30 years ago, Green Day was a new band without a single album to their name. But before releasing Dookie in 1994 – and before 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours and Kerplunk in 1990 and 1992 before that – the trio was already performing their first songs. Last weekend, three of those earliest live recordings surfaced online. Fans can now hear “Stay,” “Maybe Forever,” and a song presumably called “Jennifer,” all in surprisingly high quality. All three songs were recorded during a July 22, 1989 performance at Berkeley Square.
“Stay” – also known by fans as “World Vs. World” – is the slowest of the three newly surfaced songs. It sounds dreamier than most of Green Day’s studio recordings from that era, and shows a softer side of the band that they wouldn’t explore more fully until later in their career. Listen to “Stay” below:
The shortest song here is “Maybe Forever,” an energetic track that fits with right in with Green Day’s Lookout! releases. This could easily have appeared on an early EP or Kerplunk. Check out “Maybe Forever” below:
The final song’s name is unknown. Billie Joe states the song title at the beginning of the recording, but it’s difficult to make out. Fans have referred to this recording as “Jennifer” and “Future Old Boy.” It starts with drum intro (by Green Day’s first drummer, John Kiffemeyer; Tré Cool hadn’t joined the band yet) before diving into a harder-hitting song. Listen to the recording here:
These three songs all sound amazing, and it’s great to hear some of Green Day’s earliest compositions. Maybe now it’s time to revisit their early discography, yeah? Pre-Dookie Green Day is a treat to listen to!
Looking for more early Green Day content? Two years ago, Spotify released a four-part documentary, Green Day: The Early Years. Chapter One talked about Green Day’s start as Sweet Children. Then we got Chapter Two: “Best Thing In Town,” talking about how Tré Cool joined the band, they recorded Kerplunk!, and the band started seeing success outside California. The third chapter, “Having A Blast,” delved into Green Day’s huge success with Dookie and touring with Pansy Division. The series ended with “Still Breathing,” a nod to their latest big single of the same name.
Green Day is a prolific band, but surprisingly few of their unreleased songs have ever leaked. The odd demo or live recording is out there, though, and some of those songs rival officially released tracks. Check out a full list of Green Day’s rarities here:
Since playing these early songs in 1989, Green Day has come a long way. With iconic albums like Dookie and American Idiot in their repertoire, it was no surprise when Green Day was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.
Green Day’s last studio album was 2016’s Revolution Radio. That record included the singles “Bang Bang,” “Still Breathing,” and the title track. More recently, Green Day released their second greatest hits compilation, God’s Favorite Band, late in 2017. Last spring, Billie Joe released the album Love Is For Losers with his new side band, The Longshot.
In December, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong revealed that he is “writing new songs” for Green Day. Although he didn’t reveal any other information, the band will likely begin recording in the coming months. With any luck, we could get a new album late this year; otherwise, 2020 sounds promising.
Enjoy the newly-surfaced old songs, and keep checking back here for all the latest Green Day music news.