Opening for Green Day on their American Idiot tour is a pretty prestigious gig; in the past year alone it’s helped propel acts like My Chemical Romance and New Found Glory to superstar status. So why would any band be hesitant about taking the opening slot?
Well, perhaps you should ask the Network, the masked marauders signed to Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong’s Adeline Records. Seems they had a rather tough time deciding whether or not to accept their boss’ invitation to open Green Day’s upcoming shows in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco because of a long-standing feud between the two acts.
Actually, you can forget about asking them anything … turns out the Network aren’t talking, choosing instead to communicate through a tersely worded statement posted on AdelineRecords.net.
“On October 6 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the world-renowned musical act the Network have agreed to support longtime rivals Green Day. It is also rumored that the Network will support Green Day on ’secret’ shows at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles and the Warfield in San Francisco,” the statement read. “Green Day’s management declined to comment on the ongoing feud between bands, but confirmed that the Network will be performing in the opening time slot.”
Sounds pretty straightforward, until you notice that the statement was written by “George Plimpton,” the celebrated journalist and editor (who just so happened to have died more than two years ago), and then you hearken back to 2003, when the Network released their punchy, new-wavey debut, Money Money 2020 (see “Did Green Day Secretly Release A New Album Tuesday? Only The Snoo Knows” ).
Back then fans were speculating that the Network were really Green Day in disguise, noting that the two bands sounded awfully alike and claiming that Armstrong doubled as the Network’s leader, “Fink,” bassist Mike Dirnt sang most of the songs under the alias “Van Gough,” and drummer Tre Cool kept the beat as “The Snoo.” It was also rumored that frequent Green Day collaborators Jason White and Jason Freese played in the band as guitarist “Captain Underpants” and keyboardist “Z.”
None of these rumors or speculations were ever confirmed (or denied) by anyone with Green Day or Adeline.
And all of a sudden, you start to wonder if this is all some elaborate joke. Are the Network really Green Day in some cheap masks? And if so, then are Green Day planning to open for Green Day at their upcoming shows?
Well, a spokesperson for Adeline did confirm that the Network would be opening for Green Day at those three shows, but denied rumors that the two bands are the same, adding that the true identities of the musicians in the Network are a mystery, since they never remove their masks. It was assured, however, that no animosity existed between the two acts, but just in case, they’ll be kept in “separate backstage areas” to make sure nothing gets out of hand.
But according to a source close to Green Day (who asked not to be identified), the feud is far from over, and if the platinum punks had their way, they’d never have to deal with the Network ever again. Unfortunately, they were contractually obligated to have them serve as their opening act.
“Green Day’s association with the Network began in 2003 with Adeline Records’ release of Money Money, and ever since they have been an ongoing pain in the ass for the Green Day camp,” the source said. “That being said, Green Day was pressured to have the Network open due to contract issues. Any comparison between the well-dressed members of Green Day and the Network, a band that clearly shops at Merry Go Round at their local shopping mall, is completely absurd.”