It's likely nobody will look back on 2016 with much fondness. Everyone knows what happened by now – celebrities dropped like Jonestown members after necking the Kool Aid and western politics was taken over by radical populism at a rate not seen since the 1930s while, in the strangest turn of events, Leicester City won the Premier League. It was also the year that, as if their logo had been projected into the sky in a time of crisis, Green Day emerged and released their latest album, Revolution Radio, and started playing shows again.

Ok, it wasn't quite enough to undo all of the unpleasantness that surrounded it this year, but it took the edge off. Like musical ointment on the bee sting of international politics, pop punk soothed us.

While most retrospectives of the year will take a global view of world events and how they affected all of us, for my own sanity I have decided to approach it with a personal, some might say insular, attitude. Green Day aren't going have any great impact on things like the Syrian civil war so it makes sense to keep it close to home. I've dug through the GDA archive and summarised the headlines of the year.

January



Ah, sweet naïve January. Back then none of us had any idea what was to come. Billie Joe Armstrong shared some studio pictures with his followers on Instagram, getting everybody worked up in mindless speculation. As it was January we were right to assume the band wasn't recording another Christmas song (thankfully, given the monstrosity that emerged the last time they tried that) but we couldn't be sure exactly what to expect.

Kerrang kept up its love affair with the band, releasing an issue celebrating avthe band's 30th anniversary. They then wrote a blog asserting that Nimrod is the band's best album (which is true). The only company more dependent on Green Day than Kerrang to sustain their business model is Hot Topic in 2005.

The American Idiot musical trundled into its 50th year and created some minor, clickbaity controversy at a school in Connecticut. The staff decided not put on their own production of Green Day's epic when they realised that none of their pupils could play the teenage St Jimmy as well as 43 year-old Billie Joe did on Broadway.

Armstrong returned to Instagram, his preferred social media platform, encouraging the school to change their mind. They didn't.

February



19th February was declared Green Day Day in the band's hometown of Oakland, California, creating all sorts of controversy about whether it should just have been called Green Day. The group appeared at a special tribute event to honour the history of Green Day and to support the Gilman Street project. No reference was made to the band's Christmas song.

Green Day did not feature in Kerrang this month, which led to shareholders of the magazine narrowly losing a vote to fire the editor. In a statement distributed around the print media industry, he resolved to feature the band more regularly, saying "the band is putting my kids through college."

March



If February was thin on the ground for Green Day news, then March was a veritable drought. In hindsight the band was probably tucked away in their studio laying down tracks for the new album as fast as they could think of them but those of us outside the band's bubble were left scrapping over any information we could get.

In talent show news, a band on the Danish version of the X Factor played ‘Basket Case' and a contestant on American Idol, Dalton Rapattoni, was compared to Billie Joe Armstrong. Rapattoni later sued for defamation but settled out of court for thirty thousand dollars.

We were given teases of the film Geezer, starring Broadway sensation Billie Joe Armstrong. The premier was to occur during the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Armstrong and his life partner Jason White, who it later turned out is no longer an official member of the band, were also interviewed for a documentary about the band Jawbreaker.

April



Not a day of April had passed before exciting things started happening. Billie Joe made one of his regular forays onto Instagram to share a video clip of the band's recording studio. The tape included brief snatches of Tre on the drums as well as tech wizards Chris Dugan and Hans Buscher. This enigma would take some thinking about.

Within a fortnight the mystery had been solved. Unable to hide it any longer, the band's publicist confirmed that the band was recording a new album. A member of the GDA forum later bumped into Billie Joe in the street, asked when the new record would be released and was told that they would have it ready "hopefully this fall".

Andres tried to go one better and asked Billie Joe for more information, but was told to "get out of my garden you freak or I'm calling the cops."

Geezer was premiered in New York. After the film's showing, Billie Joe, with Billy Idol-bleached hair, appeared on stage with Tre, Jeff Matika, Jesse Malin and Joan Jett to create the greatest supergroup since the Traveling Wilburys.

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A video posted by Billie Joe Armstrong (@billiejoearmstrong) on



May



By May we were dizzy with all this Green Day activity. Billie Joe and Mike had both turned 44, which raised all sorts of questions about how much longer they could go on. The assumption on the message board was that they had two, maybe three, more years left before the pipe and slippers would appear and they could retire to the Rock and Roll Care Home in the sky.

Billie Joe went onto Armstagram to tell the fans, in an appallingly punctuated and grammatically incorrect letter, to "fuck the old generation and start something new," which could have been taken as a worryingly self destructive thing to say.

It's unknown if this incoherent message was sent around the time of his appearance on Drunk History, which was also announced this month, but would make sense.

In talent show news, somebody played ‘Basket Case' on Britain's Got Talent. In fact Britain has so much talent they need people to play songs written by Americans.

June



By June the tag #RevRad had started appearing on Green Day related social media messages. Quickly, speculation about its meaning mounted, Gabbo-like, through the fanworld. What does it mean? Is it an abbreviation? When should I get it tattooed on my wrist?

Websites and magazines beyond Kerrang started speculating about the band's new record and opinion columns gave their 2 pence about it. Billboard mentioned the fact that the trilogy sold only 667 thousand copies, mainly to friends and family, and that a gritty pop-punk sound would do them well.

