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Marc Spitz - Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Time, and Music of Green Day [book] (Cover Artwork)

Marc Spitz

Marc Spitz: Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Time, and Music of Green Day [book]Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Time, and Music of Green Day [book] (2006)
Green Day

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Attempting to track Green Day's career trajectory can be a very tedious, a very obvious task. You can touch upon the surprises, the fall-outs, the backlashes, and you'd still be treading well-worn ground. Maybe this is why Marc Spitz is due acknowledgement for not only profiling the band's long, ard.


Attempting to track Green Day's career trajectory can be a very tedious, a very obvious task. You can touch upon the surprises, the fall-outs, the backlashes, and you'd still be treading well-worn ground. Maybe this is why Marc Spitz is due acknowledgement for not only profiling the band's long, arduous journey through the mainstream and up from their Bay Area upbringing in some refreshing views and detailed accounts -- but for doing this all within 200 pages, roughly.

Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Time, and Music of Green Day talks to an awful lot of people not named Mike Dirnt, Tre Cool, and Billie Joe Armstrong -- and as the book progresses you realize this is perfect. Who better to tell the tales than the characters that surrounded them through everything? Everyone from Jello Biafra and Fat Mike (and Punknews.org's own illustrious editor Aubin!) to family members and ex-girlfriends are quoted, giving their takes on the Bay Area punk scene or Billie Joe's star power or what have you. Plenty material here provides thorough insight into the members' personal upbringings, including interesting tidbits like Billie Joe's singing lessons in his early childhood and even an eventual 7" the pre-pubescent frontman put out on his teacher's record label.

With the band's mainstream success providing plenty press already, the book focuses a nice portion of the story on their Lookout! days. A brief history of the band's first label is given but with enough detail to give a healthy scope on the situation of the time. Fair regards are made towards some of the band's first tours, as well as the hometown following they amassed after a number of shows and EPs -- a popularity that hit a stunning peak at Kerplunk!'s release, probably even greater than fans developed after the fact realize.

From there we're granted constant behind-the-scenes access to the band's record label dealings and studio recordings, with the struggle between the family life and the rock star life always looming over the pages, something Spitz pulls down occasionally to give the story its obligatory tension. We're taken all the way through American Idiot and that album acting as the catalyst for the band's second (or so) explosion of popularity. Even the lost album recorded between Warning: and American Idiot -- a supposed return to the band's roots -- is mentioned with some quotes from sources close to the band/recording; unfortunately the book gives no hint as to whether those recordings will ever see a public release.

Complaints regarding Nobody Likes You are few and far between. Like a good punk rock song, it's a great, somewhat brief length and yet completely in-depth and brings some new details to life. Like a good Green Day song, it's also easily digestible and accessible, but an enjoyable experience all the same.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
thomas7155 (October 31, 2007)

The album that was recorded between Warning and American Idiot was stolen from the studio. So it will never see final release.

kingofsuck (January 26, 2007)

I picked this up on clearance a few days ago. I didn't like it as much as I was hoping I would.

Anonymous (January 18, 2007)

i got this book on wednesday and was done by thursday morning...so suffice it to say its a pretty quick read. its alright i guess. it was kinda lame in that it seemed like most of the green day interviews were from old spin interviews throughout their career. it had some interesting shit. he obviously focused on their two biggest albums (dookie, american idiot) and i would have liked more shit about the other album eras but oh well. overall its just ok.

not-to-regret (January 17, 2007)

Hehe, I ddin't even think of that obviously, I just wanted to selfishly share my discovery. But yes, the Clash were mainstream too I guess, I don't really know I wasn't alive then to lay judgement if they were punk or mainstream or both.

Scruffy (January 15, 2007)

"Insomniac is a classic as far as i'm concerned, however, I am hesitant to say it's a "punk classic" when compared to the underground scene.; but as far as mainstream music goes, it was pretty damn punk.

Score's for finding a vinyl copy of London Calling at the used record store."

IRONY ALERT!!!!

kingofsuck (January 14, 2007)

I saw this at the book store a few months ago and thought about getting it, but I figured it'd be nothing I didn't already know. I might still pick this up if it's as good as you say it is, though.

