Smash! Green Day, The Offspring, NOFX & The 90s Punk Explosion
Ian Winwood DA CAPO
The most unlikely musical revolution since the 70s punk explosion.
By the late 80s, punk was deader than disco in the US, mostly restricted to the Gilman, a tiny Bay Area club which banned drink, drugs and dogs. The journey from underground to globeconquering mainstream was a classic case of the right people – from Bad Religion’s heroin-loving Brett Gurewitz, a businessmen as much as a punk, to Green Day’s fiercely ambitious Billie Joe Armstrong – and the right music, which got better as it became more popular.
With the distance that being British brings, but no shortage of access, Ian Winwood is a sharpeyed guide to a wide-eyed tale packed with curve balls, cameos (did Farrah Fawcett-Majors really leave California to pursue Captain Sensible?), betrayals and friendships.
Having explained the explosion brilliantly, Winwood halts the saga at American Idiot, wholly omitting the causes of Armstrong’s future meltdown; not to mention NOFX’s postVegas-shooting idiocy, The Offspring’s studio paralysis and Bad Religion’s re-birth. Volume 2, perhaps?