About.com had a thinkpiece listing a bunch of terrible songs by great bands. ‘Warning' was selected for Green Day, which is a bit harsh. Not only is it an ok track (it's nobody's favourite, granted) but there are far worse. Nightlife, for instance, is one of the worst songs of the 21st Century and a far stronger choice.

Ronnie Blake, who used to tour with the band, shared a picture of him recording trumpet tracks for the new album. However, as he uploaded it to Facebook and not Instagram nobody noticed.

July



The first half of the year was simply a taster for what was to come. The band hadn't exactly been busy but there was evidence that, under the surface, stuff was happening. The punk seismologists were predicting an earthquake but couldn't be sure when it would all kick off.

Jeff Matika shared a picture on Instagram showing that rehearsals for Green Day's upcoming shows were underway. Billie Joe was also active, replying in considered tones to a fan who told him to stop talking politics.

Consequence of Sound named Green Day the best pop punk band ever and Rolling Stone named three of the band's albums in the 10 best pop punk albums of all time. A fool might have assumed that pop punk was becoming trendy again.

Bang Bang was announced on the last day of the month. All hell was to break loose.



August



The new album had been alluded to all year but in August it was finally announced. RevRad stood for Revolution Radio, displayed on the cover art as a flaming boombox. Part of Green Day will always be in the 80s.

People on the message board saw the tracklist and started, in classic overanalytical superfan fashion, speculating about all sorts of things based on that minimal information.

On the day the album was announced, folk finally got to hear Bang Bang. Yours truly listened to it a number of times on Spotify before declaring it the band's best single for over a decade. Others didn't like it but they were wrong. The track topped several charts.

Rolling Stone had an exclusive interview with the band discussing their ‘comeback'. Kerrang wasn't to be outdone and also had an exclusive interview. Q magazine also had an exclusive interview. Consequence of Sound put up a column defending Green Day, entitled "Green Day doesn't suck. You suck." which was a wonderfully childish headline.

The film Geezer was retitled Ordinary World to cash in on Billie Joe's song of the same name on the soundtrack. Most importantly, this month Mike Dirnt's Twitter account got verified.

September



With the album's imminent release, Green Day announced American and European tour dates. As usual, fans panicked greatly and ran around like headless chickens trying to find pre-sale links to allow them to spend hundreds of dollars to see millionaires play music in aircraft hangars.

The band had to postpone a few promotional shows due to illness (nasty, contagious illness, not the illness which plagued the trilogy tour) but they eventually made their way on stage to do what they do best.

Lyric videos were shared for what seemed like most of the album's tracks (such is the case in 2016) and the proper video for Bang Bang, directed by Billie Joe's not-brother Tim Armstrong, appeared online. It was better than those filmed for the trilogy.

It transpired in one promotional interview that Mike Dirnt had taken bass lessons for the first time. Yes, the man who recorded those lines on Insomniac had felt his skills weren't quite up to scratch. Everyone who read it felt guilty for not honing their own abilities as thoughtfully as Mr Dirnt.



October



So October, when the album finally dropped. Release day reviews were positive and sales likewise, debuting at number 1 in multiple countries. Bang Bang continued to do well on the charts, which was a good sign for a tune overtly about a mass murderer.

Further US and European tour dates were confirmed and, in acknowledgement of the southern hemisphere's existence, the band announced shows in Australia and New Zealand.

To promote the album, the group appeared on every television and radio show you can think of. By the end of the month there wasn't a person on the planet who was at least aware that they had released a new album. Even GDA wasn't able to keep up – Andres was signed off work with stress - and Billie Joe, with his now suspiciously jet-black hair, officially spent more time in TV and radio studios plugging his records than with his family.

The band was nominated for a couple of MTV EMA's. Billie Joe mentioned that the American Idiot movie had been greenlit and he had bought his suit for the 2019 Oscars.

November



After about a month, the new album's dust had settled. The record had sold well with the group's sizable fan base but wasn't pulling up trees with the public.

To give it a motivational kick, the band released the Still Breathing music video. The pattern felt similar to the American Idiot days; release a fast paced punk tune to announce the album before pushing one of the power ballads that old people can get behind.

Billie Joe was interviewed about the election, which we will not discuss here. He was also asked about the band's upcoming tour in Australia, from which I'll share his comments in full to illustrate how competently, since the iHeart incident, he goes through the interview motions.

"I have to say I'm more excited about this tour than I have been for any tour ever. For me, I love playing, I love playing live. It's the best feeling in the world. We're fortunate enough to get to do it every night."

He's too damn polite, that Armstrong guy.

The band also had an interview in Kerrang magazine, who we started suspecting of using Watergate techniques to spy on the band given the amount of content they get from them. If they mentioned anything in the interview it wasn't considered worth repeating here or on the main GDA site.

December



So December arrived and the Revolution Radio era was still in its early days. The majority of the world tour hadn't yet happened, more music videos awaited upload to Youtube and promised films and documentaries featuring the band had only just been announced.

Rolling Stone said that the new record was their 14th best album of the year and Ultimate Classic Rock (which, scarily, Green Day now comfortably fits into) proclaimed it the 6th best.

Kerrang commemorated the end of the year as they did at the start, with a 30th anniversary celebration of the band. This time they offered a covers album, two years after the last one they did. They also, naturally, confirmed that Revolution Radio was their album of the year.

Green Day should get a restraining order.

Happy new year! Apologies for the various lies littered within that.

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