Green Day kicked off 2024 in the most Green Day way possible: by taking another snarling lyrical swing at Donald Trump. The band tweaked the politically charged lyrics to the title track from their seventh studio album, 2004’s “American Idiot,” during their Sunday night (Dec. 31) set on ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.
“I’m not part of the MAGA agenda,” singer Billie Joe Armstrong snarled from the stage, replacing the original line in which he stated that he was not part of the “redneck agenda”; click here to watch video of the moment. As the four-times indicted, twice impeached former president ping-pongs between court dates and campaign appearances, the latest lyrical slag from the veteran punk-pop trio was not a huge surprise.
Green Day have long spoken out about their disdain for the former reality star whose recent speeches have featured fascist-like phrases that have raised alarm among political pundits for referring to political opponents as “vermin,” language that echoed that used by Nazi leader Adolph Hitler. Back in 2019, the band didn’t hold back at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, where they debuted the anti-MAGA line in “American Idiot.” At the 2016 American Music Awards Green Day took aim at the then president-elect while performing “Bang Bang,” where Armstrong chanted “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA,” in a nod to Trump’s endorsement by the KKK and the rise in racist attacks following his election.
As you might expect, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band who’ve proudly waved the flag of disdain for authority and authoritarianism for more than three decades drew the ire of some of those MAGA Nation followers, as well as X owner Elon Musk. “Green Day goes from raging against the machine to milquetoastedly raging for it,” the controversy-loving Tesla/SpaceX CEO tweeted.
Some of Trump’s MAGA minions joined Musk in denigrating the group, with one X poster calling them “punk rock sellouts,” while Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist director and Hercules actor Kevin Sorbo quipped “punk rock is pro big government” and right-wing troll Catturd wrote, “nothing says ‘punk rock’ like Government bootlicking, millionaire sellouts playing on ABC.”
The move should not come as any surprise considering that during their 2017 tour, Armstrong would often shout “F–k you, Donald Trump!” during performances of “American Idiot.” And, after Trump’s mugshot was released following his indictment for attempting to interfere with Georgia’s election process in the 2020 presidential race, GD released an “ultimate Nimrod” shirt with the scowling image of the one-term president on it as a benefit for the victims of last year’s devastating Maui wildfire.
There were, of course, plenty of GD supporters who applauded the band’s prime time takedown, with one noting that the original songs were aimed at another Republican commander-in-chief, George W. Bush during the Iraq War. “To the bi–hes b–ching: Green Day was never on your side. ‘American Idiot’ came out in 2004, who was president then? EXACTLY. That album was a middle finger to Dubya, you were just too stupid to realize it,” they wrote. Another wondered if those complaining about the Trump dump were ever really paying attention. “Why did Green Day have to insert politics into their performance of ‘American Idiot’ is a truly incredible sentence to read,” one X user wrote.
See Musk’s tweet below.
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