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

Marc Spitz

Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Time, and Music of Green Day 📕 (2006)


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'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.