Friday, June 12, 2009

Some really good stories about Green Day's history have been coming in since the article came out. Here are a few good ones. Because a lot of these former punk-rock kids are now grown-ups with important jobs, I'm keeping most of them anonymous. But they're still fun to read. One guy even jammed with Billie Joe! ...

Green Day, hedge-divers
I think the famous St. Peter show was at Jenny Frank's parent's house. She was a friend of mine in high school and I was lucky to be there. If I remember right a noise complaint shut down the show in Mankato so it had to be moved.

... If I remember right, my friend Wendy Pongratz in high school dated Tre from Green Day for a short while. We hung out with them when they played at the U of M in Dinkytown. I remember them saying they thought my name was cool.

After the show at the U they did what they called hedge diving. They would crawl up something (a sign or building) and dive into the hedges below.

Of course, this wasn't for me but it was fun to watch. I think Wendy was recruited to make Green Day concert t-shirts the next day. Memories are a little foggy. I lost touch with Wendy and haven't been able to find her on Facebook or anything. I'm not sure if she is married.

... One afternoon I was watching MTV and heard the VJ announce that Green Day was up next. I thought somebody stole their name (I was so out of the loop). When the video came on, I knew it was them.

I jammed with Billie Joe
I was one of the goofy teenagers caught stage-diving in the video of the classic St. Peter Green Day show and I played in a bunch of mediocre bands in the old scene. I guess my big Green Day story involved playing on a street corner with Billie Joe once while hewas in town.

I was actually playing Green Day songs with a few of my friends in front of the Barmuda Triangle trying to make a few bucks off of drunk people when he came out of a bar with Adrienne (who I only casually knew) and he jumped in and played along. He was so drunk that he couldn't hit the high notes in the chorus of "Christie Road" -- that was funny.

By the way, I'm sure that somebody told you this at some point but the kid who originally hosted the Green Day show that moved to St. Peter was Dan Fisher. He was a high school skater at the time. Last I heard he is the owner of Professor's in the open mall in Mankato Place.

The St. Peter show was at my house
I was only fourteen at the time, but I remember how quickly it all happened. My sister, Jenny, called from a show that needed to get moved because it was getting too loud where it was at, and told me that it was Green Day and that there were a lot of people.

I mowed the lawn and got some stage material out to work with. I didn't have much, but when they got there it all came together really quick. The band members found the big empty wooden wire spools in the pasture and climbed up on them to roll them in place by walking on top of them. It looked like a circus act.

I remember a lot of cars. My whole yard was full. In less than an hour my quiet country house turned into a raging punk rock show. My mother, Barb, stayed in the house letting the women in to use the restroom, and keeping the peace, like mothers do. I let people in the hayloft of the barn where I had a small skate park for anyone to use. Everything went really smoothly and we had no problems, and everyone was very courteous.

The show hit its climax when the sheriff, who was extremely considerate for what he had to deal with, showed up and literally pulled the plug to deal with the noise complaints from miles away. Everyone kept on singing, though. They were singing "I Shot the Sheriff" and when they got done singing, everyone got in their cars and scooted away.

Thanks to everyone involved. It has been a pleasure to have the memory of Green Day playing at my house. I do not live there anymore, the tornado took most of it. The house is still there, but the barn blew down in the tornado.
-- Heath Frank

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