Friday, October 13, 2006

GREEN DAY-- THE SPIRIT OF LIBERTY

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Green Day is probably the biggest band in the world now. They're certainly the over-all best live band on the concert circuit and Billie Joe Armstrong is the only young songwriter I'd ever compare to Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell. Tuesday night I was really proud to take part in a very special Green Day night. The country's most prestigious progressive advocacy organization, People For the American Way awarded Green Day their Spirit of Liberty Award for 2006. It's not the kind of award they normally hand out to punk rockers. Normally people like Teddy Kennedy, Walter Cronkite, Nancy Pelosi, Charles Kuralt, Gore Vidal and George Clooney are singled out for this honor. So why Billie, Tré and Mike? I asked a People For the American Way Board member to explain it.

"Green Day have reached millions of people around the world with their realistic and positive message of engagement. Their politics aren't partisan, party politics; their politics are the reactions of observant young people growing up in a world of inequality and families struggling to stay together and navigate through a hateful health care system in a society where corrupt elected officials vote themselves immense pay raises-- while stealing millions more-- and at the same time victimize labor unions and refuse to increase a pitiful minimum wage. Green Day were profoundly shocked by the devastation Katrina caused to New Orleans. But when they told me about it, they seemed far ore shocked by the non-response from a political system that has to this day left New Orleans in ruins and uninhabited. As Billie Joe mentioned in his acceptance speech, the Spirit of Liberty Awards was different from one of their Grammy awards or MTV awards or American Music awards or any of the international awards that have been heaped on them. This one wasn't just because their music struck a chord with millions and millions of rock music fans around the world. It's about how they've responded to the world around them, whether helping Fat Mike with punkvoter.com or helping New Orleans with relief the Bush Regime is unwilling to provide."


Tuesday was a special night for yours truly too. Along with my Blue America partners, Jane Hamshire or Firedoglake and John Amato of Crooks and Liars, and Blue America congressional candidate Robert Rodriguez I got to watch the evening unfold from a ringside seat. Ambassador Joe Wilson gave a ringing keynote speech, a powerful indictment of a criminal regime run wild. I also got to introduce Green Day and present them with their award, something I'll never forget. The biggest thrill for me was hearing one of America's best comedians, George Lopez, deliver lines I had written. That really blew my mind.

Anyway, I just want to make note at DWT about this milestone for People For the American Way-- it's their 25th Anniversary of fighting the radical right-- and this milestone for Green Day. I can't think of a better way for People For the American Way to keep itself relevant to a new generation of Americans than to understand and engage 3 guys like Mike, Billie and Tré and the people they speak to and for.

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25 Comments:

At 4:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the article. Ive been listening to the band since '93, and theyve definetly grown and you can tell that just through their albums. They are an incredible bunch of guys and a huge inspiration for up and coming rockers, thats for sure.

Ray
estimaze_rex@hotmail.com

 
At 6:53 PM, Anonymous makarena said...

hello i´m makarena from argentina...
the page is fantastic...for every fans of green day.. as my friend matii =) he loves green day.. and he likes very much this page .... I don´t have nathing else to say !!
good luck !
maka!!
and matii :)

 
At 7:40 AM, Anonymous PunkRockLivi said...

hey, great article good job. Green Day mean alot to me as a band but also as teachers. They really inspired not only me, but many many bands over the years. keep rocking

livi, england (13th birthday soon)

 
At 2:29 PM, Blogger Profa. Audy Y. Castañeda said...

I've been listening to Green Day since the days there were Sweet Children. They're just great! A real inspiration to me. Their music, looks, and most importantly, their ideas, have influenced my life in many ways, but especially in my teaching. All the best for them!!

Audy Castañeda (39-year-old Venezuelan teacher of English at university)

 
At 1:18 AM, Anonymous God said...

Is it just me or is Billie Joe wearing lipstick now?

 
At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Liked this page because i like green day.they are a great rolemodel, not just there music but also the fact that they were not afraid to become a punk rock,opera band.

 
At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Loved the article. It was amazing! Green Day u guys rock!!!
P.S Love ur music!

