My mum had been chatting to another passenger, moments before we went back outside. Where had the bus parked? We couldn’t see it anywhere. That was because it had already left. This is hilarious now. At the time, it was not remotely funny. It was 2am. We were stranded at a service station, in the middle of the M1, miles from Nottingham when we needed to be back in a few hours to catch the train to Glasgow. The summer heat faded to a chilly night. All we had for warmth was our Union Jack. This wasn’t even a regular National Express service. It wasn’t like another one would come by in a few hours. A long-haired man who felt sorry for us bought my mum a coffee. We stared hopefully at the tired drivers passing by but no one was going our way. Our only hope was to contact National Express. We scanned our tickets and found an emergency number. I was fairly sure it wasn’t for Green Day fans stuck on the motorway at 2am, but it was our only hope; so with my remaining 10% battery, I called it. A grumpy voice picked up. ‘Hi. We’ve been stranded in the middle of the M1.’ ‘What do you mean, stranded?’ He argued that it was our own fault. I argued it wasn’t. The driver just didn’t count his passengers after saying he’d never miss us because of my hair. Eventually the man sighed. ‘What service station is it?’ He agreed to divert a coach from Stansted and told us to go outside immediately. We waited for what felt like hours in the cold. Only cars and trucks rolled past. The bus wasn’t coming. My mum called them back (noting that this guy sounded like her call woke him up, which improved the scene). The bus was coming in half an hour, he said. It was an hour later when a Veolia coach turned into the car park. The driver’s assistant sat down to talk to us. ‘Were you at a football game?’ ‘We went to see Green Day.’ ‘What? Green… what?’ ‘A band. An American band. Green Day.’ He looked lost. We suggested American Idiot. Wake Me Up When September Ends. Boulevard of Broken Dreams. He shook his head. ‘What kind of music is it?’ ‘Rock. It’s like rock. Punk rock.’ ‘Punk… rock!’ he told the driver, ‘A punk rock band called Green Day!’ We arrived in Nottingham as the sun rose. Whether we’d make our train to Glasgow was another matter. Our train and Green Day tickets were at home. We leapt into a taxi. Nottingham city taxis go as slow as possible and take the longest routes to maximise the fare. We explained our situation. The driver asked if either of us were available for marriage. We changed the subject. Well past our 24th hour of no sleep, my mum called another taxi while we rummaged for our tickets and threw clean clothes into our bags. We made it to the station with minutes to spare. After our train to Preston was delayed, we narrowly missed our change by blocking the door with our bags. Someone was in our seats and we didn’t even bother questioning them. We just stood, basking in the relief of surviving Newport Pagnall service station. A blue sky welcomed us to Glasgow. Misunderstood accents led to us buying the wrong onward tickets to the SECC. We escaped before the conductor reached us. From the station, we walked through the ‘SECC Walkway.’ We fondly nicknamed it ‘The Oven.’ Ever spent too long in a greenhouse? It was like that but worse. In The Oven We checked in and dumped our bags, finding ourselves in another episode of There’s Nothing Here. The only way out was back through The Oven. We chose being baked over more videos of us spinning on chairs in the hotel room. A chip shop offered a cheap meal. My sausage was rejected and cold. We walked back through The Oven to find the SECC was actually open and had a shop. The sausage was unnecessary. We saw a bit of a river and a bridge the next day. Doors were still hours away. Unsure what else to do, we resumed aimless wandering. We thought someone was washing the stage trucks but it was just a guy having a piss. Sometimes I think that now I line up early, I miss all the sights, but I really don’t. The River Clyde, Glasgow Other fans were waiting for the band, so we joined them. I wrote ‘¡VIVA LA GLORIA!’ on my arms and held our Union Jack. Billie and Tré wound their windows down as they arrived in black cars. Tré stuck his tongue out. We chatted to a crew member who was amused by our National Express story. As soundcheck rumbled from inside, the first song we heard was ¡Viva La Gloria! so I guess that was more successful than seeing merch through a window in Hannover. Our Union Jack outside the SECC Doors opened. Fans trooped into the rectangular room. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts opened again. Billie wore a fan’s tie bearing the Armstrong family tartan. He wound up the crowd with statements of ‘fuck England!’ and ‘so much better than England – Scotland always is!’ Afterwards he grinned at us, as if expecting us to be pleased. Thanks, but I’m not Scottish. In East Jesus Nowhere, Billie ‘saved’ a pair of twins. While a fan sang Longview, he took a toilet break. They played Waiting again. The arena show was intimate after stadiums. Coincidentally, the confetti was also the colours of the Scottish flag. Scooping it up after the show, all of this was still surreal. Also surreal that PCL Presents managed to get something right. While my mum smoked a cigarette outside, a man asked if she was with the band. She said no, he replied ‘come here hen, ave got a picture o’ ye wee man’ and showed her photos of Billie, and not so wee Mike, at the airport. Joan Jett’s drummer ate breakfast a few tables from us. Our hotel recommended some things for us to see, but we had no money left, so we just sat on some plant pots watching an incredible number of people cycle by. Glasgow is an active city, apparently. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we then missed a connection and spent the night on a bench in Manchester Oxford Street Station. I put my remaining pennies in a vending machine. Nothing came out. Of course it didn’t. We were still exhausted when we boarded the train to Paris. Our fellow passengers thought being on the Eurostar was very classy, then there were these two Green Day fans munching cheap snacks. Emerging in the city centre, we took the metro to our hotel in the suburb of Saint-Cloud. Green Day’s crew were drinking in a bar opposite. For our dinner, we had the rest of the crisps we brought from home and some packaged ice-cream from a convenience store. If we craned our necks, we could see the Eiffel Tower from our window. Before the show, we actually – you might want to sit down for this – went to see it. We saw something! Sightseeing! It was a gr8 day. Even spotted someone else in the same Green Day shirt as me. Me at the Eiffel Tower On the way back, I saw another Green Day shirt and complimented it. I never expected the wearer to launch into a verbal essay about their Green Day experiences, how important they were to the band and – after asking how many shows we’d attended – how irrelevant we were in comparison. We laughed it off, because it was ridiculous, but that was the moment we realised what came with multiple shows. Anyway, we met some nice Swedish fans afterwards to restore our faith in humanity. Green Day merch at Parc des Princes, Paris At Parc des Princes, we found our seats and danced to Billy Talent’s set. Paramore followed. Then we were waiting, once more – with a new friend, the Paris native next to me – for Green Day. We clapped along as they ran onto the vast stage. Billie’s commands to stand up were unnecessary. Everyone already was, filling the stadium with a deafening chorus of ‘hey-oooooooh!’ ‘Know Your Enemy is about empowering yourself, like within yourself. There’s no specific enemy out there. It’s just trying to stay engaged and educated to the world – being able to read between the lines and figure out what the bullshit is, but also trying to find the truth.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, MTV, 2009 In Know Your Enemy, he waved the French flag and hugged a kid from the crowd. It was our second show out of the UK and hearing Billie scream ‘PARIS!’ was surreal. For my mum, hearing him thank us in French after living much of her life in Brussels and Geneva was incredible. In the Holiday bass solo, as red text scrolled over black screens, Billie told us in a French accent that they were going to play all night long, before singing a verse of The Saints Are Coming. ‘I cried to my daddy on the telephone, how long now? Until the clouds unroll and you come home, the line went. But the shadows still remain since your descent, your descent. The saints are coming! The saints are coming!‘ The crowd completed the chorus. Then Billie announced ‘the representative from Paris has the floor!’ and the show resumed. Stageside, Hayley Williams fangirled to The Static Age. I waved my (new, Union Jack replacement) England flag. We heard Nice Guys Finish Last and Geek Stink Breath. It was almost 40°C and people were passing out in their seats. Others did the conga through seats below. Fans jumped in unison through the pit. Chants of ‘Green Day! Green Day! Green Day!’ filled moments of silence. The atmosphere was intense. The sun set as fire rained down in 21 Guns. Billie held up his acoustic guitar, magnified by the huge screens, through the piano bridge. ‘Merci, merci, merci, merci, merci, merci beaucoup, thank you Paris, France!’ he yelled as drum rolls led to Minority. We watched confetti cover the stadium like shooting stars against the setting sun. As the show closed with When It’s Time, Wake Me Up When September Ends and Good Riddance, rain pattered down and the floor was a sea of ‘thank you’ signs. They inspired the signs that later named Awesome as Fuck. We left, drenched in sweat and spilled beer, picking up two discarded posters that have been on our wall ever since. Sunset in Paris That was our last show… or so we thought. When we watched videos of the secret shows leading up to this tour, from Oakland and New York, we laughed and said ‘imagine if we could see them in America one day?’ It seemed impossible for a single parent family who’d never had a holiday until the excitement of Hannover Expo Plaza. Transatlantic flights back then weren’t cheap. But we wanted to see Green Day again, and going to America was the only way. It had to be the last few shows. Otherwise we wouldn’t have time to save up. So, we spent the summer selling our possessions while mortgage arrears stacked up, living on toast. Our destination was California. San Diego, LA and the Bay Area. We were late to the party, though. The only tickets available were from scalpers. It soon became clear we couldn’t afford three shows. San Diego would have to go. LA tickets were too expensive. What did we do? We couldn’t afford this. I tentatively looked up flights to, and tickets for, the prior Phoenix show; even though it meant staying extra days we couldn’t really afford. Well, it was see one show or find a way to see both. So of course, we chose finding a way. We put down a deposit on a flight. As departure drew closer, things weren’t looking good. Up until the last minute, when we were able to borrow some money, it was uncertain whether we could even go. We arranged with our Arizona scalper to meet him in the hotel lobby. Then, before we knew it, we were on a plane to Washington, DC. The queue at Immigration inched forward agonisingly slowly. At this rate, we’d miss our connection. When we finally reached the front, they took our fingerprints and stamped my passport. They didn’t stamp my mum’s. On her Immigration slip was a huge X. A clock told us we had 30 minutes. Our flight was boarding. Then security stopped us. ‘You gotta go to immigration. That room over there.’ We were confused. Uncertainly, we took steps in the direction they pointed. We were eventually directed into a small room filled with confused passengers and people in handcuffs. A lady took our passports in silence. They were at the bottom of a large pile. We heard someone else ask about his connecting flight. ‘It’s not your connection you need to worry about. Your main concern is whether you are going to be admitted into the United States.’ With 10 minutes left until our flight, my mum stepped up to the desk. ‘We’re going to miss our flight to Phoenix!’ ‘You shouldn’t be worrying about your flight to Phoenix. You should be worrying about whether you’ll be admitted to the United States.’ Five minutes to take off and we were stuck in a room with Homeland Security who made me cry. When they finally called us up, they handed our passports back without a word. We’ve since found out it’s because my mum shares her name with a criminal, but at the time we were just confused. Our flight was long gone. The corridor outside was empty but for a baggage attendant. ‘Where ya going?’ ‘Phoenix. But we’ve missed the flight.’ Without warning, he snatched our bags and threw them on a conveyor belt. Our bags containing our documents and worse yet, receipts for our Green Day tickets, which we’d need to show the scalpers (having since worked for an airline, that stupidity pains me). My eyes were wide. ‘But – but where are they going? We’ve missed our flight!’ The man looked bewildered. ‘They’re goin’ on the next flight to Phoenix. You’ll get ’em in Phoenix.’ Then he turned to chat to a friend. Feeling lost and like seeing Green Day was a distant dream, we went through security again and got directions to customer service. We were on our way when my mum grabbed my arm. ‘Maria, it’s Cone!’ Indeed, Cone McCaslin from Sum 41 was wandering along beside us in Washington Dulles Airport. Sum 41 were my second favourite band at the time. I ran the UK fansite. Cone was my favourite member. I was going to see Green Day in Phoenix. What were the chances of this? But there he was. I said hi and even though his flight was boarding, he took 15 minutes to talk to us. He was at Green Day’s Toronto show that month and loved it. He said he’d remember my hair and was kind enough to sign the only paper I had on me, the 21st Century Breakdown booklet. Without a doubt, he was one of the most polite people I’ve ever met. I always wonder if he missed his flight because of us. I hope not. Cone’s autograph in my 21st Century Breakdown booklet Every flight to Phoenix was full. United put us on a flight to Denver to connect there. The lady on the desk said ‘I’m gonna give you these boarding passes and you’re gonna run.’ So we ran, promptly stopping to buy a Washington shirt. This was ridiculous and I wanted to remember it, after all. We arrived in Denver on time. The only notable thing on our flight to Phoenix was a guy getting so excited about his hometown he shouted ‘PHOENIX!’ at regular intervals. After 48 hours of travel, we arrived… and there were our bags, looking sad and neglected in the lobby of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. A shuttle bus driver, who said ‘I thought you were a werewolf!’ picked us up. The hotel were about to cancel our booking. We were just in time. Phoenix from our hotel Our scalper met us in the lobby the next day. He told us it was awesome we’d come from England and advised us to drink lots of water. We hopped in a taxi to the amphitheatre. Doors had long opened and AFI, the opening act, were closing their set. Green Day stage in Phoenix, AZ ‘I think of rock ’n roll as being the ultimate American culture. And I always look at that and feel like that’s what I’m playing too, and that’s what I want people to look at: this is the good side of America, this is the side that doesn’t just settle for the grand scheme of things.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, Rolling Stone Magazine, 2006 It was like everything leading up to this was a five-second dream. I was sitting in England, then I was suddenly there in the dry Arizona heat, surrounded by palm trees; hearing Song of the Century, the closest I’d ever been to a stage Green Day were about to take. Around us, the crowd chanted ‘Green Day! Green Day!’ Then the band ran on – Billie with his blond hair and striped jeans, Tré in shorts, perfectly drawn Mike, Jason in a blue jacket – in perfect clarity. ‘Buenos noches Phoenix, ARIZONA!’ I have no words to describe what hearing that for the first time was like. My words caught in my throat as I sang ‘dream, America, dream’ there, in America. I could have cried, broken down in tears of joy, but I danced them away to Know Your Enemy. We were living a dream that once seemed impossible of seeing our favourite band in the United States. In East Jesus Nowhere, Billie pulled up a kid called Alexander, stealing his earmuffs and helping him play his Les Paul Jr. ‘Security, security, get rid of this kid! He’s gonna steal my pot! Alex, do you wanna start a fucking war?’ I was as thrilled as any local with Billie’s every roar of ‘are you ready, Arizona?’ In the Holiday bass solo, the amphitheatre flushed red by lights and scrolling text, Billie ran over to our side. He spotted us, grinned and pointed. Billie spotting us in Phoenix. Video by Sheri Hunter. All others posted from this show are mine. ‘The representative of Arizona now has the floor!’ Pyros exploded with Billie’s ‘bang bang!’ as on the screens, troops marched in black and white. Drum rolls led to Murder City. ‘The clock strikes midnight in A-RI-ZO-NA!’ Then it cut to Give Me Novacaine. ‘Oh, it’s so hot, it’s so hot, I think I’m gonna take all my fucking clothes off. Whoever gets naked tonight gets 50 bucks!’ We chorused ‘heeeeeeeey-ooooooooh!’ to tinkling piano. The crowd waved, at Billie’s command, from the pit to the lawn in sync. Instead of ‘Jimmy says it’s better than here,’ he sang ‘Arizona’s better than California!’ and I screamed approval with everyone else. It ended with ‘give me the entire state of Arizona!’ Billie couldn’t have reminded us where we were any more if he tried. Then Tré began the intro to a ferocious Letterbomb. It was my second favourite song at the time, after only ¡Viva La Gloria! and it was the first time I’d seen it. I went insane. I was screaming, the lyrics, just screaming, turning my voice hoarse and jumping until my legs were weak. Me dancing to Letterbomb for the first time ‘This is it! Your time is right now! This is it! There’s no fucking job you’ve gotta fucking go to! There is no boss! There’s no bullshit! There’s no computers! There’s no television! There’s no cellphones! There’s no fucking school you gotta report to! This is it! This is the opportunity right now! This is your fucking freedom! Are you with me, Arizona?’ Some fans criticise Billie’s Letterbomb speeches. But you know what? He was right. That was our freedom and I was liberated, with Arizona as we screamed to tell Billie yes, we were with him. As Tré began Are We the Waiting, Billie announced ‘my aunt is out there in the crowd tonight! She’s a resident! Right here in Arizona!’ before singing ‘are we, we are! And screaming…’ and holding up his mic for the crowd to echo him. I had one hand on my heart, one in the air, screaming ‘heads or tails, fairytales in my mind.’ I felt like Jesus of Suburbia, escaping to a fairytale city to live ‘the rage and love, the story of my life.’ In St. Jimmy Billie roared ‘are you talking to me? Are you screaming at me?’ After the crowd sang the first verse of Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Billie placed his guitar down. He proceeded to attempt a headstand. He soon fell on his ass, but he just got back up, did a dance and announced ‘I’ll fucking do anything for fucking Arizona, I’ll tell you that!’ The song was anthemic. ‘If you take a song and you get enough people singing it, it becomes an anthem, and an anthem becomes the national anthem, to a degree. I love people when they join together and sing, and it’s just massive, and it’s done for the right reason. Even if it’s just a great party.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, Rolling Stone Magazine, 2006 Billie caught something from the crowd, threw it out, then grinned. ‘We’re gonna play a brand new song.’ My mum and I glanced at each other with wide eyes. We had no internet and no idea what they’d been playing. ‘It ain’t that brand new. This song’s called Cigarettes and Valentines!’ We didn’t know the words, but with the strangers around us, we jumped and danced as if our lives depended on it. It couldn’t have been more appropriate that it was here, in the Valley of the Sun, we danced and screamed to ‘the end of the earth, under the valley of the stars.’ The Cigarettes and Valentines performance on Awesome as Fuck Burnout followed. If I thought this couldn’t get any better, I was wrong, because then they played One for the Razorbacks. I was drenched in sweat, watching people pass out around us, but I felt like I could pass out and stand straight back up. In 2000 Light Years Away they invited as many fans as they could fit onstage. Security guided them up, they danced, then were escorted back off. The regular oldies section followed. Seeing it here was like seeing it for the first time all over again. My mum and I were our own mosh pit, dancing and shoving and grabbing the other’s arm to scream our favourite lines. King for a Day’s fun dissolved into 21 Guns. Billie spoke into the internal microphone as he returned onstage to rolling drums. We expected Minority. ‘Sing us a song of the century, it sings like American Eulogy…’ We heard American Eulogy, in America. This mass hysteria was like the entire show’s rage, love, energy and passion rolled into one triumphant, dazzling climax as confetti exploded around us and the band. American Eulogy Jesus of Suburbia The crowd stilled as the show closed once again with Last Night on Earth, Wake Me Up When September Ends and Good Riddance. No dream of seeing Green Day in their home country could ever have prepared us for this reality. It was better. One of Billie’s then-infamous ‘ho as hell’ tweets. Good to know he liked American Eulogy as much as we did. The next day, we one-upped the Eiffel Tower and went to the Grand Canyon, stopping in Sedona on the way. It’s still one of the most breathtaking things I’ve ever seen and I have no doubt that without Green Day, we’d never have visited. On our way to Sedona Sedona, AZ Back on the road to the Grand Canyon Grand Canyon My mum in her Green Day Paris shirt at the Grand Canyon This is one of my favourite photos ever. We landed in San Francisco to find we had, yet again, managed to book a hotel with no connection to civilization. Well, OK, there was one escape route. We got on the airport shuttle, which dropped us in Burlingame, where we could take the CalTrain to San Francisco. Approaching Golden Gate Bridge In San Francisco, we broke our own sightseeing record and crossed Golden Gate Bridge. The sky was cloudless blue. Looking not very candid at Golden Gate Bridge Bridge: crossed As we walked back, thick fog blanketed the bridge and city until we could barely see. We got to see two sides of it in one visit. It was cool until we found it caused most public transport to stop running. We wandered until we found a bus that took us back. Fog over Golden Gate Bridge Fog over the San Francisco skyline We passed the rest of the time Hannover-style in Burlingame, where we lived on Walgreen’s buns, because we could only afford one more CalTrain and that had to be to the show. Sunset over Burlingame Arriving in Mountain View ‘Music is inspiring for me, it’s changed my life, so yeah, I absolutely think music can inspire people to change their lives.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, Absolute Radio, 2009 On show day, we got off the train in Mountain View and walked through clean streets to the Shoreline Amphitheatre. Christian protests surrounding it went ignored. Scalpers met us on the driveway, where they upgraded our tickets for the all-seated show, placing us next to Mike. Christian protest against Green Day’s show at the Shoreline Amphitheatre Green Day merch at the Shoreline Amphitheatre. Tré did an interview at the Live 105 tent earlier that day. We caught AFI’s set this time. Halfway through, Green Day invaded the stage in animal costumes. Singer Davey Havok went on to play St. Jimmy in the American Idiot musical. You should check them out. Green Day crashing AFI’s set in animal costumes at their homecoming show Darkness was falling when Song of the Century echoed through the amphitheatre. This was it. The homecoming and final show of the North American tour. It was filled with fans from the Bay Area to Japan to Australia. The band ran onstage together. Billie screamed the names of every unfamiliar town we’d sped past on the CalTrain. ‘Home! Home! I am fucking home! It’s been fucking months! But Green Day are back at home! In the fucking Bay Area! However… if you don’t mind, I’m gonna refer to this night as Rodeo, California.’ Mike pointed at my England flag and stuck his tongue out. When he walked out, he beckoned for me to high-five him. Instead of ‘saving’ a kid in East Jesus Nowhere, Billie pulled up an older lady who ‘saved’ him. Green Day playing East Jesus Nowhere at the Shoreline Amphitheatre They played Murder City and Letterbomb again. My voice that had just recovered from Phoenix was hoarse already. The seats restricted no one. I was directly in Mike’s line of view and for much of the show he pulled faces and interacted with me. I rocked out with Mike Dirnt and I’m still not over it. We knew a few of the words to Cigarettes and Valentines now, but it was like seeing it for the first time all over again. After Geek Stink Breath was Coming Clean. Billie announced ‘this next song is about revenge!’ before Going to Pasalacqua. Everyone was jumping to Only of You. It was followed by an explosive performance of Paper Lanterns. That bled into 2000 Light Years Away. They invited fans on stage. The people in front of me were screaming at me to go. My mum was pushing me. I shrugged and said I didn’t want to. By the time I realised both Mike and Eddie (band security) were beckoning me, it was too late. I’m honestly surprised I ever ended up on stage. In 21 Guns, during that bridge I loved so much, Billie thanked us all for the last 22 years. It was beyond surreal to hear that where it all began in the Bay Area. Then we were thrown back into American Eulogy. I can see, clear as if I’m still there, Billie spinning around as he played the solo. I can still hear the roar of ‘Bay Area!’ and see the confetti covering us. I can still see the band returning to play Last Night on Earth and feel the tears in my eyes as I looked up at the night sky. Not going to lie, I was head over heels for my now-fianceé Annabelle who was at the show, but too stupid to realise. I remember thinking ‘I don’t know who you are, but I love you,’ and knowing, somehow, that whoever it was felt the same way. A year later, we danced to Last Night on Earth in my living room. Shoreline Amphitheatre The tears were still streaming down my face as we left because it was over. This adventure, this journey I’d taken with my favourite band that had undoubtedly changed my life, came to an end. We packed our bags and caught the shuttle to San Francisco Airport. California disappeared below the clouds. San Francisco We hadn’t even considered the Latin American tour. So of course, we got home and looked it up. This story has been retold by others in various ways, from ‘Joy and Maria randomly decided to go to Latin America 24 hours before the show!’ to ‘Joy and Maria went to [insert Latin American country we didn’t actually go to] for 24 hours just to see Green Day.’ None are exactly accurate. Our options were Caracas (before the terrible crisis Venezuela is in now) or Costa Rica. Flights elsewhere were too expensive. We settled on Costa Rica. It was the last show and gave us longer to save up. Every day was spent photographing eBay items and packaging them. It was mentally exhausting. My eyes were sore and bloodshot from staring at the screen. Our chances of making it still seemed low. With one week left, we emptied most of what remained in our house onto eBay for whatever low price it would sell at. We couldn’t even carry all our parcels to the Post Office. My grandpa kindly drove us with his car piled high. Me sticking cardboard over a window to get the best light for eBay photos ‘I got my education through punk rock. It may not be the biggest education in the world but I formed opinions and views on the world and society, feminism and racism through it. I think it changes individuals.’ – Tré Cool, Big Cheese, 2004 If I went to this show, I’d miss a crucial Maths exam. My only option if I did was to take a much more difficult one and teachers assured me I would fail it. Regardless, with less than 24 hours to go, we crashed into STA Travel and booked everything. We had no tickets to the show. Just some National Express tickets printed on STA Travel paper and flights to San José, Costa Rica. That night, we were on a flight to New York. My mum was, of course, taken to ‘the office’ and we were, once again, at risk of missing our flight to San José. If we did, we would miss the show. We escaped to find someone had walked off with my mum’s bag. Staff shrugged, said it was probably on its way to San Juan and told us to file a report in San José. I was then held up by my illegal cargo, some sour cream and jalapeño crunchy combo mix that travelled all the way from Nottingham just to be told it wasn’t welcome. Rude. We ran and made the flight. In the seat beside us, someone was making a ‘St. Billie’ tapestry. We thought it had to be a bizarre coincidence but no, she was indeed a Green Day fan from New York heading to the show. It was a relief when we arrived in Costa Rica and my mum was let straight in. She described it as ‘I could see the screen and it had like a big light bulb on it, and it said something like “green light, no problem, admit this person!” I love Costa Rica.’ We got into a taxi with our fellow fan from the plane. The next day we were in another cab on our way to Estadio Ricardo Saprissa, stopping briefly at a Masxmenos supermarket to buy our tickets. We joined a long line at the purple-painted stadium. Men with coolers walked up and down, shouting ‘agua!’ while others offered sunglasses and umbrellas. Green Day line in Costa Rica TV crews arrived and filmed our England flag. Other fans posed with it. We bought knock-off wristbands and shirts. Our new friend Alejandro entertained his mother during a phone call with ‘I’m with two British girls! No, really! I’m serious!’ He and I went to a nearby McDonald’s to get food and on our way back, thought we could hear Nice Guys Finish Last. Both of us cursing in English and Spanish, we ran, avoiding potholes and cars that honked as we charged in front of them. Turned out to be techs just testing the drums. Oh well. Green Day fans in Costa Rica We met up with others from England, Honduras and the US who we knew from the Green Day Community forum. Sitting on bird shit in Tibás, Costa Rica, probably should have been the moment we knew Green Day had ruined us, but honestly? There was a sense of community I wouldn’t have traded for the world. Me and Alejandro with my flag It was dark when doors opened. Security sorted us into male and female lines. When I ran for front row, my trousers fell down. Twice. After that, we made second row. There’s a reason I only wear leggings to shows now. In the pit, we made two more new friends, Silvia and Adriana. We’re still in touch today. The local opener, Bufonic, were great. Then, Song of the Century echoed into the night for the last time. We were in Costa Rica, about to see Green Day. I will never, ever, forget being diagonal, off my feet, as I looked up at Billie to see him put his mic aside to check he wasn’t seeing things, then give me the most incredible look of ‘what the fuck are you doing here?’ I will ever receive. ‘What the fuck are you doing here?’ – from videos by reinierocks and lostincoma In East Jesus Nowhere, Billie ‘saved’ a man on crutches. Watching him wave the Costa Rican flag was like a bizarre, but wonderful, dream. I unfortunately had to give up the spot after being mugged and finding my passport was gone. Silvia kindly came with me. I should have been afraid, having been attacked in a foreign country with no passport to get home, yet as Billie and Mike ran over to point at me in Holiday, I felt safer than I ever had in my life. Video by reinierocks The attack went over my head. It was a minor inconvenience before we resumed dancing in decent new spots. After Holiday, Billie headed to the internal mic. I heard piano. They were playing ¡Viva la Gloria! I was hearing my favourite song, the words that gave me hope when I thought there was none, in Costa Rica. I couldn’t believe it. There are no words to describe the unconditional happiness I felt then. ‘Don’t let the bonfires go out, Costa Rica!’ Singing Give Me Novacaine, Billie one-upped ‘Arizona’s better than California!’ with ‘Costa Rica’s the best country in the world!’ and ‘at home in Costa Rica!’ That was certainly how I felt. As the show went on, he repeatedly checked I was alright. We exchanged funny faces and he pointed as we screamed lyrics at each other. Even Tré, who I was sure had no idea I existed (and I’m sure he no longer does), nodded and smiled as he threw out drumsticks. I’d never felt so connected to my favourite band. In Are We the Waiting, local fan Isabel who I knew from Green Day Community got onstage. Billie waltzed with her. The dreamlike fuzz only intensified as One for the Razorbacks was followed by Brat, One of My Lies and Only of You. Then Tré switched places with Billie for Dominated Love Slave. They swapped back for Disappearing Boy. I felt like we were all in a bubble, on a separate plane to the rest of the world, with Green Day. Screaming until my voice would no longer come out to I Was There, I knew I would look back, thinking I was there, for the rest of my life. Road to Acceptance was next. I’d lost my mum, but I knew somewhere in that crowd, she was losing her voice to Waiting. After Christie Road, Billie announced ‘this next song was one of the earliest songs we’ve ever written and I gotta fucking tell you, it’s my fucking favourite fucking song to play right now! So right now, I want everybody here to lose your fucking mind and go crazy and dance, are you ready?!’ and pyros exploded to Paper Lanterns. I waved my flag and Billie pointed as we yelled ‘to this day I’m asking why I still think about you!‘ at each other. In 2000 Light Years Away, after thrilled fans danced onstage, Billie commanded us to wave as we echoed ‘CO-STA RI-CA!’ to the bassline. I still get that stuck in my head every now and then. Fans posed for a photo with my flag before Hitchin’ a Ride. I waved it when Billie asked for a drummer in Knowledge. He considered it for a moment before shaking his head, smirking, then went to find his son Joey. King for a Day ‘This is the last show… you wanna keep going?’ The crowd roared approval. Extraordinary Girl provided a poignant prequel to 21 Guns. I had never bellowed anything as loud as I screamed ‘one, 21 guns!‘ or ‘like a liar looking for forgiveness from a stone!’ in my life. I was crying, my whole body wracked with sobs that had waited all the years I was unwell to come out. Because I had so much to fight for. In Minority, I wanted so desperately to scream ‘no, thank YOU!’ back at the band who not only blessed us with such a set but treated me with such kindness; yet I felt at the same time I didn’t need to. Rain fell as Whatsername began the encore. It was one of the first Green Day songs I ever heard. Listening to it on radio.blog.club, trapped at home with my Canada 3000 headphones from the charity shop, I never imagined I’d hear it live… let alone 5,375 miles from that home, smiling through tears in Costa Rica. My voice was trembling as I sang with my arms raised high. As Good Riddance closed the tour, I sang ‘I hope you had the time of your life!’ with what little remained of my voice. They played almost four hours. I had the time of my life. More than I could ever have imagined. I found my mum and Alejandro after the show. They loved it. Everyone was buzzing on a Green Day high. We were all still smiling as we spoke to staff about my passport. ‘Where are you from?’ one lady asked my mum as she blathered a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese. Who cared? We’d sort it out somehow. While we’re here, I’d like to share another fan story from the We Are Revolution Radio book. This one is by Isabel who got on stage for Are We the Waiting. Story by Costa Rican fan Isabel from the We Are Revolution Radio book We walked through dark streets, stepping over cockroaches, to Silvia’s car. Thanking them for the lift, we parted with hugs and a gift of Silvia’s amazing gun earrings. The 21st Century Breakdown Tour was over. But the next day, as we waited at the police station to report my stolen passport, there were no regrets useless in our minds. Unable to get hold of the British Embassy the day before our flight home, we resigned ourselves to being stuck in Costa Rica and went to Volcán Irazú and Cartago anyway. Fog over Volcán Irazú The main crater at Volcán Irazú I might have been stuck here indefinitely, but at least it was beautiful Cartago Heading back down to San José On our way back, I got an international phone call. Hoping it might be Annabelle, I answered to the unimpressed voice of my aunt, who has described the relief she feels when she imagines shooting us over Green Day. Needless to say, she did not know we were in Costa Rica. ‘A man in Costa Rica has called the number in the back of your passport to say he’s found it.’ ‘…Oh.’ ‘Where the hell are you? You’re not telling me you’re in fucking Costa Rica?’ On the road in ‘fucking Costa Rica’ I was, of course, telling her I was in fucking Costa Rica. She gave me the mystery man’s number and hung up. We called him on a hotel phone. He said he’d found my passport discarded on the floor at the stadium and, after realising we did not understand Costa Rican addresses (have you ever seen one?), arranged to meet us outside. When we got downstairs, the passport was at reception. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed I wouldn’t get a new one saying it was issued in Costa Rica. Please don’t get the wrong idea about Costa Rica because of the passport incident. The people I met there were some of the kindest and most welcoming I’ve ever met. I’ve experienced equally bad behaviour – for far pettier reasons – from European and North American fans. The same thing could have happened anywhere. ’21st Century Breakdown is sort of a collection of photographs, or ideas, or circumstances that have happened within the past five years. Whether it’s a different crisis or a natural disaster, or a financial breakdown, people losing their homes… revenge or whatever, there’s a lot of personal and political things going on in the record. It goes through a sort of dark tunnel with different themes, to hopefully find some sense of hope at the same time.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, Radio NRJ, 2009 On arriving home, I passed the exam I was assured I’d fail. Two years after our first show, we sat on white folding chairs on our drive. Our remaining possessions were scattered around us, our keys in the hands of a sympathetic bailiff, as we waited for a moving van to take us to sleep on my grandparents’ floor. My mum’s UN pension disappeared with the house that was no longer ours. The words ‘Green Day’ stared at us, in white spray paint, from our green bin. We laughed. We cried a bit, too. But we regretted nothing. Green Day are the faces of an inclusive culture from a little punk club in Berkeley. East Bay punks can criticise them all they want. With Green Day shows, their culture tours the world, becoming accessible to everyone and you know what? It doesn’t get much more punk than that. 21 Guns brought me to tears on this tour because I was no longer sure life was worth the fight. Two tours later, alone on the front row in an English arena – like the very one I had to leave in Birmingham – I couldn’t stop myself crying in Still Breathing. Because I knew, thanks to Green Day, that person who almost gave up no longer existed. I could have chickened out of ever boarding that train to Birmingham. It was a bit like the moment of fear before, seven years on, I stage dived in Champaign, Illinois. As I walked out on the ledge, Are you scared to death to live? Boarding that train, jumping out into that crowd – they’re like bookends to how terrified I once was to live. But I did jump. I did live. Did music save my life? Not literally, no. I saved myself. But would I have found the inspiration, the hope, the will to save myself without it? No way. Hey, 14 year-old me – You found a home in all your scars and ammunition. Don’t ever put away your burning light. Thanks Green Day for bringing us the season we always will remember. ¡Viva la Gloria! Disclaimer: all of these photos were taken with a cheap phone camera long before I studied photography.
