When I was doing a fourth year med school elective in a sleep clinic, we had this 15 year old patient who said that he lay in bed for five hours every night, trying to fall asleep.
Attending: "So what do you do when you're trying to fall asleep?"
Kid: "I usually listen to some music."
Attending: "What kind of music?"
Kid: "Well, I try to listen to classical--"
Attending: "I didn't ask what you try to listen to. What do you actually listen to?"
Attending: "Well, what did you listen to last night?"
Kid: "Um... Green Day."
Everyone in the room bust out laughing. (For those of you living in a soundproof booth, Green Day is not really what you'd call good music to sleep by.) I was amused on two levels though. When I was 15 years old, Green Day was MY favorite band. It blew me away that ten years later, teenagers were still listening to the band that I liked so much when I was that age. I mean, Green Day?? Who knew that a band who named their first two albums (Kerplunk, Dookie) after the passage of fecal matter into the toilet could maintain popularity for so long? I remember my boyfriend in high school used to tease me that they only played three chords all time. True, but Billie Joe was hot.
I was a teenager in the 90s and therefore liked all the alternative bands that were popular back then (e.g. Nirvana, The Cranberries, Weezer, No Doubt, Bush, Hole, etc). But Green Day was my absolute favorite. The first time I heard a Green Day song on MTV circa 1994, it was like a voice in my ear telling me to dye my hair blue, buy ripped jeans, smoke pot, and have lots of angsty relationships with guys. Of course, I was a huge nerd, so I didn't do any of these things except of course for the ripped jeans. And I listened to Dookie about a million times.
I'm not sure how Green Day evolved into a mainstream band. When they were singing Basket Case, I never dreamed there would be a Green Day song played during my brother's high school graduation years later. But I distinctly remember when I was playing Green Day's American Idiot album in the car in 2004, my husband commented, "Wow, is this Green Day? This song is actually melodic!" So I guess they evolved.
It was a sobering moment in my life when my husband and I got tickets to a Green Day concert when I was an intern. I was only 26, but it was obvious the audience they were pandering to was much younger than I was. In fact, we were probably the oldest people there who were not parents of someone else there. It was then that I realized that I had grown too old for my favorite high school band.