Concert set up
“Inside Billie Joe Armstrong and his wife, Adrienne’s, nasty divorce….”
“Troubled daughter of Green Day lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong, was arrested tonight…”
“Children faced with the tough choice…mom or dad….”
“Is Green Day buying into main stream music….”
“Could this be the end of punk rock band Green Day….”
“Billie Joe Armstrong divorced, children forced to choose. Inside the court room as parents fight over their beloved kids….”
54 shows, thousands of hours on the road, more frequent flier miles than anyone could ever use and this is just the beginning of it. The divorce really wasn’t as nasty as the news reporters said but it left our family torn. I, Maggie, live on the road with my dad, my two little brothers in California with my mom. Neither side of the family talks anymore.
January 12th ~ Bangkok, Thailand
I sit, laptop some how balanced on my knees as music blast through the headphones. My extra high top converse clad foot is tapping along to the beat. This one is on top of my pants the other shoe hidden under a black, grey and white plaid pant leg; the results of me being too lazy to tuck both pant legs into knee high shoes. Jet lag is not fun. Neither is being at a venue since four in the morning. Welcome to the life of a rock star, well the daughter of one anyway. Blah…it’s still too early to be excited.
Suddenly a short, chubby man passes, placing a Red Bull by my side, “Drink it,” he says before hurrying on.
I glance at it for a second debating if I really want an energy buzz this early in the morning. I eventually give in, popping open the can and taking a long sip. Thank Jesus the band travels with like twenty packages of these things. Red Bull or any energy drink for that matter equals life for us out on the road.
I hear something drop and a cuss escape someone. I wonder who dropped what. Glancing over my shoulder I see a drum rolling towards me and manage to stop it before it rolled onto the stage.
“Thanks, Maggie,” the bizarre bug eyed drum player says with a smile, picking up the drum and yelling something it Spanish…something not so nice.
“You’re welcome!” I call back before pulling my ear phones out and wandering further backstage.
“Need help, Tré?” I question the disgruntled drummer who always forgets I’ve taught myself Spanish. I think it’s from the drugs. Tré Cool, by far the best drummer ever, well…he’s got issues. I love him though.
“No. Yes…naw. You’re dads over there,” Tré answers, it’s too early for him too.
Instead of going over to my dad I turn on an amp and pick up a guitar beginning to play Jesus of Suburbia mainly so I have something to do. I’ve heard set up is boring but I never thought it’d be this bad.
“Put it down!” someone behind a curtain calls but it doesn’t sound like a member of the band so I don’t listen. I’ve always had issues with authority. The only three people I listen to are dad, Mike and Tré.
“Hey kido,” Mike says as he passes, followed by people with cables slung over their shoulders. At least Mike looks awake.
I nod but continue to play. I wonder if dad will let me…probably not. Speaking of my dad, coming around the curtain is my father. He’s wearing those pants mom hates, those black ones she says are too tight and a tee shirt. He walks over to me, his haunting hazel eyes locked on mine. People say I have my dad’s eyes. In truth I think I got more of my dad’s genes than my mom’s…I look nothing like her. Then again Adrianne isn’t really my mom. I think if I were a bit older people would mistake me for my dad’s sister.
“Thought I told you to put it down,” he says with a smile. Is he mad or not? I can never tell.
I shrug stopping the song, “Are you mad at me or just pretending? It’s hard to tell when you’re smiling.”
He laughs but before he can answer a member of the stage crew comes up to him, “Mr. Armstrong, where do you want to panels?”
“Up on the side, leave room for the ‘Green Day’ light thing that goes in the middle,” answers my dad. First concert set up is always the hardest. No one knows where anything goes.
“Be great,” Billie says to me before walking away. I’m confused. It’s too early in the morning for anyone to make sense and the Red Bull hasn’t really helped much.
I shuffle back over to my laptop, pick it up and move to sit on the edge of the stage out of everyone’s way. I should have opted to stay at the hotel till later. I probably would have gotten to sleep in if I had. Sleep sounds fucking awesome right now.
After a few minutes Mike comes to sit next to me…he and my dad have matching pants.
“He’s just stressed,” Dirnt says.
“He’s tired, have someone get him another Red Bull,” I answer, knowing that stress also has something to do with my father’s bizarre behavior.
“We’re all tired,” answers Mike, handing me his half full can of Monster.
I drink remembering just how much I dislike any other energy drink but Red Bull, “Or high.”
Mike laughs as Tré crosses the stage looking rather confused, “Probably just tired.”
“Whatever you say,” I answer handing Mike his Monster back. It’s no secret to me that the band members have done drugs before and still use them sometimes. It’s something they do, not me. If you do it own up to it don’t hide behind lies.
“Billie letting you play tonight?”
“Nope. I don’t think he’ll let me play any shows. I’m not part of the band.”
“Mike, why are you over there sitting on your ass?” questions my dad, Red Bull in hand. This is his third this morning; obviously he needs a few more.
Mike and I look at each other, coming to a silent agreement, “Stress.”