You may know him as the frontman of Green Day, the rocker of a red tie that defined a generation. Having said that, Billie Joe Armstrong hasn’t had the easiest start to 2020, with Green Day’s latest full-length Father of All Motherfuckers receiving quite a bit of backlash not only for its sound but its promo cycle’s approach to shitting on the things we millennials love, from Swedish songwriters to guest features to trap. Having said that, Armstrong has somewhat redeemed himself with his new hobby, covers, which have kept us entertained especially during this lockdown. Here’s a comprehensive guide to what he’s been jamming while we’ve been inside.
‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ (originally performed by Tommy James and the Shondells)
“While we’ve all been in quarantine”, Armstrong wrote when he posted this cover, “I’ve been reflecting on the things that matter the most in my life. Family, friends and of course music.” He added that he recorded this cover in his bedroom, and “if we have to spend this time in isolation at least we can be alone together.”
‘Manic Monday’ (originally performed by The Bangles)
“Just another No Fun Mondays covering Manic Monday by The Bangles with the help of Susanna Hoffs in the video”, Armstrong commented. The irony is that our recent Mondays aren’t that manic at all, which we’re sure he took into consideration.
‘Corpus Christi’ (originally performed by The Avengers)
Before the Marvel series became a blockbuster hit, there was another version of The Avengers – a San Francisco band that made the music of legends. Armstrong describes this as his one of his all time favourite songs, posting his rendition on a special Sunday version of No Fun Mondays he described as the “Easter edition”.
‘That Thing You Do’ (originally performed by Adam Schlesinger)
One of the tragic losses that we have seen this year was the passing of Adam Schlesinger. A founding member of Fountains of Wayne, the revered musician passed due to complications brought on by COVID-19. Armstrong pays tribute to Schlesinger with the track, “and the incredible music he wrote including this one”.
‘War Stories’ (originally performed by Starjets)
You’d be forgiven for not recognising the name – Starjets were a late 1970s power pop outfit from Ireland, and ‘War Stories’ is the one song they had that ever became a chart hit. It’s a celebration of, as its name implies, World War II comic book stories. Armstrong didn’t say much about why he chose the song, though it was released within days of our ANZAC Day.
‘Amico’ (originally performed by Don Backy)
“Please excuse my Italian”, commented Armstrong when he uploaded this video, but we can all agree that it’s an added motive for actually checking out this cover of Don Backy’s ‘Amico’. Armstrong also noted that he added in some punch with a “power pop twist”, because of course he did.
‘Kids in America’ (originally performed by Kim Wilde)
In an adorable show of band love, Armstrong dedicated this cover to Green Day mate Mike Dirnt on his 48th birthday. “Play this one loud just for him”, he commanded, doing himself the very same thing.
Until next Monday…