When I went to Wake Forest, I had my own radio show, and I used to go to a lot of concerts. A LOT. Most often, I would go with my good pal Peter. Peter and I went to Ani shows when he was the only dude in the audience. We went to ska shows before anyone had heard of No Doubt, let alone Gwen. And, if Green Day were anywhere within 200 miles of Winston-Salem, NC, you could bet your sweet ass we'd be there. Since high school, I had loved every minute of their 3 power chord punk mantras.
In fact, Peter was with me the last time I saw Green Day live. They were still playing small venues, but things had already started to change. I remember being outraged because the ticket price was a whopping $25 instead of $7. And, when they started to play "Welcome to Paradise" (the song that they'd start every show with, and I think they still might), I looked around and realized that not only was I not being moshed by pierced punks twice my size, but Peter and I were the tallest people there.
This isn't much of a feat for Peter, who stands well over 6 feet, but at 5'4", I felt a little strange. I looked around and realized that the average age in the room must have been 13. At the time, I was mature enough to find this amusing, but I was young enough - and still sentimentally tied to this band - that this really began to piss me off. How had Green Day - the punk rock kings of anti-establishment - screwed over Look Out Records and embraced the big label bling and toned-down rock anthems? How did they suddenly have a suburban following of preppy preteens? I remember making eye contact with Mike Dirnt and mouthing the words "SELL OUT" over and over until he saw me and mouthed them back.
At the end of the show, Peter and I left and marveled at all of the soccer moms lined up outside waiting to pick up their kids. At the time of that show, I was full of late teen/early 20s angst. I was so angered that a band that really spoke to me could sell out so easily.
Years later, I still listen to Green Day. In fact, I think American Idiot is one of the best albums in the past 10 years.
What's the point of all of this? Well, sometimes people sell out. And, you have to forgive them. And thusly, i am announcing my new blog. It's here. On this super-fancy blogger.com corporate funded institution. If you've read my blog from the beginning, you'd know that this is exactly what I was petitioning thousands - no millions - of readers to fight against. And yet, here we are.
But, I ask you to forgive me. As I have forgiven Green Day. Because, let's face it: they still make some pretty good music. And, I still have enough punk rock in me to admit that Billie Joe can still give me a girl boner.