Cult website unearths correspondence between frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and a young fan’s furious parent who brands the three-piece “trash”

Green Day: Insomniac

Hate mail: Green Day's Insomniac

A correspondence website has unearthed a letter from an outraged woman to Green Day’s record label – and frontman Billie Joe Armstrong’s handwritten reply.

Letters of Note aims to preserve written pieces of communication from all aspects of human life. Its latest haul includes an angry missive from December 1996 in which the mother of an eight-year-old boy explains her anger over the lyrical content of Green Day’s Insomniac album.

She writes: “I am very disturbed by the cassette tape my son was listening to. His grandmother bought it for him and was totally unaware of its explicit content.

“Isn’t it possible to make music anymore? That tape is not something any singer/songwriter should take any pride in at all. It is horrifying and has got to be one of the worst interpretations of an ‘artform’ that I have ever had the misfortune to hear.

“I know it is possible for the group to make ‘good music’ because I have heard them sing before. The song entitled When I Come Around is one of my son’s favourites. He and his dad sang it together whenever it was on.

“Unfortunately, one doesn’t have to sing trash to have a following. And if that creates such a following one would do well to wonder exactly what type of people he wants following him!

“I have a big mouth so I’ll make everyone I know aware. That tape is trash, as you can plainly see, and you’ll find it enclosed.

“Why don’t you do something positive and clean up your act!!!! Isn’t there enough garbage in the world? All the thoughts you are helping to put in the minds of our youth is scary. You have so much influence why not use it for something GOOD?”

Armstrong replies: “I just received your letter and this is my response.

“I don’t write music for parents, grandparents, or eight year olds. I write for myself and I’ll say anything I damn well please. That’s the difference between you and me. I do what I want… You do what you’re told.

“Obviously, we’re not on the same planet, let alone the same ball park. I find people like you offensive and it ‘helps me’ to know you wont be buying any more of our records.

“Next time, I suggest you do a little research before you purchase such ‘rubbish’ for your little boy. It might save you a few extra bucks.

“PS: You’re right about one thing… You do have a big mouth.”

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