OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Bay Area punk heroes Green Day paid heartfelt tribute to those who lost their lives in the Oakland Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire during their set at LIVE 105’s Not So Silent Night Saturday.
Before the band launched into “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong paused to talk about the tragedy.
Continuing Coverage: Deadly Oakland Warehouse Fire
The fire at a converted warehouse in Oakland late Friday night Dec. 3rd where a music event was being held killed 36 people — the nation’s largest music related tragedy since the deadly fire at The Station nightclub in Warwick, R.I., in 2003.
Several of the victims were involved in the Bay Area music community including Cash Askew of the band Them Are Us Too, visual artist Jonathan Bernbaum, sound engineer Barrett Clark, Micah Danemayer, who staged music events, guitarist Billy Dixon, DJ Chelsea Dolan, who performed under the stage name Cherushii, DJ Johnny Igaz and Travis Hough of the electronic group Ghost of Lightning among others.
“When I think about what happened at Ghost Ship — the Ghost Ship warehouse — it’s shocking. Because this is our own. This is our people,” Armstrong said. “These are friends and friends of friends. These are people we walk by every day because BART only goes so many places. My heart just goes out to all those people who perished in that warehouse.”
He went on to talk about Oakland and it’s history of embracing those who are different.
“These are people just looking for themselves…Just being artists and being weird and having fun,” said Armstrong. “We’ve got to make sure of one thing 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 of their parents’ house and they have nothing, but they find something in this sort of community where they weren’t accepted before.
Earlier at LIVE 105’s Not So Silent Night during an interview with Kevin Klein Live, the singer talked about the band members’ formative years that were nurtured by the Oakland warehouse scene.
“We grew up in those warehouses in West Oakland when we were 18 years old, so we know what it’s like, that communal space with artists and activists,” said Armstrong. “Growing up in small towns like Rodeo and Pinole and wherever outside of San Jose, 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.”