Bob Gruen on Billie Joe Armstrong's Rehab: "Keith Richards Never Apologized"

Categories: Interviews, Photos
Bob_Gruen_Interview_Rock_Photos_Green_Day.jpg
Photo by Bob Gruen
Green Day in London, 2010.
Legendary music photographer Bob Gruen has worked with most of rock music's biggest talents. (He shot the iconic image of John Lennon in his New York City tank top.) But that doesn't mean he isn't willing to play favorites.

"Mainly the group I like, and it's hard to call them a new group now that they've been around for 23 years, but they keep doing new things, is Green Day," he told Crossfade. "They're probably my favorite group these days. They really carry rock 'n' roll forward. Powerful songs and great lyrics."

As with Lennon and the other bands he's worked with, Gruen couldn't help but get close to Green Day, which made Billie Joe Armstrong's recent entry into rehab hard to watch.

See also:
-Janette Beckman on Helping N.W.A. "Fuck Tha Police": "They Were Just So Sweet and Nice"
-Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong Checks Into Rehab, Totally OD-ing on Punk Rock


Bob Gruen Green Day in NYC 2009.jpg
Photo by Bob Gruen
Green Day in New York, 2009.
"They're very human. Very, very human," he said of the band. "They're all susceptible to human frailty but I don't think he had anything to apologize for. I was kind of taken aback by the nature of the public apology. Keith Richard never apologized. But I think he's doing exactly what he needs to be doing."

Gruen was in Miami for Art Basel, showing some of his photos at New York gallery Morrison Hotel's popup location at the Dream South Beach. Miami hasn't been a frequent stop for Gruen over the years but it has been a memorable one.

"I was here in 1986 to do a session with the Bee Gees," he recalled. "They were getting ready to go on tour and so I took them to a place I'd found that had three highways crisscrossing in the background. I thought it would symbolize all the different directions they would be going."

Except for maybe Michael Bolton, few of our soft rock megastars are roadkill enthusiasts who may be found frequently at the side of an interstate. As such, the Bee Gees weren't entirely sold on the idea.

"They were very nervous to get out of the car and just stand on the shoulder of the highway," Gruen told us. "They kept asking, 'Are you sure this is okay?' and I'd say, 'Sure! Just smile and it will be all right.'"

How well they followed Gruen's advice will be left to viewers of the photo to decide. Although in defense of the Brothers Gibb, Crossfade's glee club president S. Pajot attests that exhaust fumes can play hell on a fellow's falsetto.


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Dream South Beach Hotel

1111 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

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4 comments
melissaswebster
melissaswebster

@GreenDayMind And why are you awake so early? Isn't it almost 4am there?

melissaswebster
melissaswebster

@GreenDayMind What do you think of that X-Kid video?

GreenDayMind
GreenDayMind

@melissaswebster I just happened to wake up and saw that on my Google alert.

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