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Maida Vale Studios, Studio MV4 in London, England
May 05, 2009
  • Recordings from this show can be found here
  • Sharon Mitchell: "It all started as a relatively normal Tuesday. The Monday had been a national holiday in the UK and this was a routine day of housework after dropping my son at school, until, mid morning, I had a call from a friend who was based in London. He was standing outside the BBC's Maida Vale studios, where his very observant girlfriend had just noticed equipment being delivered with Green Day’s logo plastered all over it. The studio is used to record radio interviews, and as they were just about to release a new album, he put two and two together, made five and called me. A while later, he rang again to say he had just watched the band go into the building, and that if I got up to London soon, I would see them leave. The date was May 5th, 2009 and the last time we had seen Green Day in the UK had been November 6th 2005 at the Top of the Pops show. The British fans were beginning to think they had been forgotten! I dropped everything, gave my daughter £5 for petrol to pick my son up from school, and ran for the train, pausing only to take the paper inner from my copy of the Know Your Enemy CD single and stuff it in my handbag. Outside the studio there was a small group of people – two men, two photographers, two girls and Ross, my friend. After a while, the two men left, but we carried on waiting, and at 4:20pm, we were rewarded. A flurry of activity signalled the band’s emergence – a couple of people carriers moved up to the door, and a handful of ‘heavies’ appeared, and then the band themselves, led by Jason Freese. Ross and I stood grinning on the pavement as they stepped into the street – and then walked straight over to us!!!!! Mike approached Ross and Billie walked over to me. Aaaarggghhh. Cue panic... Except that I didn’t. The first thing my all-time number one hero uttered was a question about ME. He spotted my shirt – a home made one with an obscure reference to The Network – and said, 'Please tell me that shirt has nothing to do with me.' I replied that it had EVERYTHING to do with him, and he blushed and muttered, 'Oh, god...' He then talked about the new album that had been leaked a day or so earlier, and I relaxed. It was honestly like talking to an old friend, he was so natural, and normal. After a long chat (it must have been ten minutes in total, we talked about so much), he asked my name, then felt the need to introduce himself – yes, Billie, I obviously had no idea who you were! And then the best bit. As he went to leave, he spotted my necklace – a silver anchor that I wear to remember my Dad who was in the Navy and who died in 2004. He was wearing a similar one, and he commented – 'matching jewelry.' I told him the reason behind my necklace, then told him a true story. On the first anniversary of my father’s death, I was in my bedroom sorting out clean laundry for my family, and I put on the radio – tuning in immediately to Wake Me Up When September Ends. It hit me hard – a song about Billie’s dad on MY dad’s anniversary, and I cried. I still do, every time I hear it. As I finished telling this to Billie, he extended a hand and I nearly exploded – I was about to touch GOD!!! I put out my own hand – but Billie said, 'No, that calls for a hug.' He’s wonderful. He is caring, kind and thoughtful, and he has said since in interviews that he gets a kick out of it when people make a ‘connection‘ with his music. That’s obviously what happened here, and I loved every second of being held close to the man who writes lyrics that mean so much to me. And then Mike, who had just finished talking to Ross, tapped BJ on the shoulder and said, 'Share the love – I want a hug, too.' Yes, Mike, no problem. I gave him a card (it had been his birthday the day before) and he was amazed that I even knew that – another lovely, humble man. Photos taken of him by the press photographers show the red envelope in his pocket. I’d stood there talking all this time with my camera in my hand, forgetting that it was there. I managed to snatch one glorious photo of Billie up close (those eyes!) and asked all three to sign my cd insert. Tre had disappeared into one of the cars, but I beckoned him out, telling him there was room for three signatures and that he was my hero, too. He got out of the car and asked me my name, which he wrote sideways. He then added, 'That’s my mother’s middle name,' to which I replied, 'Tre, you say that to every woman, don’t you?' He blushed, shuffled his feet and mumbled 'Yes.' I made Tre Cool lose his cool. Magic. Ross and I giggled like idiots all the way back to the station. Best. Day. Ever. But it didn’t end there..."
Photos from London, England
Send your own photos for this show to photos@greendayauthority.com
1. 21st Century Breakdown
2. East Jesus Nowhere
3. Before The Lobotomy
4. She
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