"We got a good crowd here!" Watch a heavily-disguised Green Day busk a hard rockin' cover of Bad Company's Feel Like Makin' Love on a New York subway platform

Green Day, busking in disguise
(Image credit: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon)

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong has been revealing his hard rock roots in recent weeks, sharing his love of AC/DC and Van Halen. But the idea of the Californian stadium punk superstars busking a Bad Company classic for network television during the promo campaign for their new album 'Saviors' wasn't something we had anticipated, in all honesty. And judging by the surprised looks on their faces, it wasn't something that New York city commuters were expecting to see this week either.

To be fair, Bille Joe Armstrong's band were heavily disguised when they set about serenading Manhattan commuters on the platform of the 50th Street subway station  beneath the Rockefeller Center, and they had also gained a new temporary frontman, US chat show host Jimmy Fallon, whose idea it was to take the Berkeley punks busking.

The group's impromptu set began with Fallon and Armstrong sharing lead vocals on a cover of Bad Company's 1975 power ballad Feel Like Makin' Love, from the English hard rock supergroup's second album Straight Shooter. Having gathered quite a crowd, the band's hirsute frontman removed his 'facial furniture' before revealing his true identity, and that of his backing band. Casting aside their own disguises, Green Day then treated their shocked and delighted audience to a more familiar punk rock standard, their 1994 classic Basket Case from Dookie

Watch footage of the busking prank below.

Earlier this week, Armstrong spoke about an emotional meeting he had with Eddie Van Halen, one of his childhood heroes, and admitted that talking to the legendary guitarist backstage before a Van Halen show in Kansas City was a “heavy experience.”

Asked by Howard Stern if he ever had the opportunity to meet Eddie Van Halen, Armstrong shared an anecdote about the “emotional” face-to-face meeting.

“He’s got his guitar on, he's plugged in, and it's like he's talking to me and shredding at the same time, and I was just like, Oh my God!” Armstrong recalled. “I don't know if anybody really knows this but the size of his hands are gigantic, and I grabbed his hands and I looked at them, and I was like, Dude your hands are so…

"And he's like, ‘Oh I got arthritis now and blah blah blah’. And then, like, this really insane thing happened, where he kind of started crying. He looked at me and he put his hand behind my neck, and he goes, ‘You're the only one that understands me’.

“He had tears coming down his eyes and I didn't really know what to say. I was like, Man you have no idea how much you've meant to me as a as a musician and as a songwriter… He's like, ‘People think I'm an alien because of the way I play’ and I’m like, It's all about your songs, and he goes, ‘Exactly, exactly.’ It was this really kind of heavy experience.”

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.