  9. 3 points
    So, my best friend is my 6-year-old golden retriever. She is my fur baby, and my little partner in crime. Her name is Maggie. I got Maggie for my birthday one year and I spent the whole summer raising and training her from the time she was 8 weeks old. Maggie is one of the best things that's ever happened to me, and she's been there for me through so much. She recently got verified as my emotional support animal, since she has always been there to cushion the blow from emotional trauma. The point I wanted to make was how amazing our pets are! We don't give them enough credit. I can't imagine my life without Maggie in it. I hope everyone gets to experience the love and compassion from animals at some point in their lives. After you read this, please love on your animals!! ❤️ (Maggie is pictured)
  10. 2 points
    Reasons: 1) this shit is not active whatsoever 2) no one makes good, interesting or funny posts. they all fish for rep with their really cool and edgy low member online clique because they have no true friends irl 3) anyone who tries to shitpost aren't even ironically funny It's pathetic when someone has to go out of their way to try to make the site fun (aka Lil B posts) and the only time the members here are active are when there's drama or when green day does something (and even when they do do something I don't really consider 100-200 people online at once an accomplishment by any means) Honestly If I'd rather be on 4chan than here There's a serious problem imo, idk why I log on here cause I see the same exact threads I saw when I was here 2 weeks ago, hell even 2 months ago lmao If anyone tries to make a new or interesting thread, it either gets closed or merged and then it dies or it barely makes it passed page 2 U can say what u want about me, i dont care care if you think I'm a trolling prick or whatever, but the site isn't active enough to have interesting intellectual conversation with people that know what they're talking about so someone has 2 make it interesting once in awhile Pce n lov
  11. 2 points
    Kinda wish we still had the other subforums up so I could make a topic, but check it out yall- I finally got a band up and running. We went into the studio 3 weeks back to record our first track (with this lineup, these guys have been going on and off for 2 years) and now its available for streaming. We did our first gig two weeks back, and have another coming up this weekend. Its been a hell of a ride. Gonna use this blog to keep yall updated on whats going on if anyones interested. Plus i think it'd be fun to have a journal of sorts if we end up taking this somewhere. Ill leave links below for our accounts for anyone thats interested in checking us out. Lots more to come hopefully. https://www.facebook.com/docattridge And since its the Green Day Community, heres our cover of Brain Stew. Really fun song, I think you guys will enjoy the added solo. Drew shreds. So yeah, lookin forward to keeping you guys updated on whats going on. Cheers.
  12. 2 points
    If you found this post helpful, please consider supporting me for £3 / $4 on Ko-Fi! You can do that here. When I got into Green Day, I was a typical new fan: watching interviews, old performances, vacuuming up every bit of history I could get my hands on. I wanted to understand my new favourite band. Plus, it was fascinating. The East Bay was another world… and it may as well have been tucked away on Mars. My chances of ever visiting seemed that remote. Green Day brought that culture, that background I’d immersed myself in, to their live show. It was as beautiful and welcoming as my research promised. Through Green Day I met my now-fiancée, Annabelle, who grew up in that very culture and would be my tour guide when I eventually made it. Even as I grew up and forgot all I’d learned, the fascination remained. My mum – a huge Green Day fan – and I briefly visited Oakland for the first time last year. We saw a few of the Green Day sights: the Fox Theatre, the Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café there, Broken Guitars, 1-2-3-4 GO! Records and the Bay Bridge. It barely scratched the surface, really, but I still didn’t want to leave. I knew this dirty city I’d never visited so well. Being there felt like the homecoming I expected. Pun unintended but let’s go with it. So when The Longshot – Billie Joe’s new band – rescheduled their California shows, it was finally time. You know how my mum is always detained by Homeland Security? Even though she’s a disabled 60 year-old with no criminal record? San Francisco Airport just let her in. See, we were meant to be there. Annabelle met us in Arrivals. We drove through San Francisco and across the Bay Bridge to Oakland. I took this photo of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge last year, but it’s a Green Day reference. Billie Joe Armstrong’s nickname for his wife, 80 (and in turn the song title 80) came from this, since Interstate 80 runs over it. He’s also talked about how the band and his father, a truck driver, knew they were home after long journeys when they saw it. While my mum and Annabelle were in line at Starbucks the next day, a lady complimented my leggings and backpack. I thanked her. She asked if I had a cell phone. When I said yes, she promptly had me post on Facebook that it was a beautiful morning in Oakland, then installed her ‘brain’ so I could take it back to England. ‘Welcome to Oakland.’ Annabelle said as we left. Walking up the street to the ‘Longview house’ We sat on a wall, recovering from the brain installation, singing Love is for Losers (I don’t remember why, but it was great) and working out what we were doing. Then we drove up Adeline Street – the street Billie Joe’s now-closed record label and clothing line were named after – to Berkeley. Annabelle pointed us towards a quiet, unassuming street. Hills rose up to the blue sky in the distance. It was completely, utterly normal. We glanced around, wondering which of these houses was the one, until Annabelle announced ‘here we are.’ So this is the ‘Longview house’: where Green Day’s Longview music video was recorded in the basement. The sofa was rolled in just to be destroyed, but everything else was real. Green Day were living (squatting) there at the time, sharing their space with another band called the East Bay Weed Company. Much of Dookie was composed here. It served as their base while they dealt with record companies in the build-up to Dookie. In the apartment upstairs was Billie Joe’s ex-girlfriend Amanda, who inspired She, Sassafras Roots, Stuart & the Ave., Good Riddance, Whatsername and, of course, Amanda to name a few. Many of the street’s residents were UC Berkeley students, who weren’t fans of the band’s rehearsels disturbing their studies. ‘The record company guys would come to see us rehearse in the basement and their wives would go shopping on Telegraph Avenue. And when we went on tour we would come back to discover these crusty punks had squatted our place, and every single thing we owned was gone. And my love letters ended up on the Internet…’ - Tré Cool, Green Day: American Idiots and the New Punk Explosion, p.82 Someone actually left the house while we were taking photos, right as I announced ‘I’m so glad there’s no one here, or this would be really awkward.’ Looking at the unsuspecting house – the window that’s actually visible in the Longview video – was beyond surreal. Perhaps the most striking thing, though, was just how normal this street was. The house is so loaded with meaning for any Green Day fan, yet there’s nothing to say it’s more than a regular home. We walked back to the car feeling stunned. 924 Gilman Street, Berkeley: the careers of Green Day and many other East Bay punk bands began here I could almost have walked past 924 Gilman Street. Then I looked up. Once I realised what this squat building was, it was like a punch to the gut. The number above the door; the caning shop sign; the graffiti on the windows and the door – unlike the ordinariness of the house, just that frontage embodied everything 924 Gilman was. I could feel what Billie Joe, Mike and countless other kids must have felt, walking through that doorway for the first time and thinking this was ‘salvation’; because that was me, 6,000 miles away at 12, discovering the culture Green Day brought from here to the world. ‘Armstrong and Dirnt began living for their weekends at the Gilman Street Project. Run out of the back of a caning-and-wicker-shop, the club would go unnoticed by anyone passing by. For those familiar with the side entrance, however, the shop opens into a world that Armstrong refers to as “salvation”: dilapidated wood floorboards; graffiti splashed across every inch of wall space; band after band with the look and sound of early British punk like the Sex Pistols and the Buzzcocks.’ – Rolling Stone Magazine, 1995 Much of the fan graffiti in the doorway was Green Day-related. It went from thanking them to referencing drama between fans. Some might call that ironic considering Green Day’s eventual negative reception at the club, but I suppose that’s what punk’s all about: doing whatever you want regardless. So of course, we went and added our own with our crappy biro pens we picked up in airports and hotel rooms. How much do you bet some guy will find this and get up my ass about stupid fangirls marking a ReAl PuNx™ site? My mum had to be encouraged by me and Annabelle ‘Growing up and going to shows around Gilman Street was the best education I got. Walking through that door the first thing I saw was a sign saying “No Sexism, No Racism, No Homophobia,” and I think that’s had an impact on me for the rest of my life. Now when people come to our shows the main thing is I want them to feel like they’re in a safe space. If you’re gay, straight, white, black, brown, transgender, if there’s one place you feel you can go to, it’s a Green Day gig.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, 2016 We pulled up on another quiet, unsuspecting Berkeley street. Opposite was a building that looked quite a lot like my primary school, identified only by the word ‘Fantasy.’ On the corner was a stop sign, illuminated neon red by the bright sunlight. This was Fantasy Studios, where Billie Joe recorded his first single Look for Love and Green Day later recorded Dookie. It must have been quite the fantasy for those kids squatting in warehouses and basements, coming home to find their space invaded by crusty punks. Green Day recording Dookie here in 1993 Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA ‘[Fantasy Studios] definitely had that Seventies coke-y vibe, mahogany and strange dead wood around the place. We would go into the vaults and see all of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s master tapes. But I felt we belonged there. Our first album cost $700 to make. Kerplunk! was like $1200. “Let’s record these as fast as we can – because we don’t have a choice.” This time, I learned how to dial in good sounds, get the best guitar tones. I was able to take a little time doing vocals. I loved that experience.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, 2014 San Francisco from Berkeley Marina Annabelle had been wanting to show me Berkeley Marina for a long time. Of course, it’s also referenced in The Ballad of Wilhelm Fink, from Fat Wreck Chords’ Short Songs for Short People compilation. The clear day offered views of Oakland, San Francisco and both bridges. Students learning to kayak crowded the paths, though the crowds thinned out before the closed-off pier. We walked as far as the sundial and decided we’d come back another day with a picnic. Berkeley Marina Before we flew, my mum saw Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café advertising a performance of the American Idiot Musical. So that was our next stop: the Flight Deck on Broadway. It would be performed by Bay Area Zeta Players, a theatre company run entirely by local high school students. I was impressed with the set design as soon as we walked in. They’d fit the vibe of a huge production into a tiny room. Theatregoers and people in Green Day shirts filled the remaining seats. The show’s director thanked us for coming and encouraged us to laugh, cry or clap whenever we wanted. A raffle was held for an American Idiot CD signed by Mike Dirnt; one of the guys in Green Day shirts won. Jesus of Suburbia: introducing Johnny, Will, Tunny and the residents of Jingletown Every performance of American Idiot is different. I know every line, but I’m never sure what to expect – or when I think I am, I’m surprised again. As relevant now as it ever was, it was made for these angry young voices. Holiday: the ‘bus’ from Jingletown to the city Favorite Son: tempting Tunny to join the army Their performance had the perfect balance of rage, love and apathy so performative it mocked apathy. This take on Tunny by Anneke Angstadt was my favourite so far. She brought a fuller, angrier personality to the role; the perfect depiction of a loser easily enticed by military propaganda. St. Jimmy: Johnny, having been deserted by Tunny, getting his first fix while Whatsername watches Give Me Novacaine: Johnny falls in love with Whatsername while Tunny is soon hurt on the battlefield Last Night on Earth: Johnny and Whatsername shoot up while St. Jimmy serenades him, willing him to choose drugs over Whatsername Extraordinary Girl: in a morphine-induced hallucination, Tunny’s nurse appears as a glittering angel Letterbomb: Whatsername, sick of Johnny’s drug habits, leaves him Homecoming: St. Jimmy’s last moments before Johnny overcomes his addiction Homecoming: Will, lonely and depressed in Jingletown Homecoming: nobody likes you, everyone left you, they’re all out without you, having fun! In the traditional Good Riddance, the cast encouraged everyone to sing if they knew the words. A shy chorus filled the little room. Afterwards, the producers thanked us again and explained more about the company. Seeing American Idiot performed in Oakland – having been to the band’s squat in Berkeley, 924 Gilman and knowing I’d go to the warehouse Billie Joe lived in the next day – gave me a whole new understanding of where this album came from and, as a European, a real insight into the country it’s based on. Boulevard of Broken Dreams was the first Green Day song I ever heard. I loved and related to it so much when I discovered it at 12 that I overplayed it to oblivion. Every time I’ve seen the American Idiot musical it’s still managed to give me goosebumps, but this was something else. I relived every moment of how Green Day changed my life while watching this show. Can’t wait to see these guys in something else. If you get the chance, you totally should. Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café Our next stop was the original Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café in Emeryville. Owned by Mike Dirnt, it opened in 2002 with the Oakland location following in 2011. The tables outside were packed. We ate at the Oakland one last year, so we took photos and left. Sadly, since we got home, the Oakland location announced its closure. Wish we’d gone there again now. The now closed Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café at the Fox Theatre in Oakland (taken last year) After a trip to Sephora, we got back out of the car at West Oakland BART Station – where ‘a gunshot rings out at the station’ in Welcome to Paradise. West Oakland BART Station Annabelle walked us down 7th Street, ‘the cracked streets and the broken homes’ and we stopped outside a patched-up old warehouse. This was the squat Billie Joe had just moved into when he wrote Welcome to Paradise. Pay attention to the cracked streets and the broken homes ‘Billie Joe left home at 17, and he lived on couches and in a scary live-work band space. He once lived in an old brothel and hotel, located on a desolate block in West Oakland under the BART trains.’ – Spin Magazine, 1994 The BART track is right outside, hence the line about the station. When Billie Joe lived here the bathroom was infested with rats, so he chose to use a cat litter instead. It’s also referred to in Sweet 16 – ‘throwing down a bottle of Old English back in the warehouse.’ ‘I was living in West Oakland at the time. It was my first time ever being out on my own, out of my parents’ house and I just tried to capture that feeling – sort of frightening but at the same time you come to the conclusion that it’s freeing and you can end up growing as an individual.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, 2005 Seeing this was a sobering reminder of where Green Day came from and how hard they worked to be where they are now – but also a powerful reminder that it’s entirely possible and, as Billie Joe said, that it can even empower you. With these photos I’d like to include Annabelle’s story from the We Are Revolution Radio book. They grew up in a similar setting, and their story makes great points about how Green Day inspire fans beyond the music. Annabelle’s story from the We Are Revolution Radio book Our next drive was to Jingletown, a real neighbourhood near Fruitvale. In a dead-end by the highway is Studio 880, also known as ‘Jingletown Studios.’ This is where Warning, the Foxboro Hot Tubs’ Stop Drop and Roll!!!, the ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré! trilogy and parts of American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown were recorded. It got the name ‘Jingletown’ when the Foxboro Hot Tubs used it to cover up their identity. 21st Century Breakdown is my favourite album of all time and the only record I’ll ever claim changed my life. So seeing the studio where recording began, and also where the album art – a massive inspiration to me at 14, which probably still shows today – was painted; it was emotional and left me a bit shaken in the best way. I also bonded with an old guy across the street when he waved to me. You might recognise the parking lot if you’re a Green Day fan. It appeared in the ¡Cuatro! documentary and several of the ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré! promo videos. Much of the 21st Century Breakdown album art was painted on the walls, but sadly now it’s been sold and from what I could see, it’s gone. 27th Avenue sign near Studio 880 The studio is on 27th Avenue, which likely gave the Foxboro Hot Tubs song 27th Avenue Shuffle its name. Jingletown itself is also, of course, the name of Jesus of Suburbia’s hometown in American Idiot. This store was an unintentional Green Day reference. I took a photo because it said Jingletown, but it also has a brief cameo in the ¡Cuatro! scene That Just Happened (around the 0:22 mark). Despite Annabelle saying ‘we need to get your photos then get the hell out of here,’ we spent the evening eating 29¢ cakes in the Food Maxx parking lot. It felt a whole lot like we were Johnny, Will and Tunny. We even escaped alive. Peak Jingletown. Sunset in Jingletown The next day, we headed to San Francisco for the Longshot show. Our last stop before postponing our tour was Powell St. BART Station: so we could go do what we liked, making sure we did it wise. This is the phone (or the only usable one on the same wall) Billie pulled off during that line in the When I Come Around video. I’ll write about the two Longshot shows in a separate post, so if you’re not interested, you don’t have to scroll through it. If you are, a recap is on its way and you can read my DC and Baltimore one in the meantime. My make-up stayed intact for three days, tho. On arriving back in Oakland from Orange County, I found two guys I recognise in a Visit Oakland magazine. We went for dinner at Homeroom, one of Annabelle’s favourites they’d been nagging me to try for two years. My vegan GFF did not disappoint. Afterwards, we passed Broken Guitars and went to 1-2-3-4 GO! Records which is, of course, a Green Day reference. Here they played an early show – the ‘Bay Area Music Fan Appreciation Event’ – for ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré!, The Longshot played their first show and Billie built the stage with his son Joey. They’re currently selling Turn It Around: The Story Of East Bay Punk. 1-2-3-4 GO! Records (taken last year) Inside 1-2-3-4 GO! Records, Oakland, CA The guy working was kind enough to show us the back room, where the stage is. It looked so much smaller than it did on photos. Its official capacity is 49. Phone pic of me in the back room at 1-2-3-4 GO! Records. Don’t judge me guys, I’d just wiped the three-day-surviving make-up off They also have a Live at Maxwell’s doormat in there, which confirms its status as the best record store in Oakland. We spent the remainder of our evening talking on various benches, moving regularly to avoid drug dealers and men with mini America flags non-ironically attached to them. Sunset in Oakland Next, we finally ventured out of Oakland to Pinole. Knowing the area inspired Jesus of Suburbia, I expected it to be a shithole. Like a mini Oakland, because that’s what the suburbs no-one wants to live in are like in England. Instead, the city dissolved into an endless vista of rolling hills, scorched by the sun. Sleepy streets led into the town. Annabelle drove on to park in an equally sleepy shopping centre. To us, it was just pretty, but I could see why it felt like the end of the world in a completely different way to Kirkby-in-Ashfield. Instead of chavs grumbling outside the Job Centre, there was no-one. Just silence amongst the rows of parked pickup trucks. Now I understood exactly why the song was called Jesus of ‘Suburbia,’ and how a loser like its namesake pitted himself as Jesus; sitting in ‘my living room, for my private womb, while the moms and Brads are away.’ At the same time, though, those lyrics can still apply to anywhere. Because, for so long to me, they applied to my home so far-removed in England. Fiat Music, Pinole: where Billie Joe Armstrong learned to sing We stood for a while outside Fiat Music: a little section of the shopping centre, between Trader Joe’s and a martial arts academy. This was where five year-old Billie Joe was taught to play piano and sing, by Marie Louise Fiatarone and her husband. ‘Billie Joe’s mother brought him in because she was signing him up for piano lessons. Jim took one look at him and said, “He looks like he really belongs in show business. Why don’t you take him in the studio and see if he can sing?”’ – Marie Louise Fiatarone, 2006 With reassurance from Annabelle that we weren’t being creepy, we went inside. The building looked surprisingly modern outside, but once we opened the door, its age was clear. We were greeted by one of the kindest and most well-spoken people I’ve ever met: Mrs Fiatarone herself. Feeling embarrassed, my mum explained we were Green Day fans and knew Billie learned to sing here. Mrs Fiatarone smiled and said yes, he was one of her very successful students. She showed us the back studio, where Look For Love was composed. Propped up on the shelves was Green Day fanart by new students, inspired by Fiat Music’s past. When we said we were from England, she showed us a photo in a folder: a group of Green Day fans holding up the t-shirt from the Look For Love cover, in which we spotted one of our friends, Tony. You might know him from Bullet in a Bible – he’s the guy who comes in too soon when playing American Idiot. Even though we and Mrs Fiatarone were aware of Green Day’s ability to connect people around the world, it still seemed crazy these random English girls recognised someone in the Fiat Music guestbook. Mrs Fiatarone then told us her own crazy story. When Billie Joe began looking into his Italian ancestry, he posted his grandfather’s birth certificate on his Instagram, asking if anyone could translate. Mrs Fiatarone’s son offered to help, since he spoke Italian. He soon found Billie Joe’s grandparents were from Viggiano, the same little town of 3,000 people, as his own. What are the chances of that? ‘I learned show tunes as a kid. My dad was a jazz drummer, and I used to go to veterans’ hospitals and sing. I wanted to play guitar, but they said my hands were too small.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, 2005 We looked at the Look For Love cover and she smiled, saying ‘he’s still that same sweet little kid.’ Then she held it up so we could take a photo. Me and Marie Louise Fiatarone, who taught Billie Joe to sing We thanked Mrs Fiatarone, feeling like we couldn’t thank her enough, and said goodbye with a promise we’d send her the photo. Maybe one day someone else will recognise us in the guestbook. This was by far one of my most unexpected, but surreal and incredible, Green Day experiences. We didn’t expect anything more than having a peek inside – let alone meeting Mrs Fiatarone herself and being treated with such kindness. We were just in time, too. It was about fifteen minutes before she started teaching and the next day, they were holding a concert for the 10th anniversary of Trader Joe’s. Meeting her was an absolute privilege and it’s a story I’m honoured to share. Pinole Valley High School We walked down an overgrown, cracked pathway to Pinole Valley High School – the latter high school Billie Joe and Mike Dirnt attended. Green Day also played an early show here. It’s currently being renovated, but we could make out the spot Green Day played and get a feel of the area. The area around Pinole Valley High School Across the street was ‘the’ library from At the Library. Green Day played that the first time we saw them. It always seemed fitting considering that’s where I met Annabelle. Everything was coming full circle. Sadly, the library is permanently closed now. At the library A minute’s walk away was perhaps the most mundane, but most exciting site for me (not counting unexpectedly meeting Mrs Fiatarone). The center of the earth in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven where I was taught. It said home is where your heart is but what a shame, ’cause everyone’s heart doesn’t beat the same Like Pinole, the ‘end of the world’ wasn’t what I expected. I’ve been to some very dodgy 7-Elevens, and I expected this one to be the same; not set against the quiet backdrop of a hill. It was an entirely new take on Jesus of Suburbia. Billie Joe worked here for a while in his teens, which is likely how it ended up in the song. We went inside, because we had to and bought a rainbow dragon, now named Pinole. ‘It’s that lost feeling. Hanging out at the 7-Eleven. Disenfranchised. Alienated. You just get that feeling of “I’ve got to get out of here. There’s more to life than this town.”’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, 2006 In the 7-Eleven at the center of the earth Before we got back in the car, we looked for a bathroom stall. There was no way of knowing which was ‘the’ one, or if it even existed. So we just went for the only place that didn’t require a 500-digit code and pickaxe to get in: Trader Joe’s. It was a bathroom stall in the shopping mall. A bathroom stall in the shopping mall from Jesus of Suburbia, also known as peak California tourism Unfortunately there was no graffiti to confirm the center of the earth is the end of the world. Hopefully the random English people, accompanied by a local trying not to laugh, who piled in and bought one banana were enough confirmation to any bystanders. ‘[American Idiot] sort of follows the path of this guy, Jesus of Suburbia. He’s, like, 19 to 21 years old, he’s stuck in a small town, and he’s sick of everything there – the people, the 7-Eleven he grew up with, his friends, the institutions that he’s been in the whole time. He finally finds the courage and the anger to leave his hometown, and he moves to the city and tries to find people who are kindred spirits.