Last night in Oakland, over the repeated opening guitar chords of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong gave an impassioned speech regarding the importance of those lost in the Ghost Ship fire. “When I think of what happened last week at Ghost Ship … the Ghost Ship warehouse… it’s shocking, ” he said of the tragedy that took the lives of 36 people. “This is our own. This is our people.”
The Bay Area-born rock band played last night at the Oracle Arena, where Armstrong took the opportunity to dedicate “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” to the victims of the fire. He added to the above comments:
“These are people who … these are friends, friends of friends of people that we pass by on the street every single day, because BART only goes so many places. My hear just goes out to all the people that perished in that warehouse. Because these are people just here, looking for themselves. Just trying to have a moment where they can all just celebrate just being artists and being weird and having fun. And all those people. With Oakland, 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 f their parents’ house. And they have nothing. But they find something in this sort-of community, when they weren’t accepted before. So it’s really important that these people have an affordable place to live.”
Here’s video of the preamble:
Green Day is currently on tour, through February 8.