Kevin Kawano: One of my favorite albums of all time also happens to be the first CD I bought as a kid: Green Day’s American Idiot. I grew up listening to the music my parents listened to, so most of the songs I knew were from before the 90s. I remember popping that CD into my boombox and being blown away by the title track. The guitars and drums immediately sparked something in me that made me want to pursue music. Billie Joe Armstrong’s vocal delivery and lyrics catapulted my mind into another realm where all I could think of was hearing more. I also remember my mother’s reaction to hearing me play my new CD. Her ears immediately perked up at the lyric, “The subliminal mind-fuck America.”
However, as I continued listening to the CD, she would occasionally pop into my room and say something along the lines of, “that’s actually pretty good.” The second track on American Idiot, “Jesus of Suburbia,” is one of the most fascinating pieces of rock music ever written with its seemingly never-ending musical twists and turns. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” pulled at my heartstrings in a way that nothing else had before. And when I watched the band perform American Idiot in their 2005 live album Bullet In A Bible one year later, I suddenly knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life: I wanted to perform. American Idiot is one of those rare albums where every song holds my interest from beginning to end. It had the fuck you attitude we needed in a post 9/11 world, an iconic sound that to me defines rock and roll in the 2000’s and is probably the reason I am a musician. ❖
Joker’s Hand Duo are No Idiots: The “War Profiteer” single and video is out now.