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Edited By Barry A. Jeckell. December 07, 2004, 3:45 PM ET

Green Day's 'Idiot' Fueling Banner Year


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With a No. 1 debut on The Billboard for its punk rock opera "American Idiot," two No. 1 hits on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart, and now a slew of Grammy nominations, Green Day has found itself back in the spotlight. But if the trio has its way, the Reprise album may yet fuel a crossover into an entirely new medium.

"We're definitely working on a film based on the album," bassist Mike Dirnt told Billboard.com following the group's rehearsal last night (Dec. 6) for its performance on tomorrow's Billboard Music Awards. "I mean, the story is already there. But to some degree, it will depend on who ends up doing the writing as to how involved we'll be."

As reported earlier, "American Idiot" is up for album of the year and best rock album Grammys, while its title track will vie for record of the year, best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal, best rock song and best short form music video.

To be sure, "American Idiot" has struck a major chord with listeners, fueling a successful fall trek which has found Green Day playing "more songs from a new album than on any tour we've ever done," according to Dirnt.

"Our shows are bigger than they've ever been," he enthuses. "We just played to 18,000 kids in Mexico City. I feel honored by our fans, especially those who have stuck around since the beginning. The fact that this album has done so well really verifies their belief in us."

Tonight, the band will play "American Idiot" in its entirety during a special show at Las Vegas' the Joint. "This is something we want to revisit the rest of our career," Dirnt says of these types of gigs. "It's like a new bullet in our arsenal, and it's great to step outside of our regular tour set."

The pool of available material for that set, however, has plenty of surprises of its own, including a host of Ramones covers and Green Day's takes on tracks by the Buzzcocks, the Clash and the Who. "We even have a Midwest medley, which is [Cheap Trick's] 'Surrender' into [the Replacements'] 'Bastard of Young' back into 'Surrender,'" Dirnt says.

Fans will also be intrigued to know that prior to the "Idiot" sessions, an entire album's worth of finished songs were accidentally erased from a computer drive. Could they ever see the light of day? "We could re-record them," Dirnt says. "The master tapes are gone. We still have some burned CDs but those are not good enough to release."

Green Day will begin a European tour Jan. 11 in Berlin and has dates on its 2005 schedule through March 22 in Sapporo, Japan.

-- Jonathan Cohen, Las Vegas




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