Green Day – “Jesus of Suburbia”

When: October 2004
Where: La Canada-Flintridge
Who: My mom, the band Nural, and several strangers
Weather: Cool, breezy

Last year, The AV Club asked the question, “why is music from the ’90s on classic rock radio?” A better question would have been “why is music from the ’90s on new rock radio?”

KROQ is the modern rock station in the Southland, and like almost all stations of that kind, it fell into the trap of playing less and less new music. Leaving out the 80% of the airtime devoted just to The Offspring and Sublime, you’ll mostly hear Grunge. Green Day was no spring chicken at this time, but for a few brief years it wasn’t the least bit unusual to hear this nine-minute monstrosity in your car.

Back at Bosco, Mr. Thompson was working very hard to keep the school newspaper running, and the end result was really good. One of the articles was about this very phenomenon. There was a new radio station, Indie 103.1. It was the best radio station in Southern California, characters on TV could be seen waking up to it, and KROQ was starting to play more and newer music to compete. Eventually, 103.1 folded and things went back to normal, but so long as I was in high school, this was the case.

I was in La Cañada attending a Nural concert. I was so taken with them after my 8th grade graduation party that I wanted to see what the fans were like. I have no idea why I liked them so much, they weren’t very good, but I did get to talking with some of the girls. Mostly about Xavier Lopez-Ayala, Bosco Tech’s resident artist and Youth Governor of California. We swapped NorCal band demo discs, and I returned home.

Next: Wasted hearts and nuclear war.


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