The night Green Day played the Wee Red Bar
June 5, 2018
As Edinburgh Music Tours gear up for launch on Saturday 16th June, we look back at one of Edinburgh’s more unlikely gigs: Green Day at the Wee Red Bar.
These days, the American punk band have sold some 85 million records; been awarded five Grammys and seen the stage adaptation of their American Idol album become a global success.
The band were less of a big noise in December of 1991 when they played the Wee Red Bar, the student union at Edinburgh College of Art.
In fact, depending on who you speak to, the audience that night ranged from ten people and a dog to a crowd of fifty.
One account has the promoter saying they sold 36 tickets and a source close to the band reckoned that their Edinburgh gig was the least lucrative of that particular tour of Europe. Apparently, they made the princely sum of £21.
Mind you, tickets were only £3.50 for ‘workers’ and £3 for ‘scroungers’.
Support that evening was Decline, a band from Wigan. And no, we don’t know what became of them.
Edinburgh Music Tours: punk rock tales
While the gig may have been sparely attended, the band still displayed a very punk rock sense of all being in it together.
One young shaver recalls that the band hung around after the show and had a few drinks with their fans. It was all very friendly.
In fact, everyone got on so well that bass player Mike Dirnt kindly held the fan’s long hair back as he regurgitated the evening’s snakebite.
I’ll bet that doesn’t happen at today’s Green Day tours.
Colvin Cruickshank has been managing the Wee Red Bar for longer than anyone cares to remember and he kindly sent us a scan of the Green Day gig poster.
While the Wee Red Bar is indeed wee, it has hosted plenty of other bands who went on to become massive.
The Proclaimers, Django Django, Frightened Rabbit and Young Fathers have all played.
All that is left for us to say is ‘Get down there and catch tomorrow’s stadium-filling acts today’.
Edinburgh Music Tours
Led by musicians and journalists
Guided walking tour of Edinburgh's music scene I Over 18s only