 
At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GREENDAY YOU GUYS ROCK HARD!!!!!!!!
LOVE YOUR GUYES MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!
THE WAY YOUR SONGS MEAN IS THE WAY I FEEL INSIDE OF ME!!!!!YOU GUYS SING WITH SUCH PASHON!!!!!!!
KEEP ROCKEN HARD GREENDAY!!!!!!!
REMEMBER YOUR FANS ARE SOPORTING YOU ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOVE YOU!!!!!!

 
At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

green day es lo mejor que hay en el mundo entero me encanta!!!!..... y soy re-fana!!!!!!....
soy yamila de argentina - mar del plata ! perdon por no haber escrito en ingles!...sorry...!

 
At 4:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im reali proud of you Green Day! Ive been a fan for ages, congrats on the new award you guys deserve it! Keep on rocking and make us proud with another album soon, we will be here to support u all the way

 
At 4:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Green Day, u guys rock! Im reali proud of you guys u done a great job! Make us proud with a new album and keep on rocking 4eva, congrats on the new award! We with u all the way!!

Love from ur Biggest fan!

 
At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

billie your so cute!

 
At 3:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CongratZ 2 Billie and Green Day....
I Love u so much..
keep rock on!!

 
At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you guys! You really deserve this award! I hope to hear new stuff soon! You are my favorite band ever, and when American Idiot struck BIG I was like YES! the rest of the world will finally realize just how awesome thses guys are!!! And it really happened! My friend from Ina totally loves you guys, but she never heard any of your old stuff (don't worry I fixed that!) Keep rockin' Green Day, All Three of you are Hot!!!

 
At 6:00 AM, Anonymous adry armstrong said...

i love green day!!they're the best punk-rock band!!their albums are beautiful and their songs too.Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool are the best..forever!!

 
At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love green day my whole room is in green day i even have this granide that is fake and it shockek you when you mess with it it is funny


if you love green day go to
http://eventful.com/
and demaind them to come to your town or in your state



love alwayes

Ashley Thibodaux

 
At 8:46 PM, Anonymous norma jean alvarado said...

SUPERMOMAN SAID.....

GREEN DAY YOU GUYS ROCK MY HEART!!!!!!YOU GUYS CHANGED ME FOR THE BEST.I'LL ALWAYS KEEP YOU IN MY IPOD AND MY HEART!!!!SO KEEP ROCKING AND LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!OH YEAH BILLIE,TRE,MIKE YOUR HOT!!!

LATER,
AKA NORMA JEAN ALVARADO

 
At 6:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really loved the article.Green Day u rock and you've changed this world....alot! P.S luv your music!!!

 
At 5:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love GREEN DAY.they are great.i've listend all their albums,and I can say that they are the bigest band ever.they desirve all those awards...they are very loved in Romania..i hope they will come soon and have a concert here.i love BILLIE i love MIKE i love TRE.in 3 words:LOVE GREEN DAY.

 
At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

omg greenday u mean tha world 2 me.u r my fav band n u r tha best thing in my life.i have bin listenin 2 ur inspiring lyrics n catchy riffs 4 more than 5 years n i have appreciated every minute. you are so gd at wat u do n tha awards u still recieve are deserved in every way.congrats frm ur no1 fan.thanks guys!luv ya longtime n 4eva... mwah

 
At 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

billie ur my god 4eva!!!!!!!i love andy

 
At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Lexi said...

Dude Billie Joe is so Hott when he made his speech there. I love Green Day there the best bands in the world!!!!!!!!!

 
At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Halo, aku Bintang dari Indonesia.
Congratulation and salutation for Green Day.
Aku udah dengerin album greenday mulai dari album kerplunk. Aku sangat kagum dengan musik dan lirik2 lagu kalian yang selalu memberiku inspirasi dan berkembang mengikuti perkembangan zaman.
Alright, Let's go Billie, Mike, Tre', You are my favourite band in this world

 
At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMFG Green day is the coolest band ever never thought they would get something like that. ALL HAIL GREEN DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 8:53 AM, Anonymous jackson im 10 said...

LIKE THAT IS SO COOL SWEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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