Green Day: Songs Mike Likes
Green Day's Mike Dirnt On Playmaking
by Jaan Uhelski
Mike Dirnt, the usually understated bassist of Green Day, really comes alive when he deejays. Whether it's at parties he throws at his equally understated home in Oakland, CA (no, none of the members of the Berkeley punk trio lives in Berkeley anymore) or at informal bashes thrown by his friends, his strategy stays the same: play something on 45 from each decade, beginning with the 1920's. His first order of business is to slap Benny Goodman's "Blue Skies" and "Swing Into Spring" on the turntables, working himself up to the brink of the '90s. He usually only plays a single punk rock record. But then again bass players are never, ever obvious...
( for the full article and interview, click here )
1. Benny Goodman: "Swing Into Spring" (Columbia Hall of Fame Series)
2. Benny Goodman: "Blue Skies" (Columbia Hall of Fame Series)
[These are] a great way to work your way into a party.
3. Louis Armstrong: "Hello Dolly" (Kapp Records)
From the '30s...Something familiar that everyone knows, obviously--just a familiar, good tune to get people tapping their feet.
4. Tony Bennett: "Firefly" (Sony/Columbia)
It's typical romantic big band type stuff. And it's slow. Like I said, we start off slow. Some of them I just collect for the [album] covers. They're just amazing. My wall is just completely covered in sleeve covers.
5. Frank Sinatra: "Strangers In The Night" (Reprise)
Once again it's a cocktail vibe�
6. The Cadets: "Strand In the Jungle" (Relic)
7. Lonnie Mack: "Honky Tonk Man" (Fraternity Records)
8. Johnny Cash: "Boy Named Sue" (Sony/Columbia)
"Boy Named Sue" is just a great story. Gets people laughing. Gets them in a smiling mood. I think it came out when I was in junior high school, but I totally remember it.
9. Bo Diddley: "Roadrunner" (Universal/MCA)
10. Nancy Sinatra: "These Boots Are Made For Walking" (Sundazed/Reprise)
People know it; it steps up the party again.
11. The Inmates: "Dirty Water" (Radar)
12. The Rolling Stones: "Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown" (London)
By the way, that's my most expensive 45� It cost me $35 bucks and it's worth $75.
13. The Beatles: "Revolution" (Capitol)
Whenever there's a break in the party--there's a good break and I happen to be in the 60's--I play "Revolution" when we come back in. I've got it on Capitol and the B-side is "Revolution" It comes in so strong and everybody loves that song. People sing along to that song more than you could ever imagine. It brings a sense of unity to a party. And people who hate the Beatles have their heads up their ass.
14. Etta James: "Tell Mama" (Chess)
That's another good break one. The bass line is so thumping. It shakes your butt no matter what. And her singing voice in that one is so powerful--it's powerful in like that Janis Joplin way.
15. James Brown: "Talking Loud, Saying Nothing" (Polydor)
Anything is really good by James Brown. I mean, James Brown tended to move a party. "Mother Popcorn." That's another strong, great song. It's on King Records. There's one song that's so great. He always did Part I and Part II. "Devil's Hideaway," that's a great one. He rocks so hard on organ.
16. Ike and Tina Turner: "Shake a Tail Feather"
I try to kick it up and move it closer to the tempo of the 70's [with this].
17. Stevie Wonder: "Superstition" (Motown)
Okay, now for dancing, we like to starting hitting things with four on the floor, so - Stevie Wonder's "Superstition." It's four on the floor and like I said, everyone's going to start getting into it big time. I did not go toward the late 70's yet.
18. Parliament: "Crush It" (Casablanca)
For dancing I have to do a blend of 70's and 80's. To get the party moving, then we're going to have to go from there to--Parliament's "Crush It."
19. Rick James: "Superfreak" (Gordy)
It's 1981�Once again, it's a great bass line.
20. Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots: "Disco Duck" (RSO)
People my age remember it, and other people just think I'm on crack when I play it. I'm definitely catering to my genre, my age group.
21. Donna Summers: "Bad Girls" (Casablanca)
One the girls really love.
22. Madonna: "Holiday" (Warner Bros.)
Girls like this one, too. It's very dated, but once again four on the floor. It's got that beat, which is why people love techno so much. God forbid you put a song to it!
23. The Sugarhill Gang: "Rappers Delight" (Sugar Hill)
It moves you into the 80's real good and it signifies the beginning of rap. So does "Rapture."
24. Blondie: "Rapture" (Chrysalis)
It started off the whole movement.
25. Yoko Ono: "Kiss, Kiss, Kiss" (Geffen)
I think it's a great song. And whether people like her or not, it's a good song.
26. Moon Zappa : "Moon Unit"
27. Bow Wow Wow: "I Want Candy"
It was one of my girlfriend's favorite bands ever.
28. Gary Numan: "Cars" (Cleopatra)
29. Generation X: "Dancing With Myself" (Chrysalis)
It could be the 80's version but instead I'll play the Gen-X version. It's a great song, great guitar line, and it exemplifies that era. Even though it was 70's, you think of the 80's when you hear it. It's just good New Wave.
30. Clash: "Pressure Drop" (Sony/Epic)
I chose this one because it's my favorite Clash song ever. There's not a lot of songs that make me happy right off the bat. I guess you could say if Bob Mould was in the Clash, he would have written a melody like this. And it's got a very Gen-X guitar line.
31. Madness: "One Step Beyond" (Uni/Geffen)
32. The Vapors: "Turning Japanese" (Sony/Epic)
33. The Waitresses: "I Know What Boys Want" (Uni/Mercury)
Here you go, after that, the Waitresses, "I Know What Boys Want." Now, don't forget to leave a few seconds between them! I like to give people something they definitely know.
34. Adam Ant: "Stand And Deliver" (Sony/Columbia)
That's a great song.
35. The Buzzcocks: "Ever Fallen In Love" (IRS)
This is '78, so I'll probably get shit for putting this one in since we're in the '80s, but fuck 'em. I want to play the Buzzcock's "Ever Falling In Love," because, once again you're walking a fine line between punk and New Wave. There were as much pop as they were punk.
36. REM: "Superman" (Sony/Epic)
It's just a great song. It's really aggressive; it doesn't slow the pace down at all.
37. U2: "Desire" (Sony/Epic)
Think about the end of the song. "Da da, duh da, da duh!" It has some great guitar lines in there. I have so many other U2 songs, but that's the one that fits.