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Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Times, and Music of Green Day

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The full story of the rise and spectacular comeback of the band hailed as the saviors of punk rock. It's hard to believe that in early 2004 Green Day was considered over -- the band was still together, but they were dismissed as a strictly '90s phenomenon, incapable of re-creating the success of their groundbreaking album Dookie. Then American Idiot debuted at #1 on the Bi The full story of the rise and spectacular comeback of the band hailed as the saviors of punk rock. It's hard to believe that in early 2004 Green Day was considered over -- the band was still together, but they were dismissed as a strictly '90s phenomenon, incapable of re-creating the success of their groundbreaking album Dookie. Then American Idiot debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, stayed on the charts for nearly 18 months, and went on to sell more than four million records and to win the Grammy for Record of the Year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." Combining unique access to Green Day with a seasoned journalists nose for a great story, Marc Spitz gives the complete account of the band, from their earliest days to their most recent explosion of popularity and critical acclaim. Foremost, Nobody Likes You is a story of friendship and the transporting power of playing very loud music. It is the story of how high school dropout Billie Joe Armstrong came to write song lyrics that inflamed the political conscience of fans in a way that two Yale graduates couldn't. Green Days story -- from rise, to fall, to rise again -- has never been fully told.


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The full story of the rise and spectacular comeback of the band hailed as the saviors of punk rock. It's hard to believe that in early 2004 Green Day was considered over -- the band was still together, but they were dismissed as a strictly '90s phenomenon, incapable of re-creating the success of their groundbreaking album Dookie. Then American Idiot debuted at #1 on the Bi The full story of the rise and spectacular comeback of the band hailed as the saviors of punk rock. It's hard to believe that in early 2004 Green Day was considered over -- the band was still together, but they were dismissed as a strictly '90s phenomenon, incapable of re-creating the success of their groundbreaking album Dookie. Then American Idiot debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, stayed on the charts for nearly 18 months, and went on to sell more than four million records and to win the Grammy for Record of the Year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." Combining unique access to Green Day with a seasoned journalists nose for a great story, Marc Spitz gives the complete account of the band, from their earliest days to their most recent explosion of popularity and critical acclaim. Foremost, Nobody Likes You is a story of friendship and the transporting power of playing very loud music. It is the story of how high school dropout Billie Joe Armstrong came to write song lyrics that inflamed the political conscience of fans in a way that two Yale graduates couldn't. Green Days story -- from rise, to fall, to rise again -- has never been fully told.

30 review for Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Times, and Music of Green Day

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Marie

    3.5 because I love this band. If this were a book about anyone or anything else, it probably would've gotten 2 stars instead because the author pissed me off. He came off as really condescending and misogynistic and I'm not here for that. Gonna go find a better Green Day book. In the meantime, gonna acquaint myself with their musical backlog -- I've listened to their older major-label albums (not for a long damn time, but I have) but I've never heard any of their Lookout-era stuff. So, as with Fa 3.5 because I love this band. If this were a book about anyone or anything else, it probably would've gotten 2 stars instead because the author pissed me off. He came off as really condescending and misogynistic and I'm not here for that. Gonna go find a better Green Day book. In the meantime, gonna acquaint myself with their musical backlog -- I've listened to their older major-label albums (not for a long damn time, but I have) but I've never heard any of their Lookout-era stuff. So, as with Fall Out Boy a few months ago... time to start from the beginning! YAHOO!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Hagiography at its absolute best. I now officially love Billie Joe and Mike Dirnt even more than I already did. Marc Spitz, however, needs to get the fuck over the fact that girls like rock, and not just when it sounds "poppy." I'd give this book five stars because I legit loved almost all of it, but occasionally Spitz threw in extremely snide comments about girls coming along to Green Day shows to hang with boyfriends, and liking the band for things like "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)." Has Hagiography at its absolute best. I now officially love Billie Joe and Mike Dirnt even more than I already did. Marc Spitz, however, needs to get the fuck over the fact that girls like rock, and not just when it sounds "poppy." I'd give this book five stars because I legit loved almost all of it, but occasionally Spitz threw in extremely snide comments about girls coming along to Green Day shows to hang with boyfriends, and liking the band for things like "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)." Has he ever actually been to a Gilman show? I want to believe he hasn't, but he still made me feel othered - in a way Green Day never has.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Todd Janko

