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Green Day hits back at Elon Musk over ‘American Idiot’ jibe

The band changed the lyrics to their 2004 song ‘American Idiot’ to take a jab at Trump

Michelle Del Rey
Monday 15 January 2024 19:16 GMT
Green Day swap American Idiot lyrics during New Year’s Eve broadcast

Green Day is clapping back at Elon Musk after he criticised the band’s New Year’s Eve performance of their hit song ‘American Idiot’ in which they took a jab at former President Donald J Trump.

While taking the stage at Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, the rock group changed the lyrics of their 2004 song “American Idiot” from “I’m not part of the redneck agenda” to “I’m not part of the MAGA agenda.”

The decision upset supporters of the former president and Mr Musk, who tweeted, “Green Day goes from raging against the machine to milquetoastedly raging for it.”

But in an interview with Rolling Stone that was published last week, the band’s bassist, Mike Dirnt, explained why the frontman Billie Joe Armstrong decided to sing the changed lyrics.

“Elon Musk actually is the machine. I can’t take anything else from that,” he said. “He’s not shy about saying stupid sh– on the internet. Whatever.”

Mr Dirnt continued: “The song’s twenty years old, and we’re Green Day. What did you expect?

The bassist added the group is glad that the switch-up ignited a conversation among those who watched the performance, explaining how the band has previously wanted to release political songs but chose not to do so during the Trump administration.

“First it was rhetorical, and then it got into conversation. Anytime you can get people talking, you’re always going to have the loudest voices [heard first], and then everyone else in the room is going to figure out what it really means.”

The band recently released a political song titled “The American Dream is Killing Me” on their recent album Saviors.

The song was written by Mr Armstrong nearly four years ago, Mr Dirnt told the outlet. “We all knew it was low-hanging fruit,” he said of releasing political songs during the Trump era. “We’re not a parody of who we are, and songs like that need time to be fleshed out. If that means just sitting back and letting life happen, so be it.”

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