An Old Punker Weighs in on Green Day, Methuselahs of Rock n' Roll
|Still older than me... but what the hey, right? They have more hair...|
Ahh. where do I begin, sweet reader, where do I begin? Well, let's start at the beginning like all the true and honest pieces we've shared here in the past. Let this old dino have another couple of years of local journalism... Because let's face the facts, me ankles are being nipped by the incongruent molars of youth and quite frankly, I have not the medical insurance guaranteed by my sheriffs to defray them costs.
So then, let's go to the beginning. When Green Day announced their triptych effort (¡Uno! was already released), I was asked weigh in with my two cents. With Matt Preira's controversial County Grind article, 5 Ways Green Day Sold out to the Punx, the youths had their say. So, I'm the ringer brought in to make Green Day cool again. At least for the "pushing forty" crowd (which I'm told accounts for thirty percent of our readership).
It's not like I've been without my own criticism on writing Green Day related articles. I actually got a few angry e-mails over this little blurb. But let's go back, let's go back all the way to the early winter of 1992 when the GD had just dropped their first effort with drummer Tré Cool, Kerplunk (and their last) on the Lookout! record label. I was in high school at the time, and it was a righteous time to love Green Day! That was twenty fucking years ago! Can you believe it?! It was a great time to consider GD cool!
So much so, that in anticipation of their major label release, Dookie, I adorned the wall over my bed with the catastrophic cartoon promo poster of dogs squandering their fecal wealth in the face of a nuclear apocalypse. Yup. Right next to my delicious Helmet "Betty" poster and my Ramones' "Rocket to Russia" poster and countless other offerings that threw my mother into hissy fits.
All's I'm saying is that while I have not diligently followed Green Day's career since those halcyon days, I'm pleasantly confused and befuddled as to why a new mantle of "punkers" would take it upon themselves to berate and belittle their accomplishments. Seriously?
Weren't the Pistols and the Ramones on major labels from the get-go? Yes. That is an old argument not worthy of these digital pages. An argument grounded wholly in the simple fact that with the exception of very few luminaries in many scenes (NoMeansNo in punk, Danny Brown in hip-hop and Cheap Trick in heavy metal -- he heh he), most musicians set out to make money off of their wares.
Now, before we get thick and heavy into thinking that I want to take this young whipper-snapper out back and "teach him a few things," rest assured that I hold the young gentleman, Matt Preira, in the utmost of planes. He is a young dude who has proven his worth and mettle. His Roofless Records has been a welcome and necessary addition to the South Florida music scene and he continuously proves to have a helluva lot more stamina that I did at that age. Not to mention that he is an excellent conversationalist and modern Renaissance Man. But we've been conflicted into a conflict here: Old school versus new school.
Green Day is a band that started out the real way. Rehearsing in a supportive parent's living room, hitting the road, making the right connections... Was it really their fault that some of their tracks, specifically 1997's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" became a part of pop culture? Thank God I was not privy to that catastrophe; high school was most certainly, not the "time of my life." I had already "graduated" by then, and I'd venture to say that my mid-30s have been the time of my life. So far. I suspect my 40s will be even better.
I'll say this much, and I'll say it in true punk rock spirit, if the younger punks are not at first raging and clanging against my "diminishing" punk sensibilities, then they ain't punk at all. Dig? Good. I can only hope that in true punk rock fashion they move on from attempted hassles towards bald punkers and make a true go in punk spirit against the real enemies out there: poverty, hunger, and inequality.
As far as I'm concerned, I welcome Green Day's upcoming holy trinity of records and may they be able to pay their mortgages and children's schooling with the royalties. Lord knows this punk worries about the same every day. Speaking of which, do retweet and Facebook "like" this, I've never written a song you'll care about, but I do got babies to feed.
But wait...UPDATE: And then this happens. All the words that have preceded this paragraph were written about a month ago before Billie Joe Armstrong took it upon himself to demand his "one fucking minute" during their set at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. Okay. This does not confuse me at all. I see it for what it is, given the timing of it all.
"Wake Me Up When September Ends"
When September ends, I'm born. But if any man ever talks to my sister that way, they're going to catch a motherfucking case. Stat.
I'm pretty sure Against All Authority did that song first and better. Oh well.
"Hitchin' A Ride"
I like the Fellini posturing. Don't you? Yeah, you do.