Going Green (Day)

Posted by: , May 20, 2009 in 10:25 am


Since Friday our household has been loud.  Very, very loud.  Who is making all the noise?  Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you are probably one of a million other mamas reading this (how’d ya like how I assume millions read this blog–funny, eh?).I’m talking about Green Day.  If you think Green Day disappeared back in the late-1990s, you must’ve missed them winning all those Grammys just a few years ago for their masterpiece, American Idiot.  When American Idiot came out, I was pregnant.  In fact, Green Day came to town and I skipped the show because I was due in only a few weeks–and uncomfortably large.

The first few years of Benjamin’s life he was privy to the live concert CD, Bullet in a BibleBullet in a Bible is like American Idiot…on steroids.  It has been in my minivan CD player almost continually since 2005.  If you are a reader of this blog (you, and a few other million) you might remember my blurb on profanity in the music we listen to in the car.  To ease any concerns you might have, rest easy…Benjamin is now well aware which words only Billie Joe may say and which words are for four-year-olds to repeat.  A few weeks ago I exchanged Bullet in a Bible for American Idiot and Benjamin learned to sing every word (sans repetition of profanity, of course).

When I had to tell him Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown would be coming out this month, I was worried he wouldn’t be able to make the switch.  I started prepping him a couple of week ago.  First, I began following @GreenDayNews on Twitter.  Then, when one of their video performances was posted on YouTube, we’d watch.  [You see…Green Day started playing secret shows in California a few weeks ago and of course, people were videotaping and uploading clips as quickly as the band played them.]  So, we’ve been sampling the new material for about a month.

Well, Friday…21st Century Breakdown dropped.  Is that the term?  Anyway…the CD came out in stores.  I am one of the few people who does not prefer the digital download.  I love to open my CD cabinet and see shelves of space-raping plastic cases glistening back at me.  So, on Friday we rushed to Target and bought the “Target Exclusive,” which included 21st Century Breakdown + a 5 song CD of live pieces, recorded in Japan on the American Idiot tour.  We tore the package open and slid that baby into the minivan CD player–and it was love at first guitar strum.

I feel seventeen again.

[Okay, I am exaggerating.  When I was seventeen, the boys in Green Day had just recently formed the band.  They had not yet released 39/Smooth and I surely was not yet cool enough to know of their existence.  At that time, Vanilla Ice was still hanging around and Kurt Cobain was just about to shake everything up.  My musical landscape was indeed, askew.]

Yet, since Friday I have stumbled into adolescence again.  As I said, I purchased the CD the moment it arrived in stores.  We listened to it all day Friday and then Saturday…Green Day was the musical guest on SNL.  In the meantime, I’d also begun following Billie Joe,  @BillieJArmstrng.  By the time the boys graced my television screen on Saturday night, I was crazed.  The following morning Benjamin asked, “Did you tape Green Day?”

So, we watched the SNL performance a couple of times and spent most of Sunday, listening to the CD again.  By Monday we each had the lyrics memorized and while washing dishes on any given day, I can be found humming “Christian’s Inferno.”  We even had a chance to revisit the profanity issue.  Ben noted, “Billie Joe says bad words like funkin’.”  Although the term, “funkin'” is not generally acknowledged as bad, I allowed him to consider it off limits.  No one wants to offend the mass public if her four-year-old is overheard singing, “I’m not funkin’ around!” along with Billie Joe Armstrong.

So, needless to say…my Facebook status is emblazoned with Green Day love, my daily tweets include at least one Green Day reference and our living room and minivan sound like CBGB (assuming it still existed).  It has been a good week in the Allen Household.  Thank you, Billie Joe.  Thank you, Mike Dirnt.  And, thank you, Tre Cool.


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