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, 2004 People love to claim Green Day betrayed their roots when they wrote American Idiot. The truth is, it’s no further from those roots than Dookie. You only need to stand on this street in Pinole to know that. Rodeo, CA: Billie Joe Armstrong’s hometown We weren’t sure if it’d be creepy to go to Rodeo. ‘But it’s just a town, and it’s not like you’re going to find his mom,’ Annabelle said, so we went. If we thought Pinole was a sleepy hamlet, this was even more so. We parked first opposite a gas station and wandered around; just taking in the atmosphere of the little town of 8,500 people. ‘I grew up in a town called Rodeo. It’s right off the 80. It’s off the 80 at Willow. And it was the inspiration for this next song. This is Jesus of Suburbia.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong on stage at The Warfield, San Francisco, 2005 Rodeo ‘Rodeo is on the water, you know,’ Annabelle said, ‘And there’s something you’ve forgotten there.’ Still unsure if it was weird to be here, I hesitated. They drove us up there anyway. We came to a view of a reference I’d completely forgotten: the oil refinery referred to in 21st Century Breakdown. The last one born and the first one to run. My town is blind from refinery sun. OK, I may now be an adult with a cold, dark heart who won’t talk about how 21st Century Breakdown changed (what I really mean is saved) my life. Because at some point since I felt that way, the phrase became overused and I shied away from ever saying it again. But as Billie Joe will say East Bay punk saved his life, I can say the same about that record. As a teenager, I lived by Gloria’s ideals: striving to claw my way out of a stagnant existence and find a home in all my scars and ammunition. She was my idol. Feeling that way inspired me to carry on when I felt there was no hope left. Now, walking around what might have been one of the most desolate streets in Rodeo; I was living in the songs that inspired me so. Like loving a movie all your life and finally visiting the set. ‘Aren’t you glad we came up here?’ Annabelle asked, and I was. I didn’t feel creepy anymore. I’ve been to the edge and I’ve thrown the bouquet of flowers left over the grave ‘We came from such a highly polluted area in Rodeo, California. It’s a refinery town and we ended up getting sent home from school because kids were having headaches and nobody could understand why, when of course, 200 yards away from the elementary school I went to was the biggest refinery in America.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, 2005 The San Pablo Bay from Rodeo As we walked up the beaten road to Lone Tree Point, I had Outlaws playing in my head, too. Because if there’s one Green Day song, not from 21st Century Breakdown, that personifies what growing up here must have been like, to me, it’s Outlaws. I found a knife by the railroad tracks. You took a train and you can’t go back. Forever now you’ll roam. We sat for a while on a picnic bench at Lone Tree Point, talking and watching the sun go down. Two men threaded their way over the train tracks to a caravan by a dilapidated pier. Christie Road was still on our to-see-today list, so we marked this as another spot we’d have to return to with a picnic (who has a picnic near a refinery? Us). We took a slow walk, taking it all in and detouring onto a bridge to take photos, back to the car. A yard in Rodeo (I like cacti) On our way in, we saw a Rodeo sign Billie Joe took a selfie with. Assuming Annabelle remembered we wanted to stop there, and even if they didn’t we’d leave the same way, we didn’t mention it again. We were back out on the 80 when my mum and I looked at each other. ‘I think we’ve come a different way.’ Annabelle glanced at me. ‘Ohhhh, the sign. Uh, we’re long past that…’ We turned in Hercules. Annabelle was doubting their knowledge of the area. ‘Which side was it again?’ It wasn’t exactly something we could Google. We continued, hoping for the best, until my mum grabbed my arm. ‘THERE! That’s it!’ ‘Where do I park? Where the hell did he park?!’ My mum pointed. ‘There’s a bus stop, look. Park there. We’ll only be a few minutes…’ ‘That’s illegal, Joy,’ Annabelle replied, but parked there anyway. References galore (see THAT sign in the background) We were wading through the grass when a horn screeched behind us. ‘It’s a fucking bus!’ I turned, watching Annabelle dive back into the car, and saw an entire park and ride. ‘Oh, that’s where Billie parked.’ The bus driver stepped out, laughing, and asked what we were doing. We said we were Green Day fans doing our history tour. He replied that he loved Green Day and knew Billie Joe’s brothers, who lived locally. We had a short conversation about Donald Trump and England, then he went on his merry way. Annabelle, now parked legally, was judging when was a good time to charge back over the highway. Result: iconic By the time my mum and Annabelle had been to Starbucks to recover, the sun had set. Christie Road would have to wait. Thanks, Rodeo sign. Sunset over the 80 We’d also forgotten John Swett High School – the first one Billie Joe and Mike attended – Tight Wad Hill and Foxboro. It seemed a shame to have little things outstanding up there, so we went the next day. For some reason I didn’t take a single photo of this on my camera, so you’re stuck with this phone pic ft. me Foxboro is a housing development five minutes down the 80 from Rodeo. Billie Joe and Mike used to sneak into the hot tubs dotted around the village, a spot to drink and make out late at night. So, perhaps obviously, it gave the Foxboro Hot Tubs their name. We didn’t wander in to see if we could find any hot tubs. However, we did go and say hi to our favourite sign, since it was a two minute walk away. ‘The Foxboro Hot Tubs were a place we used to sneak booze and chicks into late at night. But most of the time it was just “dude soup.”’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, 2008 Crockett is the other side of Rodeo, after the 80 threads through hills and the refinery. We stepped out of the car at John Swett. The first thing we saw was the board that announced Green Day’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. A board at John Swett High School, where Green Day’s 2015 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was announced ‘The fear was always there, even when we were doing American Idiot. I’d get this voice in my head: “Who do you think you are? Why did you write a song like Holiday, you high school drop­out?” I think the working-class part of me comes out. Sometimes the people who have the loudest mouths are upper-class, upper-middle-class. The quietest are often working-class people, people who are broke. There is a fear of losing what­ever it is that you have. I come from that background.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, 2013 John Swett High School, Crockett: Billie Joe and Mike’s first high school Across the street from John Swett, peeking through trees is Carquinez Middle School – where Billie Joe and Mike met. It’s an orange-and-pink-painted building in a dip, before the ground rises back up as a green hill. ‘Our school district went bankrupt, so they closed down the junior high and combined two elementary schools. So [Mike] went to one elementary and I went to the other. We used to have to take the bus out there. First day of elementary school, I think in fifth grade, I was like the class clown – but Mike was like the class clown, so it was kind of like these dueling banjos that were going to go back and forth. What you get is Deliverance. Mike is my musical soulmate.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong in his Rock & Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech, 2015 Carquinez Middle School, where Billie Joe and Mike Dirnt met This was something else totally alien to us: suburban American schools. Everything, even this, was on a scale so much larger than England it was fascinating. At first glance, the warm brick buildings surrounded by trees were just pretty. All we’d seen of quiet, hilly Crockett, overlooked by the Carquinez Bridge, was pretty. It was difficult to imagine it feeling like the end of the world, but the more we walked around, the clearer it was that the silence and empty sidewalks could feel suffocating. THIS DIRTY CITY IS MY SUGAR TOWN (yes, I went there, I non-ironically enjoy Nightlife) ‘I’m not royalty. I’m the king of nothing. I’m in the same high school rock ’n roll band I’ve been in since I was 16.’ – Billie Joe Armstrong, 2016 Down a hill dotted with porta potties is an urban scramble of metal and chimneys. It looks like part of the oil refinery, but it’s actually a huge sugar factory. This is where the phrase ‘sugar city urchin’ in Tight Wad Hill comes from – and, of course, ‘my sugar town’ in Nightlife. The latter likely references Crockett since Sugar City Tattoo, where Lady Cobra worked, is here. C&H Sugar Factory in Crockett, referred to in Tight Wad Hill: ‘sugar city urchin wasting time’ Tight Wad Hill itself – a spot junkies and cheapskates hung around to watch school games for free – overlooks the John Swett field. The area has changed since the song was written, including the field itself; so it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where qualifies as ‘Tight Wad Hill.’ We climbed over a barrier and peered through trees at (what we at least thought was) the view. The field and yard at John Swett High School from a spot near Tight Wad Hill That was all our Rodeo-Crockett references ticked off. We thought we’d better see the bridge and a bit more of the town before we took off – part of the magic was just experiencing these places, after all. We wandered up the hill and through quaint streets. The local bus Billie Joe and Mike would have taken to school – it stops outside Carquinez and John Swett Toot’s Tavern, a street-corner pub adorned with an American flag and advertising live music, wasn’t on our list. I’ll admit I didn’t even realise its relevance until Annabelle pointed it out – it’s where the Foxboro Hot Tubs played their second show. We passed it, so why not? Toot’s Tavern, Crockett, where the Foxboro Hot Tubs played their second show On our way to the bridge, I found an unintentional reference. Not that this sign is directly referred to in any songs, but it’s Westbound Sign summed up. Finally, we walked a bit of the way across the bridge as the sun set… and now it was too late to go to Christie Road again. Sunset from the Al Zampa Memorial Bridge in Crockett, CA Sunset over the refinery These trips to the ‘end of the world’ might have been the dullest part of our trip to anyone else. For us, though, coming from an overcrowded little island where even the most isolated places can’t compare to American suburbia; this was our favourite part. I feel I’ve learned so much about Green Day and their inspiration by experiencing it myself. Next time I sing along to songs like Jesus of Suburbia at a live show, where Billie Joe’s lyrics are their most poignant, I’m not even sure how I’m going to feel. I just know I’ll lose my voice. Block Party, Oakland We spent our last day at the annual Block Party. The line-up included Dead Sound, Destroy Boys, Same Girls, Prima Donna, Anastazi and Arrica Rose. Stalls representing local businesses, from Homeroom to Atomic Garden, filled the street. We unexpectedly met our new friend Evangelina, who we’d met a few days ago at the San Francisco Longshot show. Prima Donna live at Block Party Finally, we attempted the photobooth in 1-2-3-4 GO! Records. We ended up with some photos of my mum’s cheek, the top of Evangelina’s head and my left boob. SAD. Fear not though, because Evangelina recognised the bathroom wall from a Longshot selfie (the one used to announce their show there, no less), so we got another to add to the Rodeo sign. The 1-2-3-4 GO! Records bathroom wall featured in a Longshot selfie gr8 bathroom I’d say eating mac & cheese and watching local bands (well, Prima Donna, aren’t quite so local) was a pretty good way to end our trip. I even have a new jam, Feral Children. So, the next morning, it was time to pack our bags and head back out over 80 to the airport. I’d never wanted to stay so much. My head was spinning from everything I’d taken in over the last week and a half. Still, we were missing some crucial bits and pieces… so we’d just have to come back. For your comparison: arriving back in England I knew this trip would be special. I could never have imagined quite how deeply it would immerse me in music I thought I already understood so well. In finding the roots of the three people and art that inspired me, gave me hope when there was none – I’ve found another part of myself. People ask me why I love Green Day. That’s why. Because they embody a culture, one that could have been forgotten in one tiny club in Berkeley, so much it reached this lonely kid looking for a purpose in England… and I know I was one of many. Now, I’ll return to my own center of the earth; but unlike the graffiti in the bathroom stall, these memories will confirm it’s not quite the end of the world. I don’t know about you, but I’d disagree that Billie Joe never made it as a working-class hero. Note this tour is missing (alphabetical order): Art of Ears Studio (Kerplunk), Christie Road, Hyde Street Studios (Insomniac), Passalacqua Funeral Home, Rod’s Hickory Pit (now a gas station), Ruby Room and Stuart/Telegraph (Stuart & the Ave.). If all goes to plan, you’ll get a second instalment later this year!
