I’m not one of those silly women who idolizes rock stars.
I’m proud to say that as a young girl, I DID NOT possess a poster one of David Cassidy, Mark Lester, Jack Wilde, Michael Jackson, Bobby Sherman, Donny Osmond or the short British Monkee who’s name escapes me.
I’ve never read a Tiger Beat magazine, either.
But I like Green Day. And that’s a bit unusual for me, mainly because I’m actually too old to like a band who’s core members were just 14 when they formed the group back in 1987l a year when I was living dangerously as a rambunctious, throw caution to the wind, 28-year-old in what amounts to Northern Mexico.
I remember first hearing about the talented trio that is Green Day back in the mid-90’s. I thought they sounded “big” and robust. Their music wasn’t all that complicated, but I was fascinated by their lyrics.
In short, I’ve always thought Billie Joe Armstrong was something of a poet, though that’s such a hackneyed term. Let’s call him a “craftsman”.
His experiences as a boy could best be described as gritty. I assume that has only contributed to his life’s rich texture.
He grew up in California. His father, Andy Armstrong,was a retired minor league catcher, who also worked as a jazz musician and truck driver to support the family. He died of cancer on September 10, 1982 when Armstrong was 10. The song, “Wake Me Up When September Ends“, is a memorial to his father.
The poignant ballad is drenched in melancholia. Armstrong revisits his painful childhood and reminisces about the day his father died. For him, it represented innocence lost. Armstrong says he never recovered from the loss of his father. He says even though 25-years have passed, he still associates pain with the month of September.
Summer has come and passed
The innocence can never last
wake me up when September ends
Like my fathers come to pass
seven years has gone so fast
wake me up when September ends
Here comes the rain again
falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are
This is just one example of his writing which he does with such emotion. It’s raw and it’s very real.
Initially, I was struck by the lyrics the first time I heard “Good Riddance”.
And then I was stuck in the perpetuity of Green Day fandom.
Here’s a primer on Billie Joe Armstrong, ripped from the pages of Lauriepedia:
In 1990, Armstrong met his future wife, Adrienne Nesser. They eventually married and now have two children named Joseph (called Joey by his family) and Jakob. Adrienne is the co-owner of Adeline Records, along with Armstrong.
The hag in me loves this next tidbit of info which I will admit, I didn’t know. Armstrong has stated that he is bisexual. In an interview with the gay mag, The Advocate, Armstrong was quoted as saying, “I think I’ve always been bisexual. I mean, it’s something that I’ve always been interested in. I think everybody kind of fantasizes about the same sex. I think people are born bisexual, and it’s just that our parents and society kind of veer us off into this feeling of ‘Oh, I can’t.’ They say it’s taboo. It’s ingrained in our heads that it’s bad, when it’s not bad at all. It’s a very beautiful thing.”
Armstrong stated that he had a crush on Angus Young in his childhood.
Angus Young? AC/DC’s British School Lad Clad Angus? The man with a face only Mrs. Young could love?
OK, Billie Joe, to each his own.
Maybe it was the lingering after-effects of this prolonged crush that had something to do with Billie Joe’s brush with the cops. He was arrested in January 2003 for a DUI after being pulled over for speeding.
After taking a Breathalyzer test, Armstrong received a reading of .18, more than twice the state’s legal limit of .08.
Armstrong is also a registered Libertarian.
I greatly respect that about the lad. He hasn’t fallen into that overtly Liberal abyss that often engulfs performers.
Plus, he puts his money where his mouth is. He’s actively involved in philanthropic ventures–including Habitat For Humanity–but doesn’t require press release or a camera crew to cover his every move.
So yeah, I like Green Day, but I also like Billie Joe Armstrong very much. He writes with feeling and feels everything he writes.
I know he inspires me to feel.
Oh and BJ, on the off chance you’re reading this–please know that I’m a firm believer in that “ask and ye shall receive” line of thinking. Well Sir, I can’t wait for the new Green Day studio album which will be released later this year. So, allow me to employ the old adage by asking—nay, I’m imploring you to send your Number One fan (and not in a “Misery” kind of way) a signed CD?
If you do, it’ll be Green Day forever. I’ll never listen to the Buzzcocks again.