    With the recent break down of lead singer Billy Joel Armstrong, I thought I'd go back and just revisit this book for history sake. The amazing thing about Green Day, and the essence of their humble (and poor) beginnings is easily captured by author, Marc Spitz. This is a excellent flowing descriptive band that went from Gilman Street in Northern California, to get signed signed and putting out Dookie, to the break-in pint of their careers with the 1994 Woodstock mudfight. One thing that I find so With the recent break down of lead singer Billy Joel Armstrong, I thought I'd go back and just revisit this book for history sake. The amazing thing about Green Day, and the essence of their humble (and poor) beginnings is easily captured by author, Marc Spitz. This is a excellent flowing descriptive band that went from Gilman Street in Northern California, to get signed signed and putting out Dookie, to the break-in pint of their careers with the 1994 Woodstock mudfight. One thing that I find some positive element about green day is A) They are excellent stage performers B) They beat and overcame the "sophomore slump" and when the media and fans thought they were "has beens" they became one of the biggest punk rock bands of all time when they released "American Idiot". This is the perfect 2 day read biography and it really gives you a sense of what Billy Joel is all about. Yes, he may be a crazed, drug fueled lunatic at times, but he is also a dedicated father and husband, and one creative songwriter. Check this out if you still think this band is cool.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ping

    My boyfriend gave me this book because he knows I'm a fan of Green Day. So from a fan's perspective, this book is excellent. It covers their early beginnings, the Gilman scene, their successes, their disappointments, and finally to the "American Idiot" album. It's chock full of quotes from interviews with family, friends, fellow musicians, and the band members themselves. The book gives you an real inside look into the world of Green Day. Highly recommended for fans of them or the Network, who a My boyfriend gave me this book because he knows I'm a fan of Green Day. So from a fan's perspective, this book is excellent. It covers their early beginnings, the Gilman scene, their successes, their disappointments, and finally to the "American Idiot" album. It's chock full of quotes from interviews with family, friends, fellow musicians, and the band members themselves. The book gives you an real inside look into the world of Green Day. Highly recommended for fans of them or the Network, who are NOT Green Day... :)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    My daughter had to read this for a class at school, so I started reading it. I've been sucked in and now I want to listen to a lot of the songs mentioned so I can follow what was going on. The band is pretty interesting, but the author goes off on tangents a lot and rambles about seemingly unconnected things. There is also a lot of the language that you would expect from a punk rock band. Overall, interesting, but not fabulous...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Iona Sinclair

    Everybody alive should read this book. Okay, so some of the middle parts got a bit boring and were a little bit too much on the factual side to interest some fans (me) but this was totally made up for in the final paragraphs, which were purely about the music. Also, the opening chapters, about Billie Joe and Mike's childhoods were really well written. There were some really funny parts of the book too :)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel Martinico

    Best biography i have ever read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Great story on the greatest rock band on the planet. As Armstrong sings, "You thought I was a write- off, you better think again".

  9. 4 out of 5

    Niklas Braun

    It was a surprisingly thorough overview of Green Day as a whole... until 2006. Because that's when it was written. I'd surely read an updated version by Marc Spitz if it came out.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Desiree

    Interesting biography about Green Day (the band). Starts off when Billie Joe (lead singer) is a young boy, then he meets Mike in Jr. High. Lots of interesting detail about the underground punk scene and how quickly they rose to fame after releasing "Dookie". I wasn't too familiar with the other punk bands referenced in the book, so I was a bit lost at times. Read it b/c it was on the "Recent Adult Non-Fiction" shelf when I went in to pick up books on hold one day. Glad I didn't buy it. Would be Interesting biography about Green Day (the band). Starts off when Billie Joe (lead singer) is a young boy, then he meets Mike in Jr. High. Lots of interesting detail about the underground punk scene and how quickly they rose to fame after releasing "Dookie". I wasn't too familiar with the other punk bands referenced in the book, so I was a bit lost at times. Read it b/c it was on the "Recent Adult Non-Fiction" shelf when I went in to pick up books on hold one day. Glad I didn't buy it. Would be a great book for serious Green Day fans, but I could take it or leave it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin Hart

    This is a really interesting overview of Green Day's rise to fame, their roots, and what made them a success. It doesn't read like a book so much as a magazine article. I was also so stoked to find out that Kathleen Hanna was the female vocalist on American Idiot.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Man I love this book. Not only because it's the Green Day biography, but because it's well written. And of course the actual physical book has pictures in the middle for me to ogle. :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Amazing book i didnt think green day went threw all that to get to where they are now

