BLOG: Why Green Day should be in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is brilliant. I’m leading with that because as a fan, watching your favourite band be acknowledged on that scale feels special. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve watched Metallica’s induction, with James holding Lars up as a trophy, and it hits me in the feels every time. As well as the fact that inductees give back by holding seminars for musicians across America and other awesome deeds, I’ve always respected that something as massive as that institution gives props to the music we hold dear. The Mercurys and the Brits (who've frozen us out since we rolled them over with Maiden) can ignore rock all they like, but the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have inducted Nirvana, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Guns N Roses and (eventually) Kiss in recent years. This week, another band from our world has been nominated and it’s caused controversy amongst everyone who hasn’t really paid attention to rock music since 1994. But we’ll get to that...

If you’re butthurt because Iron Maiden or Deep Purple are yet to go in, I understand (more in Maiden’s case than Purple’s but that’s something else altogether). Their influence is undeniable, their popularity is as great today as it ever was and they’re a cultural phenomenon. But here’s where people lose me. As a proud, card carrying nerd, I’m a huge WWE fan. Every year, I go to Wrestlemania and the night before the event, they hold their Hall of Fame ceremony. It’s glorious but The Undertaker isn’t in it yet. I’m not mad, he’ll go in eventually. Same with The Rock. Same with Macho Man Randy Savage. The WWE have 50 years of wrestlers to condense down to a few nominations each year. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have the same issue. Maiden will go in. Chill.

The thing that’s really got my goat though is people questioning Green Day. I argue this, without hyperbole: Green Day are one of the most important and influential bands of the last 40 years. If you were to tally up all of the people that have picked up a guitar and asked them which band inspired them to do so, it’s my opinion that Green Day would be in the Top 10 named. The effect of Green Day’s post-Kurt boom cannot be understated. The cultural phenomenon that is the Warped tour began of the back of their success to become the worldwide event that it is today, an event that kids in bands from all over the globe want to be a part of. Look at all of the bands that have become multi-platinum since, legitimately gargantuan bands like My Chemical Romance and Blink 182. They wouldn’t sound that way if it wasn’t for Green Day’s back catalogue. Green Day did Good Riddence (Time Of Your Life)? Pop punk bands today record acoustic EPs and the likes of Neck Deep and The Story So Far have acoustic tracks as their biggest hitters. Even if you want to take this to pop culture, look at Busted of 5 Seconds Of Summer today. Those bands would not exist without Green Day. How many adverts use pop punk tones these days? Jesus, if it’s not taking a great song and slowing it down to a funeral procession, it’s Green Day’s template. Seriously. Ask Transplants man Tim Armstrong how much money he made from shampoo…

There’s a million people screaming about Ramones at this screen now. Good point. The Ramones started this whole thing and are justifiably already in the Hall of Fame. Think of them as Black Sabbath. Think of Green Day as Metallica. Massive props to the inventors, equal respect to the band that perfected that sound, took it to the mountain and become the biggest the genre has ever seen.

Today, there’s an article doing the rounds that snipes at all things pop punk. That’s cool. It’s not for everyone and if you can’t hear the merits in bad ass albums like All Killer, No Filler and The Young & The Hopeless, it really is your loss. But, here’s the thing: there’s also a famous shirt that has an AK-47 on it and ‘Defend Pop Punk’ emblazoned in big letters. In truth, pop punk has never needed defending or legitimising by the establishment because the people have voted with their feet. Those who sneered “it’s just music for kids” when the genre first emerged have been left choking in the dust as Green Day and Blink 182 headline festivals across the world and today’s heavyweights like Paramore, A Day to Remember and All Time Low begin to hit arenas.

The fact is that in 2014, pop punk has as many massive bands at that level than any other genre you care to mention. Pop punk isn’t a fad like grunge or thrash metal, capturing the zeitgeist and having 5 minutes in the sun before returning to bingo halls and the toilet circuit. Pop punk as we know it today has a 25 year legacy that’s only getting stronger and Green Day are going into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame because they spearheaded that movement. In the years to come, pop punk will hold as much relevancy as prog or any other sub-genre you care to mention. Glad to see the Hall of Fame are getting with the times. It’s evolution, baby.