Monday, August 6, 2018

Alternative Roots: Green Day

Musical innovation is a thing of the past.  Yes, you read that right.  All the songs in today’s musical landscape have been borrowed, recycled, or reimagined – and I do not mean that as a knock.  Did you really think Elvis discovered rock and roll?  Of course not.  Bill Haley had already recorded rock and roll songs.  He may have borrowed from Chuck Berry and Little Richard.  They borrowed influences from the blues and country music – and the chain goes on and on.  Elvis just chased the trend, had the right look, the right moves, and was in the right place at the right time.  Your favorite artists have been doing the same exact thing for years – whether it’s a look, a chord progression, or an attitude.  Spotting an influence is sometimes as easy as a sticker on a guitar.  Other times, it is as obscure as a single chord, as is the case of Joey Santiago of The Pixies and the “Hendrix Chord.”  Diving into a band’s musical influences not only gives you better appreciation for an artist, but may also turn you on to some great classic music.  I am going to kick off this monthly segment with one of today’s top alternative artists, Green Day.  They may be the masters of three-chord power-pop, but they didn’t invent it.  Below are three artists who have influenced Green Day.  Two have been acknowledged by the band and the third is an observation of my own.  Do your homework, expand your palate, and take a listen.  There is a good chance you’re gonna like what you hear.

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