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Feeling like I wanted to know more about one of my favourite bands of all time, I picked up this book after seeing Green Day for the first ever time live. And while I certainly gained more insight into the backstory of the band, the biggest problem I find with this book is that it's not told by the band themselves, nor are they involved at all (i.e. through in depth interviews or anything) - which hey, I get it, they didn't want to and that's not the author's fault, but as a result I found it to Feeling like I wanted to know more about one of my favourite bands of all time, I picked up this book after seeing Green Day for the first ever time live. And while I certainly gained more insight into the backstory of the band, the biggest problem I find with this book is that it's not told by the band themselves, nor are they involved at all (i.e. through in depth interviews or anything) - which hey, I get it, they didn't want to and that's not the author's fault, but as a result I found it to read more like an encyclopedia article rather than a good story where I could really connect to the band. Granted this book is well researched and there's a tonne of info compiled from various interviews which Green Day have done in the past, but I found it difficult at times as there were a lot of names thrown out there, and compiling events through the statements of various people meant it felt like it was jumping around a bit and hard to keep track of who some of these names actually were. Overall, Green Day fans will enjoy reading (and reliving) the bands historical moments, but if you're looking for personal histories of who Green Day are, this isn't it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Peter O'Connor

    I always found it easy and tempting to dismiss Greenday as punk light and therefore somehow insincere. It wasn't until years later when reviewing a greatest hits package (International Supervideos) that I realised how wrong I had been. Sure they were a fave of sugared-up pre-teen boys the world over for a while there but, at the same time, they really rocked and now only the most bitter and idealistic punk wanker would deny that they have a great set of songs. As expected, 'Nobody Likes You' is I always found it easy and tempting to dismiss Greenday as punk light and therefore somehow insincere. It wasn't until years later when reviewing a greatest hits package (International Supervideos) that I realised how wrong I had been. Sure they were a fave of sugared-up pre-teen boys the world over for a while there but, at the same time, they really rocked and now only the most bitter and idealistic punk wanker would deny that they have a great set of songs. As expected, 'Nobody Likes You' is a fairly brief affair and doesn't progress beyond their crowning American Idiot glory. It does however, give a concise and easy to read overview of a band at the height of its powers and although the story is not a complex one, it does leave you with the impression that Greenday are a lot more legitimate as a bona fide rock phenomena than many would care to admit

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dominic Hammer

    As a huge long time Green Day fan, i really enjoyed this book. It had so much interesting information about the history of Green Day and punk rock as a whole. I learned so much about the the rise, the fall, and the once again triumphant rise of Green day, as well as the band's humble beginnings. I also enjoyed the references to some of my other favorite bands like Blink-182, the Offspring, and the Clash. However, it has it's faults. The book sometimes rambles on too long and I often found myself As a huge long time Green Day fan, i really enjoyed this book. It had so much interesting information about the history of Green Day and punk rock as a whole. I learned so much about the the rise, the fall, and the once again triumphant rise of Green day, as well as the band's humble beginnings. I also enjoyed the references to some of my other favorite bands like Blink-182, the Offspring, and the Clash. However, it has it's faults. The book sometimes rambles on too long and I often found myself loosing track. The only thing that kept my interest in the book was that it was about Green Day. 'Nobody Likes You' is a great book for Green Day/punk rock fans, but not for casual readers who could care less about that sort of stuff.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Naomi Crosby

    This was a more personal read for me. I picked this particular of the few different books available specifically because of the negative reviews I read on Amazon. There were complaints that the bulk of the book focuses on the early years of Northen California punk culture. Well, that’s what I wanted. The other really wonderful part are the quotes from well known artists and even family members.

  18. 5 out of 5

    The Rudie Librarian (Brian)

    As one of those kids who fell in love with this band back in the days of Dookie, it was endlessly fascinating to hear more of the story of where this band came from and how they became what we know. The book was a little uneven in that a vast majority of it is up to and including Dookie and the. Seems to rush through everything up to American Idiot, but still great.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cat

    From the suburbs, to shows in SF, and into mainstream American culture and recognition, Spitz writes an incredible portrait of a band known to any kid growing up in the US at the turn of the millennium. Read in high school and remains one of my favourite music biographies to date. Borrowed from Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library.