Also, this book deserves a better title.

Anonymous (January 14, 2007)

i think i mght actualy get this, and i'm not a greenday fan. I love this kind of stuff

not-to-regret (January 13, 2007)

"It makes Insomniac and Warning out to be mistakes"

Warning was okay but the singles just killed that album.

Insomniac is a classic as far as i'm concerned, however, I am hesitant to say it's a "punk classic" when compared to the underground scene.; but as far as mainstream music goes, it was pretty damn punk.

Score's for finding a vinyl copy of London Calling at the used record store.

Fuzzy (January 13, 2007)

Yeah doodz. Boox aint punx rox!@#@#

damo (January 13, 2007)

there must be no releases happening if books are being reviewed now

you'll be reviewimg a Set Your Goals vocal performance next

Cos (January 13, 2007)

I'm solidly in the "Warning" camp. Saw them on that tour, listened to that CD much more than I ever listened to "Idiot"... AI has its moments, but Warning is such a good pop record.

I'll agree that the time between Insomniac and Nimrod (or even Nimrod and American Idiot) are probably the most interesting in the band's career. How does one go from the biggest band in the world to an also-ran?

SuperRad (January 13, 2007)

They were better when they werent rocking against Bush. Warning is great because the songs are just songs. It's...nice.

FuckYouOiOiOi (January 12, 2007)

what did Fat Mike say?

Anonymous (January 12, 2007)

Insomniac and Nimrod were there two best albums. Warning was pretty fucking good too. American Idiot is their weakest album and it's pretty decent as well.

That being said, I have no desire to read this book. It has a stupid title.

OverDefined (January 12, 2007)

I read this book last month in about a day. I think it glosses over the most interesting stuff and is full of fluff. It makes Insomniac and Warning out to be mistakes and suggests that Nimrod is an amazing record. WRONG!

With that the early career stuff is really in-depth and great.

Anonymous (January 12, 2007)

They already made a behind the music wyzo-guy.

- Suck the Fuck

- wtf? Ryan Adams?

wallofyouth (January 12, 2007)

i'm with godfather.

i'd like a 500 page book focusing on the time between dookie and insomiac

strangenotes (January 12, 2007)

The guy that wrote this also wrote We've Got the Neutron Bomb, which was a great book about the early LA / Southern California punk scene. Why he chose GREEN DAY as a follow up is beyond me. I laughed when I saw this in the store, and had a few more memorable moments reading about the "oppressive" Gilman / East Bay scene that kept Green Day from quickly reaching stardom in their beginning years.

What a joke.

wyzo (January 12, 2007)

most unnecessary review ever.

I'll wait for the behind the music.

Why waste good reading time on pop culture phenomena that will just be inevitably rehashed by ""rock" "journalists"" (double quotes within quotes suckas) in the forthcoming dumbathondango, VH1 I love the 90's and Oughts Part IV, Good Apollo I'm burning, you know, nevermind.

wyzo

theonetruebill (January 12, 2007)

Now remember guys, this isn't the swimmer that you have on the poster on your wall.

hitlerbadzakgood (January 12, 2007)

kinda selective reading though, it doesnt even talk about how they stole american idiot from a bagboy.

swank (January 12, 2007)

bizarre. I just finished reading this book.

I dug it, although there wasn't alot I didn't know. I thought it maybe spent too much time of their respective formative years and not enough on their career as a band, I also found little lyrical and credit errors which really should have been edited better.
Also, I would have liked to heave heard more about Billie's "New York" period, in which he moved there without his family and intended to record with Ryan Adams.

But, complaints aside, it was a solid read.

Godfather (January 12, 2007)

score is for j.a.r.

colin (January 12, 2007)

i've been meaning to check this out, but after this review, i think i'll pick it up. probably my favorite, or at least most personally significant, band ever. thanks for the review.

lostandclowned (January 12, 2007)

i read a green day interview where mike said the songs might make it to a record one day. it's just a matter of if they fit the album.

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