Personalities | Green Day | In The Beginning (1989) | Key Events
Sign To Lookout! Records
Sweet Children began to build a reputation as they had started to play at Gilman and at local parties. One night, they played at a house party in front of an audience of five, supporting The Lookouts, another local punk-rock outfit. Larry Livermore, who had formed the band and was playing that night, was also co-founder of Lookout! Records. Livermore liked Sweet Children’s energy and conviction, and offered them the opportunity to record an EP. Lookout! had originally been formed with the sole purpose of releasing The Lookouts’ records, but soon began documenting the emerging Bay Area punk scene as well as recording like-minded bands from other cities, including Screeching Weasel and The Queers. Strong sales of Operation Ivy’s debut six-track Hectic EP allowed Livermore’s hand-to-mouth operation to fund Sweet Children’s EP offer.
Recorded quickly and cheaply at the Art Of Ears Studio in Hayward, California, Sweet Children’s debut EP was laid down with a minimum of fuss and overdubs. ‘1,000 Hours’, ‘Dry Ice’, ‘Only Of You’ and ‘The One I Want’ revealed a young band full of nu-punk attitude but, like The Buzzcocks and British power-pop movement before them, with a compulsive melodic edge. Anarchy came in the form of an eleventh-hour name change with the EP released as Green Day. ‘A Green Day is a day with lots of green bud where you just sit around taking bong hits,’ Mike later told a fanzine.
Green Day’s Gilman Debut
As members of the local scene, Billie Joe and Mike fulfilled their ambition for Sweet Children to play Gilman on 24 November 1988. They were allowed to prop up a bill delivering a short, energetic set that included self-penned material and cover versions like The Who’s ‘My Generation’ and Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny B. Goode’. Their first gig at Gilman as Green Day took place on 28 May 1989 in the wake of the April release of their debut EP 1,000 Hours. The headliners were Billie Joe’s beloved Operation Ivy who – sadly – performed their final gig before splitting up.
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