  20. 5 out of 5

    milou ☕️

    There is a reason that Green Day is my favorite band

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Bio of the band? Hm. I enjoyed it -- and a good kick off to "Libraries Rock" summer reading program. Of course now I can't stop listening to the Broadway cast of American Idiot.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Abbey

    This is my favourite Green Day book I've read, and I've read a few. It has really interesting stories I had never read before, and a good amount of information from their families, you really get an insight to their lives and get really inspired.

  23. 5 out of 5

    erin

    this was fine. definitely written by a journalist, it reads like one long magazine interview. green day as a band don't have the most interesting story but it was interesting to read about the bay area scene and about where all these pop-punk tropes have developed from. it's just white dudes idolizing or criticizing other white dudes, but at least it's self-aware. you're not going to get much out of it if you're not a green day fan - it was just fine.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Easton Adams

    This Book is a Biography so I wouldn't think it had a plot but it was not my favorite. It swore to much and the content was a little high, and I would never read it again. In this book it explains how Green Day became a Band. It all started in 1986 when there bassist Mike Dirnt rented out the extra room in the bands lead guitar and vocals home, Billie Joe Armstrong. They formed the punk rock band with drummer John Kiffmeyer, but then was replaced by Tre Cool in 1990 when they finised they're fir This Book is a Biography so I wouldn't think it had a plot but it was not my favorite. It swore to much and the content was a little high, and I would never read it again. In this book it explains how Green Day became a Band. It all started in 1986 when there bassist Mike Dirnt rented out the extra room in the bands lead guitar and vocals home, Billie Joe Armstrong. They formed the punk rock band with drummer John Kiffmeyer, but then was replaced by Tre Cool in 1990 when they finised they're first album 39/smooth. The band continued to work as a Trio and two years later they came ot with they're album Kerplunk! which include the hit single "Welcome to Paradise," and was later re-recored in 1994 on they're debut album "Dookie," when they joined lookout records, and that album included the singles "Welcome to Paradise, When I come Around, and the #1 hit Basket Case." Green Days follow up albums Insomniac, Nimrod, and Warning did not achieve great success, however the single from Nimrod (Good Riddance) was a huge hit of the 90's. Then with the bands changing to more of an alternative genre they then released in 2004 American Idiot. This album was recorded for more of a younger generation. This album included the hit singles "American Idiot, Holiday, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, and Wake me up when September ends," and Holiday, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, and Wake me up When September Ends stayed on Billboard for 89 weeks after its release, this album was alon given a grammy award for best rock album in 2005. They were one of the most successful bands of all time I did like the information from this book and how well it explained to me how this band became a band and they're success in the music world. Green Day is one of my favorite bands and I really enjoyed reading this because well, it was of Green Day and if there is a book about Nickelback i'd like to read that one. A couple things I didn't like was the profanity, and I here swear words a lot at school, and sometimes even in public, but I just don't like reading them of paper. Also the content was a little high-ish so I would never read it again but I still thnk tat learnng about such a cool band was a lot of fun.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Gramith

    Nobody Likes You by Mark Spritz is a pure, in depth look at the famous punk rock band Green Day and their journey as a band. Naming this novel after a song off of their hit album “American Idiot”, this story starts off with the life of adolescent Billie Joe Armstrong, and his journey of meeting the other members of the band, and and their inspiring journey of going from playing in their garage to selling out stadium’s all across the world. This novel is chock-full of super in depth information a Nobody Likes You by Mark Spritz is a pure, in depth look at the famous punk rock band Green Day and their journey as a band. Naming this novel after a song off of their hit album “American Idiot”, this story starts off with the life of adolescent Billie Joe Armstrong, and his journey of meeting the other members of the band, and and their inspiring journey of going from playing in their garage to selling out stadium’s all across the world. This novel is chock-full of super in depth information about the true roots of Green Day, from their teenage scene days of playing at Gilman St. all the way up to the release of “American Idiot”, the hit chart topper album that truly made them who they are today. This book follows the core of the band, through thick and thin, and how they truly impacted what the punk rock scene is today. I would greatly recommend this book to anyone into this type of music, or even as an inspiration to any musician out there, because it is truly an inspiring journey of how these three high school dropouts went from playing for their parents to getting voted into the rock and roll hall of fame. Although at some times it get’s slightly boring, this book is certainly very interesting and a good book to read for anyone.

