Personalities | Green Day | In The Beginning (1990) | Key Events
Green Day’s debut LP was recorded and mixed between 29 December 1989 and 2 January 1990 at Art Of Ears Studio. Musically it was an affirmative affair, at odds with other bands on the Gilman scene, with energetic melodic hooks and lyrics ranging from teenage infatuation (‘At The Library’, ‘Disappearing Boy’) to the desire of children such as Billie Joe and Mike from difficult backgrounds to belong (‘Road To Acceptance’). ‘Hey, can you hear me?’, Billie Joe sang on the pert track ‘Rest’ and, on 13 April, fans who bought the LP, on black, clear and green vinyl, could.
First US Tour
Green Day’s first 45-date tour was set up through contacts of Lookout! and the band’s own endeavour. They headed into the great American unknown in Billie Joe’s older brother’s converted Ford Econoline van. Playing anywhere and everywhere from house parties to small punk venues for food, money and fuel, the band managed to get by, sleeping on floors, sofas and the occasional bed. At a gig in Minneapolis Billie Joe met 22-year-old Adrienne Nesser and, although she had a boyfriend and he had a girlfriend, there was a connection that led to correspondence and increasingly longer and longer telephone calls.
Despite a US tour and debut LP under their belt, Green Day were living hand-to-mouth. It was with an eye upon his future that the older John Kiffmeyer decided to enrol at Humboldt State College in Arcata, California, 250 miles north of the Bay Area. If he expected the band to adapt to his study schedule he was wrong. Although Kiffmeyer played some gigs, Dave ‘E.C.’ Henwood from Filth and The Wynona Riders initially warmed the drum stool and it was not long before Billie Joe and Mike found a permanent solution in a local player on the Gilman scene from Larry Livermore’s band The Lookouts: Tre Cool.
Tre’s First Gig
Born 9 December 1972, Frank Edwin Wright was raised in the mountainous area of Mendocino where, as a 12-year-old pre-teen, he started playing in Larry Livermore’s Lookouts. Like the drummer Dee Generate in British band Eater, his energy and enthusiasm made up for a lack of technique which was swiftly acquired as The Lookouts began playing around their local area and a few years later at Gilman. Livermore gave Wright the nickname Tre Cool – unflappable, excitable – and he slipped into the role of drummer, pot smoker and king of Green Day mischief like a hand into a leather glove.
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