Green Day Trash N. Y. Tower Records Store
NEW YORK -- "You can start a riot," Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong encouraged the crowd gathered at New York City's Tower Records Tuesday evening for an in-store performance.
"It's your prerogative -- you can do anything you want," added Armstrong.
"'Cause you're not at Tower Records, you're at a Green Day concert!"
Green Day certainly believed that, judging from the destruction the band
caused the Broadway Tower Records store during their 45 minute performance:
Billie Joe spray-painted "Nimrod" in black and red on store walls, showered
beer and water over CD racks, and body surfed over the crowd to reach the
window, where he spray-painted "Fuck You" on the window and then pulled down
his pants to moon the crowds gathered outside.
A store manager forcibly had
to wrestle a 200-pound monitor away from the singer, who attempted
to throw it over the staircase landing where the band played. Despite the
rescue of the monitor, Green Day drummer Tre Cool managed to hurtle a bass
drum over the ledge.
"That was rented," commented one Reprise Records representative, looking down at the
floor where the drum lay in pieces. "The label will be paying for that."
"The label will be paying for all the damage [to the store]," added the
representative, who preferred to remain anonymous. "I bet it's a couple of
thousand -- maybe less.
"Not that many CDs were ruined, though," he said optimistically, looking
down at the floor where a broken CD rack spilled damaged CDs across the
No one was hurt at the concert. The 200 or so people who
attended the 7 p. m. show, some having stood outside in the New York cold
since noon, were exuberant once allowed into the store, and crammed onto
the main floor to slam-dance through such Green Day hits
as " Nice Guys Finish Last," "Longview," "Chump" and "Hitchin' A Ride."
Those not allowed in, another hundred or so fans, watched through
the windows from the street outside.
"This is pretty rowdy," said department manager Paul Chesik, looking
concerned as he watched adolescent boys slam into each other on the floor
of the store. A security guard entered the exuberant crowd only once,
barked at the kids and then left -- the slam-dancing quickly resumed and
continued until the end of the eight or so song set.
It was the first Green Day concert for Ivan Venture,10, who said his parents won't allow him to spend his allowance money on Green Day concerts. "I've been listening to them since I was 7," said Venture. "I've
mesmerized all the words to 'Basketcase.' "
Venture was attending the show with his
friend, Patrick Sheehy,11. The buddies are such huge Green Day
fans that they've covered "Brain Stew" in their own band, Invasion. "We played at P.S. 3, the talent show," said Venture.
Venture and Sheehy were among only a handful of lucky fans who managed to
have their CDs signed by Armstrong -- the scheduled after-show CD
signing was abruptly canceled, presumably due to the chaos of the concert.
"The store couldn't handle it," a grinning Tre Cool said later. Drinking Becks and relaxing after the show, the band didn't seem
particularly fazed or concerned with the destruction they had caused -- most
likely it was just a mild night of antics for the Berkeley, Calif.-based band.
Wednesday morning the store was ready to open as usual, after a cleaning crew finished sweeping up. However "Fuck You" and "Nimrod"
remained spray-painted on the windows and walls, kind of a punk 'mark of Zorro,' if you will, or just the group's distinctive way of saying, "Green Day Were Here!"
Color="#720418">[Wed., Nov. 12, 1997, 9 a.m. PDT]