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202 Samford Avenue in Birmingham, AL
August 21, 1991
  • Incomplete setlist
  • Adam C. Burdette: "...and we put up Green Day in '91 (right before 'Kerplunk!')."
  • PRANK RECORDS: "@tankcrimes wound up with Green Day early at 'Bama doorstep in '91. Left their bag with tour money on the dash in French quarter in NOLA. Oops."
  • the_great_snag: "Generation gap alert! I have the exact same memory of Green Day at a house party when I went to Auburn. Billie Joe laying in his own vomit and a nasty slut that always hung around doing their bass player and bragging about it as they gained popularity. Nasty fuckers, I tell you."
  • Birmingham Post-Herald: "The first time Green Day came to Alabama, in 1991, they arrived in the wee hours of the morning in an old van. Roadies named Sean and Lucky Dog took turns at the wheel. The boys - all a year or two shy of legal drinking age at the time - had come straight from New Orleans. After an evening of revelry, they had returned to their van to find that it had been robbed. The bag containing their tour money was gone, so Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, Tre Cool and their traveling companions struck out for Auburn, hoping for better luck in the college town than they had in the Crescent City. 'It was cool,' drummer Tre Cool said in a recent telephone interview. 'We didn't have no money or clothes, and everyone was donating clothes and, uh, and basically money.' That night, Green Day and several dozen college students crowded into the living room and kitchen of a rental house on Samford Avenue for a frenetic set of northern California punk rock. Earning the band enough money for food and gas, the show was considered a great success. When Green Day stopped in Birmingham after that Auburn show in 1991, they played in the living room of a house on 14th Street South. At the time, they talked about how they had just turned down a deal with IRS Records. Dirnt explained that if they did sign such a contract, they would end up touring in a bus, staying in hotels instead of on random couches and doing telephone interviews. They were still just kids, he reasoned, there would be time for success later."
  • War Eagle Reader: "The picture was taken - no one really knows by who - on August 21, 1991 at 202 Samford Avenue, a house over 100 years old currently occupied (I think) by several Tri-Delts that call it the Corner House ..., just across the street from The Amsterdam Cafe ... Yep, that's Billie Joe Armstrong. He might have hooked up with someone's friend that night, or maybe he was the dude that bought beer for all the Auburn High kids, or maybe everyone is just remembering everything wrong. Yes, that guy with the mullet is Tre Cool. Story goes that he ate a God knows how old M&M off the floor at WEGL when they dragged the band down there for an interview on the station’s perennial punk show Mystery Playhouse and that it really freaked out some of the more mainstream DJ types who had actually been convinced to play some of their 45's and were actually diggin' it and who had been planning on coming out to the show (but no, not now). Yeah, the other guy is the other guy, Mike Dirnt. No, the first time Green Day plugged into Alabama Power wasn't at a Birmingham concert hall in the mid 90's, or the Huntsville armory or Montgomery or Mobile or freakin' Tuscaloosa. It was a full four years before Dookie came out, one whole year even before Kerplunk. It was ... at an Auburn house show, a Wednesday night, and they played twice, in Stuart Ellis' back bedroom. 'It was a week night, and we didn't want the cops to show up so we started the show early,' says Ellis, class of '92. 'At first, there was only a handful of people. I'd say maybe thirty, max. They got up, played their set. Welcome to Paradise is the only song I remember. They played for about 30-40 minutes and they were done. Then, as they headed outside to get some fresh air, a whole mob of people showed up to see them. We were like, 'Um, they just finished.' So, we talked them into doing another set. By then it was pretty crowded.' The band's van had been broken in to two nights prior in New Orleans, their clothes and cash stolen. 'They called and said they were driving to Auburn a day early,' says Ken Sanderson, who booked the show. Sanderson grew up in Auburn and eventually started his own record label in LA, Prank Records. 'My parents are originally from New Jersey and I've never had a thick southern accent but for some reason I left a thick, drawled out message with directions for them on my answering machine as a joke.' Tre Cool later said, 'Man, that freaked me out… I didn’t know punks talked like that!' 'They needed a place to crash and some food, and Mike Dirnt needed some clothes,' says Ellis. 'So Ken called me, and I said sure. They stayed for a few days and Ken and I fed them.' Tre Cool recalled the southern hospitality in a 1995 interview with the Birmingham Post-Herald (the band was playing Birmingham on tour in support of Dookie). 'It was cool,' Cool said. 'We didn’t have no money or clothes, and everyone was donating clothes and, uh, and basically money.' The Camper Van Beethoven shirt Dirnt is wearing in the photo was borrowed. The band got just over $200 for playing, a lot of it tips to help them out. They stayed another day and hung out. 'They sat on Stuart's porch, Billie Joe playing acoustic guitar,' Sanderson says. 'I think they completed a couple songs from their second album Kerplunk there.'"
Photos from Birmingham, AL
Send your own photos for this show to photos@greendayauthority.com
1. Welcome to Paradise
2. Words I Might Have Ate
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