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18 December 2021

Green Day Celebrate 30th Anniversary Of ‘Kerplunk!’

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Photo: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
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Green Day have been celebrating the 30th anniversary of their second album, Kerplunk!, on social media. Kerplunk! laid the foundations for their breakthrough album, 1994’s Dookie, and was their last for independent label Lookout! Records. Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong marked the occassion by asking Lookout! co-founder Larry Livermore, to write a retrospective piece for the anniversary: I Am The Disappearing Boy: 30 Years Of Kerplunk.

Reflecting on the band’s success, Larry writes: “What made me so sure? Part of it was just a gut instinct, the same sort of feeling that had prompted me to ask Green Day (still Sweet Children at the time, strictly speaking) to do a record within minutes of seeing them play for five teenagers in a candlelit cabin in the middle of a mountain wilderness.

“Billie and Mike were only 16 at the time, and their then-drummer, Al Sobrante was all of 18. It was only their third or fourth show ever, but there was no doubt in my mind that their music was ready for the world. It might have taken the world a little while to catch on, but three years later, it felt like that was about to happen.”

Detailing the young band’s attitude towards their craft, he also wrote: “But when it came to music, they were Very Serious Indeed. I was working with a lot of young bands in those days, and one thing I constantly struggled with was getting musicians to strike the right balance between having fun and making the most of their musical abilities.

“That was never an issue with Green Day. Other musicians would say things like, ‘We’re just a dumb punk band anyway, nobody’s gonna care what we do, so we might as well have fun.’ Green Day had plenty of fun, as anyone who knew them in those days can testify, but they also wrote and played music with the quiet, exuberant confidence of artists who didn’t need anyone else’s opinion to validate them.”

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