While Elvis Presley was rock’s first pop star and teenage heartthrob, Mr. Berry was its master theorist and conceptual genius, the songwriter who understood what the kids wanted before they did themselves. With songs like “Johnny B. Goode” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” he gave his listeners more than they knew they were getting from jukebox entertainment.
His guitar lines wired the lean twang of country and the bite of the blues into phrases with both a streamlined trajectory and a long memory. And tucked into the lighthearted, telegraphic narratives that he sang with such clear enunciation was a sly defiance, upending convention to claim the pleasures of the moment.
In “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “You Can’t Catch Me” and other songs, Mr. Berry invented rock as a music of teenage wishes fulfilled and good times (even with cops in pursuit). In “Promised Land,” “Too Much Monkey Business” and “Brown Eyed Handsome Man,” he celebrated and satirized America’s opportunities and class tensions. His rock ’n’ roll was a music of joyful lusts, laughed-off tensions and gleefully shattered icons. [Read More]
Green Day, more commonly known in the zones as Nuclear Family, consists of three different ‘joys:
Saint Jimmy: The leader of Nuclear Family, Jimmy may be the only one in the crew to own a raygun, but he much prefers his trusty switchblade. In his younger years, it was told from crew to crew to never do anything to displease him, lest he decides you’re not worth his time and stab you. Now he’s mellowed out, but the threat still stands; Jimmy’s a man of honor, and a vigilante to boot, and he won’t let anything stand in his way.
Love Slave: Born in the zones and the wild card in the Nuclear Family, Slave is more acoustic than the other two - no rayguns, blades or bombs for him, the only thing he needs is his barbed-wire lined baseball bat called The Grouch. He spends most of his time in Hyper Thrust, so much so that Jimmy and Jesus have to often come down and have “extraction missions” to bring him back to their base. Slave’s practical and a bit polka dotty, but he’s good to have in a clap.
Jesus of Suburbia: Jesus is said to have grown up with Saint Jimmy in the Outskirts, coming with him when they ran from the City. Jesus is Jimmy’s right-hand man, closer to him than even Love Slave. Whenever Jimmy opts to wield the switchblade over the raygun, Jesus uses it for him, fighting alongside his best friend. He often times wears the “drunk bunny” head in the place of his mask, but just as often it gets stuck (he’ll sit there for five, ten, twenty minutes before Jimmy and Slave realize he needs help, again). Outside of a fight, he’s clumsy and dorky, but don’t underestimate him - he’ll just as quickly beat you down, even faster than both Saint Jimmy and Love Slave.