  13. 2 points
    Limited Edition Welcome To Paradise CD single #00508 Basket Case CD single Limited Edition When I Come Around Picture Vinyl #0009 Basket Case shop/promo poster/display Longview shop/store counter-top poster/display
  14. 2 points
    BOO! Did I scare you? Probably not. Anyway, welcome back to Nico Talks About Creepypastas, where this guy behind the screen called Nico talks about internet stories called "creepypastas". Yay! Last week, I told you about the classic Lost Episode pasta "Suicidemouse.AVI", and today we'll talk about another classic Lost Episode pasta. This one's based on the Simpsons and it's called "Dead Bart". Short description: Lost episode in Simpsons season 1, Bart dies, some future predicting, the end. Long description: Looooost eeeeepiiiiisooooode--- ok, I'll stop. As you may know, Matt Groening is the creator of the Simpsons. During production of the first Simpsons season, he started behaving weirdly. So, he created the episode with the production number 7G06, which is the production number of a real episode in Season 1 called "Moaning Lisa". The author of the Pasta (let's just call him Nico because why not) got the opportunity to meet Matt at a fan meetup. When he was asked about this Lost Episode, he turned pale, was close to tears. Matt wrote something on a piece of paper, gave it to Nico and told him to never bring this episode up again. An unknown URL was written on that piece of paper. When he typed it in, he got to a website that looks like this... Nico clicked on the download link, and a download started. (No shit) And lo and behold, it was a virus from HELL. System Restore didn't work, Windows had to be reinstalled. However, before that happened, he copied the file onto a CD. It was the episode. It consisted of three acts, so here's descriptions of all three acts: Act I - The Plane Death First of all, we have an angry Homer, a depressed Marge, an anorexic Lisa and a hateful Bart. They want to do a plane trip. Great idea. As the plane takes off, about 50 feet in the air, Bart accidentally destroys a window and gets sucked out, resulting in his death. At the beginning of the series, Matt said that he wanted the animation style to be very realistic at times, and that was used for Bart's dead body. (Warning: the picture contains graphic content) Act II - Cry Me a River I chose that title for a reason. Homer, Marge and Lisa are sitting at the table crying. Throughout the ENTIRE SECOND ACT. Act III - "One Year Later..." ...is what it says at the beginning of Act III. The Simpson family is still sitting at the table, as skinny as skeletons. No sign of Maggie or the pets. Later, they walk through an empty Springfield into the cemetery to find Bart's dead body laying in the same exact position as at the end of Act I. (basically like the graphic picture) They start crying again, and Homer tells a joke, but it's unknown what exactly he says because the audio is really bad. At the very end, the camera zooms out to show the other gravestones in the cemetery. They're all gravestones of celebrities that have had guest appearances in the Simpsons. Some of them were unknown back when the episode was made. Some of them didn't have their guest appearances yet. Their death dates were ALL correct. That's not all though. There's also death dates for those who haven't died yet. All these death dates are listed as the SAME DATE. --- That's it for today's Creepypasta! Just like Suicidemouse, there's fan-made videos that try to replicate this episode. There weren't any videos that were very good, but here is, in my opinion, the most accurate representation, made by The Lavender Town Project (yes, the bad quality is supposed to be like that): Link to the CP: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Dead_Bart
  15. 1 point
    So as we all know "Oh Yeah" just came out a couple hours ago, and I don't wanna make a single thread for every time a new song comes out, so I'm using this blog. If you guys don't know, I recently made 8-bit (and, by request, 16-bit) versions of "Father of All..." and "Fire, Ready, Aim", and many people seemed to like them. And now, "Oh Yeah!" has its own 8-bit remake as well! yeah thats all, next post probably after the album is released
  16. 1 point
    Howdy howdy GDC! It's been a minute since I've been here but I come with exciting news! This year is my fifth year participating in Extra Life! If you don't know what that is, it is a gamer driven community raising donations for the Children's Miracle Network, benefiting the Children's Hospitals across the US. I have a goal of 250$ this and we just crossed 100$! It's a really great cause to be a part of if you're interested, and there are two wonderful opportunities available for donors! This year I'm running a giveaway. All my donors will receive one entry in my art print giveaway, where one winner will get a signed 13x19" art print of their choice. I have lots of Green Day art, so that's an option! *wink wink* All you have to do is donate any amount to be entered! And if you are a fan of the Tomb Raider franchise, my team is doing a Tomb Raider Prize raffle. I have two original drawings donated to this one that you have a chance to win! Everyone gets one free entry, and then one additional entry for every 10$ donated to a team member. You can check it out here and see the list of prizes below: https://tombraiders.net/extra-life/raffle.html That all being said, I am so excited about all the good these donations will do! It will make a massive difference in the lives of sick and injured kids! Participants are able to collect donations until the end of the year so be sure to check it out! Lastly, here's where you can donate to my fundraising efforts. I am raising money for the Children's Hospital of Colorado. All donations are tax deductible and you can use paypal at checkout. https://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=376965 If you made it this far, thank you for taking the time to browse through!
  17. 1 point
    Hi guys! I know I haven't been online in a bit, but I finally have some time to come online in between working four jobs and going through my move to the Unites States. There is something I just wanted to vent about because it is something that is constantly on my mind, and I feel like writing about it would be therapeutic. There's no better place to do this than on my favourite website. So, the truth: I never noticed how repulsive I am until recently. In 2016/2017, I was on a medication to help me with a medical issue. I don't want to talk about that issue now, but some of you already know about it. This medication made me gain a significant amount of weight. Luckily, after coming off of it, I have been able to lose all of that weight, plus some in 2019! I am super proud of this (being a size eight may not be 'great' to some, but for me, I feel confident about it!) But the truth is, things weren't resolved. I have a skin condition called vitiligo. When I first joined GDC, I only had a tiny white spot on my right hand, and one on my left leg. I had those two spots my whole life, and never thought anything of it. In 2016, the patches began to spread. Now, in 2019, my spots are getting out of control. I have vitiligo on nearly every part of my body. I'm bringing this up because I've had a few people ask me why I don't upload photos online. I wish I could go back in time and not have these spots, and relive the days where I was confident enough to take photos. People in real life stare at my face, stare at my arms, and it hurts that they don't see ME. Every day I'm so disgusted and repulsed I am with the way I look. I used to be so obsessive about my weight, especially after the gain, but now I could give less of a fuck about my size; it's the spots that devastate me. It's hard because I know in my wedding photos, the spots will show. I know that people will always stare at them and not me. I know people will always make comments about it. My family even does, because I'm the only one with it. I even worry Tom won't find me attractive anymore because of it. Being online is hard for me sometimes, to see people with beautiful, flawless skin, whereas I have acne and fucking patches I can never remove. That is a huge reason why I avoid being online if I can, and why I don't take pictures anymore. It sucked because I always used to get compliments on my appearance. Hell, even when I saw Green Day in 2017 with the weight gain, people always told me I looked beautiful. Now I just get stared at and I've even had people TOUCH ME without permission. If anyone has any tips on how I can build my self confidence again, please let me know, because I just hate myself at the moment.
  18. 1 point
    I know you'll never read this. It seems pathetic to be back in the same place, feeling the same things. A lot has changed, and yet so much has remained the same. And a lot has led me back to this place, once again. I took a job with a youth group this summer. The job provided an opportunity to work with youth away from the nepotism and delegation of the Y. But I didn't choose this program for that sole reason. I chose this program because it would require me to be back here for a week. Here. I think I did it to test myself, to see how far I've come. To gloat in the face of my own shortcomings and failures. And so far, I have failed that test. At every turn I've faced a different challenge. Empty benches and buildings are filled with a vivid swirl of memories and feelings that evoke a time when things seemed better. Things that I've since forgotten, or at the very least put in the back of my mind. Away from reality. My reality has been good to me. I lost a lot of weight. Bought a lot of new clothes. Traded in my depression fueled taste of overpriced running shoes for button ups and neat pants. I had a successful year student teaching, and was the only one in my cohort to be hired to their district. I loved my work, though it was hard. I earned my masters, and made new friends as I did it. I'm going to be teaching geography and history in my community and make real money for the first time in my life. I'm proud of myself and everything that I've accomplished. But through all that, I have yet to heal. I have healed some, but not enough. I think I've spent the last two years looking for some great catharsis. Something that will come and give me the closure that I've sought for a long time now. This process -- this test -- has emphasized to me what I've known for a long time. There is no catharsis. My closure will come once I've learned to forgive myself for the misgivings that created this hole in the first place. It's hard for me to admit when I'm wrong. That's true for the both of us. But between my initial desperation; the long nights spent lying awake, replaying everything back and forth and back again, and my initial resentment of you and your motives, I've come to the grand conclusion that I fucked up. In so many ways. You already know that, and I already knew that. I made excuses, and tried to blame you for them. Circumstances. To convince myself of an injustice, and validate my desperation. There are three sides to the truth, and now its time to acknowledge them. It's been time. I'm sorry that I ever took you for granted. I'm sorry that I allowed my insecurities to question the gift that you generously placed upon me. I'm sorry that I didn't speak, or hold myself accountable. That I didn't seek help sooner. That I didn't address my toxicity in a real way. That I didn't recognize your pain sooner. I made mistakes, many of which I will never forgive myself for. I hope that you've moved forward, and done the things that you always wanted to do. I hope that you can read something like this and bask in the glow of knowing that you were right. Or at the very least smirk at the pathetic insistence that I continue to purport. You earned that much. In the meantime, I will continue to try and be better. To learn from my mistakes and grow into the person that I want to be, for myself and for others. To accept those mistakes that deserve acceptance and address though which deserve action. To love myself in the way that you loved me. I came to this place expecting closure, but instead I found that closure is built overtime. I hope that this is the beginning -- or the middle? -- of that process. I accept that a part of me, perhaps the most childlike in love, will always belong to you. But its time. It has been for a long while.
  19. 1 point
    Yay, I haven't posted anything in a few months! Again! Yay, another new topic to talk about! With that said, welcome to Nico Talks About Creepypastas, where I talk about... creepypastas. Nuff said. In every post, I'll choose one creepypastas (BTW, there's no guessing if they're real or fake involved - ALL creepypastas are fake) which I will then present to you. They can range from classic pastas like Jeff the Killer or the good ol' Slenderman, or maybe some new ones that many people don't know about. So, the first pasta is called "SuicideMouse.AVI", which is a Lost Episode creepypastas. Quick description of a Lost Episode CP: Famous show, episode that was never released, spooky stuff happens. The End. This one is one of the most popular creepypastas. It's pretty much a report about a lost Mickey Mouse episode from the 1930s. It's just Mickey walking this empty street (on the boulevard of broken-- okay, I'll stop. ) for three minutes. Nothing special. Except the music was just someone hitting random keys on a piano in the first half, and then white noise in the second half, and Mickey was just normally walking instead of being happy and dancing and stuff. And also, the episode isn't three minutes long, it's actually nine minutes. But that wasn't discovered until Leonard Maltin made a digital copy of it. So, what happened in those additional six minutes? Well... until the sixth minute, the screen was black. Afterwards, Mickey was walking AGAIN. No pianos were being murdered now, but instead, there was some murmuring in the background. A minute went by, and the road distorted itself in weird directions, Mickey slowly started to grin, the murmuring turned into screaming, colors appeared (this was the 1930s, that wasn't possible), and Mickey's eyes rolled down to his chin. Wrap your mind around that for a sec. Madness. But that wasn't all. At that point, Leonard Maltin left the room out of fear. The distorted screaming went on until the eighth minute, then a broken music box played in the background and the camera zoomed onto Mickey's face until 8:30. What happened between 8:30 and 9:04 is unknown. At the end of it all, after the very last frame, one of the co-workers who watched the episode ran out of the room, shouted "REAL SUFFERING IS NOT KNOWN!" seven times, grabbed an officer's gun and shot himself. Apparently, that last frame contained some Russian text that, when translated, says "the sights of hell bring its viewers back in". Woah. Well, that's pretty much it. Well, no, there are many videos out there that try to replicate the episode. This one is the best in my opinion, and it's made by randy hilson 1929: I haven't watched it to the end yet, but I will after I publish this post. That's all for today's Nico Talks About Creepypastas! I'm not even gonna say "See you next Sunday" because I'll probably forget and post the next one in three months anyway. Well, see you next post! Link to the original CP: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Suicidemouse.avi REAL SUFFERING IS NOT KNOWN. REAL SUFFERING IS NOT KNOWN. REAL SUFFERING IS NOT KNOWN. REAL SUFFERING IS NOT KNOWN. REAL SUFFERING IS NOT KNOWN. REAL SUFFERING IS NOT KNOWN. REAL SUFFERING IS NOT KNOWN.
