Marnie Schleicher/S.F. EXAMINERGreen Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong performs at 924 Gilman in Berkeley on Sunday.

Green Day plays surprise secret show at 924 Gilman

Novelist Thomas Wolfe once said, “You can’t go home again,” but Green Day could, did, and rocked it.

Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool played a surprise show at Berkeley’s all-ages music venue 924 Gilman on Sunday night, a month after the East Bay punk trio was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Marnie Schleicher, The San Francisco Examiner’s assistant online editor and senior Green Day editor, was one of the lucky few to grab tickets, which sold out almost immediately after going on sale at 9 a.m. Saturday.

“They looked like they were taking in all their surroundings, because they hadn’t played there since 1993,” Schleicher said. “All of their families were there, little kids included. It was just really fun and they fed off everyone’s energy.”

The show was a fundraiser for AK Press and 1984 Printing, two Berkeley businesses that were badly damaged by a fire in March. The show was also a homecoming for the band, which played many early shows at Gilman.

Audience members, some of whom weren’t yet born when the band released its 1990 debut album, “39/Smooth,” also saw a few more Bay Area punk legends. Tim Armstrong of Berkeley’s Rancid joined Green Day for a cover of Operation Ivy’s “Knowledge,” while former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra introduced the band.

“The sign says no stage diving,” Schleicher said, “but there was a lot of stage diving going on.”


“I’m furious about fast food taking over ‘farm-to-table,’ ” Chez Panisse executive chef Alice Waters says in the June issue of Vanity Fair.

Waters spoke to food journalist Corby Kummer, whose article argues that it’s time to retire the overused farm-to-table moniker as even McDonald’s highlights farmers in its “What We’re Made Of” ad campaign. (What is the Filet-O-Fish made of, anyway?)

Kummer highlights Berkeley’s Chez Panisse and San Francisco’s Greens as two restaurants backing away from constant farm shoutouts on menus.

“It’s exhausting to look at all that description on a menu,” Greens chef Annie Somerville told Kummer.


President Barack Obama joined Twitter on Monday, tweeting, “Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account” from @POTUS. Bill Clinton replied, “Does that username stay with the office? #askingforafriend.” … Taye Diggs is taking the title role of “Hedwig and the Angry Itch” on Broadway.


Singer Sam Smith is 23. … Actress Polly Walker (“Rome”) is 49. … Singer-actress Grace Jones (“A View to a Kill”) is 63. … Rock singer-composer Pete Townshend of The Who is 70. … Actor Peter Mayhew (“Star Wars”) is 71. … Actress Nancy Kwan (“Flower Drum Song”) is 76. … PBS newscaster Jim Lehrer is 81.

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