They say you can never quarantine the past, which is the best rationale for selling a bunch of your old shit at a garage sale. When you get to be the ripe old age of 45 like Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, you might have a ton of gear sitting around that you don’t need. He’s partnered with Reverb.com, the online marketplace for musicians to sell new and used gear, for the Official Reverb Green Day Garage Sale. He’s picked out dozens of old guitars, amplifiers, pieces of audio equipment, and accessories to get rid of as part of the sale, and wants to pass the legacy onto someone who might find more use in his old stuff. He tells Reverb during an in-house interview:
“Used guitars, in particular, come with a history to them. I love the character you can see looking at a fretboard that’s been used—you can see where someone played it in clubs, in barns, in churches. We had a guitar come through our store, and you could just see the smoke from the clubs it was played in. It was beautiful. I hope the gear from the Green Day Reverb shop goes to someone that plays it.”
There’s a lot of recent history to be had here: amps that recorded the guitar parts for “American Idiot,” a 1970s Martin D-41 guitar used on “21 Guns,” and some amps used on their best-forgotten Uno-Dos-Tré! trilogy. So, not exactly gear from Dookie or Kerplunk, but still something! Many items from the Green Day Garage Sale have already been moved—the sale begun on Wednesday—but there’s still a small helping of old consoles and guitars available in the shop.
It’s kind of a strange gesture for an artist to host an outright sale like this, instead of donating or keeping around for nostalgia’s sake. But then again, it’s probably a safe guess that Billie Joe feels slightly less attachment toward the recent Green Day records than the classics, and would rather stockpile that memorabilia for life. He said just before 2016 that his mission for the new year was to “destroy the phrase ‘pop-punk’ forever,” which I’m not sure if he accomplished, but at least he’s taking care of some early spring cleaning for 2018!