Friday, June 5, 2009

Free Press Sneak Peek

Here is a sneak peek at the story to run Thursday in Currents on Green Day's presence in Mankato, the lovely Adrienne (Nesser) Armstrong, with lots of stories from people who knew her here, and the Mankato punk scene in the early 1990s.

A campaign has been launched to contact Adrienne (Nesser) Armstrong, the first lady of Green Day, who attended Minnesota State University in the early 1990s. Her presence here, as far as we can tell, is what lured in Billie Joe Armstrong, her now husband, and his band Green Day to play a couple of shows here. Despite the fact that the band is now at the global fame level, we're trying to appeal to their sense of nostalgia and get them to play a show in K-Town. And we'd love to talk with Adrienne, who is our own little local punk icon from the past, about her time in Mankato. For details, visit

Campaign Green Day Area fans reflect on the early '90s, when a small punk scene thrived and Green Day was part of it
By Amanda Dyslin

It was dark in the middle of the southern Minnesota countryside, somewhere by St. Peter in the summer of 1992.
On a farm with a barn and not much else, there was one light pole casting a shallow light on three guys standing atop 6-foot wide, 5-foot tall wire spools -- a makeshift stage to gain high ground over 200 or so people watching. Next to them was a big, old, beat-up beast of a car pulled up by the owner so 15 or so people could stand on top and gain a better view. One of them had a video camera.
Ben Gruber, then a sophomore at Loyola High School, was there. In fact, he and a buddy had helped haul equipment for the band, and even gave the drummer, Tré Cool, a ride before the show in Mankato. The music was good, he said. A lot more polished than other punk bands he'd seen in Mankato.
He was aware of the five-year-old band, born in Berkeley, Calif., he said. They'd put out a couple of smaller recordings, including their full-length debut "39/Smooth" on Lookout! Records. But they were two years from their breakthrough record, "Dookie," which would have pretty much everyone at the show that night in awe of what they had experienced -- maybe one of the last stripped down, small-scale punk shows Green Day would ever perform.

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