‘Nobody Likes You: The Turbulent Life, Times, And Music Of Green Day’ Book Review – In-depth and mesmerizing

Green Day has been often heralded as the saviour of punk rock, a band that brought the genre into the mainstream circuit with songs presented like notes of rage and love. In their early days, their tracks described monotony, boredom, and even the lack of sexual occurrences.

In the early 90s, Green Day was a superstar outfit, using their 3 chord sounds to create a buzz in a music industry overcoming the demise of grunge.  

By breaking the glass ceiling in terms of sales in 1994, Green Day’s beloved Dookie LP put punk on such a colossal pedestal, giving people a chance to hear them on commercial radio. Dookie sent shock-waves through the industry, even though many punk fans maligned the act for signing on the dotted line at a major label.  

Frenzy aside, Green Day would go on to release 3 more records that didn’t light the world on fire in terms of sales. It seemed their tight grasp on relevancy was losing strength. This would nearly tarnish the name of a band which saved a genre that was falling into lacklustre territory.  

In 2004, Green Day was burning out, and their musical juices weren’t flowing. However, something special happened, and the band would create an album of songs that were totally recharged and relevant. American Idiot was the record that shook things up and it gave Green Day a burst of energy and needed acclaim.  

In Mark Spitz’s biography of the band, he details how the group elevated to the top. He describes the band’s younger years and the impact of the hallowed music venue Gilman Street, in which Green Day earned their stripes. Spitz’s writing is concise and poetic at times, and his music know-how is second to none.  

Spitz’s research into the band is flawless, and that’s why he has become one of the most revered music journalists today. Spitz interviewed the band many times for this biography, giving us an insight into the band’s workings.  

The writing does go in-depth, and it’s mesmerising as it is informative. Spitz doesn’t hold back, and the band do not leave anything unturned either. The American Idiot era becomes this mammoth section of the book, and Spitz chronicles the act’s upsurge in popularity. As music biographies go, Mark Spitz hits the nail on the head, and his original flair for writing shines through. Such an adept journalist with years under his belt, Spitz puts his writing chops to good use, never adhering to rules or hyperbole.  

The book details thoroughly the rise of Green Day, blotches and all. There’s no safe writing, no structure issues, and no useless pages. From the first hook, it demonstrates honest writing on a band which revitalised their careers with a rock opera that railed against politics. 

Ultimately, Nobody Likes You: The Turbulent Life, Times, And Music Of Green Day breaks ground and expertly draws on anecdotes and quotes while being a well-written book. Highly recommended! 

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  • Verdict - 9/10

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