22 June 2004: Filmmaker John Roecker had spied Barbara and I performing at Club Screwball in Los Angeles; we sang a song with made up words, and during the instrumental break, the curtains parted to reveal Blaine Capatch doing a little dance. Completely insane. Afterwards, John approached us, asking that we appear in his Green Day documentary performing live with the band. "Uh, sure..." we said, completely incredulous. Yeah, like that'd actually happen...

15 September 2004: Barbara and I are at the Henry Fonda Theater with those fellows whose ubiquitous songs permeated my early years of college. They don't even rehearse any of their old stuff - this concert will be the debut of American Idiot, start to finish - but I can't get "Longview" out of my head. Billie Joe, Tre and Mike are beyond polite - they are bizarrely friendly, as if unaware they're rock stars. Mike lends us his CD to listen to, he hugs us good-bye after the concert. Tre remembers my name because I'd corrected him.

At rehearsal, our Screwball act is quickly canned. It's too long and monotonous, especially without Blaine, and although we appreciate John's sincere wish to broaden the horizons of the young audience, we all agree they'd tear us to pieces. We sing the a capella opening to Green Day's "Letter Bomb," and I'm surprised at our voices; Barbara's a professional singer, I'm not, but it sounds melodious. Even Tre, pouring two tumblers of Patron Silver over ice after the show, says we "sing pretty."

16 September - The night of the show. Barbara and I pass the time by making signs, reading "Act 2" and "Finale." Another special touch for John's movie, we are to bring them out during the concert, now wearing our Lucha Va VOOM senorita costumes. We are very lucky that we love black and red, since those are the colors of the tour. The band wears black suits with red ties, the boys, variations on the theme. Mike takes homeopathic pills for stage fright. When asked if they work, he says what's really effective is practice. The show is supposed to start at 8:30pm, but many of the kids are still waiting to get in. One member jokingly declares, "Fuck 'em. They should have run away last night and camped out, like I did."

John Roecker and Barbara, signing away.

Billie Joe, Mike and Jason

Show time finally arrives and we follow the band upstairs. As we step on the darkened stage, Billie Joe belts out our lyrics and we chime in. A moment later, Barbara and I are alone in a spotlight. The sold-out crowd of 1200+ is near breaking point, they feel close enough to touch and their excitement and anticipation, their longing to see their beloved band, is palpable. With no discernible cue, we sing our little hearts out: "Nobody likes you. Everyone left you. They're all out without you. Having fun.." We sweep our arms to the side and fall away as the curtain rises, and there is Green Day. (V/10.3.04)

NME review here. MTV review here.

Audience, Jason, Mike, trumpety