Green Day, According to The Jetty Boys




photo of Green Day from MySpace


 Words by Erin Wolf

“So make the best of this task and don’t ask why / It’s not a question but a lesson learned in time” Green Day told us a decade ago. Milwaukee’s Jetty Boys are taking on their own challenge of covering the California pop-punk band formed over twenty years ago, their ‘task’ to make themselves into a mirror image of the band for Garibaldi’s Halloween Spoof/Covers show tonight (also featuring covers of DEVO and The Replacements). But out of all the bands to cover, why pick Green Day? Jetty Boys front man Drew Fredrichsen explains.

Are you covering early material (like Kerplunk, Dookie, Insomniac) or newer stuff?

We are covering most of 39/Smooth and some songs from the early singles. 39/Smooth has had a place in my heart for a really long time. It’s not too often you can remember where and when you bought an album, but that one I do.

I can vividly remember buying 39/Smooth on cassette tape from Dr Freuds in Manitowoc when I was thirteen. My friend Josh’s parents had business in Manitowoc,  and said that me and him might be able to go to the record store and asked if I wanted to tag along. I was excited!  I had never been to Manitowoc before (not that it’s much of a destination) , also because  I had never been to a “record store” that wasn’t  chain like Musicland/Sam Goody. I got twenty dollars together from the allowance I had saved from cutting grass. I remember walking in and my eyes traced around the store taking it all in. My friend gestured to me to show me where the tapes were. I was scanning the cases and then saw  the ‘punk’ section.  I remember just seeing the spine and wondering what it sounded like.  I never heard anything about them before. So awkwardly inquired to the sales clerk if I could look at it because they had glass cabinets that they had to unlock with a key to get tapes out.  He pulled it out from some other tapes laying on top of and handed it to me. When he put into my hand I remember I examined it  for a bit,  looking at the cover art and song titles, then I quickly pulled out my money from pocket and paid for it.

I didn’t look at anything else. I just looked at, and bought one tape. I don’t know why exactly I chose it, but I am glad I did. To this day I consider it one of the most important music purchases I have ever made. I listened to it so much growing up, like every day for a while.  I remember not knowing what the words were and just making sounds in the shower trying to sing along with it. It never lost its place as one of my favorite albums of all time.

Does Green Day have a big pull on your song writing for Jetty Boys?

I would say yes. Like I said, I listened to it every day for a long time when I was a teenager. I started playing guitar a few years before I bought the tape, so I was trying to  sound like him. So early on listening to that record had an effect on my guitar playing and song writing for sure. I  noticed it when practicing the songs for the upcoming show. The guitar licks just seem to roll off my fingers like I wrote them, and the vocal just seem normal to me. I am a product of that record song writing I’m sure. Not intentional, like I do not try to write a song like that, but I think I have some engrained elements from listening to that album when I was starting out on guitar.

 Or…one could make the comparison for themselves. Our new album Sheboygan gets released within the month on Rally Records (samples up on and

What other bands were you kicking around as possibilities?

None, really. This was the first band that came to mind when we were asked to do the show. I have been in other cover show bands before. (doing Devil Dogs, Misfits, Phantom Rats, Zero Boys) so when I pick a band to do I like it to be one that meant something to me. I would have been cool with doing Descendents or All, too. Maybe another time.

How far do you plan on going with the costumes?

Well we don’t need much. We are a 3 piece band. so that fits. Seeing is the era is the long haired Billy Joe Armstrong I’ll be representing the “long hair years” meanwhile  when I bought the tape I was also a long hair skater kid so it’s kind of  a personal as well as ascetic turn-back-the-clock. I’ll be doing my own take on the BJ guitar. Maybe some other surprises, you’ll have to show up and see.

If Billie Joe Armstrong were in the audience, what would you hope would be going through his mind?

Billy Joe thought bubble: “Wow those were good songs.”  “Damn these guys are good”   “Thanks for liking my band”. “Maybe I should try to write music like that again.” “Not be so serious.”  “Maybe sing about a girl, ya know.” “Long hair was cool.” “Eyeliner is dumb.” “Somebody get me flannel.”

Jetty Boys cover Green Day at Club Garibaldi (2501 S. Superior)  tonight. 10 p.m. 21+


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One Response to “Green Day, According to The Jetty Boys”

  1. Yale Says:

    I wish I could make this but the hifi are in Chicago. Have a good show boys.

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