Here’s Fall Out Boy’s Induction speech for Green Day:
Patrick Stump: So let me ask everybody a question — what is punk rock? Now that should seem like a simple enough question to answer, but kids and critics argue with fervor and furious devotion, religious sects and political parties…Star Wars fans…so, I guarantee you that someone, somewhere will be very pissed off when I say this, but what’s more punk rock than pissing people off? What I’m saying is that one of my all time favorite punk bands is Green Day. So, I remember the first time I heard Green Day. Give you a little background…I was a little bit of a music snob when I was a kid. My dad was a Chicago folk singer and he was very psyched to see all the punk bands of the day. And he played a lot of fusion jazz when I was younger, so you can imagine I was pretty upset with my friends who were punk fans. So one day some friends got me to sneak out of class, and mostly we just went home and listened to this cassette tape that one of them had…it was Dookie. So the thing that struck me right off the bat was how musical it was. It was all the things that you’d expect from punk rock, it was angry, it was loud, it was fast, but there were these subtle overtones of awareness of music theory and music history that was wise beyond its years. Now, other kids had Guns N’ Roses and Nirvana and all those things later. 1994, none of that was good. This, this one I was like, “this is mine.” After that, I was all over it. I tried to dress like them, I tried to play my dad’s music real low like Billie Joe did. I followed every interview, I watched every TV performance…and the more immersed into the world I got, the more I thought that this band was one of the greatest. You have to think to yourself, “Wow, how’d they get all these guys in one band together?” Now, the thing that kills me is sometimes you have that point in your life where you think, “Yeah, they should maybe be in the fall of fame but ah…maybe not everyone’s pulling their weight.” Maybe you see one guy and, “Ah, he’s cool but…maybe he just the maybe he just drove the van.” But with Green Day, every player, every sound that came out of these three guys was as important to the entire thing, including the one guy. Billie Joe’s singing and strong, sarcastic lyrics that totally…those bright, open chord structures…the way he played guitar. Mike Dirnt! And those bass lines…up there with the lights of James Jamerson and Jaco Pastorius, identified the bass players in the history of his playing. Tré Cool…your drummer is Tré fucking Cool. That is the coolest thing ever. And there’s not a drummer under the age of 30 who didn’t spend their entire summer trying to learn…to play that rabid fire build at the beginning of “Basket Case” just like Tré. And guess what? No one can. The passion, he makes it look easy. It’s incredible. Pete Wentz: Now, no one else can do anything the way Green Day does. I have this distinct memory of Billie Joe. He was interviewing at MTV somewhere around the album Nimrod, where he said something along the lines of, “I don’t want to be making punk rock the rest of my life.” Sorry man, you still are. When you followed up Dookie with a single about methamphetamine, and another in two movements, that was pretty punk rock. When conventional wisdom demanded another fast rock punk song and instead you put down a stripped down ballad single that became the go-to prom song for a decade, that was pretty punk rock. When you put out three companion albums in a year — in an era of digital singles — that was pretty punk rock. When you put out an acoustic folk album at a time when you were fooled by obviously Green Day-inspired pop-punk, that was pretty punk rock. When in an era of basically no socially conscious discourse in pop music, you put out a scathingly political rock opera and somehow managed to make that career-redefining, that was insanely fucking punk rock. Not to mention you’re alleged involvement in side projects like the Network and Foxboro Hot Tubs. Everything you guys do is punk rock in the sense that you’ve gone for the easy route…the obvious route, the safe route. You’ve never repeated yourselves, you’ve never done anything to please suites. Suites aren’t really pleased by changed, but a brief band plays a set of their hits, there should be a lot of change. Like Queen, the Who or the Clash, the best bands go to defy and define the labels they get savvy with…the best bands are legend on record and onstage. Now I have to say, the impact that Green Day has had on pop culture…when we walk through an airport, about 80 percent of the time when someone takes a picture with us, we hear them walk off like, “Holy shit, I just got a picture with fucking Green Day!” That’s totally true. Now Fall Out Boy has never for Green Day, and honestly part of us kind of likes it that way. Because Green Day is honestly one of the best live bands on the planet right now. If you’ve ever opened for them, they put on a show that’s so epic and engaging, that the audience forgets about you by the way they’re halfway through the first chorus. If you’ve ever played after them…sorry. This is a band that’s so in tune with their audience that let a random kid onstage and play in the band, in arenas literally filled who probably daydreamed every kid has playing onstage with their favorite band. That’s not image consultants, cleaver A&R, or media trainee, but by cutting your teeth in community halls and basements in post punk squats. So let some Red feed argue the definition of punk rock. Me, I already have my answer. It is our great honor to induct Green Day into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.