Green Day Shreds Onstage With Oakland Fan, Pays Tribute to ‘Ghost Ship’

Green Day (Amy Harris / Associated Press)
Amy Harris / Associated Press

Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong invited a fan onstage to play guitar with him during a performance in Oakland on Saturday night, and paid a tribute to the 36 people who perished in the December 2 fire at the Oakland warehouse known as the “Ghost Ship.”

Armstrong was performing during LIVE 105’s “Not So Silent Night” when he asked the crowd if anyone could play the guitar. According to CBS, he gave the nod to a young red-headed man before security brought him up to play.

After they played a set together, Armstrong told the fan that he could keep the guitar.

Armstrong’s tribute to the Ghost Ship was also a defense of communities like the Ghost Ship, which have come under intense criticism across California since the disaster.

“My heart just goes out to all the people who perished in that warehouse,” Armstrong said. “These were people… Just trying to have a moment where they can all just celebrate just being artists and being weird and having fun.”

“With Oakland, it’s like, we have to cherish all the freaks and the weirdos … People need a place. They didn’t go to art school. They got kicked out of their parents’ house and they have noting. But they find something in this sort of community where they weren’t accepted before. So it’s really important that these people have an affordable place to live,” Armstrong reportedly said.

He then started singing the song, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” as a tribute to those who lost their lives.

In an interview with LIVE 105’s morning show crew, Armstrong reportedly said, “there would be no Green Day without places like the Ghost Ship.” He added that he had also grown up in warehouses like the Ghost Ship and noted that “when you’re a weird kid and you’re an artist and you don’t fit in, you’re always looking for a place to be able to hang your hat and find like minded people. And Oakland was that for us and it is for a lot of people.”

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