  26. 5 out of 5

    05blakeb

    The book Nobody Likes You by Marc Spitz was a very interesting book that caught my attention quick. I am a fan of the band the book was written about (Green Day) which was what first pulled me in.The best part about the book had to be the biography style giving you all the inside information. Everything that you wanted to know was right there infront of you. I also liked that it started from the very beginning of each of the members lives. Not starting where the band started but starting when t The book Nobody Likes You by Marc Spitz was a very interesting book that caught my attention quick. I am a fan of the band the book was written about (Green Day) which was what first pulled me in.The best part about the book had to be the biography style giving you all the inside information. Everything that you wanted to know was right there infront of you. I also liked that it started from the very beginning of each of the members lives. Not starting where the band started but starting when they were all old enough to start playing music. For some in was at the age of six. One of the things I really didn’t like about the book was in two of the chapters it talked about nothing but “Gilman St.”. Sure, It is a great venue but after a few pages of describing the place I got very bored. Other then that it really was a great book. I learned a lot about the band. It also inspired me and my music intrest. It made me get excited for my future and motivated me to keep on moving with music. If Green Day can go from sixteen year old kids playing guitar to selling out Giants Stadium anything is possible. If they can do it so can I.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ben Heim

    Nobody Likes You by Marc Spitz, named after lyrics from a song on Green Day’s “American Idiot” album, is an insightful and in-depth look at the iconic band Green Day and the history behind them. From their earliest days as Sweet Children to their newer music, it is a fantastic read for any fan of Green Day or punk rock as a whole. Spitz not only covers the band’s progress through multiple decades, but also their impact on the musical sub-genre of punk rock, as he interviews people from the lead Nobody Likes You by Marc Spitz, named after lyrics from a song on Green Day’s “American Idiot” album, is an insightful and in-depth look at the iconic band Green Day and the history behind them. From their earliest days as Sweet Children to their newer music, it is a fantastic read for any fan of Green Day or punk rock as a whole. Spitz not only covers the band’s progress through multiple decades, but also their impact on the musical sub-genre of punk rock, as he interviews people from the lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong and the band, consisting of Mike “Dirnt” Pritchard and Frank Wright III, known as Tré Cool, to Billie’s mother, former members, old managers and friends, and even members of the band that inspired Billie: Operation Ivy. Spitz, altogether, does an exceptional job at delving deep into Green Day’s past, and although it’s certainly not for everyone, anyone wishing to get to know the band a bit more should absolutely pick up Nobody Likes You.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nick Hoffmann

    "Nobody Likes You" is an interesting and enjoyable book for music lovers and fans of Green Day. It follows the bands rise to success, beginning from their days as rebellious punk artists to their recent sold out shows and tours. It is inspiring to read about the dedication and love these three men had for music and how through the best and worst times they kept they're heads held high and continued to achieve their dreams. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about Green D "Nobody Likes You" is an interesting and enjoyable book for music lovers and fans of Green Day. It follows the bands rise to success, beginning from their days as rebellious punk artists to their recent sold out shows and tours. It is inspiring to read about the dedication and love these three men had for music and how through the best and worst times they kept they're heads held high and continued to achieve their dreams. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about Green Day's roots or simply enjoy a story about brotherhood, love, and living free, things many of us can relate to.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Serena

    I am so glad I read this! The author shows a real love and respect for the band, unlike some other biography writers who chose a more journalistic writing style. This book is definitely engaging and instructive, and it made me see a band I already loved from a different perspective, also adding background information on San Francisco and on what was going on at the time which helped making me understand the whole concept behind Green Day. I wish this book could just update itself to talk about t I am so glad I read this! The author shows a real love and respect for the band, unlike some other biography writers who chose a more journalistic writing style. This book is definitely engaging and instructive, and it made me see a band I already loved from a different perspective, also adding background information on San Francisco and on what was going on at the time which helped making me understand the whole concept behind Green Day. I wish this book could just update itself to talk about their latest album too! ;)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brian Wilson

    A good book, quickly read. The book does a nice job of recounting the creation of the band but it feels a little premature. Shouldn't they all be dead or severely mangled and/or drugged out (or at least through re-hab a few times) before their life story is being written? Also, it's a little soon to begin waxing nostalgic about....the 90s??? On a surprising note, Billy Joe's mother is from Sperry, Oklahoma - my hometown!

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