With Green Day‘s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame tonight, I thought I’d retell the story of that night in 2001 when they played CBGBs for the first, and last, time.

“Sat Apr 28, 2001

Okay, so Thursday night (April 26th) I get to CBGBs in NYC around 7:30 to see my friend Jack Rabid’s band Last Burning Embers (he’s been publisher of the great [maga]Zine The Big Takeover for 20 years now as well) at 7:45 (Bobby from Bad Religion was there too)…High Speed Chase featuring Mr Chris Gibson at 8:15…and my cousin Jesse‘s new band Bellvue (he formerly of D Generation) at 10:30. So, needless to say, I was prepared for a loooong night. What I didn’t expect was what was going to keep me there until 2:30 in the freakin’ morning.

Now, I should remind you that a couple of years ago D Generation toured Europe opening for Green Day. And Green Day were in NYC Thursday to do the Howard Stern Show and Late Show with David Letterman. So it wasn’t completely surprising to see Green Day’s Tre Cool enjoying Bellvue’s set. Then you notice Billie Joe is there. Then a rumour starts to spread that Green Day will play at the end of the night.

Well, at 1:05 in the damn morning, immediately after the last band on the bill, who should jump on stage but GREEN DAY. At CBGBs. In front of maybe 100 people. Using that last band’s gear. They proceed to play an unplanned, request and cover filled, rollicking, hysterical, HOUR AND TEN MINUTE set. Among the originals they did were “Longview”, “Welcome To Paradise”, “She”, “Blood Sex & Booze”, and they ended with “Minority”. I think the only cover they actually completed was the Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks”. They also included bits and pieces of everything from Hendrix’ “Foxy Lady” to Sabbath’s “Crazy Train” to Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” to Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger”. They even respectfully declined a request to play a Ramones song saying, “Why should we do a Ramones song? They did them to perfection.”

What was already a great night of NYC rock ended as a night the few of us who were still there in the wee hours will ever forget.
I think Joey would have approved…”

 

— Well, here’s something I didn’t expect to find. Video of the night in question!

greenday_cbgb

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