by Robert Wilkinson
Today we send up a Happy Solar Return and Birthday to musical power house Billie Joe Armstrong, frontman for Green Day. A band that can rally millions, his is the voice that's challenged authoritarian and brain-dead thinking for years. Today we have videos.
As I wrote last year, in case you've been on a trip to Sirius or Alpha Centauri, Green Day blasted their way to national influence in the so-called "grunge" alternative rock movement of the mid-1980s. The band originated in Berserkeley and soon blazed to global popularity through its uncompromising brand of neo-punk thrash rock that forced everyone to take note of what was happening. A major musical force and social conscience in our world, for your listening pleasure here are Billie Joe Armstrong, Taurus Mike Dirnt, and Sagittarian Tre Cool (with a shout-out to Scorpio Jason White)!
Today features early, middle, and recent performances, so enjoy the many faces of Oaksterdam native Billie Joe Armstrong! We begin today's party with a bowl full of their classic tunes, all great videos of Green Day live. Unfortunately some require a bit of buffering time before hitting play, but hang in there. It's worth the wait!
Let's begin with a video for a cause that really matters. Here's a great performance for "Instant Karma: the Campaign to Save Darfur," Amnesty International's effort to bust genocidal war criminals. A powerful video of Green Day doing the John Lennon classic Working Class Hero offering a chilling indictment of genocide! Here's their performance of "Working Class Hero" on American Idol that was said to "stun America." We can only wish that Amerika would wake up and remember.....
Here's one of their best! From 1995 in France, "Good Riddance (the Time of your Life)."
Recent material features some magnificent live performances. We now groove into my favorite Green Day song, "Holiday." Written as an in-your-face challenge to the Bush War Criminal administration, Billie Joe makes it clear that "This song is not anti-American. It's anti-WAR!"
This version is magnificent. From the Billboard Awards ceremony, "Holiday."
From the album of the same name, here's a video of American Idiot.
An interesting Live Audio 1990 performance that features fragments of several early songs set to still photos.
And if you still want more, here's the official Green Day You Tube channel where I'm sure you can get dialed in to what's up with this amazing group.
Happy 39, Billie Joe. Keep writing, keep rocking, and keep the flame burning bright!
© Copyright 2011 Robert Wilkinson