  20. 1 point
    Honestly, I kind of need some advice and I figured sharing my thoughts on this might help someone else, I don't know. But, here goes nothing. I have absolutely no idea what I want to do when I "grow up," whenever that is. When we were kids, we were ingrained with this thought of needing to know from day one what our future plans are and how to achieve it through college and higher education. Now, when you peel back that bullshit logic, you get kids like me that are in their 20s and terrified because I still have no idea what the hell I'm doing let alone what my purpose in this life is. I have no clue what I'd like to do for 50+ years so I can retire and die. None of my interests or hobbies seem to connect to a career like it does for other people. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars I don't have on classes I don't like to get a degree I might not use turns me off. It's far too risky. I feel like a failure and I feel guilty for not going into college because my grandma acts like I'm the worst thing alive because of it. My mother and I have associates degrees in our respective fields and work at a pizza place together; we are not the favorites. However, my mother's sister and my brother both have bachelor's degrees in their fields and are the apples of my grandma's eyes. I seek approval, yet want to carve my own path. So I reach an impasse that leaves me feeling talentless, worthless, and lost. Anyone else feel this way? The American education system is fucked up and expensive.
  21. 1 point
    I'm posting this poll because I'm curious - do you guys like the Kerplunk! or the Dookie version of "Welcome to Paradise" better?
  22. 1 point
    I see a ton of self-care tweets, Instagram accounts, and Pinterest tips these days and that is awesome - little things to keep a positive frame of mind are awesome! But when does it cross the line into snotty, self-obsession that lacks empathy? Self-care: Hygeine, Beauty, and Safe-Sex Tips I see a lot of "beauty hacks" and little words of advice for anything from clearer skin to safe sex education to extending the longevity of perfumes. These are all fantastic and often are household items that can help save money. I live for these positive ideas that help with self-esteem and overall well being. Self-absorption: Justifying Bitchy/Selfish/Rude Behavior I get it - we can all have an attitude and say or do things we regret when we feel defensive. But normalizing cold, stand-offish behavior is not gratifying and doesn't have any value for self-care. What I mean by this kind of behavior is encouraging others to be heartless, angry, or on attack-mode at a constant. On one "self-care" Twitter account I saw them encouraging others to not give second chances, not to trust others, and to "remember only you got you." This just simply isn't a healthy way to live and interact with others. It creates a very "me versus everyone" outlook which can destroy relationships and damage a person's self worth. Most people choose this kind of outlook based upon past heartaches and experiences. It's always important to remember that your past does not define you and that not everyone in this world is out to get you. With that being said, it's still a good idea to be cautious with what aspects of your life you share with others. Self-care: Sharing Coping Mechanisms, Relaxation Techniques, and Life Advice It is amazing when someone else gives you a little tip to help ease anxiety, depression, and stress from everyday life or chronic conditions. It is a balance of promoting positive thinking with an overall healthy mental attitude. Little social cues, breathing exercises, and biochemical remedies for anxiety are wonderful things I've learned on the internet to help with stress. Encouraging strong relationships, time for oneself, and subtle changes in habits can really go a long way for helping someone through hard times without losing empathy and compassion for others. **DISCLAIMER: this is just my opinion. I would love open discussion on this topic to hear everyone else's thoughts!!**
  23. 1 point
    Hello all! I'll keep this short and sweet - Tomorrow is the Extra Life game day! This is my fourth year participating and I am so excited! I'll be playing video games for a solid 24 hours to raise donations for the Children's Hospital of Denver, Colorado. I'd seriously appreciate anything you can give! If you can only give 5$, then perfect! Everything helps! https://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=318285
  24. 1 point
    Who else thinks that today's "music" is stupid? raise your hand! Yes, the "music" that we have today is, actually to some, considered not music, because all it actually is, is mashed up sounds to create a tune. When was the last time you heard a new song from 2016, 2017, 2018 on the radio which actually used a proper instrument like guitar or so? I'm talking about songs like "the middle" by Zedd that blew up on radio stations this summer or Ocean by Martin Garrix... I don't hear any actual Instruments! Okay, sometimes you hear piano or drums that are also mushed up to sound kind of more electrical. I hate it!😫 With Green Day, you have something for everyone and the best thing is that they still use actual instruments! It is a way for everyone to hear what proper instruments sound like. Sure they have maybe the one mashed tone, but the song isn't made out of it, you can still hear and recognize the instruments. They do it in way that sounds cool, people can relate to their songs, the songs have powerful messages that are different from the cheesy songs you hear today. Green Day has something for everyone, some of the newer generation might not hear it and understand it yet, but here on the Green Day Community, where true GD fans are, all understand what Green Day's music is. Green Day might swear a lot in their songs, it's still real music unlike today's. Why everyone should appreciate Green Day. They are actually real people not plastic image people like today, do mostly or always live singing not playback! Use real instruments on stage not a DJ playing in the background. Green Day might seem a bit weird to some people, but those people can go piss off. Green Day have their moments of being crazy, but would ya just take a goddamn look at Justin Bieber! We all should appreciate GD for still being original, and so we do! Now all the musicians who haven't made it big out there, basically the people who play for friends and family, the private ones, you know what I mean? Anyway, they also mostly use instruments, which is good! but all the big famous ones always, always, always use this mashed up shit to create a song. Green Day doesn't. Yes, we all love Green Day here. Which of the modern artists' music do you hate the most? I hate Justin Bieber all the way to hell, I hate him so damn much I can't even explain how much I hate him! Thank god Billie isn't Justin Bieber😀 By the way, I also hate Eminem. Sorry if you like one of those two artists, it's just my personal opinion.
  25. 1 point
    It was Saturday, before the Green Day Revolution Radio show was going to begin. I was so excited since Green Day was my favorite band. I had this great plan to sneak to the front, by that I mean right in front of the stage, right there where I could touch Billie's leg if he were standing right on the edge of the stage. And so, I showed up super early, 6 hours before the show would start I waited near the fence where Green Day's tour bus was behind, they had one extra bus though, it looked kinda deserted, run down, dirty, broken and creepy. At first I didn't think much of it, I thought maybe it was just an old bus which they were using or it was just left behind and Green Day just parked theirs next to it for some reason, but I turned out to be terribly wrong. I waited patiently for the show to begin, after half an hour, about 5 or 6 people showed up and waited in front of the building where the stage was in. The were just being stupid and drinking beer, making themselves drunk before the show begun. They weren't even looking at me or into my direction. At one point I even decided to wait else where, because I was scared those drunk people would get out of control and start a fight, but instead of going I just turned around facing the tour buses. Then 10 minutes later after blankly staring at the tour buses, especially the deserted looking one. Then I saw Mike and Tre walk inside the deserted bus, I wasn't sure why, maybe they just wanted to see what a run down bus looked like from the inside. They didn't see me though. Then Billie walked in to the deserted bus too, I thought he would just be checking it out with Mike and Tre. It was now half an hour before the show started, the front of the concert building was now packed with people. I looked at the buses again I don't know why I was so concentrated on that deserted bus, probably because it was creepy and Green Day was in it and could come out any second hopefully noticing me. Then I saw them come out of the bus they looked really not like themselves. They looked all bashed up and deformed with no expression on their faces, they didn't look like Green Day anymore, it freaked me out. I quickly turned around and walked away. The doors were now open the people stormed in to the concert hall and I was running, I was right in front of them all, I knew I would be in the front row now, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to be in front now. I was in the front row now, as Billie was moving around the stage and standing on the edge of the stage during the show, I could see it wasn't him. This Person who is supposed to be Billie wasn't anything like him, this person wasn't moving the same way as Billie would usually move on stage. I wasn't cheering after every song, I wasn't excited, I was just standing there with my eyes closed imagining how the show would really be with the real Green Day on stage. Something happened in that deserted bus. The crowd was also not the usual crazy as they normally are at Green Day shows, they were just not feeling it. They also probably knew that something was up with Green Day. I went home after the show, with that image in my mind, that bashed up version of Green Day, the way they looked after coming out of that bus. I just couldn't forget it, as much as I wanted to. I don't know why, but that picture in my mind changed me. I was scared out of my mind, I couldn't trust anyone anymore. 3 months have gone by since that show and I decided to go to therapy because I was to scared to leave the house, I just didn't do anything anymore. I needed professional help, I was going crazy. That's why I'm here. I told the lady sitting at the front desk in the insane asylum. She just simply replied: That's why you should've switched to Linkin Park. The End. I hope you enjoyed this creepy pasta! ( by the way gd is better than linkin park)😀 By the way, this whole story, as confirmed by the title, is only FICTIONAL, it is not real, neither is it based on a real experience! This is all just made up! Halloween is coming up, who are you going to dress up as?
  26. 1 point
    Original "Nimrod" 12" vinyl with insert/lyrics Original "Nimrod" promo/store poster German "Redundant" promo CD single "A Day Out In Paris" bootleg CD recorded in 1998
  27. 1 point
    The first song from a new little fictional album, Synthesis. Enjoy. Stage Set Shutter speed intervene Get the spark to run Line the code gene by gene Get the spark the gun Illuminate the choreography highlighting subtle iconography Big Brother making films through the strobe from the introspection spectrum through the probe Chorus: Movement is a language when your voice is chained the glyphs in the wall between the cloister's vein The colors swell in the glen of the artist's pen Ink well, drink well in the devil's den Got my stage set, got my stage set Got no regret, got my stage set Call me Kahlo with my bones on display picturesque symbols where my roses lay Golden skies, melted time in the rhyme that I pine It's a capsule I define with golden mean in every line There's the graphics in taboos of every mood in the room I piece together forms in the waning of the moon Ever wonder why I delve so deep inward while the innards and the gizzards chew through the contenders, but it's a... (Chorus) The props line the closets where the organs fail Propped up by the remnants of the scarlet letter trail Got my stage set Got my stage set Got no regret Got my stage set (Chorus)
  28. 1 point
    Okay so it's been a while since I updated this! Basically we ran into a bit of trouble during the painting process. First off, the weather is shit for a few weeks so the guy painting it couldn't really do it without it turning to shit. When he finally was able to paint it, he started relicing it and went a bit overboard so he had to restrip the guitar and start again. After getting it painted the second time, it was getting close to Christmas so he was shutting down for a few weeks. I had the option of him doing a rush job, or waiting till after Christmas when he was actually moving to my city and we could work on it together. It's currently in the processed of being reliced and looking fucking amazing. I figured it had been a while since I updated here so I wanted to give a little tease of the paint job. So here it is! Up next - Part Three: Relicing
  29. 1 point
    For those who don't know, Blue is a Japanese 1981 daphne blue Fernandes RST50 "Revival" Stratocaster with a maple neck. It has a 7 screw hole pickguard (as opposed to a 11 hole). Unfortunately finding this model in daphne blue is next to impossible, I've only ever seen 1 or 2 other ones and they weren't for sale. Because of this I decided to settle on getting one in any colour and just having it repainted. It took me about a week to find the exact model for a decent price. Most places wanted $700+ for the guitar even though that model isn't worth that much. After searching through ebay, Reverb, and other trading posts I eventually found one on an online store in Japan. Unfortunately they wouldn't ship to Australia but luckily for me, I had a friend in Japan will to help me out! The guitar arrived a few weeks later and looks fantastic! I forgot to take pictures of it before it went off to get painted (it's currently being done now) but here's some ones from the online store Up next - Part Two: Painting


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